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01.13.09

 SHOW PREP JANUARY 13, 2009

 

HOLLYWOOD 411 . . .

 

Comic Kevin James and his wife just had a baby girl, and like a number of celeb couples who preceded them, gave her an ‘uncommon’ name. The littlest James will go by the name Shea. Daddy is apparently a huge Mets fan and named the little girl after the recently demolished Shea Stadium. Shea is much better than Zuma or Buster! (Perez Hilton)

 

Teen superstar Miley Cyrus touted for a new job as a red-carpet fashion commentator during the Golden Globe awards on Sunday night. The singer/actress was invited to the Los Angeles bash as a nominee for the song she and country rocker Jeffrey Steele wrote for the movie Bolt. And accompanied onto the red carpet by her father Billy Ray, Cyrus confessed her awards show obsession. The Hannah Montana star said, “I love fashion. I’ve been standing here commenting on everyone’s dresses.”  (Teen Hollywood)

 

Jennifer Lopez and hubby Marc Anthony have found a way to bask in Barack Obama‘s glow – even though they didn’t publicly support him until after he got elected. Anthony agreed to sing and Lopez said she would “speak” at the Latino Inaugural Ball in DC on Jan. 18, two nights before the swearing-in. But some Latinos for Obama are furious that the wealthy couple didn’t support the Democratic nominee until he’d won. One power player called them “vile opportunists for worming themselves into anything Obama related even though they had nothing to do with his win.” According to the source, Anthony refused to perform for Obama during a crucial get-out-the-Latino-vote event in Orlando, Fla., two weeks before the election and Lopez refused to endorse Obama unless he called her himself, which he didn’t. The Orlando event went on without them and featured Bill Clinton and Jimmy Smits. The Latino Ball, at Union Station, is scheduled to attract a list of boldface names, including Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama and “Ugly Betty” actor Tony Plana. Some Dems are also upset that Lopez and Anthony didn’t donate. “They haven’t given him, his campaign or the inauguration a cent,” a source said – likening the couple to Sean Combs, whose reps tried to procure inauguration tickets for him for free. But a friend of Lopez and Anthony said, “Unlike Puffy, they are doing something – they are performing. And lots of people, including Rihanna and Mariah Carey, are performing and didn’t donate. A lot of celebrities are showing up as guests of magazines or political people and not paying anything or doing anything. Marc and Jennifer shouldn’t be reviled for that.” A rep for the couple didn’t return calls. (Page Six)

 

Now that Madonna isn’t as interested in him anymore, Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez is playing the famous-faces field. He got hit on in Parrot Cay over New Year’s by Donna Karan, and last week he took Kate Hudson out on a date. Our spy says they had a three-hour meal at the Lure Fishbar with friends and were very cozy. Later, A-Rod went with Hudson to the Rose Bar, where they met up with her friend Ron Burkle. Hudson, currently starring in “Bride Wars,” has been single since Lance Armstrong dumped her. Said her rep: “Kate was at Lure with a group of 10 people.” (Page Six)

 

A day after their Malibu wedding, newlyweds Fergie and Josh Duhamel arrived Sunday at Los Angeles International airport around 2 p.m. to leave for their honeymoon. A source tells Usmagazine.com they’re headed to a tropical locale.  At the airport, photographers asked the singer (who flashed her wedding bands) if kids were in the works. “I’m pregnant with twins,” she cracked. Fergie and Duhamel tied the knot under magnolias filled with white roses Saturday at an ultra-private ceremony at the Church Estates Vineyards in Malibu, Calif., her manager confirmed to Us early Sunday morning. “The Black Eyed Peas were all there,” he said. “The ceremony was incredible! And they’re still partying!” (US Weekly)

 

How were things at the Jolie-Pitt household the morning of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards “Same as every morning: chaotic and messy!” Brad Pitt said on the red carpet. Both he and Jolie were up for awards – Pitt for his leading dramatic role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Jolie for her leading dramatic role in Changeling. “We haven’t even talked about it yet – we haven’t,” he said when asked about their nods. The two — who went home empty-handed — were affectionate throughout the show. When Steven Spielberg was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, they stood together, whispering in each other’s ears. Jolie — in Atelier Versace — also rubbed Pitt’s back, a witness said, and he kept his arm around her as he sipped a Heineken beer. At the end of Spielberg’s movie montage, Jolie looked at Pitt and said, “That was great!” The Golden Globes weren’t the only major event for the couple: On Jan. 8, they celebrated daughter Zahara’s 4th birthday. “It was great,” Jolie told Usmagazine.com of the bash. “It was princesses, lots of pink, just easy, you know?” (US Weekly)

 

Before presenting Vicky Christina Barcelona with best comedy, Sacha Baron Cohen joked at Sunday’s Golden Globes about how the recession was affecting Hollywood. Victoria Beckham hasn’t eaten for days, he cracked, and Charlie Sheen has been forced to have sex without paying for it. But he drew boos when he ripped on Madonna. “Madonna has had to get rid of one of her personal assistants,” Cohen said. “Our heart goes out to you, Guy Ritchie.” He wasn’t the only celeb to give a quirky speech. Tracey Morgan cracked up the crowd while accepting the award for best comedy series for 30 Rock. “Tina Fey and I had an agreement,” he said. “If Barack Obama won, I would speak for the show from now on. Welcome to post-racial America!”  Fey — who won best leading actress in a comedy series — later brushed off all of her online critics while accepting her award. “If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet,” she told the crowd. “You can find a lot of people who don’t like you.” She then listed screen names of some of her online haters and told them all to “suck it.” (US Weekly)

 

Hugh Laurie still has warm memories of ex-girlfriend Emma Thompson. The “House” actor told Playboy of his time as Thompson’s beau: “Those were blissful days, I must say. We couldn’t even imagine a life in Hollywood back then. Hollywood was as distant and impossible as El Dorado. It was all about fun. Watching Emma was like watching the sun or wind or some other elemental force. Her talent even then was inescapable.” If acting ever fails him, Laurie – who’s been married for 20 years – could write romance novels. (Page Six)

