Rachael Ray Hubby John Cusimano Denies Affair With Other Woman
Forget those tabloid stories that link domestic maven Rachael Ray's husband, The Cringe frontman John Cusimano, to another woman. That's the word from Cusimano, who wants us to know those tales are not even a fly in the soup for him and his wife. "It is what it is, and I guess it's part of the job description, so we ignore it," says Cusimano, who celebrated a one-year anniversary with Ray last September. And it appears she's standing, er, cooking by her man. "We'll be performing on Rachael's show shortly after our new album comes out, probably around March 1," says Cusimano of The Cringe's new CD, "Tipping Point," scheduled for a Feb. 20 release.
Cusimano wrote all the songs on the album and recorded in the old-fashioned non-digital way "for that real analog, classic rock kind of feel -- like a band is playing live in the living room." He describes it as "a little darker lyrically, and definitely more political than the last one."
He says The Cringe -- which also includes Matt Powers, Rob Levin and Shawn Pelton -- has already booked "about 40 dates between now and the spring. It'll be a little intense, but fun." The not-so-fun part is that wife Rachael's schedule and his won't allow for much time together. "If we're playing in New York or somewhere where she is, she'll arrange to be there," says Cusimano. "But she's like her own little rock star, so it's not like a family affair where we're driving around together. That part's kind of annoying, but you do what you gotta do."
'TOONING UP: Howie Mandel gets visited by Bobby, his 4-year-old cartoon boy alter ego, on tonight's (2/12) edition of "Deal or No Deal." It's a bit of business that came about through the auspices of www.kabillion.com, the kids' online network where the original episodes of Mandel's 1990-1998 Fox network "Bobby's World" can be found for on-demand viewing, complete with new intros by Mandel.
"We had a contestant, a guest on the show, who grew up watching Bobby and wanted me to do the Bobby voice," explains Mandel. One thing led to another, and "they animated Bobby and will show him on the air."
The character's popularity is strong enough that, not only is Mandel planning fresh episodes of "Bobby's World" -- there are also prospects for a "Bobby's World" movie, Mandel says.
Where he'd find the time is a big question. The Toronto-born comic is now also hosting the just-launched Canadian edition of "Deal or No Deal" in addition to his NBC hit. Plus, "I'm still doing over 200 live dates a year," he notes -- which sometimes necessitates helicopter trips to get him from the L.A. studio to the Las Vegas stage in time.
The popularity of "Deal or No Deal" has added drawing power to his standup engagements, but his nightclub shows "are not for the kids. That's always been a bit of an issue," he admits. In fact, when "Bobby's World' first came out, "People would bring their little kids to see Bobby -- but it's definitely a show for adults. Now here I am again, doing a great, primetime series the whole family can watch, and people want to bring their kids to my shows. That's why the ads and announcements say 'adult content.'"
NEW TRICKS: Beau Bridges tells us he's recovered from his latest stint as Earl's long-suffering dad on "My Name is Earl," a two-part guesting beginning Thursday (2/15). "I don't want to spoil the story, but I get into freak dancing and gerbil hurling," says the actor. "We're goin' deep."
The pelvic bumping and grinding dance moves were "painful," Bridges concedes. "I did my best to do my version." As far as the gerbil hurling, he assures that no actual rodents were harmed in the making of the episodes. "I'd have my arm cocked, ready to hurl the gerbil, and they'd stop and trade the real one for a fake one," he divulges. "You'd think that with five kids, I'd have been around gerbils before, but they were new to me. I had to get used to them. They were sweet, but one did nibble on my finger a little bit."
What Bridges says he likes best about playing the father of Jason Lee's hapless Earl character is the fact that creator Greg Garcia "has given the guy a heart. You can tell he loves his son even though he's such a jerk. Even now, his son is grown but he's thinking he can straighten him out. I think a lot of fathers can relate to that."
IDOL CHATTER: Hayden Panettiere says that the fame with which she's dealing now as the cheerleader on NBC's "Heroes" is "very different" from anything she's experienced before. That's despite the fact the 17-year-old has been acting in film ("Racing Stripes," "Ice Princesses," "A Bug's Life") and television since she was a tot. The biggest challenge of it all: "I think keeping your feet on the ground can be more of a challenge than people think -- keeping your head on your shoulders," she admits. "But it's been a good ride. I have some amazing people around me."
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