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Why Do You Think They Call ’Em Hams? 

Wednesday, Mar 25 1998
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Oscars, schmoscars! As usual, our invitations to all those luminary-laden Academy Awards glitter galas seem to have got lost in the mail. But we did hear about a certain actor’s Oscar Mayer Wiener moment when we dropped by Indochine, where the juicy JENNIFER TILLY hosted a rip-roaring whoop-tee-loop-tee-do to celebrate the restaurant’s first anniversary in L.A. It seems this actor, whose Eurotrashy name you’d undoubtedly recognize, raised a few eyebrows (if nothing else) when he exited the loo after powdering his nose and then whipped out his willy and began to, um, pleasure himself. Frankly, we’re surprised anyone noticed, since the party was tit-to-tit, cheek-to-cheek with Beautiful People — fortunately for us, or we might just have staggered right off our platforms. You could say we took more advantage of the free-flowing libations than we did of the delectable delights (though we managed a nibble of the supremely succulent banana-leaf-wrapped fish before it reached the buffet). At least we left our penis at home! Enchanteuse CONSTANCE, the Bar Marmont’s mostest-hostess, managed to quell the clamor with her vixen version of "The Best Is Yet To Come," while DJs BRENDAN MULLEN (our wee conflict of interest) — spinning an anything-goes set, from Celia Cruz to the Propellerheads — and funk phenom SEAN PERRY got toes tapping, even if the room was too packed to fully boogie down.

Before descending into a stage of swackedness we haven’t experienced since guzzling straight vodka at age 15 (at a high school football game, if you must know — rah rah!), we caught up with owner JEAN-MARC HOUMARD , who along with partner HUY CHI LE is the embodiment of the American Dream. Swiss-born Jean-Marc, described by one very straight guy as "so handsome he should be a movie star," started at Indochine New York as a waiter, while Huy, from Vietnam, began as a busboy, working seven nights a week. In 1992, restau-trendeur Brian McNally (Canal Bar, 150 Wooster) had to sell the once hyper-hiptitudinous Indochine, and Huy and Jean-Marc bought it. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, the two turned it around and into a New York institution. We wish them the same success here.

Among the cruisers, boozers and schmoozers were FRAN DRESCHER , interior designer RON MEYERS , TIMOTHY DALTON , designer EDUARDO LUCERO , LESLEY ANN WARREN , STEVEN DORFF , premier party planner JEFFREY BEST (who also keeps busy with his restaurants Lucky Seven and Habana), CATHY MORIARTY , LORI PETTY , Cherry picker BRYAN RABIN , HEAVY D , THERESA RUSSELL , galaboutown TRA LA LA , witty wordsmith LANCE LOUD , JULIE DELPY , man-on-the-go RICHARD VELASCO , JOE TAGLIONI , former Slash-er MARK TRILLING , LAURIE JEAN SWANSON , Detour’s LUIS BARAJAS , UDO KIER , Chateau Marmont general manager AMANDA CLAFF , HUGH HEFNER and the ubiquitous JANET CHARLTON .

