Friday, August 25, 2000

Stupid is as stupid does at auditions

Letterman scout looking for Cincinnati silliness

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Mark Fogelson said his bulldog, Lula, likes to “dance” with his leg.

        And Lula did, every time the Hartwell man would reach his left hand under his T-shirt, and make a flatulence noise in his armpit.

[photo] Michelle Mondillo, 4, of Mount Healthy limbers up her tongue during Late Show auditions.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        That was his “Stupid Pet Trick” for David Letterman's Late Show talent scout in the WKRC-TV (Channel 12) studio Thursday night.

        Or was it a “Stupid Human Trick?”

        Whatever, it was the best of six Tristate acts to audition for Bill Langworthy, a producer from Mr. Letterman's Worldwide Pants Inc. who made a rush trip through Cincinnati on Thursday. It was the second time in 2 1/2 years Late Show producers had scouted Cincinnati silliness.

        “We're desperate to find new acts for the show,” said Mr. Langworthy, who has supervised about 2,000 stupid pet/human trick tryouts since 1998.

        “There's a shortage in stupidity, and that's why we returned to Cincinnati to fill a void,” he said.

        Looking for their 15 seconds of fame were cousins Michelle Mondillo, 4, from Mount Healthy, and Julie DePauw, 7, from Finneytown. They stuck out their tongues and licked blue cake icing from their chests.

        Terry McCarthy from Bridgetown lay on his back and tried to toss maraschino cherries with his toes into his mouth. On the sixth attempt, he snagged one and tied the stem into a knot with his tongue.

        Susan Hayes of Green Township brought her three-legged dog, Sam, which cracked open mixed nuts with its teeth — just twice.

        Two other dogs were too curious to perform for the Late Show camera. Solomon never really “stalked a tennis ball like a cat,” as promised by Charlotte Williams of Carthage.

        And Cosmo had trouble bouncing a big orange ball off his snout to owner Michelle Stephan of Withamsville. When she switched to a smaller blue ball, Cosmo ignored it.

        “Now that's stupid!” said George Stephan, Michelle's father.

        Mr. Langworthy said he was disappointed to see only six stupid acts here, when he usually sees at least five times that many in a city.

        But station officials were not pleased that the Late Show scheduled the auditions on a weeknight, instead of the weekend, on the night after the network's heavily promoted Survivor finale.

        Of the six, Mr. Langworthy liked Lula the best. But he wasn't sure a dog vigorously hugging a man's leg — other descriptions come to mind — would ever make Mr. Letterman's show.

        “It might be too hot for us to use on TV,” he told Mr. Fogelson. “But if we can use it, we'll give you a call.”

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