Ben Gleib was sitting and talking with Paris Hilton in a nightclub when, whamo, he was sucker-punched in the nose.
This was in April at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. Police charged Paris’ friend Brandon Davis with battery and possession of cocaine. (Davis’ nickname: Greasy Bear. TMZ curiously identified him as a “celebrity director.”)
Gleib — the comedian and regular on “Chelsea Lately” — still isn’t sure if Davis was even the culprit, because it happened so fast, so they have resolved their differences amicably, he says.
“It’s all part of the adventure. That’s why I live in Hollywood,” says Gleib, who performs tonight and Saturday as part of the Palms’ Playboy Comedy Lounge.
“When you’re not living in the mean streets of Detroit, your second-best option is to be at an overindulgent, insane, hyperactive club staring at a man in a panda suit and have your nose broken by a man running at you from the left.”
All Gleib will tell me is the reason for the punch was that some guy, whoever it was, didn’t want Gleib sitting next to Hilton.
But Gleib didn’t have it coming. He wasn’t creeping on Hilton.
“No, no!” he says. “I was just talking to her.”
He chooses to look on the bright side.
“One good thing about having your nose broken at a nightclub is, you instantly feel drunker, which saves on alcohol costs.
“And when you finally get released from the hospital at 8 that morning, you can read about yourself on TMZ.
“It’s a win-win situation, if by ‘win-win’ you mean ‘lose-lose, horrible evening.’ ”
Hilton didn’t send flowers to the hospital or call Gleib.
“But I did see her at a party about two months later, and she touched my shoulder. So it’s all worthwhile.
“Her main quality is giving, I think.”
Greasy Bear pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and no contest to battery.
Gleib’s nose remains out of whack.
“I’m not saying I want to get punched more, but if it happens, you get two to three weeks of vicodin and hydrocodone,” he says.
“So yeah, you might have a messed-up face, but you get addicted to pills also. Again: another win-win.”
Gleib says it’s been a bad month for rape news.
There’s the Penn State scandal involving an assistant coach and child molestation.
“I feel like you shouldn’t want to win that bad,” Gleib says. “How good of a coach are you, really, when you need to keep rapists around to keep that winning edge?”
The Penn State case underlines the point that people really like to win at football, he says.
“They say football is warlike. Interestingly, even in war, I don’t think it’s acceptable to rape young boys, so people are taking it more seriously than war.
“You know you’re making a mistake when your sport has now surpassed the intensity of war crimes.”
Then there’s Herman Cain. He’s not accused of rape but of sexual harassment.
“His excuses are completely outlandish. He’s always like: I’m Herman Cain, and I’ve never in my life done anything wrong,” Gleib says.
“When you say you’ve never in your life done anything wrong, you’ve overshot by a lot.”
And finally, there’s ex-Las Vegas student Mariah Yeater, who claimed underage singer Justin Bieber knocked her up. Bieber denies it.
“If it’s true, then she statutory-raped him,” Gleib says.
“You’re like a financial wizard of rape if you can rape somebody and then get monthly payments for the next 18 years. I mean, bravo to your legal defense team,” he says.
If all of these unseemly rape stories have got you down, Gleib has an idea.
“My theory of how we can wrap this up in a nice, tight bow is if Herman Cain becomes the next coach of Penn State … and for their next opening game next year, the halftime show — Justin Bieber and his statutory rapist.”
In the PR-stunt land of America we live in right now, that sounds only half-far-fetched.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.Preview
10 p.m. today, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday
The Lounge at the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road