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October 2, 2014

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La Toya’s dog? Busey’s rantings? Michaels’ ‘do rag? Jillette says bring it on

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Opportunity Village

After advancing to another round on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Penn Jillette visits Opportunity Village to deliver a check worth $40,000 earned from his wins on the show.

Jillette at Opportunity Village

After advancing to another round on Launch slideshow »

Penn Jillette asks, “You want the scoop?”

Yes, I say! Scoop away!

“That little dog La Toya Jackson has, that Pomeranian, has the biggest (male organ) you will ever see on a dog that size.”

Dog’s name is Prince, and he is royally blessed.

Jillette speaks of Jackson’s oddly endowed canine because these two (Jillette and Jackson) are members of the cast of “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” set to premiere in March. Taping begins Monday in New York, and the cast was announced Friday morning on NBC’s “Today” by host Matt Lauer and Donald Trump.

Along with Jackson, Jillette is joined by past celebrity contestants Bret Michaels, Claudia Jordan, Gary Busey, Lisa Rinna, Lil Jon, Dee Snyder, Dennis Rodman, Brande Roderick, Stephen Baldwin, Trace Adkins, Marilu Henner and Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.

Jillette was a contestant in last season’s “Celebrity Apprentice” won by Arsenio Hall and memorable (at least by Jillette) for Busey’s freewheeling rants. Jillette is again raising money for his favored charity, Opportunity Village of Las Vegas.

In his seventh-place finish from last year, Jillette won $50,000 for the charity. Another $250,000 was donated by Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Rio, which is the home of Penn & Teller’s stage show.

Jillette said he was asked before the final show of last season if he would be willing to take part in the upcoming “All-Star” version of the program.

“It’s actually rather complicated,” he said. “They asked me, and I said yes. I thought I’d go back to work on Donald’s Farm, as (Bob) Dylan would say.”

Jillette is primed for conflict and already taking the verbal shiv to fellow contestant Michaels, the frontman for Poison who is the only former champion in the cast (he won the third season of “Celebrity Apprentice”).

“I guess they’ve already decided that Bret Michaels has won, and he’s already decided that, too,” Jillette said. “I say, ‘Take off your ’do rag and get out.’ ”

Jillette said the series is worth watching if only to observe the unfettered musings of Busey.

“Fifteen years from now, when people are studying these types of shows, all they will care about is Gary Busey,” Jillette said. “He’s doing something totally unfiltered that a lot of people are not doing now. On TV, he comes across as silly, but he really is that way … It’s like Allen Ginsberg said, ‘Stand naked before the people.’ That’s what Busey is doing.”

Jillette says the timing of the show coincides with a trip his performing partner, Teller, has planned for the Galapagos Islands (the “atheist mecca,” as Jillette notes). Teller is working on version of “The Tempest” to stage at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

A prolific writer, Jillette also is thumping the release of his new book, “Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday,” which is due to be released Nov. 13, as the taping of the show is in full process.

As the title reminds, Jillette is aggressively atheist. He doesn’t believe in God, but after encountering La Toya, he believes in … dog.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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