Christian Bale Was a Surly Dick, and More Revelations About Difficult Celebs from Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Producer
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Christian Bale Was a Surly Dick, and More Revelations About Difficult Celebs from Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Producer

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 16, 2014 | Comments ()


Dave Berg, a producer who worked 22 years on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, has written a memoir about his time with the late-night program. Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ was released yesterday, and the NYPost has a number of fun revelations from the book.

  • Christian Bale was a surly dick, who abruptly cancelled his appearance after the questions in the pre-interview got too personal. Those questions: “I had asked him where he grew up (Wales), how big his family was (three sisters), and what his first gig was (a Pac-Man cereal commercial).”

  • Jessica Simpson only agreed to appear if The Tonight Show picked up her $18,000 hair-and-make-up tab.

  • “Thin-skinned” Helen Hunt refused to appear for 14 years after a producer “gently” criticized her Mad About You performance.

  • To help deal with the jitters, The Tonight Show set up a bar so that guests could drink beforehand, and several took too much advantage of it, including Quentin Tarantino, who was “slurring and occasionally incoherent” on air.

  • Terri Hatcher was incredibly moody.

  • Eddie Murphy’s diva-like demands included a rider with the following list of items: “4 Snapple Fruit Punch, 4 Snapple Orangeade, 4 Snapple Grapeade, 4 Dr. Browne’s Cream Soda, 4 Dr. Browne’s Root Beer, Coke in glass bottles, bananas, cherries, Evian bottled water, Juicy Fruit Gum, Snickers, Milky Ways, peppermints, York Peppermint Patties, writing pads/pencils/pens, regular-sized towels, washcloths/small.”

  • An “unnamed presidential candidate” missed his cue because he was making out with his wife (Obama, right? Come on, it had to be Obama)

  • President Clinton refused to appear on Leno’s The Tonight Show because of all the Lewinsky jokes.

  • Paula Abdul was always a wreck during her appearances, but it made for good TV.

    Source: NYPost

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  • Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

    • BigSpain

      So Christian Bale is the Greg Popovich of the acting world? Still love the guy.

    • Dirk

      How are Eddie Murphy's demands "diva-like?" Seems like $50 could cover the whole thing.

    • e jerry powell

      It's kind of that the demands are so very specific. The phenomenon has a long history in opera, though the demands of the archetypal operatic diva tend to be closer to idiotic (the legend of Kathleen Battle demanding a makeup artist prior to a radio interview springs to mind).

      By comparison, true, Eddie Murphy's demands seem more presumptuous than outrageous, but ultimately, it's the notion that someone "powerful" is above needing to do anything associated with taking care of their own shit, making their participation contingent upon their most detailed requests being catered to.

      Normal people would get their own damn drinks, no? Or at least understand the difference between courtesy and obligation...

    • Dirk

      I agree that, in general, everyone should get their own damn drinks. I just feel that if this is a very weak example of outrageous celebrity demands. After 22 years on the Tonight Show, I would think Dave Berg would have better stories. Eddie Murphy 's extreme thirst just doesn't cut it.

    • drmsd-O'Hurn

      Exactly. Hasn't JLo been on The Tonight Show before?

    • e jerry powell

      And truly, as I suggested, opera divas are far worse. Hell, Diana Ross is a lot worse.

    • Temmere

      Not saying this is the case with Murphy, but I've heard that some people slip weird demands into those riders just to make sure the people reading them are paying attention. Like, rock stars who put on shows with lots of pyrotechnics will ask for a bowl full of blue M&Ms or whatever so that if they get that then they know anything in the rider that's safety-related will also be adhered to.

    • Jezzer

      I think that might be true in some cases, but I think a lot, if not the majority, of contract riders are specifically just part and parcel of the mental illness-level entitlement that comes with some celebrities. Seriously, fuck you, Mariah Carey.

    • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

      I always thought slurring and incoherent was Quentin's default. I am amazed and impressed that I have apparently never seen the man sober.

    • Todd Sikkema

      Seeing that pic of Bale giving the thumb's up gave me an anxiety attack. I think it all began in the We are the World video when Lionel Richie did the thumb's up thing. Ever since, seeing anyone using his/her thumb in such a way triggers a deep-down feeling of helplessness and anger. I think I have PTSD.

    • Stephen Nein

      An “unnamed presidential candidate” missed his cue because he was making out with his wife (Obama, right? Come on, it had to be Obama)

      'Cause just about every other candidate macking would have made us sick to our stomachs.

