WHEN NEWS came that Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's character in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" was based on former Philly news anchor Mort Crim, the interview requests started rolling in for the Jacksonville-based television personality:
"Good Morning America!" "Piers Morgan Live!" He'll be on "Fox & Friends" today. Philadelphia magazine even had Crim read Ron Burgundy quotes.
So how will the former KYW anchor leverage his re-found fame?
"That's an interesting question. I've had seven books published. I consider myself a journalist and a writer first. I had been doing an eighth [book] that was going to be a memoir. But now I'm taking a different path. I want to do something about being the real Ron Burgundy," he told me.
His prospective title? The Real Ron Burgundy Tells It Like It Was. "But you know how publishers are with titles," he said.
Crim hasn't asked him yet, but he wants Ferrell to write the foreword.
What does Crim get for inspiring a character that will surely kill it at the holiday box office? How about a cameo in the inevitable "Anchorman 3"?
"A cameo never crossed my mind," he told me, "but now that you've planted the seed . . ."
"Cake Boss" star Buddy Valastro came to Philly earlier this fall to rehab Oteri's Italian Bakery (4023 Fairdale Road) for his new "Bakery Boss," where he rehabs failing baking businesses. The episode featuring Oteri's premieres at 10 p.m. Dec. 30 on TLC.
In the episode, Valastro gets to do something singular to Philly: Bake a 12-foot cheesesteak cake in honor of Geno's Steaks. Valastro told me that owner Geno Vento showed his gratitude with a couple freebies: "I like cheesesteak classic, but Geno brought me one with provolone, onions and broccoli rabe," Valastro told me, "But look I'll take it either way."
Valastro's main task was updating Oteri's aging equipment and encouraging the generations-old family bakery to start using natural, organic ingredients. The processed stuff was ruining their treats. Take the cannoli: The shell was incredible but the filling was lacking. Valastro said that was ingredient-based.
While I had him on the phone, I had to ask Valastro what he thought of Philly-born comic Paul F. Tompkins' impression of him, heard on the Pod F. Tompkast podcast and the show "Comedy Bang Bang."
"Honestly, I'm flattered that he does it," Valastro said, mimicking Tompkins' spastic impersonation. "It's all in good fun. I've never met him, but if I did, I would want to scare him a little bit. Like he's doing the impression and I just pop out!"
Congrats to Darren Daulton, who got married this weekend to longtime girlfriend Amanda Dick.
NBC10's John Clark tweeted a photo of the nuptials that also included former Phils John Kruk, Pat Burrell and Tommy Greene.
Daulton was diagnosed with brain cancer in July and underwent surgery to remove the tumors. Daulton has been married twice before, to former Playboy Playmate Lynne Austin and Nicole Garcia. Dick is a former pro golfer.
Varga Bar (941 Spruce St.) hosts its 2014 calendar release party, featuring fine Philly ladies in pinup poses, inspired by artist Alberto Vargas, tonight at 9 p.m. Each photo is set at a Philly landmark, including 30th Street Station, LOVE Park, the Magic Gardens and City Hall. Calendars will be on sale for $15. A portion of the proceeds go to the Liberty USO.
* The Geator with the Heater, Jerry Blavat, held his annual holiday soiree at Popolino (501 Fairmount Ave.). Chef/owner Peter McAndrews and urologist to the stars Dr. David Raezer toasted the my-man-pots-and-pans, while diners - like attorney Chuck Peruto, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, Mighty Writers executive director Tim Whitaker, former People Paper gossip/strategic communications consultant Dan Gross and many more - supped on calamari, mussels, pasta and many meats before getting a cheesecake from the Aramingo Diner (3356 Aramingo Ave.) for dessert.
* Man about town Harry Jay Katz has been waylaid as of late, but he got to celebrate his wife Debra's 54th birthday party in style at Prime Rib (1701 Locust St.), his first outing after a tough year of surgery, hospitalization and recuperation.
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