 

On his KIIS-FM radio show Monday, Ryan Seacrest spoke out about Angelina Jolie dissing him on the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards. Seacrest had gotten up next to the actress and beau Brad Pitt, hoping to score an interview on E!’s pre-show. “Hi, guys. Brad? Angelina?” he said, but they ignored his advance and brushed by him.  Seacrest’s take on the incident? “I don’t think Angelina thinks I’m that important,” he said on his show Monday. “I don’t think I’m top of mind for Brad and Angelina. I honestly don’t believe they’d know who I was if I walked over there.” When guest Perez Hilton told Seacrest that that’s impossible, as he hosts the No. 1 show American Idol, the TV personality shot back: “Yeah…but they live in France!” Jolie and Pitt did stop for NBC’s Billy Bush, but Seacrest said, “there’s an NBC deal there. NBC hosted the Globes, and they have a deal to talk to the people who come to the Globes. “Here’s what I realized when I went down there,” Seacrest went on. “I realized quickly that it’s against the rules to walk down onto the carpet from the platform. “Then we went back down there and caught up with Tom Cruise, who I think is a terrific guy. I think he’s really cool,” he said. “By the way, have you seen his skin tone up close lately? You should!” Seacrest clashed with Jolie before: At the 2006 Golden Globes, he asked her what she fed her children that day and she icily replied ” Cereal — we made cereal.”  He later called her “cold” for being so unresponsive. Turns out, Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was on her death bed at the time. (US Weekly)

 

Forget the Super Bowl party, it’s time to plan a wedding. Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady are making some major post-season plans after getting engaged in Los Angeles over the weekend, PEOPLE has learned.  The New England Patriots quarterback, 31, proposed with a diamond solitaire to the Brazilian supermodel, 28, on Friday. “He asked and she accepted,” a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE. Family and friends were informed over the weekend. An official announcement, as well as preliminary wedding details, are being planned by Bündchen and her closest friends this week. “The couple is discussing a huge fashionista event in the spring or a more intimate and quicker ceremony in Costa Rica, where Gisele has a home,” the source adds. First Marriage for Both While engagement rumors flew – and were denied – before Christmas, the January engagement will mark the first marriage for both. Bündchen’s agent told PEOPLE, “We don’t comment on our clients’ private lives.” Though Bündchen had ended her longtime relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005, Brady was romantically involved when the couple met. Shortly after, he broke off his relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.  In August 2007, Moynahan gave birth to Brady’s son, John Edward Thomas. (People)

 

As we mentioned earlier this month, 23 year-old Lily Allen was dating 45 year-old multi-millionaire at gallery owner, Jay Jopling. The two were even spotted together in the Caribbean vacationing during the holidays and acting all happy and in love. Well, the same way Lily can’t keep her career on top, it seems she can’t keep men either! Reports now claim that the two have split ways. According to the British media, the “happy couple” have split called it quits after less than a month of being together. A source close to Allen says, “It’s all over – it was basically just a holiday romance. Lily is going away for a year on tour, so it’s unlikely she will have much time for a relationship. They have had a lot of fun together, but Lily has said it’s finished.” Sucks for Lily. Especially considering that she was trying to get with Jopling for a while. Another source said, “Lily had been on a mission to get Jay for more than four months. She never normally sticks to a diet or weight-loss plan but she was so determined to get Jay she managed it. She even changed her hair just for Jay. She loves the sort of circles he moves in and she was pretty in awe of his lifestyle.” We’re sure her dad, comedian Keith Allen, is happy. Jopling  was friends with him!  The source adds, “Keith wasn’t happy they were dating. But Lily had the most amazing time with Jay in St Barts. He introduced her to some very cool people.” A rep for Allen has just said “She is very well and busy promoting her new record.” (Perez Hilton)

 

We bet the current keepers of the Britney Spears kingdom, Larry Rudolph and Daddy Spears , aren’t happy about this! Johnny Wright, a ‘former’ music manager for Brit Brit, $poke to OK! magazine about the pop tart. His interview appears in the latest issue.  Here’s what he had to say: “A comeback is not what I wish for Britney. What I wish for her is to settle down and find real happiness. All her essential relationships have been torn apart. She’s been divorced twice, she doesn’t have custody of her kids, she’s being pushed back into being a money machine.  I want her to be happy in her heart, then go back to the business because she wants to, not because people are convincing her she has to, or that it would be good therapy for her. It’s too soon for her to be a part of a manufactured machine that is pushing her to have to be a success. It was very telling when I found out Wade and Andre were no longer with the tour. They helped create the best tours we ever had with Britney. Wade is a really good influence and understands her. When I heard he was no longer involved, I knew there was a problem, and it is probably just the beginning of more problems to come. Britney has to rival Madonna out there, but Madonna really wants to do it. Seeing Britney do it by the numbers isn’t a good sign. It means she might not want it as much as those around her do. In the beginning, in her mind, she could stop at any time. Now she’s thinking, ‘I’ve got 170 people on payroll, my dad quit his job, my mom relies totally on me and I can’t take a break. I can’t go back to my friends in Kentwood. I can’t step back… that’s tough for an adult, never mind a kid… When a parent becomes an employee of a child, they worry about getting fired, so they stop being parents in order not to get laid off.  Her career can wait. Now it should be about spending time with her kids. That’s where she’ll bring herself back to herself. But she’s gearing up for much more time away from them while on the road. Even if she’s gone for a month, the growth of those boys during that period is significant. She won’t see that and will really miss that. Those are moments she’s not going to get back.” It’s hard to tell. Does this guy really care about Brit or is he trying to do some underhanded sabotage??? Keep in mind that he was ‘let go’ by BritBrit! (Perez Hilton)

 

Chloe Sevigny can be bought – for a high price. The “Big Love” star was paid a cool $50,000 to host a New Year’s Eve party at the Gansevoort Hotel in South Beach, according to musictoob.com. (Guests, on the other hand, had to shell out $225 to attend.) Sevigny – who told this month’s Esquire, “I don’t know how much things cost. Like a BMW. Or a quart of milk. It’s embarrassing” – spent New Year’s Day on the beach reading The Post. (Page Six)

