Avery in the News - Avery Ant

Avery, on Being A Mentor:

"I suppose I'd be willing to mentor a golf caddy. You know, on how to replace my divots, when to shut up, what time to pick me up, and how to pour a perfect vodka tonic."



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People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive:

Avery Ant

By Holly Kurlek

One look at Avery Ant, from his crooked smile to his four potentially wandering hands (a girl can dream can't she?), and you know the mold has been broken on sex symbols.

"I don't think of myself as sexy," says Avery, bits of sugar cube hanging seductively off of his pincers. "But I sure like to think about sex." His laugh fills the green room of The View, where he's waiting to tape his segment for the popular talk show, the eyes of each female staffer glued to his every move. Women are, as it's pointed out to him, magnetically drawn to him like moths to a flame.

"Yeah, well, moths ain't the brightest of insects — but I'll take the compliment, baby."

Avery's "little black book" reads like a veritable who's who of Hollywood starlets. He and Courtney Love were an item for a while before his busy career came between them. But she still speaks fondly of him: "A lot of what happened to us was beyond our control. We didn't want to grow apart but with everything that happened, we just did. I still love him. I miss him. He has the most amazing ability to find food — even where you were sure none existed."

"Yeah, I broke Courtney's heart and she broke my jaw," Avery admits.

Avery isn't your sensitive type. More your modern "guy's guy" — the kind of fellow who lets a girl pick up the check, then steals the tip, and later sneaks out in the middle of the night, possibly with some of her silverware.

Not every woman has such fond memories of him, though. There was his very public split with Sarah Jessica Parker. He and the beautiful starlet still take shots at each other in the press, even though it's been years since their breakup. Parker declined to be interviewed for this article, saying, "I have a real man — and a baby — now. I really don't want to be reminded of all the time and money I wasted on that man-child-pissant."

And an entire order of Carmelite Nuns has a restraining order against him.

Avery looks thoughtful when reminded of his past failures in love. Finally he says, "Yeah, I made mistakes. And I enjoyed everyone of 'em."

"I think the thing about Mr. A," says George Clooney, the 1998 winner of People's Sexiest Man Alive honor, using the affectionate nickname allowed to only Avery's closest friends, "is that he's okay with who he is. Sure, he hasn't always done everything by the book, but he's a good friend. If you ever needed to be bailed out of jail, Avery would definitely send one of his staff to come get you."

His staff agrees.

"Oh sure, Avery would have us do anything for a friend of his," said Mug Erskine-Kellie, the celebrity ant's head writer and chief of staff. "I've had thousands of his old school buddies living at my house for over a year now. I'm practically infested! And John," he said, pointing to his brother and colleague, "he gave up a kidney for one of Avery's poker buddies." Scanning the room, Erskine-Kellie's eyes fell upon Susan McLennan, Avery's press advisor. "Avery promised Susan's womb to another friend who was having trouble getting pregnant. I won't tell you who it was, but let's just say her name rhymes with Mortney Box Parkette."

Avery's concern isn't just for the rich and famous. He cares about the disadvantaged as well. His work with The Avery Ant Food Bank is legendary, yet he downplays it. "I just make sure that the scraps from the tables of the haves make it to the tables of the have nots. If a little goes missing along the way, what's it to you? I'm entitled to my cut." His often impromptu food recycling program is not without its critics, who use words like "revolting," "demeaning" and "incredibly unsanitary." Others insist he is a visionary — one who sees a need and thinks outside of the box to fix what's broken.

"Avery is ahead of his time," said sultry Anna Nicole Smith. "And," she added, "he's a little ant with a great big, um...heart. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ahhhhhh. Ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Avery is coy about how old he is and quickly changes the subject when the topic comes up. He's hard to pin an age on — and he likes it that way. Rumors have circled for years about some kind of pact with the devil that keeps him young (and possibly immortal). And every once in a while, footage surfaces of him with long-dead superstars, including Jayne Mansfield, Alfred Hitchcock, and Bugs Bunny. He just smiles enigmatically when asked about his past and says, "It's been an interesting life."

Avery has had a highly publicized, largely on-again, sometimes off-again love affair with booze. "I used to get loaded with George Bush, who not only cries when he drinks but is also a closet communist," he states matter-of-factly while pulling the bottle of 20-year-old scotch to his lips and drinking deeply. Scotch is clearly his drink of choice and scotch, he says, was the adhesive (and then the solvent) in his brief marriage to tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

"We were a trio of booze hounds in love and living in Salt Lake City," he said wistfully.

If Avery thought life in the anthill was hard, he learned just how difficult it can be on the comedy circuit when his show, The Avery Ant Super Comedy Half Hour Bonanza, was a ratings and critical disaster. "The title was longer than the show," he deadpans. Some say it exemplified the worst in celebrity self-indulgence; everyone agreed he couldn't do drag. A horrified, albeit tiny viewership, watched as the ant and TV Guide critic Matt Roush sparred, with Avery insulting the very TV magazine whose cover he graced.

A stint as the morning DJ on a Mexican radio station didn't help, despite an all-out marketing campaign featuring Avery's face on the sides of garbage cans everywhere. "There are only five in the entire city, so the campaign was flawed from the start," says Avery with just a twinge of aggravation. It didn't help that industry insiders barely masked their contempt for the little ant, some going so far as to allude to sexual favors he'd exchanged in the hopes of securing a Canadian television deal. A tired and disaffected public had had enough.

But then something, or someone, remarkable happened: Quentin Tarantino and The Anti-Christ. The straight to video religious shoot 'em up movie revived Avery's seemingly sagging career and "the little ant that could" once again became a bankable star playing the role of Jesus.

"Thanks to me, every teenage boy will be wearing a crown of thorns this summer," he boasts.

Yes, Avery Ant does always win. These days it's practically a mantra in Hollywood — at least the part of Hollywood whose finger is on the pulse of a public who can't get enough of this hot and hunky ant. He's antsy, edgy, rarely sober, erratic, unpredictable, and outrageous. Which is precisely why Avery Ant is the sexiest man alive.

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