What the Heck?
PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL HANNEMANN
In a photo snapped by his wife, Gail, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, back row, poses backstage with the cast of last weekend's Gridiron Show. Although KITV's Ben Gutierrez looks taller next to the mayor, he's on stilts
Mayor makes, governor misses Gridiron
The town's reporters -- print, radio and TV -- once again managed to sell out two nights at Diamond Head Theatre last weekend for their annual Gridiron satiric revue.
Buying tickets were Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who watched herself being played by KITV's Jodi Leong, and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who was caricatured by Donalyn Dela Cruz, back in town after a stint as Akaka's press secretary. "Believe it or not, Colleen said she missed me when I was in Washington," says Dela Cruz.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann watched weather anchor Ben Gutierrez, wearing stilts, do his traditional mayoral parody. Then the mayor, wife Gail and brother Gus came backstage to hang out with the cast. Hannemann professed to have been wounded when he opened the event program and read, among the other rules for audience members: "No singing along, Mr. Mayor."
Gutierrez put his stilts back on to stand next to the mayor in the cast picture snapped by Hannemann's wife, Gail.
Conspicuous by her absence was another Gridiron regular, Gov. Linda Lingle, who flew back into town Friday afternoon. Lingle chose instead to spend her weekend on affairs of state.
Lingle's communications guru Lenny Klompus did make the show, which roughed up the administration over such incidents as the Awana firing. Asked whether he enjoyed it, Klompus said, diplomatically, "It had its moments."
'Aiona Girl' Goes Out in Blaze of Glory
Reporter, popular blogger and Gridiron regular Cat Toth has departed the Advertiser for greener pastures. Literally. She now works for the Nature Conservancy.
Toth went out in a blaze of glory, even though her last Gridiron appearance wasn't live. Dressed in a "Duke Aiona" tank top and fondling a carrot in honor of the lieutenant governor's healthy living campaign, she starred in a video called "Aiona Girl."
It was a parody of the sizzling "Obama Girl" video that has attracted some 100 million Web hits, made national newscasts and even provoked Sen. Barack Obama to express his displeasure with its general sexiness and irreverence.
Duke Aiona might not be too happy with Toth's parody. The Gridiron audience, however, loved it.
Toth herself never saw "Aiona Girl." She skipped the show and couldn't bring herself to ask for a DVD. "I'm scared," she says. "I keep hearing the word 'cleavage.'"
Raising the Bar at Tiki's
Defying the odds against small local restaurants, Tiki's Grill and Bar celebrated its fifth anniversary last Tuesday. Its three owners -- Bill Tobin, Kelly McGill and Greg Montgomery -- met as frat brothers at UH and still have that Party Hearty! spirit.
For the anniversary, they all volunteered to work behind the bar, with all tips going to Aloha United Way.
There actually were two bars. Tobin worked the main restaurant bar, which was slammed. Behind an auxiliary bar on the lanai were McGill and Montgomery -- and me. McGill kept introducing me as their "celebrity bartender," which seemed to impress no one in line.
McGill and Montgomery are highly social guys -- and soon disappeared into a crowd of friends, families and former UH teammates. I got stuck mixing the mai tais and pulling beers, though I did manage to accumulate a jar full of tips for charity.
After a couple of hours, I gave myself a break, wandering off to see how Tobin had fared at the main bar. "Oh, the regular bartenders threw me out right away," said Tobin. "How'd you do?"
What's In a Name?
A glittering grand opening party last Wednesday for a new Beach Walk restaurant called Kaiwa -- that's "Kai Wah." When KHNL/KFVE's John Fink heard the Japanese owners pronounce the name, he slapped his head. "I've been calling it Ka Iwa all week," he said. "I thought if you said Kai Wah, people would think you were a stupid haole."
At Kaiwa, I ran into Billy V., who's now added TV to his radio gig. KGMB's morning news show put a satellite camera in Billy's KINE radio studio so he could do bits for them.
"I just turn around to the camera, do a few minutes of entertainment news and hope the song doesn't run out," he says. Then the camera goes off? "No, it's on all the time, even when you scratch your nose, or any other part of your anatomy."
Why Hawaii Went to Hell
"Ron Jacobs was really beating up on you," said a friend who happened to catch my guest appearances on Jacob's Internet "brahcast," whodaguyhawaii.com. For a few minutes, the mighty-mouthed Jacobs and I got into a heated wrangle over the Superferry, which Jacobs believes marks the end of civilization as we know it.
The minute the red light went out, Jacobs smiled, took off his earphones and said, "That was great. We should do that more often."
The segment repeats through tonight, in case you'd like to hear firsthand Jacobs suggest that Hawaii started to go to hell the minute I moved here in 1976.
The Finest Human Beings on the Planet
"Doesn't June Jones have a new book?" someone asked me. Not exactly. At the recent Food and New Products Show, Jones was signing advance copies of a 4-pound coffee-table book called "Hawaii Warrior Football: A Story of Faith, Hope and Redemption," due in stores next month.
But Jones wrote only the foreword. The book itself is by a veteran Florida sportswriter, J. David Miller.
Expect it to be pretty close to an authorized version. Miller has known Jones since Jones was the quarterbacks coach for the Houston Gamblers under head coach Mouse Davis, who'd also coached Jones in college.
"Mouse Davis and June Jones are the two finest human beings on the planet," says Miller. "I owe my whole career to them. Every book I've ever written is due to them or to someone they introduced me to."