CRYING UNCLE Lisa Kudrow will have plenty of TV work to keep her busy after ”Friends” goes off the air, but you won’t be able to see her in any of it. In addition to producing a CBS sitcom for ”Friends” guest star Aisha Tyler, Kudrow will star in a cartoon series being developed for Fox by Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder, creators of ”Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kudrow will play a mom whose family life is disrupted when an uncle moves in with the clan. Kudrow’s voice-work experience includes guest spots on ”Dr. Katz,” ”The Simpsons,” and ”King of the Hill.” No word on who will play the wacky uncle, but we expect Matthew Perry will have a lot of time on his hands.
BEATING AROUND THE BUSH Perry spent some of his free time over the weekend playing alongside the pros in Chris Evert’s 14th annual Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Delray Beach, Fla. On Saturday, the doubles team of Perry and Luke Jensen lost their set 4-8 to Bush singer Gavin Rossdale and Luke’s brother Murphy Jensen, the Boca Raton News reports. The next day, Perry and Evert beat Chevy Chase and Mary Jo Fernandez 8-3. In the final set of the day, Perry teamed up with ”good friend” Jennifer Capriati (he declined to discuss their relationship in greater detail) for a rematch against Rossdale, who teamed with Evert. This time, Perry’s team won 8-6, but Capriati dropped out after three games, reportedly because of a back injury, and was replaced by Luke Jensen. Evert said the event raised $600,000 to aid neglected and abused Florida children and to fight drug abuse.
ILL-TIMED Not all celebrity charity events run as smoothly. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports, fundraiser Aaron Tonken pleaded guilty to two federal felony charges for defrauding donors and underwriters of numerous charity events he organized. Tonken’s lawyer said that his client was remorseful over having diverted money meant for charities into shell bank accounts, and that less than 5 percent of the siphoned funds (an estimated $7 million went missing) went into Tonken’s pocket. Some of the money allegedly went to pay for expensive gifts and lavish fees meant to lure celebrities to his benefits. At one 1997 benefit, according to an invoice produced by Tonken, David Schwimmer allegedly received two gold Rolex watches worth $26,413.
Schwimmer disputed the allegation, telling the Times, ”I never received anything from Aaron Tonken, anyone associated with Aaron Tonken or as a result of any charity event related to Aaron Tonken.” In fact, the actor said, he himself was bilked by Tonken, who had organized a benefit for Schwimmer’s Chicago acting troupe, the Lookingglass Theatre Company, a gala that the entire cast of ”Friends” had attended. Tonken issued a rebuttal through his lawyer, denying the Lookingglass allegation and insisting that he had purchased the Rolexes for the star, even naming the Beverly Hills jeweler where he says he bought the gifts. Schwimmer’s publicist, in turn, responded that the actor ”categorically denies having received anything from Tonken, including watches. One needs to consider the source of the allegations.”