Hot in NoHo

The cast of “Hot in Cleveland.” Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White and Jane Leeves were hot at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

I want to talk about how hot Hot in Cleveland was at the Television Academy in North Hollywood, and how that ties in with Actors and Others for Animals’ 40th Anniversary event this coming Saturday…

If you weren’t fortunate enough to be at this hysterical and revelatory evening with the team of TV Land’s hit comedy, go to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website that offers the event on a Webcast! I want to watch it all over again and delight in how raucously funny older people can be.

Not to say that stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick are old; they are just a little older than the very young people that Hollywood magnifies as the personification of sexy. Take a closer look, these gals are what sexy is — funny and sexy. All that plus Betty White, who brings a whole new meaning to sexy. Betty may be a tad older than her buddies in the cast, but you know what they say about experience! Speaking of experience, Carl Reiner — who plays one of Elka’s (Betty) best beaus — had a sweet kiss on the show. He told the Academy audience that, “She has great teeth and her original tongue.” He may be just a few months younger than Betty, but he’s just as sassy. And he called Betty’s wonderful husband, Allen Ludden, his Captain-in-law. Small world? Allen was Carl’s Captain in WWII: “I played Iwo Jima on Landing Day,” joked Carl (who may have given many brave boys their last laugh).

When Carl mentioned that the show’s skirted stars have great legs, Betty racily rolled up one of her pant legs. When asked if the couple would get married on the show, Mr. Reiner said, “There is no one to give us away.” These 89-year-old folks! And now, Betty has a new NBC series (Off Their Rockers) that she is a producer and star of, plus a new book, If You Ask Me (And of Course you Won’t). Timeless.

Larry King, no spring chicken, comfortably moderated the panel with wit, intelligence and asked the questions we all wanted to know. There were 11 people on the TV Academy’s stage and Larry brought all of them to light. From Executive Producer Sean Hayes (who started rehearsals for Promises, Promises on Broadway while producing Hot in Cleveland via technology), to Casting Directors Collin Daniel and Brett Greenstein — who say that stars are calling them asking to be on the show. Jon Lovitz, who was on the panel, wants to be on again. I hope so. Executive Producer Todd Milliner credits the cast with having the most beautiful group of women over 40 on TV. The talented and stunning stars are having a love fest with each other: they watch each other’s backs and agree that they are so lucky to be working on TV Land with a president that laughs and eats pie. Larry Jones is that smart and joyful man and when it was time for notes after the first run through of the show, he said, “Here’s my note: I’d like to pick it up for 7 years.” I’d hope that just might be the case.

Now I’d like you to repeat: Suzanne Martin, Suzanne Martin, Suzanne Martin. She had the idea, she writes and produces the show and looks like she should be in it. She is hot, in all meanings of the word. Really gorgeous and immensely talented, Suzanne explains that, “This is a fantasy, living with your girlfriends in Cleveland Nirvana, reinventing yourself and having adventures.”

Thanks Suzanne, for taking us along.

The Actors and Others Connection: By the grace of A&O’s President Jo Anne Worley, all three Hot in Cleveland co-stars of Betty White will be celebrating Betty at our April 9 Luncheon at the Hilton Universal. They will join Bob Stewart — one of Betty’s best friends — who created “Password,” where she and Allen met. Bob is the funniest producer (of a zillion quiz shows, which gave him entrance to the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame!). Always a chance for a last minute seat, call:

(818) 755-6045 • (818) 755-6323. Join the stars, the fun and help cease animal suffering.

….we’ll Talk