Thursday, November 18, 1999

A local comedian is cruising, plus litter critters




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Where were we? Oh yeah, back from vacation and getting caught up on bunches of things. Like maiden voyages, home movies and ladies in litter boxes.

        SETTING SAIL: Looks as if Cincinnati's busiest comedian gets a bit busier come Saturday.

        Meaning Blair Shannon — seems he and Katarina Witt share top billing on the maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, world's largest cruise ship (3,500 passengers). It sails from Miami on Sunday.

        Witt is there because the ship has an indoor ice rink it wants to open with flash. Shannon is there because he's a favorite on cruise ships and in Vegas. So huge that Voyager already has booked him for a return date in April.

        “They're being so hush-hush I don't even know what night I perform. I do know it's in a 2,000-seat theater called LaScala, and I do know it's in the Caribbean, so it's a maiden voyage without icebergs.

        “There might be something on the ship's TV, too. They have a fully equipped studio and I know they want to use it, but I don't know how yet.”

        Shannon, who hates to fly so much he once tried to book a seat in the black box because it always survives, flies out Saturday.

        MADAME MEOW: Carol Pixler, meanwhile, was a hit in the litter box.

        Pixler, recall, is the Southgate woman who dressed up like a cat and won the local round of the Meow Mix Jingle contest back in September. Her prize was a trip to Tampa to square off against 17 other finalists for $10,000.

        She dressed as a cat again, made the trip and didn't win. But she did charm chief judge Wayne Newton so much he made it a point to find and congratulate her.

        Seems her creative use of a litter box bowled him over. Knowing what goes on in litter boxes, we were afraid to ask. But did.

        “Oh, just sort of scratched around and sang,” said coordinator Aimee Frank. “But she had the moves down so well it knocked people out.”

        Pixler is now back in Southgate and, we're guessing, not using a litter box.

        FILM CALL: Just wondering: If Jack Raybin promises not to show anything embarrassing, will you share your home movies with him? Specifically, anything from Crosley Field between 1960 and '72.

        Raybin is one of the producers of When It Was A Game III, third in a series of HBO baseball documentaries. This one focuses on changes in the '60s brought on by the influx of minority players.

        Since the Reds were considered plenty forward thinking in that area, Raybin is particularly hot to get local footage for the show, set to air in June.

        Here's the deal: You lend them, he promises not to use anything but baseball and he'll have them transferred to VHS. Call Black Canyon Productions, (212) 576-1811.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.