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Gene Simmons & Shannon Tweed

at Super Bowl Party

So where does a celebrity reporter hang out for the Super Bowl? Spago, of course, at a party hosted by Michael Viner and Phoenix Books. Among the many notables watching the big game on 16 strategically placed plasma screens, were Arianna Huffington, Sidney Poitier, Penny Marshall, and Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed. Simmons was not adorned with his Kiss mufti, but instead wore a black t-shirt promoting the Indy Racing League. The tongue-wagging bassist recently recorded an anthem called “I Am Indy” and soon will release an Indy-related clothing line.

It was heart warming to see our pal Dick Van Patten, who made his first public appearance since suffering a diabetic stroke. Van Patten was in great spirits and is expected to make a full recovery. He was excited about his new line of Natural Balance Pet Foods, and their partnership with the San Diego Zoo, helping the survival of many endangered animals. One of the nicest guys in show biz; and we wish him well.

Related: The Journey: Watch Ridley Scott's Super Bowl Short for Turkish Airlines

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Dick & Patti Van Patten

at Spago Super Bowl Party

Others feasting on Wolfgang’s hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, chili and even potato knishes, included Rosie Grier, the ubiquitous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Jack Carter and, of course, Bill Maher (one of the honorees of the evening.) Live from your PC, Maher is hosting a 30 minute program Amazon Fishbowl, where he interviews authors like Stephen King, along with musicians and actors in his own imitable manner.

Besides watching the game (out of the corner of my eye) the biggest thrill of the afternoon was working the buffet line inside Wolfgang’s kitchen. What a coup to see the Master at Work. Wolfie, who has more television time than Joan Rivers, currently can be seen on the Food Network, Home Shopping, and even the show Las Vegas, where he operates a restaurant at the mythical Montecito Hotel. He was with his gorgeous wife Gelila and baby Oliver.

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Wolfie at Work at Spago
To get back to the game, the famous betting pool (a tradition originated by Pierre and Mary Cossette) was won by producer David Gerber. Gerber is one lucky chap, as last week, his film Flight 93 scored the highest ratings in the history of the A & E network. A fabulous time was had by all thanks to Viner and Wolfgang.

Another gentleman deserving accolades is philanthropist Bill Austin, owner of Starkey Hearing Foundation, who recently hosted an All Star Gala Benefit at the Hollywood Palladium. Celebs included Jane Russell, Steve Wonder, Angie Dickinson, Gloria Estefan and Smokey Robinson. Bill and his lovely wife Tani have flown around the world providing indigent children with hearing aids. Their annual “ So the World May Hear” Galas have raised millions to help these poor children and have featured renowned musicians including Elton John, Trisha Yearwood and Michael Bolton, among many others. A most worthy cause on the Hollywood Beat.

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Bill Austin (Starkey Hearing Foundation)

with Jane Russell at Palladium Party

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