Simpson, and Charity – A Night Out in Northridge
October 04, 2007
been to a fair number of charity poker events over the last
couple years, there was one on my calendar that for a myriad
of reasons, I was really looking forward to going to. The
'Monte Carlo Night' being held at the home of Nancy Cartwright
(the voice of Bart Simpson) was going to be different to me
for a number of reasons.
First off, I have long believed The Simpsons to
be the television show with the best writing in the history
of TV. I could answer many (though not all) trivia questions
about the minutiae of the show, and I have been to the Fox
lot a couple times over the last 10 years to watch the actors
voice the show. To play poker with those affiliated with a
show that meant so much to me was going to be a lot of fun.
Secondly, I lived in Northridge for the better part of 10
years. My association with Northridge ended abruptly on January
17th, 1994, when the Northridge earthquake destroyed my home.
I hadn't really been back to Northridge much since the earthquake,
and it was nice to see many of the changes in the community.
Lastly, the charity being benefited was close to my heart.
The charity was the Devonshire PALS (Police Activities League
Supporters) Youth Center for at-risk children. One of my closest
friends in high school's father was a Devonshire Division
Detective, and he had a big influence on my life.
So, off we went to Northridge, and the home of Nancy Cartwright.
The word 'compound' may have been a better description of
Nancy's digs, as there were no fewer than three separate living
structures on the property, which had a country ranch feel,
complete with a horse brought in just for this event.
The scale of the event was surprising. The centerpiece of
the event was a big stage, complete with lights, sound, and
a 6 piece band playing for most of the evening. The stage
was right in the middle of Nancy's backyard, and dozens of
tables were set up around the dance floor, along with the
auction and raffle prizes.
The evening kicked off with Nancy, and the 'emcee' for the
evening, Tom Kenny – known to most people as the voice
of cartoon character 'SpongeBob Square Pants'. Nancy and Tom
kicked the evening off telling stories and jokes, sometimes
in their normal voices, sometimes in their cartoon voices,
and more often then not, shifting back and forth between their
'real' voice, and their more famous character voices.
Nancy (Bart) and Tom (SpongeBob) kick the evening off
In the back of the property, the 'poker room' was set up.
There were 15 tables in all, and the demand was such that
they had to take alternates for the $500 + rebuys event. The
mix of players was what you might expect at an event like
this. Poker pros, Hollywood heavyweights, and 'average joes'
all sat down for an evening of poker. Some of the top names
in the poker world were there, including Jennifer Harman and
Marco Traniello, Men 'The Master' Nguyen, Sammy Farha, Kenna
James, Jamie Gold, 2006 Ladies Champ Mary Jones, Barbara Enright,
Marsha Waggoner, and Todd Brunson.
Or, was Todd there? Well, his stack was there, but due to
a mix up in dates, Todd found out the event was happening
only a couple hours before. Reportedly, Todd tried to hop
a plane the moment he found out, but couldn't find a flight,
so he made the four hour drive at the drop of a hat, arriving
about an hour into play. Floorperson Justin Huxley had been
given permission to rebuy to Todd's stack as he saw fit –
all on Todd's dime – and 'the Hux' used that privilege
early and often.
The poker staff from the Commerce Casino donated their time
to deal and administrate the tournament, under the watchful
eye of Commerce Tournament Director Cheri Dokken. The event
was organized by Nancy's people with the poker tournament
being produced by Annie Van Bebber of PokerCares.
Chips were flying, the term 'rebuy' was being heard a lot,
and lots of money was being raised for a good cause. Meanwhile,
over on the stage items were being auctioned off, and raffle
tickets were being called out to lucky winners. Speaking of
lucky, despite there being hundreds of people at this event,
and thousands of raffle tickets sold, one guy at my table
won three of the ten packages being raffled off. I learned
the man in question produced infomercials for a living –
let's hope his next 'magic blade', or 'Miracle Scalp' is as
lucky as his raffle tickets were on this night.
The tables slowly combined, with the poker pros, and Hollywood
figures like Brad Garrett and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from
the Fox show '24') a distant memory. When we reached the final
table, one familiar poker face was left standing. 2006 WSOP
Champ Jamie Gold made the final table, finishing fifth. For
his trouble, Jamie won a super satellite seat at the WSOP
next year. Players chided Gold with comments like 'Good luck
in the super, Jamie'.
The winner was not a pro poker player, but someone very familiar
to Nancy Cartwright. Jack Thomas, who produces a Disney Channel
show called 'The Replacements' that Nancy voices the lead
character for, took down the tournament, and picked up some
Overall, a good time was had by all, and a lot of money was
raised for a great cause.
Animation Icon Launches New “Toon”
On Nascar Big Screens And For Webcast
LOS ANGELES, CA – August 7, 2007
On the heels of the $100 million opening week of “The
Simpsons Movie,” Nancy Cartwright, the iconic voice
of Bart Simpson, announced the inception of a new cartoon
series slated to air on the “big screens” during
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series events across the country.
