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No love lost at 'Kiss Me, I'm Imus'

From left: Don Imus rips into Jay Severin at the Wilbur Theatre yesterday; Severin leaves the stage after his confrontation with Imus. From left: Don Imus rips into Jay Severin at the Wilbur Theatre yesterday; Severin leaves the stage after his confrontation with Imus. (Photos by George Rizer/Globe Staff)
By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
March 18, 2009
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Cancer hasn't slowed Don Imus, or made him more softhearted. The cantankerous talk-show host gave local radio yakker Jay Severin a smackdown yesterday during his annual St. Patrick's Day "Kiss Me, I'm Imus" show, broadcast on WTKK from the Wilbur Theatre. The two have been at odds since Severin stopped appearing on Imus's show last fall, saying he felt insulted by the host. But yesterday, the feud boiled over, with Imus threatening to shoot Severin if he didn't get off the Wilbur's stage. "I knew myself to not be recently in his good graces," said Severin, who nevertheless went onstage to greet his former colleagues. He said Imus's producer beckoned him to speak to the host, and that he squatted down to hear Imus better. "He looked right at me and said, 'Get the [expletive] off the stage or I will shoot you,' " he said. "I was really taken aback." After Imus repeated the threat, Severin went backstage, where he heard Imus lambaste him on the air. "My policy, when people [mess with] me, is to never talk to them again," ranted Imus, who complained that Severin not only boycotted his show, but then blabbed to reporters about it. "Don't run your fat mouth and [mess with] me and think I'm going to forget about it." Matthew Hiltzik, Imus's spokesman, confirmed the exchange took place, but said Severin was uninvited and unwanted at the theater. Imus's threat was a "figure of speech," Hiltzik said, not serious. "It's rare that you see such a pathetic and desperate attempt to manufacture a controversy," he said. "[Imus is] a 68-year-old guy who's suffering from cancer. I mean, there are limits." Severin said he's not fearful, but he's done trying to make up with the I-Man. (He'd previously left him a letter with well wishes at his hotel, Severin said.) And he has no plans to press criminal charges. "I expect nothing will happen further," he said.

A cameo appearance
Don't worry about Eddie Doyle. The longtime "Cheers" bartender who was recently laid off after 35 years on the job was back at the taps yesterday in Falmouth. The former Boston barkeep was serving customers at the Quarterdeck. "It's a cameo appearance," Doyle told us. "My old pal Tommy Leonard asked me if I'd stop by and pour a few pints on St. Patrick's Day." Doyle's departure from "Cheers" has been national news. The Westwood resident's been featured on everything from Charles Osgood's "Sunday Morning" to Jay Thomas's Sirius XM Satellite Radio show. "I've got a few offers of employment, but I want to let the dust settle and the smoke clear."

Timing's right for indie
Hollywood studios have started to shelve big-budget productions, but indie filmmakers are still doing OK. One example is Michael Cerenzie, who's co-producing the movie based on "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob." He tells Bloomberg.com he secured financing before the economy went south. "I look at it as a bull market," said Cerenzie. "We did our homework and got on the ground early and were able to structure some of these deals ahead of time." Based on the bestseller by former Globe reporter Dick Lehr and editor Gerard O'Neill, "Black Mass" is being shot in Boston this spring by celebrated Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan. That's the good news. The bad news? "What Doesn't Kill You," the fine South Boston-based drama directed by homeboy Brian Goodman, won't be seen in local theaters after all. The film, starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Peet, and Donnie Wahlberg, with cameos by Lenny Clarke and Steve Sweeney, is out on DVD April 28. The movie, which was a favorite of critics at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, was briefly released in New York and LA.

He'll be groovin' with Ellen
Daylon Trotman, the 7-year-old known for his "Soulja Boy" dance and other smooth moves on the JumboTron during Celtics games, will boogie with Ellen DeGeneres today. The Milton kid flew with his mom, Dana Clarke, to California yesterday to film with the talk-show host. Clarke said she and her son started going to games regularly a few years ago because they both love basketball. "And Daylon loved the music. He always wanted to stand up and dance and I would say, 'no.' And finally, I said 'yes.' " Her son, who practices moves with his cousins and watches dance shows, quickly became a fan favorite. "He gets up and he really jams," she said. Ellen's people called Sunday after seeing Daylon on FOX 25, she said. Yesterday, they were on a plane. Before the taping, Daylon said he planned to go with the flow when Ellen plays "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)." "I just do random moves," he said. The show airs today.

Stepping lively
Irish rappers Danny Boy, Everlast, and DJ Lethal - a.k.a. House of Pain - celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Concepts in Cambridge, where they unveiled a new Adidas sneaker. Fans got a first look at the limited edition green, gold, and white suede shoe.

Boss backs Food Bank
Bruce Springsteen is apparently a fan of the Greater Boston Food Bank. The singer is donating four pairs of tickets and backstage passes to each of his shows, planned for April 21 and 22 at the Garden, as a benefit for the organization. Springsteen and his E Street Band also plan to meet with fans who bid $10,000 or more in the food bank's online auction, which will run from March 31 to April 15. Springsteen, whose son goes to Boston College, is known for his support of hunger causes.

Farrow visits Rialto
Mia Farrow was spotted dining at Rialto Monday night with a group that included two of her children as well as Harvard professor Howard Hiatt, Partners in Health cofounder Ophelia Dahl, and poet and activist Rose Styron. (The actress started with dessert - chef Jody Adams's signature chocolate torta - and finished with a salad.) Farrow, a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, was in town to speak at Harvard's Kennedy School.

Theater company cuts
The Lenox-based Shakespeare & Company announced plans yesterday designed to cut costs and generate revenue. Tina Packer, the theater company's founding artistic director, said the theater company's budget will be trimmed from $5.6 million this year to $4.7 million next year. Seven employees will be laid off and others will become part time. All year-round employees will take a 10 percent pay cut, and the three Shakespeare & Company founders - Packer, Kevin Coleman, and Dennis Krausnick - will work without pay for two months. The company currently has 50 full-time workers, with an additional 15 teacher/actors working in schools from Lenox to Long Island.

Showered with gifts
We're told pink was plentiful at the shower for preggers Celts publicist Heather Walker. Among those feting the flack at The Landing in Manchester-by-the-Sea were Corrine Grousbeck, wife of Celts CEO Wyc Grousbeck, Kara Gotham, wife of Celts prez Rich Gotham, Leon Powe's wife, Llorren Cook, Heidi Barclay, wife of Rack owner Paul Barclay, Lynn Hoffman, host of A&E's "Private Sessions," George Regan's right hand Mariellen Burns, Dinara Daniels, wife of Mix 98.5's Gregg Daniels, and assorted other family and friends. In addition to a three-tiered cake decorated with diapers, bottles, and bows, Walker, whose baby girl is due April 22, received the tiniest pair of Celtics Adidas kicks.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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