The 'King' and his court

From left: Michael Goodhue of Hingham, Lenny Clarke, ''The Child King'' star Peter Johnson, and Steve DeOssie. From left: Michael Goodhue of Hingham, Lenny Clarke, ''The Child King'' star Peter Johnson, and Steve DeOssie. (Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe)
By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
December 18, 2008
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Some sparkly folks turned out at Patriot Place last night for a special screening of "The Child King," a locally-made film about a teenage boy with Down syndrome who leads his unbelieving little brother on a journey to find Santa. The movie was made on a shoestring by South Shore brothers Jeff and Frank Kerr to raise money for the Child King Foundation, an organization they recently founded to support kids with disabilities. (They're selling the film on their website.) The flick stars Special Olympics athlete Peter Johnson of Scituate, and features cameos by comedian Lenny Clarke and former footballers Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas. Not surprisingly, Clarke had to be reined in for his role as a tow truck driver, said writer and producer Jeff Kerr. "He's doing his scene and his mouth starts going, and we're like 'No, not the F-bomb!' " Kerr said, laughing. (No worries, parents, they finally got a clean cut.) Expected to join Clarke and DeOssie at the party were "American Idol" contestant Ayla Brown and her folks - state Senator Scott Brown and Channel 5's Gail Huff. Horace Mann Educational Associates, another beneficiary of the fund-raiser, also invited its entire crew of developmentally disabled clients and their families.

Whitey's whereabouts: a new chapter

If Whitey Bulger's alive, he's not in the United States. At least, that's the word from Kevin Weeks, onetime member of Whitey's Winter Hill Gang. Weeks, whose first book, "Brutal: My Life in Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob," was a New York Times bestseller, has just finished the manuscript for his second book, called "Where's Whitey?" Written with BU journalism professor Phyllis Karas, "Where's Whitey?" is a fictional account of the mobster's movements since he fled Boston in 1994. "We had so much information that we couldn't get into the first book," said Karas, who also collaborated on "Brutal." "People will find this very interesting." Weeks served five years in prison for helping Bulger kill five people. He eventually became a witness for the feds, testifying against his fellow gangster Stephen Flemmi and former FBI agent John Connolly. Weeks made money on the first book, but shared half of the profits with his victims' families. "That's money they never would have received otherwise," said Karas. The new book, which will be shopped to publishers by literary agents Helen Rees and Doug Grad, is a work of fiction but uses real names, including those of Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig. "All of these US sightings are false," said Karas. "Kevin firmly believes Whitey will not turn himself in. He's got a ton of money and can live comfortably. Kevin thinks he'll not go quietly. He'll go down shooting."

The business of news

Media mavens, including MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, NPR's Juan Williams, Hearst-Argyle TV exec Candy Altman, and Boston Globe editor Martin Baron, mulled over the state of the business yesterday. Organized by the Independent Film Channel, the event at the MIT Museum was aimed at raising awareness about influences shaping media coverage.

A shot of Tequila

Would you take dating advice from Tila Tequila (above)? Didn't think so. But it's great that the MySpace star and host of MTV's "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila" has written a book. It's even better that Tequila's tome is ghost written by Sarah Tomlinson, a former Boston freelancer whose work regularly appeared in the Globe and the Phoenix, among other publications. "No, I did not sleep with her," Tomlinson said of her sexually ambiguous subject. "But she did teach me how to flirt - it's all in the eyes. . . . You have to use your eyes." Called "Hooking Up With Tila Tequila," the book includes revealing pictures and plenty of bawdy language. "My mom's a librarian in Bremen, Maine," said Tomlinson. "But she can't stock it because it's too racy."

Jenner gets real
It was bound to happen eventually. Brody Jenner, previously on the periphery of other people's reality shows ("Meet the Kardashians," "The Hills"), finally has his own: "Bromance," airing on MTV on Dec. 29. And, of course, there are a few made-in-Mass. contestants: 24-year-old Luke Verge (inset, below), of Medford, and 24-year-old Mattapoisett resident Gary Vaughn (inset, top), who compete with seven other dudes to become Bruce Jenner's son's new BFF. The winner gets to join Frankie Delgado and Sleazy T in Jenner's Hollywood entourage and takeover his LA penthouse for a year. Both locals report they had a good time on the show, though they had to live in a dilapidated house in East LA. "It does get heated, but I did make some good guy friends," said Verge, who hung out with Mainer Alex Romanoff.

Team effort

MIX 98.5 is bringing in some out-of-town talent to replace longtime morning guy John Lander, whose contract went kaput last week. Karson Tager and Kennedy Elsey - a.k.a. Karson and Kennedy - will trek north from WHBQ-FM in Memphis, where they've been chatting up morning commuters for the past four years. They'll debut here on Jan. 5. Karson is an avid sports fan, while Kennedy is apparently a local theater buff, so they should fit in just fine.

Making 'The List'
Look for pretty graphics on the pilot of ABC's new pop culture gossip show, "The List," set to air Tuesday. National Ministry of Design's Jean McCarvill and Dave Allen did the promo packaging. Hosted by Australia TV personality Rove McManus, the first episode features guest spots with gossip king Perez Hilton and Julianne Hough of "Dancing With the Stars."

Names can be reached at or 617-929-8253.

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