Dan Gross: Crazy taxi ride on set of 'Safe'

Posted: November 22, 2010

A FEW PRANKSTERS hopped into a NYC taxicab on the set of "Safe" Friday night and drove it for about a block South on Broad Street from Walnut and then hopped out while laughing and ran off. A film spokeswoman says the taxi was promptly recovered by a crew member and that the film did file a police report.

Veteran character actor James Hong, whom we loved in "The Golden Child," "Blade Runner," "Revenge of the Nerds 2" and "The Chinese Restaurant" episode of "Seinfeld," joins the cast of "Safe" any day now. The film has been shooting interior and exterior scenes at the Bellevue, including a shootout between the NYPD and Chinese gangsters who are looking for Mei (Catherine Zhao), a 12-year-old Chinese girl being protected by Luke (Jason Statham), a former U.S. government agent.

Tomorrow the film shoots along 18th Street between Chestnut and Walnut and on Sansom from 17th to 19th. Wednesday, the movie shoots along the 400 block of Chestnut Street.

O'Hurley at the Ritz-Carlton

Actor John O'Hurley stayed at the Ritz-Carlton over the weekend while he was in town to host the National Dog Show presented by Purina, which took place Saturday at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, and airs at noon Thanksgiving Day on NBC10.

O'Hurley, known for "Seinfeld," "Family Feud" and "Dancing with the Stars," says he loves the architecure at the hotel.

We asked O'Hurley, now in his ninth year hosting the dog show, whether any high jinks go on behind the scenes that viewers miss.

"Three years into the competition we had a Great Dane that passed right by the NBC booth and left us a huge surprise. The handlers continued on and someone from the operations staff came out with something equipped for an elephant to clean it up," O'Hurley shared.

The actor, who recently appeared in both "Spamalot" and "Chicago" on Broadway, says he's working on a comedy TV series and a Broadway show, although he was very reluctant to provide any details. To see our video interview with O'Hurley, visit PhillyGossip.com this afternoon.

Out and about

Country star Toby Keith dropped by the Irish Pub in Atlantic City after performing at Boardwalk Hall last week. Cathy Burke, co-owner of the pub, sent over a batch of the "Irish Pub Boxing" shirts for Keith and his crew and the guys came by after the gig and stayed for three hours drinking. The shirt, also sold at the bar's two Center City locations, was also just seen in "The Town," worn by "Hurt Locker" star Jeremy Renner. Word is director and co-star Ben Affleck saw the shirt somewhere and had his people call the pub, which provided one for Renner to wear in the crime-drama.

* Eagles QB Michael Vick, fiancee Kijafa Frink and their kids enjoyed a night out bowling at North Bowl (909 N. 2nd).

* Rappers Freeway and Peedi Crakk stopped by Thursday's EA Sports NBA Jam launch party at Ubiq (1509 Walnut).

Mitchell & Ness movin' on up

The Mitchell & Ness store, at 1318 Chestnut St., will remain open through the end of the year, says president Sean McKinney. That despite the sportswear-nostalgia company opening a new location at 12th and Chestnut, which celebrated with a party Wednesday night that featured Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy, Phillies P.A. announcer Dan Baker, Comcast SportsNet's Michael Barkann and 6ABC's Jeff Skversky among guests as well as Mayor Nutter performing the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" with DJ Jazzy Jeff.

While Nutter has gotten better at his signature tune - a classic, no doubt - we think it's time he adds The Roots or Schoolly D to his repertoire, with the Roots' lyrics probably far more appropriate. To see a video, check tinyurl.com/MNOpeningParty.

Chef Jen soon back on TV

Dec. 1 is the premiere of Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars," featuring chef Jen Carroll, of 10 Arts by Eric Ripert at the Ritz, who made the finals on "Top Chef: Las Vegas" two seasons ago.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

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