The Anna Nicole Show Fan Site

Episode Guide

Episode 10:
“Queen of All Media”

Howard Stern meets Howard Stern during a wild press junket in New York, where Anna Nicole does a lot of interviews, does a lot of shopping, and almost does one very lucky guy.
(Aired October 13, 2002)

The Anna Nicole Show

Much more focused and satisfying than the free-for-all in Las Vegas, the show's road trip to New York City is predicated on business rather than pleasure. This episode becomes something of a metaphysical oddity: we are watching a publicity tour encouraging people to watch the show that we are watching... which is about getting people to watch this show. Critics would cite this chicken-or-the-egg conundrum as evidence of the self-referential emptiness of The Anna Nicole Show, but they would be missing the point (as always). If you haven't figured out by now that the various weekly stunts and storylines aren't what the show is "about," you've got a lot to learn about annanicology.

In case I have to spell it out for you, in the dumbed-down, sound-bite rhetoric of pop media marketing, this television series is "about" Anna Nicole Smith vs. the world.

This episode is actually the second half of an E! "crossover" adventure that began on the Howard Stern show in July. Three months later, we finally get to see Anna Nicole's side of the story. And it was quite an eventful encounter, especially in regard to a lovestruck Stern crony named Benjy. While packing for her trip at the top of the show, Anna Nicole says, "I had to make a ton of appearances, but I refused to do the Howard Stern show." So there's our drama and intrigue for the episode right there. We already know how things are going to turn out, but it'll require some violent conflict to get us from point A to point B.

Anna Nicole suffers the usual crises that always plague her at the outset of any major undertaking: she's misplaced her prized locket necklace, Daniel won't wake up to "tell her bye" with the requisite degree of emotion, and Sugar Pie won't shut up inside her doggie travel bag. And since it's also Anna Nicole's time of the month (as will be confirmed later), her feet and fingers are all puffy and she says she needs some water pills.

During the ride to the airport, Anna Nicole gets on the subject of why she dropped out of high school. It turns out that a boy punched young Vickie in the face when she taunted him about "doing his sentences." (Detention chalkboard sentences a la Bart Simpson, perhaps?) Of course, the assailant also had a crush on her. After the altercation, she decided not to go to school anymore. "I mean, I didn't mind quitting, I wanted to quit," she concedes. "I hated it. That was just a really good excuse to quit."

Next we're on board the JetBlue airliner with Anna Nicole, Howard and Kim. I was surprised that E! was able to operate a video camera in the cabin, although it is a cheaper kind of camera with a fuzzier and jerkier picture. At one point Anna Nicole decides to flirt with the camera and make her patented sexy faces. Oh, how I love when she does that. She mentions that the first time she flew was when she went to L.A. to pose for Playboy "when I was about 21." She's a bit off, because she actually did her first Playmate test shots when she was 24. Incidentally, legend has it that when Playboy offered to fly her out for that initial shoot, the geographically confused Vickie Smith thought Los Angeles was in New York.

The gang arrives in the Big Apple and checks into their hotel, and the next morning they're booked on Live with Regis and Kelly. Since it takes her about two and a half hours to get ready for an appearance, Anna Nicole has to get up at 5 a.m. -- which is actually 2 a.m. for our jetlagged Los Angelenos. A hair stylist and makeup artist arrive at the hotel suite, presumably from the Regis show, since Anna Nicole hasn't brought her own beauty staff on this trip. You can always tell when somebody besides Angie does her makeup, because she doesn't look as good. The hair guy isn't that great either. But her dress... oh my God, it's fantastic. It has a lacy outer layer with a pinkish-beige fabric underneath, so if you squint it looks like a see-through gown. Held up by teeny cleavage-baring straps, the daring outfit makes no effort to disguise Anna Nicole's plumpness, as her sweet potbelly protrudes defiantly. How spectacular. It's a crying shame that women of her size rarely feel confident enough to dress as sexy as this.

The only problem is that she's barely conscious. "I was half awake in the limo, and my body clock was still on West Coast time," Anna Nicole says. No wonder she looked and sounded stoned on this round of publicity -- she was doing Regis and Kelly at 6 a.m. her time, after being up for four hours already. Plus, the gang is running late for the live studio broadcast, a situation worsened by their driver's inability to parallel park a stretch limo. Still, the interview goes fairly well, thanks to the customarily low challenge level of Regis and Kelly's inane chatter. The drowsy guest makes her biggest goof in response to Regis's inquiry of where she got her tattoo, which is the wrong answer in terms of both anatomy and municipality.

Back in the limo, Anna Nicole is chagrined to learn that her publicist has crammed a number of additional interviews onto her itinerary. "I'm being f***ed!" she fumes. Howard lifts up the hem of her dress and peeks between her knees. "No, you're not," he quips. Ha, ha. Howard is just no goddamn help at all sometimes. Ignoring the wisecrack, Anna Nicole commands Howard to refuse any further interviews, and he agrees to tell the publicist that she's feeling too dizzy to do any more P.R.