 

Madonna is being targeted by an extremist Muslim group for being an outspoken follower of Kabbalah. Queen of pop Madonna is a target for a Muslim extremist group sources have told the People newspaper. “Madonna is well known for her Kabbalah faith and support for Israel, having visited the country several times,” an insider claims. “This seems to upset extreme Muslims who forget she respects people of all faiths whether Islamic, Christian or Buddhist. Like anyone else she would like to see a peaceful end to the problems in Gaza, but she is beside herself with worry, not just for her own safety, but for that of the children.” Palestinian leader Abdel-Al has said that he would like to “cut the head off Madonna” for her supposed anti-Islamic stance. (Handbag)

 

Modest rapper Kanye West has said he’d like to have fewer fans. Kanye West wants fewer fans so that he could be free to pose naked. “I want the freedom of having less fans,” he told Vibe magazine. “It’s like the freedom of having less money. If you have less money, you have less responsibility. It’s like Björk. If she wanted to pose naked, you’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s Björk.’ But if I wanted to pose naked, people would draw all type of things into it. I definitely feel like, in the next however many years, if I work out for two months, that I’ll pose naked.” He went on to explain where he sees himself in the grand scheme of things. “I want to break every rule and mentality of hip-hop, of black culture, of American culture. I believe I am the greatest entertainer of this generation,” he told the magazine. (Handbag)

 

Don Randall, the marketing dynamo who gave Fender’s Stratocaster guitar its name and led the brand to onstage ubiquity, has died. He was 91. Randall died of age-related causes Dec. 23 at his home in Santa Ana, his son, Tim, told the Los Angeles Times. Randall’s marketing savvy elevated electric guitar designer Leo Fender’s instruments, played by such musicians as Ritchie Valens, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, into a hugely successful franchise during the brand’s first two decades. Tom Wheeler, a former editor of Guitar Player magazine, said Randall changed the way the public viewed guitars and playing music, adding: “It’s highly unlikely that Fender could have achieved anywhere near as worldwide success without Don Randall.” Randall was born Oct. 30, 1917, in Kendrick, Idaho, and moved with his family to California when he was 10. He was managing an electric parts wholesaler in Santa Ana when he learned about the lap steel guitars and small amplifiers Fender was building in his small radio shop in nearby Fullerton. The two teamed up to form what is now the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Fender Musical Instruments Corp. He named Fender’s first commercially available guitar the Broadcaster in 1950, then renamed it the Telecaster following a trademark dispute with another company. In 1954, he tapped into his background as an aviation enthusiast and pilot to dub Fender’s newest guitar the Stratocaster. Randall negotiated the 1965 sale of Fender’s firm to CBS for $13 million. In 1970, he founded Randall Instruments in Irvine, which he sold in 1987. Fender died in 1991. (Daily Record)

 

French actor, director and producer Claude Berri, an institution in French cinema for more than half a century, died Monday at age 74. President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed him as “legendary.” Agent Dominique Segall said Berri died of a “cerebral-vascular” problem – language often used for a stroke. Berri produced Roman Polanski’s “Tess” in 1979 and directed movies including “Jean de Florette” in 1986 and “Manon des Sources” (“Manon of the Spring”), both adapted from Marcel Pagnol’s vision of the French countryside. Berri’s short film “Le Poulet” won an Oscar in 1965. He was in the midst of directing “Tresor” (“Treasure”) – his 20th directing project – when he died, Segall said. “It will continue despite his departure,” the agent added. Berri was involved in every aspect of cinema over more than a half-century as actor, writer, director and producer. But his reach into international mainstream cinema was limited and worldwide Berri was not the grand figure that he was in France. Sarkozy paid tribute to Berri as “the most legendary figure of French cinema” and “the great ambassador” of French film in the world. Berri earlier acted in films by Claude Chabrol. (Daily Record)

 

 

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

 

The robot romance “WALL-E” won the Golden Globe for best animated film Sunday, while Sally Hawkins earned the best-actress prize in a musical or comedy as an eternal optimist in “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Hawkins, a relatively unknown British actress and newcomer to Hollywood’s awards scenes, was visibly nervous accepting her prize. “I’ll try and get through as much as my voice and nerves and knees will let me,” said Hawkins, thanking family, cast mates and collaborators on the film, including director Mike Leigh. “WALL-E” director Andrew Stanton thanked producer Pixar Animation and distributor Walt Disney, saying the unusual love story between two robots who communicate in beeps and squeaks “couldn’t have been made anywhere else.” Kate Winslet won the supporting-actress Golden Globe for “The Reader,” in which she plays a former Nazi concentration camp guard in a romantic fling with a teenager. Winslet also was up for best dramatic actress at the Globes with the domestic drama “Revolutionary Road.” The Globe wins could boost recipients’ prospects for the same prizes at the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 22. Winslet has been nominated five times at the Oscars but has yet to win. “You have to forgive me because I have a habit of not winning things,” Winslet said as she opened what she acknowledged was a long acceptance speech. “Sorry this is going on a bit, but I’m going to make the most of it,” she said amid thanking everyone from her children to the film’s makeup artists. Bruce Springsteen received the best song prize for the title track to “The Wrestler.” “This is the only time I’m going to be in competition with Clint Eastwood,” said Springsteen, referring to the filmmaker who had a song nomination for writing the title tune to his “Gran Torino.” “It felt pretty good, too.” A year ago, Hollywood labor strife shut down the Globes, but organizers promised their show would be back, bigger and better than ever. The 66th annual Globes, the town’s second-biggest movie celebration after the Academy Awards, returned to their somewhat boozy glory. A looser, more relaxed affair than the Oscars, the Globes are a televised dinner party where Hollywood’s elite share a meal and drinks, sometimes cutting loose with unexpected antics (this is the place Jack Nicholson once mooned the crowd for a laugh). The tables were decorated with white lilies and roses; oversized bottles of champagne awaited guests. The show could be punctuated with a solemn moment, though. Nearly a year after his death, Heath Ledger might be honored as best supporting actor for his frenzied performance as the Joker in the Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” Other acting nominees include Angelina Jolie for “Changeling” and romantic partner Brad Pitt for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; “Titanic” co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Winslet for their reunion film, “Revolutionary Road”; Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder”; and Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married.” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Doubt” and “Frost/Nixon” lead the field with five nominations each. Last year’s Globe show was scrapped after stars said they would stay away in honor of picket lines by the Writers Guild of America, which was engaged in a bitter strike against producers. In its place was a briskly paced news conference where winners were announced from a podium. One of 2008′s scheduled honorees finally will get his prize. Globe organizers had intended to present Steven Spielberg with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, but the strike delayed it a year. The Globes serve as a barometer for potential Oscar contenders, often singling out deserving newcomers who might have been overlooked among bigger-name stars. Relative unknown Hilary Swank won for dramatic actress at the Globes for 1999′s “Boys Don’t Cry,” then went on to an upset win at the Oscars over Annette Bening, who had been considered the front-runner for “American Beauty.” This year’s Oscar ceremony comes on Feb. 22. The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 reporters covering show business for overseas outlets. (Daily Record)