The series, entitled Haley’s SportsScopes, is the
latest venture for Cartwright’s SportsBlast franchise
following production of the web series The Kellys
and its FOX affiliate spin-off Brenda’s RaceScopes.
Haley Johnson, star of the animated series, made her NASCAR
debut live on the Nextel Vision “big screens”
at Daytona International Speedway before the Pepsi 400, and
will appear again August 12th at Watkins Glen International
Raceway in upstate New York.
The series will also air on International Speedway Corporation’s
Internet site www.racingone.com
and on www.SportsBlast.com.
The SportsScopes ™ franchise delivers topical branded
entertainment to fans of various professional sports leagues,
providing horoscopes to create a funny and provocative take
on predictions of who will win or lose. “Sometimes she
picks them and sometimes she doesn’t, but it’s
all in good fun,” said series producer Peter Kjenaas.
The series features voice-acting superstar Kath Soucie (The
Replacements, Pirates of the Caribbean: World’s End,
Curious George, Futurama, Kim Possible) as Haley, and is executive
produced by Nancy Cartwright. “We’ve streamlined
our production line until we can deliver these fully animated
shorts in just a couple days,” said Cartwright. “Look
for lots more of Haley and friends appearing across the sports
world and beyond.”
PALS Winner Set to Take
on Ten Thousand
She won her seat at the PALS charity poker event last September
by winning another event hosted by Nancy’s non-profit
company Happy House. Then, in September, she took out the
field of poker aficionados once again to win a seat at the
2007 World Series of Poker Main Event.
In 2006, the field of pros, novices, first-timers, and celebrities
was well over 8,000 strong. This year promises to surpass
that number. So who is this two-time winner poised to try
and take out a much larger field of competitors? Rachel Cleverley.
On July 8th, the final day of a three part opening round,
Rachel will set her chips down and play with the big boys.
Not that she is intimidated. Excitement seems to be the primary
emotion with about a week left until she plays. What could
be more exciting than proving yourself on the biggest stage
in the world?
GOOD LUCK RACHEL. We’ll all be cheering for you!
To Infineon and Beyond
Raceway President Steve Page hosted Nancy for a weekend of
race-fan fun at the Save Mart 350 that runs annually at the
premiere NASCAR road course in Sonoma, CA.
Friday the 22nd of June, Nancy flew up with Cartwright Entertainment
President, Peter Kjenaas, and stock car driver and trainer
Kenton Grey to attend the fifth annual Grand Marshall’s
Banquet for charity.
500 of the wine country’s finest circled tables in
the delightful environs of Cline Cellars ready for some entertainment
and having no idea that “Bart” was in the house.
Following Steve Page’s initial acknowledgements to the
winery, the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities
and SMI track executives Bruton Smith and Humpy Wheeler, among
others, the show got under way.
Tommy Smothers, a long time resident of Sonoma, joined Steve
on stage and after a moment of banter, Nancy switched on the
mike from the back of the house and crashed the party as Bart.
Once everyone knew it wasn’t a real party crasher, Nancy
joined them on stage and was Tommy’s “straight
man” for his legendary Yoyo Tricks Demonstration. It
brought down the house.
This was followed by hilarious banter with Michael Waltrip
and Kyle Petty only to be followed up by none other than the
most prolific NFL receiver of all time, Grand Marshall, Jerry
The remainder of the weekend Nancy and her production team
went from skybox, to hospitality tent, to the garages and
then off to evening parties in the RVs where they shared
king crab, wine and lively conversation with a host of new
friends including master chef Guy Fieri and Pixar’s
It was non-stop fun and the race was a nail biter with Juan
Pablo Montoya crossing the finish line on fumes.
A big thank you to Steve Page and his extraordinary staff
for a weekend that Nancy will not soon forget. “I’m
just going to leave my bags packed for next year,” said
Happy House Joins SFV Salute to Parks
Over the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd Nancy, Rose Goss and
the Happy House team handed out free The Way to Happiness®
booklets from their booth at the 25th annual San Fernando
Valley Salute to Recreation.
Nancy was asked by event coordinator Dick Ashault to be the
Mistress of Ceremonies for this “fun for the whole family”
event and was honored to hand out citizenship awards to many
worthy local recipients. The event featured top-notch live
music, rides for all ages, terrific food and many booths catering
to all interests with games, arts, crafts and information
on non-profit organizations.
The Happy House team conducted surveys on its StreetWise
Challenge, a new initiative that is dedicated to providing
positive, alternative messages for teens who are “on
the fence” when it comes to gangs. You can find out
more about this at www.streetwisevideo.org.
Happy House also conducted the lively raffle of two “Bart
Baskets” that drew over 200 entrants. The lucky winners
were Alexis Ruiz and Gavin Poncher who received personal calls
with the good news from Nancy and, by “Springfield express,”
the baskets themselves.
Congratulations to the winners and to all who attended this