      (I actually will bet that it was Dennis Kuncinich and wife Elizabeth. Rwooowr, rwoooowr . . )

    • Dennis Kucinich looks so much like Gollum that I'm fairly certain there is some kind of mind control involved in that relationship.

    • dizzylucy

      I'm in amazement at Eddie Murphy's list. I have a sweet tooth, but that list made even me cringe a little at the thought of all the sugar.

      I can't say I blame Helen Hunt - she shows up and a producer "gently" criticizes her work? I guess "Hi, nice to see you, thanks for coming" wasn't enough.

      Let's hope the presidential candidate was Obama. I don't want to picture any of those other guys.

    • It was Dole. And he used lots of tongue.

    • oilybohunk7

      I heard it a different way somewhere else that they gently coached her about how to do the talk show circuit and how to be a better guest. It still isn't something I'd be jazzed about but it is better than if they were to criticize her work on the show.

    • Sara_Tonin00

      It's also probably still assuming her state of mind in not returning to the show. Unless she specifically said "I'm not coming back because of how you spoke to me last time."

    • JustOP

      >Those questions: “I had asked him where he
      grew up (Wales), how big his family was (three sisters), and what his
      first gig was (a Pac-Man cereal commercial)

      Why ask these questions if you already know the answer? The press circuit sounds like a tedious event in any case, so I won't bemoan a person complaing about them/not attending.

    • Nick3

      Bale hates this kind of question. In a junket in Cannes he showed the same impatience with stupid or repetitive questions. There was only one reporter who had interesting questions and Bale started to pay attention to this person and prolong the interview.

    • Sara_Tonin00

      Strangely, none of these seem that outrageous to me. Eddie Murphy's rider seems pretty lowkey. You're going to be mad that a star asks for Snapple? They actually make this producer seem like a dick. (Ok, the Jessica Simpson one is, but the question is...did they cave and pick up the tab? Because if they did, the egg's on their face, not Simpson's.)

    • dizzylucy

      The NYPost link has a little more detail that said they declined Jessica Simpson, but then later spent twice that to fly Sarah Palin and her whole family in. And once sent a helicopter for Dennis Rodman because he was always late.

    • Jezzer

      They had the whole Palin clan on a plane and never once thought to ram that fucker right into a mountain?

    • e jerry powell

      And why? I mean, jeez, it's a TV show. The world will not stop turning just because they Dennis Rodman doesn't make his booking.

    • Amy

      I totally agree. I was very disappointed by these "revelations".

    • Mrs. Julien

      This human merely being never tires of confirmation that Christian Bale is an awful person.

    • stella

      He did go visit that little boy with lukemia...

    • Mrs. Julien

      Stop challenging my preconceived notions based on scant evidence.

    • Dumily

      And there was that one time he did this:

    • stella

      And I think we can all agree that the whole world benefitted from that.

    • e jerry powell

      Uh-uh. Too many clothes on.

    • carrie

      He visited Aurora victims and first aid without to call media also

    • It sounds like he's extremely guarded about his family/personal life and felt the producer was going beyond the point. Obviously, he's there to shill for his latest project, so he must go "Ask me about the dumb movie, roll the clip and let me get the hell out of here."

      Wow. Even imaginary Christian Bale is kind of a dick.

    • dizzylucy

      I get the impression he just hates that whole promoting side of the business. I've seen a few lengthy interviews were he really just talks about the film and acting in a more subdued setting, and he loosens up and is very interesting, but that whole late night talk show thing is a bad fit. A nicer person would just suffer through it rather than cancel and be a jerk though.
      I think the Tonight Show thing was a long time ago and he's wisely not done any others since.

    • carrie

      In 2002 Bale did a late talk-show and the one and ony of his career

    • Maybe Bale was still in character as Batman. And for all of the other instances he's been a surly dick. Dude just really likes pretending he's Batman.

    • carrie

      It was in 2002.He just hates the promotion( and the stupid questions) since always.During the Empire Of The Sun promotion( when's 12),he ran away in Paris

    • Dumily

      Is it bad that that just makes me like him more? Also I'm pretty sure the clear answer is to make sure he's only ever interviewed by Kermit.

    • Uriah_Creep

      Being interviewed by Kermit is actually the answer to all of life's problems.

    • cox

      how thirsty IS eddie murphy? is it because of all that poem writing he does backstage?

    • Bert_McGurt

      Nah, dude huffs Snapple. That's what the washcloths are for.

    • Mrs. Julien

      Facilitated Snapple huffing is going on that poor PA's resume.

    • logan

      Me and Eddie love our York peppermint patties. Got a box in my office.

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