 

List of winners of the Golden Globe Awards. Complete list of winners at the Golden Globes held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association: (Daily Record)

MOTION PICTURES:

- Picture, Drama: “Slumdog Millionaire.”

- Picture, Musical or Comedy: “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

- Actor, Drama: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler.”

- Actress, Drama: Kate Winslet, “Revolutionary Road.”

- Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

- Actor, Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell, “In Bruges.”

- Actress, Musical or Comedy: Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky.”

- Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight.”

- Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader.”

- Foreign Language Film: “Waltz With Bashir.”

- Animated Film: “WALL-E.”

- Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

- Original Score: A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

- Original Song: “The Wrestler” (performed and written by Bruce Springsteen), “The Wrestler.”

TELEVISION:

- Series, Drama: “Mad Men.”

- Actor, Drama: Gabriel Byrne, “In Treatment.”

- Actress, Drama: Anna Paquin, “True Blood.”

- Series, Musical or Comedy: “30 Rock.”

- Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock.”

- Actress, Musical or Comedy: Tina Fey, “30 Rock.”

- Miniseries or Movie: “John Adams.”

- Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, “John Adams.”

- Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Paul Giammatti, “John Adams.”

- Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Dern, “Recount.”

- Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Wilkinson, “John Adams.”

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Steven Spielberg.

 

Nearly one year after his death, the late Heath Ledger is one trophy closer to an Oscar nomination – and possible win – for his anarchic take on the Joker in the Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” Ledger, who died last January of an accidental drug overdose, was honored posthumously Sunday as best supporting actor at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards. “It’s always beautiful to think of him and remember him,” co-star Aaron Eckhart said on the red carpet before the show. The crowd rose to its feet as Ledger was named, the first standing ovation of the night inside the glitzy Beverly Hilton ballroom. “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan, who accepted the trophy on behalf of Ledger, said the award came with an “awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride” and said that Ledger’s untimely death represented “a hole ripped in the history of cinema.” “He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten,” Nolan said. Ledger has long been considered a likely supporting actor Oscar nominee, but his Golden Globes victory increases the likelihood of an Oscar win for Ledger, who’s also been lauded for his “Dark Knight” role from several film critics associations, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Boston Society of Film Critics. He also won Critics’ Choice and People’s Choice awards for the role, and is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award. Balloting for the Oscars closed Monday. “I’m really happy to see that ‘The Dark Knight’ is making a last-minute run at recognition,” director and Cecil B. Demille Award winner Steven Spielberg said backstage. “I was really happy to see Heath win tonight. I’m looking forward to some more momentum. I think that balances everything out.” It’s unusual for a popcorn-friendly flick like “Dark Knight” – and a villainous role such as Batman’s arch nemesis – to be the source of such speculated Oscar acclaim. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters tend to honor highbrow films that don’t rake in $1 billion in worldwide theatrical grosses. In 2006, Ledger was nominated for a best actor in a drama Oscar for his performance as lovesick cowboy Ennis in “Brokeback Mountain” but lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his role in “Capote.” It would be a somber moment if Ledger is nominated for a supporting actor Oscar: The nominations are scheduled to be announced Jan. 22, the one-year anniversary of Ledger’s death. (Daily Record)

Heath Ledger’s father is thrilled with the late star’s Golden Globe win. Despite rumors Kim Ledger would accept the prize on his tragic son’s behalf, personal reasons meant Ledger Sr. watched the event from his home in Perth, Australia. But he passed on his joy to People.com soon after The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan collected the Best Supporting Actor award. (Teen Hollywood)

 

Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze has contracted pneumonia as he continues his battle with pancreatic cancer. Patrick Swayze has been struck down with pneumonia as he battles pancreatic cancer it has been announced. The Dirty Dancing star was due to attend a meeting of the Television Critic’s Association in Los Angeles to publicize his new show, detective drama The Beast, but was unable to make it. “Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation,” Robert DeBitetto, a spokesman for TV channel A&E told the meeting. “Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system and illnesses are a part of that. Patrick wishes me to tell you that he’s very sorry he cannot attend but plans to get back to promoting The Beast soon.” Swayze’s spokeswoman, Annett Wolf, confirmed that the actor was in hospital. (Handbag)

 

When we think of Renee Zellweger on the red carpet, visions of sleek blonde hair and retro strapless gowns come to mind. So, we were a little surprised by the Oscar winner’s appearance at the Golden Globes in a look that seemed to pull from a Victorian inspiration. Gone was the recent short hair, replaced by an updo of corkscrew curls. In place of the usual shoulder-baring gown was a see-through blouse over a nude corset and fishtail skirt — all still by Carolina Herrera, of course. We always applaud stars for trying new looks — isn’t that the fun part of fashion? (People)

 