Beavis Envy

So what’s the up-and-up with men fondling their privates in public? Maybe it’s a male way of showing support for Clinton. We popped ’round Mr. T’s, where the CACOPHONY SOCIETY put on an en-grossing "evening of hate and pathos" that included screenings of the prank-phone-call classic "Don From Lakewood" (you can rent it at Videoactive or Mondo Video) and a cooking set by THEE INSTAGON TOOL AND APPLIANCE ORCHESTRA (yep, they play tools and appliances). Anyway, there we were, innocently giggling at "Captain Beefheart for kids," as one wag described nutty nerd-rockers THREE DAY STUBBLE (whose singer, crammed into obscenely tight — and painful-looking — polyester trousers, had his own zipper problems, which he fixed with duct tape), when suddenly we noticed a gent quite obviously manhandling his meat while trying to catch the eye of any woman around. Yeah, honey, that’ll get the girls every time. So much for the pathos part of the eve. Maybe he should have taken a tip from anti-poet, musician and trickster JOHN TRUBEE , who was offering a no-fooling Amtrak ticket to one lucky lady for an all-expenses-paid trip to Indio or somewhere like that. Or perhaps our pud-bud was paying tribute to Trubee’s vulgar ditty "Blind Man’s Penis" (which Trubee sent off to a Nashville vanity label expecting a rejection letter; instead, it was accepted and recorded by a country-music "pro," all for a mere 80 bucks). Trubee ranted an inspiring motivational speech (watch out, Tony Robbins!) that could be summed up as "Live life to the fullest" and "Don’t let the assholes give you shit." Words to live by for microtonal marvel KRAIG GRADY , Angel Dust Records archangel and former Pan promoter NANCY WHALEN , Flipsider GUS HUDSON , Hard Copy producer JANE CANTILLON with TV director RICHARD ROSS , bon-vivant JOE SEHEE , cutie-pie SUSAN LYNCH (hey fellows, she’s single again), former Fibonaccis JOHN DENTINO and RON STRINGER with club promoter and peré extraordinaire CRAIG "Bunky" KIRCHHEIMER , novelist (and Weekly contributor) EDDIE LITTLE and DJ DON BOLLES , who chastised us for being unaware that he’s been turning the tables on KBLT Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. ’til noon for the past six months. Now we know, and so do you!

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance

Okay, maybe we didn’t pay, but if we had, we would have felt like we’d got our money’s worth after the rock-’em-sock-’em L.A. premiere of Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk at the Ahmanson Theater (the party that followed at the Dorothy Chandler was quite tasty, too). George C. Wolfe, who conceived and directed ’Da Noise . . . ’Da Funk, has woven together through song and dance a tantalizing, telling tap-tap-tapestry of black history. Dancers DERICK K. GRANT (who re-created Savion Glover’s original choreography), CHRISTOPHER A. SCOTT , JIMMY TATE and DOMINIQUE KELLEY razzled and dazzled (particularly with a kicking, clicking commentary on the travails of African-American men trying to hail a taxi in New York), drummers DENNIS J. DOVE and DAVID PETER CHAPMAN pounded and pulsated, and singer VICKILYN REYNOLDS sassed and soared. Tapping in on opening night were JIMMY SMITS , NATALIE COLE , JAMES COBURN , ANNA DEAVERE SMITH , LYNN REDGRAVE , HERBIE HANCOCK , EVA MARIE SAINT , BLAIR UNDERWOOD , ANDREA MARTIN , DAVID MARSHALL GRANT , LEA DeLARIA , ALFRE WOODARD , ZEV YARO SLAVKSY and legendary tapper FAYARD NICHOLAS .

Sea of Love

Anchors Away: Long Beach’s Queen Mary was the unlikely site for a $100-to-$500-a-plate Police Watch benefit honoring O.J. liberator and Journey to Justice author JOHNNIE L. COCHRAN JR . The event, emceed by DANNY GLOVER and keynoted by fiery activist MICHAEL ZINZUN , concluded with the spectacle of well-heeled attendees stinking up their dinner clothes in the ornate ballroom to the mighty throb of GEORGE CLINTON & THE P-FUNK ALL-STARS . MARIO VAN PEEBLES summed up the vibe when he confessed to the mostly African-American gathering, "As a filmmaker, I may be overly sensitive about such things, but I can’t decide whether we’re on the Titanic or Amistad."

Highly Recommended!: Reserve Wednesday, May 13, now. The L.A. Weekly, the Conga Room and designer Eduardo Lucero are throwing a fun-tabulous fête, featuring Eduardo’s fall/holiday line, at the Conga Room to raise money for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. For a mere $25 (the entire proceeds from the door will go to AHF), you’ll get an exhilarating eve of fashion, food, music and stars. We can’t tell you just how fun-tabulous it will be quite yet, but trust us — you know how it is in Hollywood. Stay tuned . . .

And that’s the low life — always in style, never in fashion.

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