The Search For Spock

TV legend Leonard Nimoy made history in the Chicago area last weekend, appearing at his final "Star Trek" convention at the Westin O'Hare Hotel. However, the actor who played the pointy-ear sci-fi icon seemed to have other things on his mind. Nimoy was scheduled to make his final frontier farewell at noon on Sunday, but as a sold-out crowd crammed the hotel's largest ballroom waiting to experience this piece of nerd history, Nimoy was nowhere to be found. Frantic convention organizers began a chaotic "search for Spock," on every floor of the hotel looking for their guest speaker. After an exhaustive search became futile, and with the anxious crowd chanting "We want Spock!" for more than 20 minutes, organizers finally received a text that Spock was spotted at the nearby Ram Restaurant having a beer and watching the Bears-Panthers game. Nimoy was heard muttering as he was reluctantly brought back to meet with his geeky minions, "Geez, haven't these fanatics had enough already? the show was on 50 years ago! Can't a guy enjoy a football game on a Sunday?" I'm so glad I'm done with these, let Bill (Shatner) deal with them from now on." Live long and prosper, Leonard.


Regis And Rooney Live!

"60 Minutes" mainstay, Andy Rooney, officially signed off on Sunday from the respected news show after more than three decades. But I've "over-Snerd" the crusty curmudgeon was forced out at the Tiffany network, and at age 92, he's not ready to retire and is anxious for a new gig. Fellow senior citizen, Regis Philbin, who also will be out of a job in November, is now reaching out to Andy to gauge his interest in hosting a new talk show with him, to be titled, "Regis & Rooney Live!." According to Regis, "I'm done working with these perky young women like Kelly Ripa and Kathy Lee Gifford. I want to work with a man for change. Daytime viewers will love Andy's sharp wit, big jowls, and that 'angry old man" charm. America will want to wake up every morning with Andy Rooney! And those eyebrowsÂ…I love 'em!" Sources say Regis is hoping to sell the show to the TBS cable network, "If they took Conan O'Brien, they'll certainly take us," Regis confidently crowed.


Clooney's Clout

"Dancing With The Stars" fans were surprised last week when George Clooney's exotic ex, actress Elisabetta Canalis, was voted off the weekly "hoofers" competition. Elisabetta later admitted she wasn't much of a dancer and took the people's rejection in stride. But I'm told by my Hollywood tipsters there's more to the story. It seems gorgeous George may have had a hand in Elisabetta's demise. Word in LaLa Land is Clooney hired 300 people to do nothing but continually vote against Canalis via text and phone, assuring that she'd lose and be off the show. Apparently, there is still some bad blood between the former canoodlers, and George used his power to get the outcome he preferred. A Clooney confidant said, "George is the most powerful star in Hollywood, and if he can't "fix" a TV dance contest, what good is having the power? How do you think Clay Aiken lost on 'American Idol' a few years ago? Yep, that was George's handy work too."


Ringo's Starr Rises

This week, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese unveils his comprehensive and acclaimed documentary about the late Beatle, George Harrison on HBO. With all this renewed attention for the former "Quiet Beatle," I've "over-Snerd" former Beatle, Ringo Starr, is now planning a film tribute of his life. According to Ringo's wife, actress Barbara Bach, Ringo's life and contributions to the Fab Four deserves the same recognition that Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and now Harrison regularly receive. "It's time for Ringo's story. Ringo's told me HE wrote all those great Beatle songs -- John and Paul threw a few words and notes in here and there, but most of the songs were Ringo's. He doesn't have very good handwriting, so he asked John and Paul to literally write them down, and they took all the credit," Bach claims. The film, tentatively to be titled, "Ringo: A Starr Is Born" will reveal this unknown nugget: "Paul wanted to call it 'Sgt. Cinnamon's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but Ringo changed it to 'Sgt. Pepper' and the rest is history. It's time for the world to know who the real genius behind the Beatles is," Bach asserted. When asked about these new revelations, Ringo blurted, "Peace and love,peace and love, and please, stop sending me things to autograph. I'm done. I'm too busy!"


'X Factor' Making 'Idol' Threats

Simon Cowell is crazily cramming to find ways to bring some ratings heat and fan buzz to his new TV talent extravaganza, "The X Factor." The show, hyped to be bigger than his former show, "American Idol," debuted to less than stratospheric ratings and lukewarm audience response, so Simon is looking for anything to give the show a needed jumpstart. He already hired former "Idol" judge, Paula Abdul, and I've "over-Snerd" he might again raid the "Idol" show of another former "star" to serve as host of the new "X Factor." And it ISN'T Ryan Seacreast. My sources tell me Simon is hoping to lure Seacrest's former "Idol" co-host from the show's first season, Brian Dunkleman. Cowell has told pals, "I always thought Brian was the real star, not Ryan." Now Simon has to FIND Dunkleman, who is reportedly working in the drive-thru window of an In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Los Angeles. "I will drive through every In-N-Out window in town to find Brian. Dunkleman is the only person who can save my show!" Whatever you say, Simon.


Snerdlings...


Not celebrating a birthday anymore: Inventor of the "Dorito" corn chip, Arch West, 97; breathless.

Until next time, keep venting!