Next on the agenda is a quick plug at Fox News. I absolutely despise Fox News and its staff of smug conservative assholes -- don't get me started on Bill O'Reilly -- and this Bridgette Quinn who reluctantly chats with Anna Nicole is just as slimy and supercilious as they come. "That lady who was talking to me didn't like me at all," Anna Nicole observes afterwards. "You could tell."

After going back to the hotel to change into a more comfortable leopard-print outfit, she's ready to take a break and go shopping. The pricey Manhattan stores are the one environment in the foreign land of New York where Anna Nicole seems at home. She settles into a big comfy chair, crosses her legs, dons her sunglasses, and has Howard and the sales clerks bring jewelry and luxurious merchandise before her, like a queen being attended at her throne. It's great. Much of the humor and interest on The Anna Nicole Show derives from all the fish-out-of-water situations, but it's fun sometimes to see Anna Nicole perfectly in her element. When there's some kind of hassle about a credit card being maxed out, Kimmie runs down to the ATM with Mama's bankcard to withdraw the required balance of $1,000. Kim, incidentally, is carrying her own wallet on a chain in the back pocket of her jeans -- not very fashionable, maybe, but a sensible way to thwart those New York pickpockets.

The Anna Nicole Show "Shopping always makes me feel better," Anna Nicole says. "And that night I was really starting to relax, when my executive producer really pissed me off." Now it's time to confront that most dreaded issue: the other Howard Stern. Speaking off-camera, the unidentified E! executive (probably Jeff Shore) tells Anna Nicole straight up that she's got to do the Stern show to boost the ratings for her premiere. But she ain't having it. "I just couldn't get that guy to understand that I hate Stern for the way he used to talk about my late husband," she tells us.

The undaunted producer keeps putting the screws to her, convinced that a Stern appearance means solid P.R. gold. "I'm not saying you have to like him," he argues in true showbiz-scumbag style. "This is not about 'like' or 'dislike.' This is about doing something, sucking it up, because it's part of the job."

We don't see Anna Nicole break, but we already know what happened. In that rarest of occurrences, our heroine let someone else have their way.

The next morning the gang shows up at Stern's studio. Anna Nicole is wearing a red sweater and tight black slacks that she bought the day before, as well a bra that's too small -- through the sweater you can see her breasts spilling out over the cups. To make the historic meeting of the two Howard Sterns even more confusing, Howard the lawyer puts on a shaggy black wig and dark sunglasses, calling himself "Mini Howard Stern." Before the show, he presents Anna Nicole a release they have to sign or else they can't go on the air. "Then let's go home!" she offers.

Then it's showtime. When Anna Nicole and Howard step inside the radio host's snakepit, Kimmie gets unexpectedly barred from entry. She has to sit outside, worried that Anna Nicole will be angry that she wasn't there to offer support.

And the next thing you know, the interview is over. "The Stern show wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be," Anna Nicole admits. "He wasn't throwing punches at me or anything like that." In fact, Howard was quite friendly and cordial, announcing that he had seen an advance tape of her show's first episode and he thought it was going to be the biggest hit on cable. But we don't get to see him here for even a second. We've seen Larry King, Jay Leno and Regis Philbin on the show, but no Stern. At first I thought it was because Anna Nicole wanted to dis him, but a friend of mine pointed out a much more likely scenario. Howard Stern is notorious for demanding money for his appearances on other TV shows, and Anna Nicole's producers probably refused to pay his asking price for the right to show footage of him -- which is bizarre, considering that both shows are on E! But that's probably the truth.

It's fine, though, because showing clips we've already seen on the Howard Stern show would have just wasted time, and besides, the real star of that interview wasn't the host but one of his joke writers, Benjy Bronk. When Anna Nicole discussed her long sexual dry spell, Benjy offered to demonstrate his skills at oral sex for her. Benjy is in his mid-thirties, short, balding, average-looking, with a big gut. Nevertheless, Anna Nicole was receptive to his bold offer. They walked out of the interview and went to Howard's "private room," but nothing really happened. She told Benjy she was on her period, and after seeing her swollen feet and knuckles at the start of the trip, now we know she wasn't just bluffing.

The Anna Nicole Show After the interview is when the story starts to go a little Rashomon on us. On the Stern show, Benjy got a phone call saying Anna Nicole invited him to come down to her limo and come back to her hotel. But on her show, she says, "Benjy invited himself along in the limo." In any case, the understandably thrilled Benjy soon finds himself making out with Anna Nicole Smith on a sofa in her hotel suite. She really does seem to dig him, saying how cute and how sweet he is. They kiss a little bit, and Benjy caresses her face and her thighs. On the Stern show we even see him go for the brass ring and feel up those legendary hooters, though Anna Nicole's editors uncharacteristically chose to be more discreet.

I found this heavy-petting session completely spellbinding. I guess most people would just say, "My God, what a giant slut she is for letting that loser touch her," but I felt no objections at all. Benjy is my avatar, an everyman representing all the average guys like me who adore Anna Nicole. He was granted admission to the holy land, and through him I vicariously fulfilled a grand fantasy. If Benjy can make out with the Goddess, there is hope for us all! And I say God bless any regular joe who can put the moves on an international sex symbol while a slew of cameramen and hangers-on are there gawking, not to mention Sugar Pie crawling around and barking on the make-out sofa.

