Dan Gross: Tina dodged Franken $ plea

Posted: April 14, 2011

THE FUNNIEST moment of Tina Fey's appearance at the Free Library Tuesday, say attendees, was when WHYY's Marty Moss-Coane asked the Upper Darby native "30 Rock" star about politics and she told a story about former "SNL" colleague Al Franken.

Fey said Franken, now a U.S. senator from Minnesota, hounded her for a political donation during his campaign but she ducked him. Fey, participating in the Library's Philadelphia Book Festival and promoting her book "Bossypants," said she texted Franken after he won and said "See, you didn't need my $4,000 to win after all," prompting Sen. Franken to text back, "F--- you."

“It was banter between friends. Tina certainly knew I was kidding,” Sen. Franken told us.

Speaking of elected officials . . .

U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (that still takes some getting used to) stopped at Billy Murphy's Irish Saloon (3335 Conrad) in East Falls with a party of 12 Monday afternoon. The former Eagles tackle said he enjoyed his cheesesteak and took pictures with a bar full of fans. Runyan, who serves on the Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs committee, was with staff from the nearby Philadelphia Memorial Service Network.

Locals on 'Millioniare'

Two Philadelphians will test their trivia skill next week on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" with "Project Runway" host Tim Gunn filling in for regular "Millionaire" host Meredith Vieira.

First up, on Tuesday (12:30 p.m., 6ABC) is Deanda Wilson, 31, a public-housing specialist for the federal government. The Central High grad says that if she wins money on the show, which taped months ago, she would use it to finish renovating her home.

Kevin Glaccum, 51, artistic director for the Azuka Theatre Company, will be on the show Wednesday. The Archbishop Ryan grad is a longtime bartender at Woody's (202 S. 13th) and also works as a standardized patient for medical schools, faking ailments to help students diagnose conditions. With his winnings, if he has any, he hopes to visit Australia, pay debt and buy a house.

'Big Brother' casting

"Big Brother" Senior Casting Producer Tedd Shermerhorn will be at CBS3 (16th & Hamilton) from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow searching for castmates for the show's 13th season. Applicants, who must be at least 21, get two minutes to explain why they would make a good housemate. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen, and bring with them two photos (headshot and full bodyshot), driver's license or birth certificate copy or Social Security card, and a completed application downloaded from cbsphilly.com

Attorney to the stars

Atlantic City attorney James J. Leonard Jr. is keeping busy representing reality-TV stars.

Leonard did contract and civil work for MTV's "Jersey Shore" castmate Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola and two women on the next season of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," ( premiere, May 16) Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile, and is representing "Jersey Shore" alum Angelina Pivarnick in a criminal case for an alleged assault on a woman at the Casbah at the Taj Mahal last December.

We asked Leonard if Sammi was as horribly annoying as she is on "Jersey Shore" and he says she is very sweet and he was introduced to her through his wife, who's her cousin.

'Straight and Butch' on DVD

Butch Cordora is thrilled that his movie "Straight and Butch," which played last year's QFest, is out on DVD on April 26. The night before he hosts a DVD release party at National Mechanics (22 S. 3rd) at 9 p.m. The film documents the production of his "Straight and Butch" calendar in which the gay Cordora and straight men pose nude recreating famous pop culture photos.

Product placement

Hair stylist Artur Kirsh, of Studio CL (128 S. 19th) and Studio Artur (728 West) in Jenkintown, is now offering his signature line of hair-care products and advice on how to improve your winter-damaged hair at arturstyle.com.

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

www.philly.com/DanGross.

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