News Column

Dave on Demand: What if other stars told tales?

August 10, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 10--It was announced this week that Jason Priestley is writing a tell-all memoir that will detail his years playing Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210.

According to his publisher, "It will be a must-have for every 90210 fan on the planet."

If it's anything like the kinky autobiography recently written by the mom from The Partridge Family, Shirley Jones -- a book so scandalous that notorious sexpot Joan Collins has asked to be removed from the text -- we can expect risque secrets from the Peach Pit to be spilled. (I always thought the looks exchanged between Priestley and Luke Perry went on a little too long.)

Of course, if Priestley's book, due in 2014, does well, that would open up the floodgates for gossipy memoirs from actors on other classic '90s shows.

Here's what I imagine the nonfiction best-seller list from 2015 might look like:

Bad Neighbor: My Life as Newman by Wayne Knight. The actor maintains that the disdain with which Jerry Seinfeld treated his character (Hello, Newman) was an outgrowth of Seinfeld creator Larry David's virulent fattism. Knight says he was held up to ridicule on the set for his weight, including a separate catering table reserved for him, dubbed Knight's Kitchen, that was stocked only with Drake's cakes and Chunky bars. He writes that at a crowded table reading for the episode "The Contest", David told the staff that if anyone really wanted to win such a competition, they "need only think of Wayne."

The Fresh King by James Avery. In his book, Avery, who played Philip Banks, the stern and stuffy paterfamilias on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, asserts that during the run of the show, Will Smith suffered from an unhealthy and jealous fixation with Christopher Reid, the Eraserhead rapper from Kid 'n Play. Most of the adults on the show, Avery writes, were convinced Smith was a flash in the pan with no future. "We all felt that Alfonso Ribeiro would be the real break-out star."

For Whom the Bell Tolled, by Dennis Haskins. The man who played Principal Belding on Saved by the Bell confirms what many of us suspected: that Dustin Diamond (Screech) was an autodidact and member of Mensa, fluent in Portuguese and five other languages. Haskins relates that the whole cast used to laugh at a teenage Mario Lopez (Slater) because he spent all his downtime doing arm curls and flossing his teeth, often bragging, "Someday I'll be the co-host of a canned infotainment show. Wait and see!"

Forever Kimmy, by Andrea Barber. The biggest revelation in this book by the Full House actress (she played annoying neighbor Kimmy Gibbler) is that there are actually three Olsen siblings. Yes, baby Michelle was originally portrayed by triplets! The forgotten Olsen, Shelby, quit after season two because she found Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) "creepy." She has fiercely guarded her privacy since leaving show business shortly before her third birthday.

Big Where It Counts, by Lil DeVille. This expose of Rugrats is full of shockers, including that Tommy was played by a bald 43-year-old midget who wore the same diapers for the entire length of the show. DeVille also writes that off-camera, Angelica was quite shy and often cruelly bullied by Chuckie. She divulges that her twin, Phil, was played by an uncredited Shelby Olsen. On a lighter note, DeVille describes her character's habit of eating worms as "definitely an acquired taste."

Run of the house. What foul cave do they find these Big Brother contestants in? You'd think that Aaryn, GinaMarie, and Spencer had already spewed a season's worth of racist twaddle. But this week, Amanda went off.

During the show's live Internet feed, she disparaged Candice, the lone remaining African American in the cast, for her "greasy-ass, nappy-hair head." During the broadcast, when Candice got upset at her, Amanda said, "That's the Shamiqua coming out of you, I guess."

So who got booted in Thursday's double elimination? Candice and Judd.

Can't wait to see who wins this rodeo.

Contact David Hiltbrand at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, read his blog at www.inquirer.com/daveondemand, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_TV.

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