What’s the best thing that happened? The worst? The most “OMG, I can’t believe what happened” moment? Read on. Best Showstopper/Buzz Kill: Ever wonder what it’d be like to be the child of a famous person like J.Lo? Wonder no more, TV audience. The singer-actress-perfume let the chatty celebrities know who’s boss when she shushed them with a stern “Hello, hello—mama talkin’.” Are you impressed—or scared? Kate Winslet Is the Reader! No, really. She totally read a super long list of people and near-people (agents, eh) she wanted to thank, and, well, as much as we like to be read to, we prefer historical romance. Sting—WTF? The singer seemed to have been replaced by an 18th-century buccaneer. Mind you, we aren’t complaining… The Curious Place Setting of Benjamin Button: The camera caught Brad Pitt asking a tablemate, “What’s that for?” We’re pretty sure he was curious at the award being given, and not one of those tiny forks at the table. Best Performance by a Non-nominated Actor: Ricky Gervais, who came out to shush the crowd—”How rude are you lot?”— and then proceeded to turn in an impromptu comedy routine that was at least as good—and as long!—as Tom Cruise‘s in Tropic Thunder. Most Newsworthy: No, David Duchovny didn’t win an award for pretending to be a writer who has sex a lot (Calific-tion!), but he did mention his “wife” in his speech, which led every celeb reporter and editor watching to start preparing a story on the state of his marriage. Best Reactions: Tina Fey. Tom Hanks. Tom Cruise. Some stars earn their awards/paychecks/creepy celebrity followers by remembering that fans are watching them at these shows sitting, eating, giving speeches. And they remember to look like they’re enjoying it. Good job, folks. Can you get some of your bored-looking colleagues to follow suit? Least Best Role Model: Sure, Tom Wilkinson is an awesome actor and got a much-deserved award, but Paul Giamatti blew our buzz when he revealed, “[The guy] got me smokin’ again.” Encouraging the competition to smoke is no way to get better parts, Wilkinson. Best Writing: “Mind-reading barmaid in love with a vampire,” “veteran, experienced stripper,” “marijuana-dealing suburban mom.” We don’t know who composes the descriptions of all the nominated roles, but that writer should get a deal. That’s some crazy stuff. Least Helpful Insider Tip: We don’t want to suggest we have any insider knowledge, but we are pretty confident Slumdog Millionaire has some Oscar buzz. Bruges, Brother: Colin Farrell won for this small comic caper film, and gave a long, deeply entertaining speech that touched on more emotions than most films. Biggest Upset: Did you know the awards were in HD? (OK, we were surprised by this.) Best Speech: Newcomer Sally Hawkins gave a humble, winning speech that lacked the kind of breathless “Who me?” bunk that some winners try to pull off. Forgetting, of course, that this is an awards show and they are one of five possible winners, so why be surprised? Worst Absence: Heath Ledger. Best Animation: Those delightful Jonas Brothers handed out the award to Wall-E, and we were totally convinced they were real. It’s amazing what computers can do these days. Best Ad: Tracy Morgan is just one of the reasons to watch 30 Rock, but letting him give a speech full of his special brand of loony onstage was inspired: “I’m the face of post racial America: Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!” Whatever that meant, it was funny. Most Promising: Onstage with Frieda Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire, Bollywood film star Shahrukh Khan said he would do “a pelvic Indian dance, but they would shoo [him] off the stage.” Um, actually, we think half the audience would be tossing dollar bills onstage, but still it was probably best to let the moment pass. Hottest Presenter: We’re going with Johnny Depp, because he seemed like he just woke up from some sexy dream, and because Glenn Close looked like an excited schoolgirl when he came onstage. Trust us, it ain’t easy to get Close to squeal. This Speech Has Been Rated R: Mickey Rourke‘s speech was filled with plenty of heart and tough, salty talk, and it was punctuated by Rourke’s Wrestler director giving him the finger. Thankfully, it was followed up by the producer of big winner Slumdog Millionaire, who blurted out a bleepable word when he found his stage time was being wrapped up. (Eonline)

 

One of our favorite red carpet trends of the evening? Stars who swapped basic black for the more interesting aubergine—or as Hayden Panettiere described her Gianfranco Ferré gown, “deep purple.” The grape-ish hue was also a winner on Miss Golden Globe, Rumer Willis, and True Blood‘s Best Actress darling Anna Paquin, dressed in Hervé Leroux. (Eonline)

 

President-elect Barack Obama and his family are close to picking a First Dog. He told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week that his family “seem to have narrowed it down to a Labradoodle or a Portugese water hound. “So we’re now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up,” he said. “This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary.” He also said his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, are also adjusting well to their new school, Sidwell Friends. “They seemed to thrive,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out why it is that they don’t seem to be fazed by anything. They just don’t seem to be intimidated. “People think — you know, folks think I’m cool,” he said. “They are a lot cooler than I am. They just don’t seem to be intimidated.” Obama will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20. (US Weekly)

 

Prince Harry has at least one big backer in the UK –- no less than the Prime Minister himself. Gordon Brown says Harry’s still a “role model” despite getting caught using the terms “Paki,” “rag head,” and “queer” on video, referring to fellow soldiers in the British army. The family of the cadet who had to endure the “Paki” comment, however, calls him a “coward.” PM Brown says Harry’s apology was “genuine” and “cannot be doubted.” (TMZ)

 

Jeremy Piven is in the deep stuff with his ex-producers after bailing on his Broadway show, but he’s still sticking to that mercury-poisoning tale. He tells Fox News he found he had a heart rate of 47 and his mercury levels from eating too much fish over the years was “off the charts.” Piven says he’s smoothed things over with his ex-co-stars, who were not at all shy about sharing their displeasure with JP publicly. Meanwhile, it was unclear whether Piven ate the entrée at Sunday night’s Golden Globes –- sea bass. (TMZ)

 

