— DIANE CLEHANE
We were grateful that several faithful Lunch readers emailed to let us know Bill Clinton was at Michael’s yesterday. Thanks guys! I guess Mr. Clinton didn’t get the memo stipulating that all A-listers book their lunch dates for Wednesdays. Oh, well. Seems the former president was lunching with Harvey Weinstein to settle a bet on Harvey’s little production company winning an Oscar for The King’s Speech. These two under-the-radar guys were accompanied by a squadron of (Clinton) handlers and Secret Service men who were stationed all over the restaurant. Sorry we missed all the excitement!
Today, things got off to a slightly late start (1:00 pm is the new noon if you’re keeping tracking of such things), but the dining room quickly filled up with plenty of master of the universe types (Barry! Woody!) who are always interesting to observe in their natural habitat. All I can say is french fries must be brain food. I expect the place to be going full-tilt tomorrow night when The Kelly Gang hosts The 7th Annual Kelly Gang St. Patrick’s Day Benefit. The organization’s founders include The New York Post’s Keith Kelly, House Beautiful publisher Kate Kelly Smith and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. The ‘Gang’ is back in full swing after taking a hiatus last year and is expecting a huge turnout to raise money for this year’s beneficiaries: Catholic Relief Services in Haiti and Tuesday’s Children. So, if you’re looking for a great St. Pat’s celebration that is doing a lot of good, stop by Thursday night and bring your checkbook.
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Legendary crooner Neil Sedaka, sporting sneakers and a jaunty beret with a chic looking lady and a fellow we didn’t get to meet. We overheard Neil say that his son, Marc Sedaka, was on the Today show this morning alongside wife Samantha to talk about Marc’s new book, What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting. The book deals with how a spouse can support a wife’s struggle with infertility. Talk about an evolved man! Impressive.
2. Jets owner Woody Johnson, who hobbled in on crutches. Hope you’re on the mend soon.
3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with Peter Jennings’ widow, Kayce Freed. Kayce, a former producer of 20/20, is the co-founder of The Documentary Group which produced the much lauded To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports for ABC News which chronicled his recovery from his near fatal brain injury.
4. Barry Diller and an unidentified important looking gent
5. Jann Wenner and a gal everyone thought was Janeane Garofalo. Turns out she was not the actor but a definite doppelganger.
7. Debbie Bancroft and some blonde gal pals
8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia
11. Attorney Richard Bressler
12. Marketing maven Shelley Zalis
14. Wood River Ventures’ Jon Dolgen
15. Wilkie Farr & Gallagher’s Richard DeScherer
16. Waheed Alli, who, we hear, is a bonafide British lord and multimillionaire media mogul. Wondering if he’s heading to the royal wedding and, if so, does he need a date? We’re available.
17. Jack Myers and MTV president Van Toffler
18. Randy Jones and Doug Fierro. When I last saw Randy at our lunch at Michael’s, he was on the hunt for a new chief executive for Petry Media. Well, it turns out he has found his man in Doug. The guys, says Randy, have come “full circle” because Randy first hired Doug back in the day when he was running Esquire. (The moral of the story here, kids, is stay friends with your former boss!) Randy also gave me an update on the news we broke about Lynn Tilton’s new show on The Sundance Channel. They begin shooting in June with plans to premiere in late fall. Stay tuned!
20. Showtime’s former spinmeister Stu Zakim and the always interesting Neal Boulton. Remember that crazy profile in Page Six Magazine of the former Men’s Fitness editor in which he talked — and talked — about his open ‘pansexual’ marriage to his like-minded wife, Claire, and espoused how his lifestyle was actually good for his kids? If you say so. And, of course, there was all that fuss about his reported liaison with Jann Wenner. We didn’t spot Neal kissing anyone today, but we left before he did.
21. Quest’s Chris Meigher
22. Marta Nowakowski
23. The Wall Street Journal’s David Sanford
24. Martin Puris and Simon & Schuster’s head honcho Jonathan Karp
25. PR whiz Tom Goodman
27. Warner Music’s Dave Johnson
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.