The traditional joke bets between city officials whose sports teams are meeting in a championship hit a high note this week when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti challenged New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to a song and a hot dog on Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the outcome of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final. If the Los Angeles Kings win, de Blasio will have to go on the show, which tapes in Garcetti’s old Hollywood council district, and sing “I Love L.A.,” the slightly mocking Randy Newman chestnut more typically associated with the Kings’ Staples Center neighbors the NBA Lakers. If the New York Rangers win, Garcetti will have to sing “New York, New York,” the Kander & Ebb-penned classic that Frank Sinatra basically owns.
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The loser also will have to provide Kimmel’s audience that night with hot dogs. If Garcetti has to pay up, the dogs will come from Pink’s, the eternally busy La Brea Avenue stand. If it’s de Blasio, they’ll come from Gray’s Papaya, a New York institution that now has a Hollywood outpost.
Garcetti might have suckered de Blasio into the bet, by the way. Garcetti is a member of SAG-AFTRA, a former child actor who continued to do roles from time to time even while he was on the Los Angeles City Council, often playing an elected official. He’s also an accomplished piano player who composes show tunes for fun and performed onstage in October with campaign supporter Moby during the latter’s three-night run at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre. On top of that, the favored Kings beat the Rangers in Game 1 last night in overtime, 3-2, in a game that led the night’s TV ratings. On the other hand, de Blasio clearly won the first faceoff between the two men and their cities, in the fight over which would be home for the successor to CBS’ Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. Score that one for de Blasio and New York as CBS decided to keep the show there for Stephen Colbert. With L.A. payback in mind, is it time to for singing lessons for Hizzoner de Blasio? Who do you think will be singing for Kimmel’s audience in a couple of weeks?