Its official – the Blue Parrot, the beloved Tex-Mex joint in East Hampton, will reopen in May after being dark for two years. Ronald Perelman, Jon Bon Jovi and art dealer Larry Gagosian, who all own houses in the area, bought the lease last week from Lee Bieler, the Porsche-driving surfer/actor who owned the restaurant for 25 years before moving to Hawaii. “It’ll have the same old honky-tonk vibe,” said a source who loved the boite’s potent margaritas and karaoke nights. “They won’t modernize or go trendy.” Perelman, who owns Revlon and Panavision, is also an investor in Graydon Carter‘s Monkey Bar. (Page Six)

 

A lawyer for the husband of Amy Winehouse says he is seeking a divorce on the grounds of the soul diva’s infidelity. Attorney Henri Brandman says he has been instructed by Blake Fielder-Civil “to commence divorce proceedings on the grounds of Amy’s adultery.” Winehouse and Fielder-Civil married in Miami in May 2007, but he was arrested six months later and jailed over an assault. He was released into a drug rehab center in November but sent back to prison weeks later for breaching his bail conditions. Winehouse shot to stardom with the multi-Grammy-winning album “Back to Black” in 2006. But her music has been overshadowed by reports of drug use, run-ins with the law and her tempestuous marriage. Winehouse’s spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. (Daily Record)

 

Dr. Jan Adams–the man who performed plastic surgery on Kanye West’s mother Donda, shortly before she died–has been jailed for a year for drunken driving. Adams pleaded guilty to the charge last year, after he drove his car the wrong way on Interstate 680. His blood  (Launch)

 

 

MUSIC . . .

 

This could be the last year for Clive Davis legendary pre-Grammy party. Last week, he announced he’d throw the $1 million-plus gala next month, not with its usual sponsor – Davis’ company, Sony Music Group – but with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), which hands out the Grammys. An insider said, “Sony told Clive it wasn’t going to pay for the party this year. It was a bad year for them, and [Sony chief] Howard Stringer feels the party doesn’t help sell any albums and only serves to promote Clive’s ego . . . Clive then tried to get his own sponsors but couldn’t, so NARAS stepped in. But forget about next year. It’s over,” said our source. Last year, Alicia Keys, Fergie, the Foo Fighters and Leona Lewis performed. This year, Whitney Houston, a Davis discovery in the ’80s, will sing. Her comeback album drops in March. Reps for Davis and Sony didn’t return calls. (Page Six)

 

Bruce Springsteen won the Golden Globe last night (Jan. 11) for best song for the title track from “The Wrestler,” while A.R. Rahman won best original score for “Slumdog Millionaire.” It’s Springsteen’s second Golden Globe; he won in 1994 for “Streets of Philadelphia” from “Philadelphia.” That year, the same song also won the best song Oscar. “The Wrestler” was released as a digital single last month and will appear as a bonus track on Springsteen’s new album, “Working on a Dream,” due Jan. 27 from Columbia. It was Rahman’s first Golden Globe nomination and win. Long considered one of the masters of Bollywood music, he has won nine Filmfare Awards and four Silver Lotus Awards, India’s two most prestigious film ceremonies. Western audiences may be most familiar with his work in 2007′s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and 2001′s “Lagaan: Once Upon a Time In India.” Winners of the Golden Globes are determined by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and are often considered a precursor of contenders for the Academy Awards. Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22; the Oscars will be held Feb. 22. (Billboard)

 

A variety of Motown alumni returned to Hitsville USA today (Jan. 12) — in Studio A, which the Four Tops’ Abdul “Duke” Fakir referred to as “hallowed ground” — to officially kick off a year-long celebration of the famed label’s 50th anniversary. Fakir was joined by other Detroit-based Motown artists, including Bobby Rogers of the Miracles, Rosalind Ashford of Martha & the Vandellas and Rare Earth’s Gil Bridges, Funk Brothers Uriel Jones, Ivy Joe Hunter and Dennis Coffey, producer/arrangers Paul Riser and Johnny Allen, Motown manners coach Maxine Powell and songwriter Melvin Moore. Many will spend the week as celebrity docents at the Motown Historical Museum, housed in the company’s original Hitsville Headquarters in midtown Detroit, as part of an In Their Own Words series. “Fifty years is a wonderful anniversary,” Fakir told Billboard.com. “You’ve got to give credit to the songs, but of course you’ve got to give credit to (Motown found) Berry Gordy for the vision. He had the whole vision, and he made it come true. It’s just great to be part of that legacy and still be alive to talk about it.” Today marked 50 years since Gordy borrowed $800 from his family to start his own label. Gordy did not attend Monday’s event but sent a message that was ready by Robin Terry, his grand-niece and CEO of the Motown museum. Gordy said he was “honored” by the celebration and noted that, “Motown music was for everybody, and it grew out of love. It has spread around the world and has become part of the culture and consciousness in all seven continents, and it all started right here.” Federal, state, county and local government officials appeared at the ceremony, each delivering a proclamation declaring Monday as Motown Day in their respective jurisdictions. The State of Michigan proclamation also “encouraged all citizens to…grab your favorite record and sing along.” Many of the artists expressed deep emotions, some with tears in their eyes, as they looked at the images and instruments around them. Funk Brothers drummer Jones noted that “I just hate to think what my life would’ve been like without Motown,” while Rare Earth’s Bridges said that “being with Motown is a very spiritual thing for me…I still am in awe of being part of this family.” Hunter, meanwhile, brought things to a close by declaring, “God bless the dream. God bless the dreamer. God bless the result.” A variety of projects will mark Motown’s 50th anniversary celebration. Gordy and former executive Suzanne DePasse are working on a feature-film documentary that will likely debut in September, as well as a series of long-form DVDs and archival album releases to follow the December release of the “Motown: The Complete No. 1′s” box set. A Broadway musical is set for 2010. A special Marvin Gaye exhibit is expected to open later this year at a facility outside Detroit, and the Motown museum is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution for a traveling exhibit that’s slated to hit the road in 2010. The museum will also be displaying Annie Lebovitz’s photos for Vanity Fair’s Motown story in the months ahead. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland has also joined the party with Motown: The Sound of Young American Turns 50, an exhibit that opened Jan. 1 and will run for the entire year. Hallmark Gold Crown stores are selling a line of Recordable Cards for Valentine’s Day featuring Motown music, as well as a 10-song CD compilation “Heart & Soul — Celebrating 50 Years of Motown.” (Billboard)

