Too Richie for words

Becky Fenger Fenger PointingScottsdale, Arizona, is poised to garner the kind of national attention not seen since the Pink Taco opened in town and gave Mayor Mary Manross feminine heartburn.

According to a local news article, there are plans for a new reality TV show based in Scottsdale with the working title of "Hot Desert Nights." This one will star Scottsdale resident Nik Richie and his wife, Shayne Lamas, daughter of actor Lorenzo Lamas. If all goes well, it will fire up in the fall and air on a cable network in the winter to – according to the producer – attract viewers who are freezing in Buffalo.

Let's take a refresher course on Nik Richie, shall we? His real name is Hooman Karamian and he is the creator of, a popular (there's no accounting for taste) website that posts photos of clubbing and chugging athletes, half (or more) naked partiers, and drunken patrons either smiling, vomiting or relieving themselves in public. Then he and his smart-alecky friends mercilessly ridicule the subjects, but mostly the women, especially if they have any more body fat than an anorexic model.

Nik Richie
  Nik Richie
Naturally, something this worthy has expanded to dozens of cities and colleges. Richie splits his time between Scottsdale and Coto de Caza, California, and his efforts between looking for deals to produce a sneaker and giving out hugs and autographs to his adoring fans.

Not everyone is such a fan. His Web site was first launched as, and ended up causing somewhat of a campaign issue for now-Congressman Ben Quayle who posted on the filthy site not that long ago. And I doubt publicist Jason Rose would make Richie a client. And his postings reportedly contributed to the disbanding of the Arizona State University cheerleading squad. Now you can understand why Megan Finnerty of the Arizona Republic named Richie one of the Valley's 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008. I know I'm spellbound.

There's a primal serenity to people who have no sense of shame. When Richie was charged with reckless driving and extreme DUI several years back, he flaunted what most would hide and posted his own mug shot on his site, even blogging about his days spent out in Sheriff Arpaio's Tent City. All this before he hit age 30.

Doron Ofir, the casting director for "Hot Desert Nights," supposedly has a target list of 50 Valley of the Sun residents he is aiming to interview by invitation, but the casting call is also open to the public. The folks he wants to send in applications are described thusly: "Where they go, other people follow. But they need to have the personality to carry a TV show. And they should be relatively young. Think 'The Hills" but throw in the Kardashians."

Here's where the whole thing gets rich, so to speak. Ofir uses Richie and his wife Lamas as examples of the type of cast members he's looking for. He describes them as "representations of local royalty, young and vibrant and with their fingers on the pulse of pop culture." (I guess Mark Goudeau isn't available.)

I have a hard time equating pop stars with royalty, or measuring worthiness per column inches in People magazine. As I listened to First Lady Michelle Obama's effusive praise of Beyoncé at the Billboard Music Awards, I couldn't help but think she might have chosen a better role model for young teens. (On the other, she could have chosen Rihanna or any number of singers who can't keep their hands off themselves on stage.)

Maybe beautiful Scottsdale will get lucky and the show will never come to fruition.

Remember Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of Scottsdale?" It fizzled before it really got started. That sometimes happens to masterpieces. I know the feeling.