accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Gifford Tells Steve & Vikki: ‘I Invented Spanx’

Atlanta businesswoman and Spanx founder Sara Blakely and her patent attorney may want to tune into B98.5 FM Thursday morning at 7:20.

That’s when “Today” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford will repeat her claim that she, and not Blakely, actually invented the footless, slimming fashion accessory.

“I couldn’t believe it!” Vikki Locke told Buzz Wednesday. Locke and morning show partner Steve McCoy taped the interview with the daytime diva Tuesday.

Locke says she had heard speculation in recent weeks that Gifford has been taking credit for inventing the multi-million creation. The morning show personality has been close pals with Blakely for years and attended her splashy nuptials last year in Florida.

“I just decided to ask her to see what she would say,” Locke explained. “I said to Kathie Lee, ‘So, I understand that you invented Spanx.’ And sure enough, she told us, ‘I did!’ ”

Gifford went on to explain that back when she co-hosted “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee,” she went on-air one morning and told Regis Philbin how she had cut the feet out of a pair of support hose.

Locke then graciously informed Gifford that she’s friends with Blakely.

Her retort: “Well, good for you. Tell your friend I’d be happy to be her spokesperson.”

Locke tried in vain to reach Blakely on her cellphone during the interview so she and Gifford could have a chat.

Added Locke: “She might be a little delusional!”

At press time Wednesday, Buzz was unable to confirm that Gifford also invented the Internet. . .

Walker reflects on “Apprentice” experience

UGA legend Herschel Walker tells us he hasn’t watched a single episode of “Celebrity Apprentice,” the NBC show he was fired from on Sunday night.

He says he was disappointed he didn’t end up winning money for his charity of choice, Alternative Community Development Services.

Says Walker: “I had a lot of fun.”

Walker says he was frustrated trying to manage folks who weren’t really his employees, which is why he had problems at times with argumentative Tom Green and Clint Black. Cracked Walker: “If I could kick their butts physically, maybe, but that’s not the show. They wouldn’t let me do that.”

Walker managed to bond, however, with celeb co-star Joan Rivers. “I absolutely loved her. She told me to call her mom.” And overall, he said, “I got along with everybody. They called me the president because I was so politically correct.”

And you’ll see Walker again on the show. He will take part in the final challenge, which begins airing on May 3 and will continue on the finale on the 10th.

“Don’t stop watching the show,” he said. “You’ll see something. People on the show respect me more. When you talk about getting the job done, that’s my thing. I get the job done!”
Messing With Mother Nature

Q100 chief imp Jeff Dauler found himself facing off against Captain Planet himself on Earth Day after the cartoon character’s caretaker caught the radio producer littering on Twitter.

Captain Planet Foundation chairwoman Laura Turner Seydel, who follows Dauler on the addictive Internet site, got a little irritated with Dauler’s increasingly absurd Earth Day “tips” he was posting Wednesday.

His tweets included the following:

“For Earth Day, I took all the copy paper in the office and threw it in the dumpster so nobody would use paper! GO GREEN!” and “I poured a gallon of bleach into the Chattahoochee! Imagine how clean it would be if everyone did that today. GO GREEN!”
Turner Seydel then posted the following message throughout the Twitter-verse: “@JeffDauler not funny. You will have people standing down by the river ‘cleaning’ it up.”

We’re guessing that Dauler didn’t recall that the Atlanta environmentalist co-founded the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Fund advocacy group with her husband Rutherford Seydel.

A chastised Dauler apologized by posting: “For real for Earth Day tips, follow my friend @LauraSeydel and check out her great green tips.”

Turner Seydel immediately recalled a hailstorm-hurling Captain Planet in mid-flight and he resumed work on a backyard compost project.

High Five
The top-sellers at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur this week:
1. “Chasing The Devils Tail,” David Fulmer
2. “Help,” Kathryn Stockett
3. “Lost Hours,” Karen White
4. “Arm Chair Birder,” John Yow
5. “Final Trumpet,” Karl Lenker

— Courtesy: Eagle Eye Book Shop

Celebrity Birthdays

Actor Lee Majors (”Six Million Dollar Man”) is 70. Actress Joyce DeWitt (”Three’s Company”) is 60. Director Michael Moore is 55. Comedian George Lopez is 48. Actor Kal Penn (”House M.D.,” “Harold and Kumar”) is 32.

Contributing: Rodney Ho and news services.

Have an item for Buzz? E-mail it to us at buzz@ajc.com. Now follow Buzz Central updates throughout the day on Twitter. Go to twitter.com and search “PeachBuzz.”

20 comments Add your comment

Becky

April 23rd, 2009
10:45 am

Even if Kathy Lee did wear them on the show, did she follow through with everything else? Most all of us have said, worn or done something that someone else has gone ahead and made available (sp) to the public..Sounds to me like Kathy Lee needs to move on to other things..

hill335

April 23rd, 2009
10:47 am

Kathie Lee is such a bee-atch. Perhaps she can use some of Frank’s money to hire an attorney who will wrest the patent away from Blakely. Yeah, there’s a plan.