 

U2 will play its new single, “Get on Your Boots,” at the BRIT Awards ceremony on Feb. 17 at London’s Earls Court. The band’s new album, “No Line on the Horizon,” arrives March 2 internationally and a day later in North America. The band has previously won seven Brit awards, five of them for best international group. The BRIT Awards will live on ITV1 and are sponsored by MasterCard. The other confirmed performer is Pet Shop Boys, recipient of the outstanding contribution to music award. BRIT Awards nominations will be unveiled Jan. 20. (Billboard)

 

Flight Of The Conchords’ eponymous HBO show returns to the airwaves on Jan. 18, and this time around, fans will be able to purchase music from each episode the day after it airs, Billboard can reveal. Shortly after the conclusion of the 10-episode season, an as-yet-untitled album featuring 10 tracks from the show plus five additional songs will be available on April 14. The first song, “Angels,” goes live Jan. 19 on iTunes. Fans can also pre-order the album through SubPop.com and receive one track per week. The New Zealand duo, whose bumbling adventures in life and the music business are at the heart of the show, has emerged as one of the biggest success stories in comedy over the past two years. Its 2007 Sub Pop debut, the EP “The Distant Future,” won a Grammy for best comedy album. And its self-titled full-length, released in April 2008, has sold 237,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and is up for a Grammy in the same category. Because the songs used in the show are often only a minute long, the versions on the upcoming album will be quite different. “More than one of them leans on a ’70s soul sound,” Sub Pop head of A&R Tony Kiewel tells Billboard.com. “I’ve also heard this choir-y sort of thing, a Meat Loaf-y sort of thing and a crazy top 40-type jam.” Mickey Petralia, who produced the debut, is back on board, while Kiewel says Sia provides backing vocals on at least one song. A Flight Of The Conchords North American tour is being targeted for April or May. (Billboard)

 

Country legend Loretta Lynn is preparing two projects this year to follow up her 2004 crossover hit, “Van Lear Rose.” Lynn, 74, is working on an album of new material that she says could be ready by late spring. The album will be in her traditional country style but will deal with modern issues. “(A friend) told me: ‘Loretta, don’t quit writing, because if you do, no one in Nashville is writing songs,’” Lynn tells Billboard. “I write about what’s happening today and how I feel.” The second project, an album of re-recorded versions of her No. 1 hits from the past four decades, is being produced by John Carter Cash and could hit stores this summer. Lynn says the idea for that album came out of her live performances, at which she finds crowds clamoring for old favorites, particularly “Dear Uncle Sam.” Lynn released that anti-Vietnam War song in 1966, and it became her first self-penned track to make the top 10. But, she says, it has gained new resonance with anti-war crowds today. “I want to make sure that they get all the old No. 1 hits over the years,” she says. “They holler for them.” Lynn’s children and grandchildren usually join her on stage for live performances these days, and have also been in the studio to help with the album. Cash, the only child of Johnny Cash and June Carter and a country music singer and songwriter himself, is easy to work with because Lynn and his father were close, she says. The Grammy-winning “Van Lear Rose” was produced by the White Stripes’ Jack White, who also contributed vocals and guitars. The two stay in touch, but Lynn says she doesn’t get to see him very often. But she says she plans to call him soon “see what the devil he’s up to.” (Launch)

 

Norwegian would if they could. Beatles fans hoping that a loophole would allow them to finally legally listen to the Fab Four’s tunes for free online are going to have to say hello goodbye to a series of Norway radio podcasts. The blogosphere has been abuzz in recent days after Norwegian public radio network NRK planned 200-plus episodes, each showcasing one of the band’s classic songs in its entirely and the history behind it. (Sure, the commentary was in Norwegian, but beggers can’t be choosers.) Although the Beatles’ music company Apple has yet to seal a deal to release the band’s catalog for download, NRK believed it could get away with the podcasts thanks to an agreement with the International Federation of the Photographic Industry trade group. The deal allowed podcasts to be made out of radio shows broadcast the previous four weeks. But because the podcasts were taken from Our Daily Beatles, a program NRK aired in 2007, the network was contractually obliged to remove them. Norway’s version of NPR hoped to present a podcast for all 212 episodes of Our Daily Beatles by the end of the month, but managed to give away only 14. There’s still no word on when Apple will finally put the Beatles’ music online. In a terse statement, the company would only say the NRK podcasts “are not authorized.” While iTunes and Amazon.com are still without downloadable Moptop tunes, Beatlemaniacs can take some solace in the band licensing their music for a Rock Band-like strum-along video game expected to hit stores around Christmas ’09. (Launch)

 

The New York Philharmonic says it will perform for the first time in Hanoi and Abu Dhabi next season and is getting Alec Baldwin to host its national radio broadcasts. The Philharmonic has performed in 59 countries – including in North Korea – but never in Vietnam or in the Middle Eastern country. Alan Gilbert, in his debut season as music director of the nation’s oldest orchestra, will led the musicians in the tour in October. The 2009-2010 season officially starts Sept. 16 with a gala concert featuring soprano Renee Fleming and the world premiere of a work by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. The announcement of Baldwin’s selection comes a day after he won a Golden Globe for best comedy actor for NBC’s “30 Rock.” (Daily Record)

 

 

MOVIE . . .

