Kobe Bryant is bad, he’s bad, you know it (come on). So Bryant is going to be one of the big celebrities at the Michael Jackson Memorial on Tuesday; of course he is. But what I’m unclear on is what his function will be at the big party - will he favor us with a tune? Break out a red leather jacket? Reenact the “Black or White” video with Luke Walton as Macauley Culkin? The answers are shrouded in mystery.
What is known: Magic Johnson will also be there, along with thousands of others who were lucky enough to get tickets by whatever means or form of random drawing they used. And because what this thing needed more of was additional celebrities, let’s throw in Berry Gordy, Brooke Shields, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Usher, Martin Luther King III, and, in a bit of troubling irony, Shaheen Jafargholi, the 12-year-old who was a finalist on the latest edition of “Britain’s Got Talent” recently.
What, no Manny Ramirez?
One person who will not be attending is Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe. Her attorney, Marta Almli, issued a statement saying “the onslaught of media attention has made it clear (Rowe’s) attendance would be an unnecessary distraction to an event that should focus exclusively on Michael’s legacy. Debbie will continue to celebrate Michael’s memory privately.”
As will I — if by “celebrate Michael’s memory privately” you mean “eat a sleeve of Ritz crackers while watching ‘Harper’s Island.’ ”
More than 1.6 million fans registered online for a chance to attend the Staples Center ceremony, according to MSNBC, and 8,750 names were chosen. Of course absolutely no one who doesn’t have a ticket will show up and make a congested mess of the area around the Staples Center. Nope.
Most ironic of all: The ticket drawing has been compared to the way they distributed the Golden Tickets in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Gene Wilder’s character in that movie is the only pop culture performance that can rival the actual Michael Jackson persona. How there were never Oompa Loompas at Neverland is a mystery.
(Police burst in, confiscate Everlasting Gobstoppers, various computer discs).
I also hear that Brooks will be at the memorial. If so, I expect him to bring me back a souvenir.