Call it MTV—as in Molly Ivins. Fans of the brassy Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist probably know that CBS has hired her for a slot on the weekly newsmagazine 60 Minutes, where she’ll pick over issues of the day with fellow flame-fanners P. J. O’Rourke and Stanley Crouch. Less well known, however, are her plans to conquer daily television. In late April Ivins taped five installments of a proposed talk show called Life and Other Issues With Molly Ivins. Co-executive-produced by MacNeil-Lehrer Productions and a trio of show biz biggies—former Paramount Studios executive Charles Simon, former William Morris agent Arnold Sank, and independent producer Terry Laughlin—the show is billed as an answer to the right-wing polemics of Rush Limbaugh. Not that it will be filled with left-wing polemics: “This is a centrist program that deals with politics and how it affects people’s lives,” insists Simon, who says the famously liberal Ivins was tapped to host only because of her “humor and personality.” Among the early topics: political insiders and downsizing in America. Life is expected to come to life by fall.
Here We Daddy-O Again
This spring, Dallas-Santa Fe-Austin artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade is enjoying what could be called commercial success. His Iguanamobile—an Airstream trailer fitted with a fiberglass iguana head and tail in the style of the foam-and-steel iguana that sat on the roof of New York’s Lone Star Cafe—is featured in a new Bud Light ad campaign in which those hirsute hers, the cross-dressing patrons of Ladies Night, descend on Texas in a pink Suburban. And Wade’s outsized cowboy boots, which were constructed for a Washington, D.C., arts project but have been cooling their heels for seventeen years at North Star Mall in San Antonio, were shot in late March for a Maxwell House ad. “It’s ironic that I find myself pulled into the advertising world,” says Wade, who will soon be the subject of a documentary by Austin filmmaker Karen Dinitz. “But it’s a form of public art, right? I couldn’t be happier.”
In the wake of his co-star turn in Martin Scorsese’s Casino, Dallas native John Bloom is once again betting on the big screen. Bloom—a.k.a. drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs—recently moved to Los Angeles, indefinitely suspended his cult newsletter, and began preproduction on a film he’s written, which an inside source describes as “a country music Spinal Tap with some elements of The Blues Brothers.” The story centers on a fictional group, Joe Bob and Wanda and the Briggs Family Band, whose members aren’t related but pretend to be kin for publicity’s sake. Bloom will play Joe Bob, of course. A host of hot actresses, from Lauren Holly to Teri Hatcher, are interested in playing Wanda, a meaty part that requires singing, dancing, and comic acting, while Jim Belushi is the front-runner to play the band’s sleazy manager, Marv. And Bloom is talking with Lyle Lovett about writing ten original compositions for the movie—not soundtrack songs, but musical plot points, like those in Tim Robbins’ Bob Roberts. “Lyle has the sensibility we want,” says the source. “It’s a celebration of country—even though we make fun of it.”