Then for some reason Benjy got the idea that they needed hula hoops, and miraculously, two of them appear. On the Stern show he says he's going to teach Anna Nicole how to hula hoop and then try to get her clothes off. It must be an old technique Benjy uses to impress the chicks. He's surprising good with a hula hoop, while Anna Nicole is surprisingly not. Even though she's not a very physically coordinated specimen in general, it seems like hula-hooping would be an activity her hips are ideally suited for.

Benjy might have had a better chance of going all the way if Anna Nicole hadn't been flying back to L.A. that afternoon. After he has left, Howard and Kim are downstairs, probably loading up the car with all the stuff she bought. We don't get to see her all by herself too often, and you can tell she hates it. When she's letting in the valet who comes to pick up the luggage, Anna Nicole stumbles and stubs her toe. She is almost incapacitated with pain. "Do you need a wheelchair?" the valet asks. You can laugh, but I suspect that Anna Nicole has ingrown toenails, because she has band-aids on her big toes all the time. Ingrown toenails hurt like a son of a bitch even if you just barely stub them.

Poor lonesome Anna Nicole actually undertakes some manual labor by toting a small amount of luggage to the elevators. "God, Sugar Pie, what have you been eating?" she moans, physically taxed by the seven-pound poodle (and ironically asking the question that many have pondered regarding her own diet). She absently writes "ANS" in the sand of an ashtray outside the elevator. When the door opens to reveal Howard and Kimmie, you can see her unspoken relief that she's not all alone in the big city anymore.

The Anna Nicole Show Anna Nicole has one more media stop before heading home, which is an interview with Entertainment Tonight. I have to hand to ET for knowing how to get on her good side: instead of yet another boring sit-down studio chat, they offer her a free shopping spree. She was all over that like white on rice. No need to worry about sending Kimmie to the ATM this time, by golly! Sadly, the dumb bitch doing the interview doesn't quite have a grasp of the situation. "Does this make it difficult for you to shop with all these cameras on you?" she asks. "You can't really like, sort of, think about what you want."

"Yeah I can," Anna Nicole retorts, as if that's the stupidest thing anyone's ever said to her, and it may well be. Doesn't this ET bimbo realize she's already got cameras watching her do everything but take a crap wherever she goes? And besides even that, everyone should know Anna Nicole is a Jedi Master of spending money. She could effortlessly remain focused on shopping even if the battle of Armageddon was raging in the middle of the lingerie department. And these people call themselves journalists...

On the ride to the airport, conducts a census of all the stuff Entertainment Tonight bought for her. Howard asks how much it all came to. "I don't know, I didn't ask," she replies blithely. "I didn't want to be rude." And people say she doesn't have any class.

Then we see Anna Nicole and Howard eating some kind of ice cream sundaes or McFlurries in the limo. When she spills some on her lap, Howard says, "That guy from the Howard Stern Show would love to lick that off you."

"You mean Barney?" she says. "I mean Benjy?" Tough break for Benjy. I guess his smooth hula-hoop routine didn't completely capture her heart. And that's a pity, because I really think it was a missed opportunity for both of them. On the way out of town, Anna Nicole suddenly starts going off about how horny she is. "I need a f***in' man whore, don't you know that?" she says, offering details concerning the arousal of her private parts.

Her heartfelt farewell to the city so nice they named it twice: "Bye, f***ing New York. I didn't even get laid once!"

Well damn, honey, you can't say you didn't meet at least one fine, upstanding New Yorker who tried his darnedest to help you out!

Anna Nicole Says...
"The New York reporters are crazy! One asked me how I became such a good lover. I told him, a lot of practice on myself."
To the slumbering and unresponsive Daniel: "Punkin, Mommy's going to New York. Tell me bye! Kiss me! I love you! See you later! ... I hope I don't die and the plane don't crash! Bye! ... You don't care if I die or not! It's on a new airline, too!"
"Sugar Pie, shut the f*** up! You're in the bag, you know you're going, so quit moaning!"
"I was dreaming somebody gave me some drugs and they didn't give me enough."
To a cameraman whose groin accidentally collides with her foot: "I'm sorry! I hope I didn't hit your manlihood."
"I love my fans and I sure love all the attention."
On the other Howard Stern: "He can suck my ****."
"We had a drink, and the next thing I knew, my head was in Benjy's lap!"
To Benjy, with her head in his lap: "I hate my freckles. I named 'em. I got two freckles on my lips. This one's Stern, that one's Howard, that one's Daniel, and I have one on the bottom of my foot. There it is, see? That's Kimmie."
"Do you have a large in this one?"
"Can you get me this in a large one?"
"Do you have this in a big size?"
"Somebody just please lick me."
"My panties are getting wet."
"Quit making my p***y quiver."
"Y'all know how bad I needed it. But no! Not one of y'all ever had the courage to come up to me and say, 'I'll do you, Anna! I'll do you! I'll take your misery away and let you feel like a woman.'"

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