While TMZ is devoted to cataloguing and mocking stars' screw ups, it turns out the site doesn't find being the butt of the joke so amusing.
Last month Guy Cimbalo and Jean-Paul Tremblay, friends who work in Brooklyn as writers and consultants, started the blog TMZ for KIDZ. The parody site mimics TMZ's style and tone so perfectly, you might think TMZ really is targeting a younger audience. A post on why Britney doesn't dance as well as she used to even asks a certain doctor who doesn't treat the stars to break down her condition for youngsters:
In an exclusive interview with TMZ for KIDZ, Dr. Drew Pinsky explains Brit's terpsichorean turkey. "To put it in laytween terms, Britney's just old," Dr. Drew tells us. "Tweens and teens may have noticed that their parents aren't as physically adroit as they are - it's the same thing going on with Brit. She turns thirty in December. And as people get older, it just becomes harder to do the kinds of things tweens and teens find easy."
Multiple Spears sources have confirmed Dr. Drew's diagnosis. "Yup, thirty in December," one insider tells us. "It's one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood. Everyone knows it's happening, we just have no idea how to stop it."
The site reports fake stories on teen and child celebrities, from Justin Bieber to Suri Cruise. Tremblay tells ABC News:
"Ostensibly, the idea is that it's OK for us to dwell on who Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson is dating ... So at what point do we say it's not OK to care about this sixth grader dating this fifth grader, even if they're famous?"
The only problem with the site is that (as devoted Midweek Madness readers know) the tabloid media already goes after Hollywood's youngest stars. Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter has never really screamed at her for refusing to let her go on a Legoland ride, as TMZ for KIDZ reports in the post, "Apple Martin: 'Mummy Needs to Chill the F—- Out'" but if she did, TMZ would definitely be all over it. Though she's only six, Apple is already facing off with tots like Honor Warren and Violet Affleck in the tabloids' regular "Who Wore It Best?: Kids Edition" features.
Reports from both sites on Kingston Rossdale "hitting on" a little girl are nearly identical — except TMZ for KIDZ's puns are funnier. TMZ's post reads:
Kingston Rossdale — Pickup Artist
You're never too young to pick up chicks, at least when you're a playa like Gwen Stefani's son, Kingston.
The 4-year-old rocked a wife beater as he made his move on a pretty young thing at an L.A. park.
TMZ for KIDZ says:
Kingston Rossdale Checks His Mate
No doubt about it, the almost five-years-old spawn of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale is already a lady killer! Check out this kid cougar totally putting the moves on him.
The post goes on to joke that Kingston is "planning to give out gift bags with Tracy Anderson DVD's and a month's free membership at an uber-exclusive L.A. gym" at his upcoming birthday party. Both stories are silly and untrue, but at least TMZ for KIDZ is funny.
Though, TMZ doesn't agree. The site sent a cease-and-desist letter to TMZ for KIDZ' server company, saying it violates the trademarks and intellectual property of TMZ. The site was briefly shut down, but now it's moved to another host, and Cimbalo says they have no intention of stopping, as it's clearly a satire. And he isn't upset that TMZ hasn't embraced its imitator. "They've carved out their own unique corner of hell, and I guess you've got to admire them for that," he says.