DEMOCRATIC U.S. senatorial candidate, current Newark, N.J., mayor and celeb politician Cory Booker will appear Aug. 21 at my good buddy Stu Bykofsky's 23rd annual Candidates Comedy Night, benefiting Variety, a charity that provides services and programs for children with disabilities. Booker, who is Byko's first New Jersey-candidate guest, has a surprisingly hilarious Twitter feed (@CoryBooker), so I'm hoping for big things.

Others joining Booker for the show at Finnigan's Wake (3rd and Spring Garden) include Democratic city controller Alan Butkovitz, Republican controller candidate Terry Tracy, Democratic District Attorney Seth Williams and his Republican challenger Danny Alvarez. The night will be hosted by Grover Silcox and Doogie Horner.

The $75 tickets can be purchased by calling Eric Perry at Variety at 215-735-0803, Ext. 11.

Philly's 'Top Model'

Cory Hindorff will help herald a new era of Tyra Banks' "America's Next Top Model" as one of the male strutters to appear on the first coed season of her CW reality show, premiering tomorrow at 8 p.m.

The 2008 Strath Haven alum is no stranger to workin' it on stage, though. Philadelphians may know the gorgeous former actor with to-die-for cheekbones as drag queen extraordinaire Serena Starr.

"Androgyny is coming to forefront," Hindorff said, explaining how his drag alter ego has helped him in modeling. "People are looking for something different. They gravitate toward what's edgy and unique, eccentric."

As with every cycle of "Top Model," drama abounds and Hindorff promises he's a part of it. "I couldn't tell you whether I was the good girl or the b----," Hindorff said. "I was just being myself the entire time, so I didn't stop to analyze."

For Hindorff, though, the drama was not of the romantic variety. For others, things get "hot and heavy."

"As the only LGBT contestant," Hindorff said. "I was in this world of straight people in heat getting it on."

'Black' stars

Celebs abound at the Blackstar Film Festival, celebrating the black diaspora in cinema, taking place today through Sunday.

* Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee will sit in on the "By Any Means Necessary: Producing Independent Film" panel Friday at 11 a.m. Lee is using nontraditional means to fund his next film, using crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.

The Roots' Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter will do a Q&A on Sunday after the screening of "Yelling at the Sky." The film stars Trotter and Zoe Kravitz, daughter of rocker Lenny and actress Lisa Bonet.

Omari Hardwick, who was perfect in last year's "Middle of Nowhere," will participate in a Q&A for his new film "Things Never Said" on Saturday.

All events take place at International House (37th and Chestnut streets). Go to blackstarfest.org for more info.

Talk, talk

Kishwer Vikaas Barrica and hubs Gino Barrica will bid adieu to their Philly-themed podcast Talkadelphia during the Philadelphia Podcast Festival 7 p.m. on Saturday at PhilaMOCA (12th Street and Ridge Avenue). Guests include street-art chronicler Conrad Benner (a/k/a Streets Dept.) and Michaelangelo Ilagan of Geekadelphia. The Barricas are moving cross country to Cali, where hopefully they won't lose their accents. Check out Talkadelphia at talkadelphiaradio.com.

OUT AND ABOUT * Cuba Gooding Jr. had a couple beers at Locust Rendezvous (15th and Locust) after the Kimmel Center premiere of his new movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler." Onlookers said he was playing average joe, chatting it up with patrons and eschewing diva behavior. I also hear he stayed at the Rittenhouse Hotel.

* I hear Clifton Davis, who starred in the Philly-set, Sherman Hemsley-starring sitcom "Amen" and is currently starring as Dr. Dillamond in "Wicked" at the Academy of Music, is becoming a regular at Center City's McGillin's Olde Alehouse.

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