Steph

April 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

Oh Please! Kathie Lee was kidding! Everyone is reading WAY TOO MUCH into this! I heard the show this morning and it was all done in a fun way. I do not think she was trying to take the credit for anything. Give her a break!

Lizzie

April 23rd, 2009
11:00 am

Maybe Kathie Lee shouldn’t go around saying she invented “Spanx” per se, but hello, women have been making their own spanx out of pantyhose for a long, long time….probably since before Blakely was born.

Kat

April 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

First of all no offense to Gifford or Blakely but this was not an original idea by either of them. I can remember being young and watching my mother and other women in my family cut off the heel or legs of panty hoses and wear them under their clothes. Women have been doing this for years.

Blakely just saw an opportunity and seized it but we all can think of a product that is out there that when it came out you were saying to yourself I’ve did that before or saw that done.

Kristin

April 23rd, 2009
11:38 am

Did she say “I am the founder of Spanx” or say I cut the feet out of my support hose thus creating “spanx”. When I was a kid whenver my Mom or Aunts got a run in thier hose they would cut the feet out and wear them under dress pants.

John

April 23rd, 2009
11:44 am

I remember Kathie Lee saying on several occasions in the late 1980s and early 1990s on her old show that she cut the feet (bottom of the legs) off of support hose and wore them under pants and dresses. But sadly in this country it is not who invented something it is who patented it or trademarked it. I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY THIS IS AN AMAZING INVENTION. Girdles and support undergarments (including hose) have been around for over a 100 years. But up until the last 5 years, only large women wore them. The real credit goes to the advertising and marketing people for this product who have convinced skinny women that they need to wear these things.

Clete

April 23rd, 2009
12:32 pm

I created the term “Bootylicious” years ago……. and have never gotten credit for it.

Lolly

April 23rd, 2009
12:37 pm

Oh good grief, Kathy was just stating in a her stupid funny way, the very thing millions of women could say. Before Blakely was a twinkle in Father’s eye, women have cut up panty hose and stockings to meet a need. I do appreciate that Blakely did follow through with adding bands to the bottom of the legs so they do not roll up. Patented but not an original idea, so Locke may be the one who is delusional.

Al Gore

April 23rd, 2009
12:41 pm

Oh yeah, well I invented the internet! Spanx that, K-Lee.

chris

April 23rd, 2009
12:50 pm

Footless leggings have been around for eons and worn by dancers, gymnastic teams, yoga aficionados, and `fashionistas` in the 1940’s to 1960’s like Audrey Hepburn. Their slimming attributes were well-known and often enhanced with different qualities of materials and spinning.

Sara Blakely happened to decide to market her version of garments that have been in use for generations.

Being from a textile family that made footless leggings, I can tell you that the Spanx product quality is not that good. There are many other products on the market that are much, much better and cost less.

Sara just happens to be quite good at marketing herself and Spanx. Sara didn’t build a better mouse trap. She simply did a good job of promoting an ordinary one and charging more for it.

Kathie Lee is out in left field, as usual. She did not act on her idea, but rather sank to a new low of wearing cut-off hosiery instead of going to the dance store and buying the footless leggings in a nude color that would give her a slimmer silhouette.

I hope that sets the record straight.

George American

April 23rd, 2009
12:58 pm

I didn’t even know Kathy Lee was still around. But being on the Steve and Vicki Show may be the very definition of being insignificant.

Is Frank Gifford still alive? Did he invent the crotchless panty or was he just a product endorser?

Dogboy

April 23rd, 2009
1:03 pm

Let’s see…Steve and Vikki, Kathie Lee Gifford…I’m sorry, but why is this even in the AJC? Oh, that’s right, this crap is what passes for news these days!!! No wonder newspapers are going out of business.

George American

April 23rd, 2009
1:06 pm

‘nother question: do Spanx allow easy “back door” access or should I bring some scissors for my office park nooner?

BAP

April 23rd, 2009
1:09 pm

Kathy Lee Gifford was not joking! She was dead serious. She really needs to get a life. The more and more I hear from her, the more she seems a little “touched” to me.

hill335

April 23rd, 2009
1:09 pm

Several days before the radio interview, Kathie Lee told Matt Lauer on Today, on air, that SHE invented Spanx way-back-when. Never mind that she didn’t bother to apply for a patent, never mind that she didn’t call her “invention” Spanx at the time. No, too much is certainly not being made of this. This is yet another craven ploy by Kathie Lee to grab the attention of the public, and she’s shameless.

Claire

April 23rd, 2009
1:38 pm

I invented post-it notes.

Romey & Michelle

April 23rd, 2009
5:11 pm

Darn…we were going to invent those for our high school reunion.

Dixie Normous

April 24th, 2009
7:54 am

Kathy Lee Gifford is a shriveled old hoar.

Destiny

May 5th, 2009
10:00 am

I invented the couch potatoe!