SELLER: Dennis Miller
LOCATION: Santa Barbara, CA
PRICE: Price Upon Request (previously reported to be $17,500,000)
SIZE: 10,000-ish square feet,
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen giblets, contrary to popular opinion we are still "officially" partaking in our extended Thanksgiving holiday break and, more importantly, we are more than a little worse for wear from last night's early dinner of tomato bits and champagne that ran obscenely late with our visiting from Alaska gal pal Sheila Sinn and her baby brother Vard C. Camp. So cut us some slack, okay?
In June of 2010 Emmy winning comedian cum kind of conservative radio talk show host Dennis Miller and his long time former model wifey Carolyn "Ali" Espley listed their fully restored, updated and upgraded mansion in Montecito, CA with a reported asking price of $17,500,000
Mister Miller started up his ladder of fame in the mid-1980s when he appeared on Star Search and lost to the spectacularly unfunny Sinbad. It wasn't long before he took over the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live. After jumping the SNL ship in the early 1990s he helmed an eponymous late-night talk show on the tee-vee and by the early 2000s he'd taken a job as a color commentator for Monday Night Football. In the mid-naughts he began a long relationship with Fox News on which he gives his opinion on things on their various punditry programs. His primary gig nowadays, as far as Your Mama can tell, is a 3-hour syndicated talk radio program called The Dennis Miller Show on which he chit-chats about political, cultural and social issues and plays host to a variety of guests from Ohio lefty liberal congressman Dennis Kucinich to that smug and pugnacious Ann Coulter ladee who causes Your Mama's sphincter to seize up with anxiety at the mere mention of her name.
According to previous reports and property records Mister and Missus Miller picked up their Montecito estate–technically and from the tax man's point of view located in Santa Barbara and not Montecito–way back in 1993 for an undisclosed amount of moolah. Your Mama thinks it's pretty safe to assume the cost for acquiring the property was far far far less than the seventeen and some million they're (allegedly) asking. Anyhoodles poodles, the 10,000-ish square foot house was lucky enough to be designed and built in 1895 by prominent and adroit Gilded Age architect Stanford White part of whose bizness was to conjure and create opulent homes for shockingly rich individuals. He's also the man (mostly or partly) responsible for designing the iconic Washington Square Arch in New York City's Greenwich Village and both the Metropolitan and Century clubs, also in New York City.
Listing information indicates the historic and elegant 2-story mansion with 8 bedrooms and 9 terliting facilities was restored by Mister and Missus Miller in a 1994 gut renovation that dutifully retained the masterful configuration of rooms and maintained the original architectural detail. The public rooms include but are not limited to an impress the guests style entrance hall, graciously scaled formal living room with fireplace and a bank of French doors that open to a planted terrace, an intimately sized and bookshelf lined library with a second fireplace, a banquet hall sized formal dining room outfitted with Chippendale chairs, an antique crystal chandelier and a second slightly less formal eating area tucked into a window wrapped nook.
There are exposed beams painted white in the large gore-may eat-in kitchen that has mahogany flooring, white raised panel cabinetry, a Mercedes-sized marble topped work island/breakfast bar, dee-luxe built in side by side fridge and freezer and a Dutch door that opens to a side terrace. We don't particularly care for the generic and upscale banality of this particular cookery but we do love us a Dutch door, children.
In 2002, according to listing information, Mister and Missus Miller embarked on a second renovation of the shingled Colonial style residence that included an enlargement of the family room with river rock fireplace and built-in banquette style eating area. The master bedroom suite was enlarged and includes a bed chamber with fireplace separated from a private sitting room by French doors, custom closets and and a vast partially paneled pooper with mahogany herring bone pattern floors, fireplace, rose velvet covered window seat and matching free standing chaise where Mister and Missus Miller probably sit when they clip each other's toenails, twin free-standing vanities, and a gigantic soaking tub for two set smack in the center of the damn room room.
Deep, rocking chair style covered porches lined with columns and flower boxes ring the lower level of the house and transition the elegant but not entirely stuffy interior spaces to the expansive grounds that include 3.76 acres of unnaturally green lawns, beautifully laced mature trees and lush flower gardens. At one end of the house a heated swimming pool and spa complex includes built-in lounge seating, a large stone terrace heated by a massive free standing river rock outdoor fireplace, and a cabana with fully equipped kitchen, barbecue and a poolside pooper. Elsewhere on the grounds are a tennis court, sunken trampoline and a "whimsical" tree house.
Just beyond the swimming pool a separate "Recreation House" built in 1917 has a private gated drive, sunken living room with original stone fireplace, and two bedrooms perfect for overflow guests who tend to make too much noise farting and fornicating.
The stunning Stanford White designed mansion with its separate "Recreation House" isn't, as it turns out, the only old house Mister and Missus Miller own in Montecito. They also own the French Mediterranean style villa across the road. Although information Your Mama dug up on the interweb shows that the listing expired in mid-November of 2010, Mister and Missus Miller had this second Mediterranean manse on the market with an asking price of $2,500,000.
As best as Your Mama can tell, Mister and Missus Miller scooped up this second residence in June of 1993 for an undisclosed amount of money...or at least an amount of money we were unable to suss out.
The main house, according to listing information, has two master suites plus staff quarters. A fully detached guest house, situated across the motor court from the main house includes an office area and two additional and good sized guest rooms that share a single pooper.
The tile roofed and wood shuttered residence was built in 1958 at the tail end of a long gated driveway and includes a large entry with magnificent black and white marble checked floor, a paneled formal living room with fireplace, blood red formal dining room that opens into a sun room with picture windows, sky lights, and fireplace, and a country kitchen. A sparsely furnished family room sort of space has built-in bookshelves, a wall mounted flat screen tee-vee and a bizarre and not particularly cohesive collection of traditional upholstered pieces paired with a chunky and very disco Lucite coffee table that, quite honestly, would look 47 times better up in Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's family room.
Both of the upstairs master suites have tree top views and at least one opens out to a covered terrace with views over the back yard and towards the Pacific Ocean. The swimming pool, surrounded by dense foliage, is a swoon-worthy circular affair although we could very well do without the pair of rooster figurines that stand guard over the steps into the pool.
To be honest chickens, Your Mama don't know a circus tent from a book store so we really can't say what purpose this house serves for Mister and Missus Miller. Perhaps it's another guest house. Or maybe his or her parents occupy the place. Or maybe they just rent it out to someone with the dough-ray-me to live in Montecito but not the desire to actually own a house in Montecito.
Celebrities and filthy rich big bizness types ooze out of every crevice of über upscale Montecito and some of Mister and Missus Miller's nearby neighbors include tennis ace Jimmy Connors, movie producer Steve Tisch (Forrest Gump, American History X, Snatch), actor Michael Keaton, and the queen of Montecito herself Oprah Winfrey, but of course her $50,000,000 spread is so damn big that she's neighbors with practically everyone on Montecito.
listing photos: Coldwell Banker Previews International