The Michael’s crowd was in full party mode today as television titans, media mavens and talking heads mingled gleefully with politicos who were celebrating Barack Obama’s historic victory. “Finally, some good news!” exclaimed one of the regulars as he made his way into the jam-packed dining room. It seemed more than a bit poetic that on the eve of Camelot 2.0 Caroline Kennedy quietly made her way to table one, avoiding all the table-hopping and glad-handing that was going on around her. If there were any disappointed John McCain supporters in the room, they were keeping a low profile. Okay, Mary Matalin made the scene with hubby James Carville but she didn’t exactly look like she was celebrating. Everyone agreed Obama’s speech last night was stirring, but one observer offered this insight to chew on: “Sure it’s exciting, but it’s going to be pretty much impossible to live up to all this hype. The guy’s gotta be feeling some pressure.” If he is, he sure is wearing it well.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. The Early Show: Saturday Night Live scribe James Signorelli; Second shift: Caroline Kennedy, Jimmy Buffett and his wife Jamie
2. Producer Jon Hart, Doug Steiner and another gent we didn’t get to meet…
3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, producer Susan Stroman (Young Frankenstein), uber-agent Ed Victor and his gorgeous wife Carol. A little birdie told me the ‘Mayor’ will be hosting one of his legendary lunches next week. We can’t wait!
4. Gerald Schoenfeld with an unidentified gent
5. Arnold Scaasi, Parker Ladd and Tory Burch who was sporting her best casual chic look in skinny jeans (No, she wasn’t wearing her signature flats in case you were wondering)
6. The Imber Gang: Dr. Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer, Andy Bergman and Jeff Greenfield. I caught up with Jeff on his way out the door to offer my congratulations on his thoughtful commentary on CBS’ election coverage last night and ask him what he thought was the most memorable moment of the evening. “It’s hard to say, but I guess after Pennsylvania was called… it was just watching the faces,” he told me. “You can’t get away from talking about race and what this means. Watching the faces of people around the country was truly amazing.” Indeed.
7. Crooner Steve Tyrell with ex-Today producer Amy Rosenblum and his long time lady love — and international art dealer — Liliana Tover. I was thrilled when Amy (who is busier than ever) came over to introduce me to Steve, who opens tonight at Cafe Carlyle. I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since I heard his cover of “Give Me The Simple Life.” Steve is jazzed about headlining his fourth show at the Carlyle — he took over the gig after the passing of the legendary Bobby Short. Fans can expect to hear lots of the standards Steve has made his own, including songs from the new Back to Bacharach album. Steve tells me he’s signed on for three more years, but if you want to catch him for the holidays this year, he’ll be performing eight shows a week up to and including New Year’s Eve. We’re calling now…
8. NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker with two unidentified power brokers (One fellow was from Deustche Bank, so we’re told…)
9. Jean Doumanian and Dick Cavett
10. Hallmark Channel honcho Henry Schleiff with Stu Smiley, the Emmy Award-winning producer of Everybody Loves Raymond (which, I have to say, holds up well in reruns). Between bites of his Cobb salad, Henry was overheard asking some politicos, “What do you hear about cabinet announcements?” When you hear, Henry, be sure to fill us in…
11. HarperCollins’ Bob Millerand Esther Newberg
12. Meet the press: A jubilant James Carville with wife Mary Matalin (who looked more than a little world-weary in her black turtleneck and comfy jeans), Bob Barnett and pals
14. Alice Mayhew and Walter Isaacson
15. Joan Gelman (“Are we ecstatic or what?”) with her dashing sons Josh and Greg and producer pal Sandy Pearl (Triple Sensation). Here’s hoping Joan has got some great inauguration buttons in the works…
16. Richard Holbrook with his sons
17. Linda Janklow
18. CBS honcho Les Moonves with Vivi Nevo
19. Beverly Cahme with Gail Sheehy who told me she’s ready to chat for our “So What Do You Do?” series. We’re calling you tomorrow…
20. Bruce Wasserstein
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher with Taki
22. My good pal Pamela Keogh looking first-lady chic in a vintage black suit circa 1969…
23. IMG’s Fern Mallis with fashion flack Chad Thompson and Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, the designing duo of the menswear label, Duckie Brown. Resplendent in red, Fern didn’t miss a beat when I asked her what an Obama administration will mean for the fashion industry. “It’s bigger than any industry, it’s just a great moment for the world.” Fern was out among the celebrants last night and said for all the revelry in Times Square last night, things were “exciting but everyone was very orderly.” When she finally made it home, Fern was up into the wee hours emailing friends in Russia, India and Spain about the election. “They’re thrilled!” She reports.
Just thought you’d like to know…
24. First seating: Scott Donaton. The Late Show: Charlie Rose — carefully carrying his laptop — with a producer from his show and an entourage of unidentified hipsters
25. The sartorially splendid Randy Jones with Don Epstein
26. My good pal Lisa Linden who was kind enough to introduce me to Amanda Lipitz, who barely looks old enough to be the Tony-nominated producer of such hit musicals as Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Seems these tireless gals are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the benefit gala “Tisch on Stage” where such illustrious alumni Joel Coen (’78), The Office‘s Rainn Wilson (’89) and Raul Esparza (’92) will be on hand. Alec Baldwin (’94) will be among the honorees. “People have no idea how much he does for the school,” says Amanda. Rumor has it the cast of 30 Rock will be there (Tina Fey alert!) to cheer him on. Mark your calendar, the big night is Monday, November 17. Call 212.573.6933 for tickets.
27. Reese Schoenfeld and Richard Blumenfeld
28. A bigwig from Viacom, so we’re told…
80. Yes, they had to squeeze in this table to make room for media machers Mort Janklow and Michael Fuchs
Faces in the crowd: My pals Vi Huse and Kira Semler in for their monthly ladies lunch. See you for the holidays!
Attention ‘Lunch’ loyalists: Next week’s ‘Lunch’ will be served on Thursday when an extra hearty helping of dish is on the menu. Stay tuned!
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.