 

Vanessa Hudgens has reportedly auditioned for a part in the Twilight sequel New Moon. The High School Musical star is hoping to land the role of Leah Clearwater in the much anticipated second film in the vampire franchise, according to MTV. The first big screen adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s cult series of books was one of 2008′s biggest box office hits. And Twilight star Ashley Greene, who plays Alice Cullen, believes Hudgens would be a perfect addition to the cast: “I think she’d be great.” Greene also told MTV that the script to New Moon, which will be directed by Chris Weitz, will be rewritten before filming starts. (Teen Hollywood)

 

Steven Spielberg, who accepted the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s Cecil B. DeMille Award on Sunday, recalled the massive train wreck in DeMille’s 1952 circus epic “The Greatest Show on Earth” during his speech at the Golden Globes. Spielberg had a year to compose his remarks because he originally was chosen to receive the lifetime achievement honor last year. But when the 2008 festivities were postponed because of the WGA strike, the HFPA moved its Spielberg toast to this year. But he appeared to be summoning a primal recollection — “one of my first and most vivid childhood memories” — as he recalled how, when he was just 6, his father took him to see the DeMille movie. “My fate was probably sealed that day in 1952,” he recalled. At first, though, that meant that young Spielberg became obsessed with staging wrecks with his Lionel model trains. When his father told him to knock it off, he used a Kodak 8mm camera to film one smash-up. “It actually brought the same feeling of gratification watching that little home movie again and again instead of actually wrecking the same thing,” he said. In presenting the award to Spielberg, fellow director Martin Scorsese paid tribute to the “images that are genuinely transcendent” that Spielberg would go on to create during his career. Spielberg used the occasion to discuss the importance of mentors in the film business. “None of the movies that I’ve made throughout my whole life would have been possible … without somebody first believing in me, and I really believe that being a mentor to talented newcomers is a very time-honored tradition,” Spielberg said. He expressed special thanks to former Universal Studios head Sidney Sheinberg. “He said, ‘I will be there for you in success, but I will also always be there for you during the tough times,’ ” Spielberg said. The filmmaker went on to describe his own efforts to support up-and-coming filmmakers as “an opportunity (that) was given to me to be an enabler” of other directors, actors, writers and other film craftsmen. Although he has enjoyed enormous success as a popular entertainer, Spielberg urged his audience not to abandon their individual visions to chase mass audiences. “I think, in a way, there’s a feeling floating around during these hard economic times that the impulse and the future might be to make more movies for broader audiences,” he said. “And I just want to say we can’t ever forget that we are also an audience of individuals, and without the kinds of movies nominated tonight, we would be in danger of losing that very thing that none of us can live without.” That Spielberg’s own career remains a work in progress was underlined when he ventured backstage and was peppered with questions about future projects. He didn’t rule out a fifth Indiana Jones movie, saying, “George (Lucas) and I have had a couple of conversations — ‘What if we made another Indy film?’ — but we’re not in a position to say we’re going to do it. … Someday, there might be another Indiana Jones, but I can’t say. I said that 15 years ago, and it took me 15 years.” Spielberg’s film about Abraham Lincoln is looking like a more immediate possibility. It is “coming together really quickly,” the director said without committing to a start date. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

French actor Samy Naceri, who starred in the World War II film “Days of Glory,” was jailed Sunday after being charged with stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s companion in a confrontation on a Paris street, judicial officials said. Naceri, 47, was charged with armed voluntary violence. He was also charged with making repeated death threats, the actor’s lawyer Francoise Cotta said. The preliminary charges, which could be dropped if an investigation fails to turn up clear evidence, followed a confrontation Thursday near Paris’ Champs-Elysees Avenue. Naceri and his ex-girlfriend were arguing, and her boyfriend was called to the scene, the judicial official said. The man was stabbed, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening. The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and asked not to be named. Naceri, who suffers from a liver illness, was recently freed from prison for medical reasons. He has had frequent run-ins with the law. He was most recently convicted in November and given a six-month prison term for striking a police officer with his car as he drove without a license. He is appealing that case. A member of the cast of “Days of Glory” who shared Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, Naceri was unable to show up for the honor. He was being questioned by police in another case. The movie is about North African soldiers from France’s colonial army. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TV . . .

 

MTV will be broadcasting from President-elect Barack Obama’s “Youth Inaugural Ball” on Jan. 20, the cable network announced Sunday. Obama is scheduled to speak at the event, one of 10 official inaugural balls. The Presidential Inaugural Committee has said the ball for people ages 18-35 will celebrate “the role young Americans can play to serve their communities.” Tickets cost $75, half the price of most inaugural ball tickets. MTV said the program will also include performances by “top recording artists,” although the inaugural committee has yet to announce them. The broadcast will also include “footage from service activities around the country on Martin Luther King Day, in addition to showing young people imparting change real-time through major service projects taking place in the United States and in Kenya,” MTV said. ServiceNation, a campaign to get more Americans involved in public service, is teaming with MTV to produce the broadcast, called “Be The Change: Live From The Inaugural.” MTV, owned by Viacom Inc., had planned to host an inaugural ball at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington on Jan. 20. That event has been canceled. (Daily Record)

 

The glitz and glamour returned to the Golden Globes, but not all the audience. An estimated 14.6 million people watched Sunday night’s ceremony from Hollywood. That’s certainly better than the star-free Globes from last year, held during the writer’s strike. Only 6 million watched in 2007. But Nielsen Media Research said it was the smallest audience since the awards moved to network television in 1994. Two years ago, 20 million people watched the Globes on NBC. “Slumdog Millionaire,” a movie set in India with no stars, was a big winner this year. So were actresses Kate Winslet and Tina Fey. (Daily Record)

 

Two programs derailed by last year’s writers strike returned Sunday to considerably smaller ratings than when they were last seen in 2007, yet both the Golden Globes and Fox’s “24″ managed to draw competitive audiences. The 66th annual Globes averaged 14.6 million viewers across its three hours on NBC, earning a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 and an 11 share. That’s down 26% in the adult demographic compared with two years ago (last year’s short Globes press conference is not considered comparable) and marks the lowest-rated Globes since NBC took over the telecast in 1996. A red carpet special served as lead-in (7.7 million, 1.8/5).The Globes were upstaged in the 9 p.m. hour by a drama series that was shut out from this year’s nominations — ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” (13.8 million, 5.2/12), which ranked as the top-rated entertainment program of the night. On Fox, “24″ (12.5 million viewers, 4.2/9) returned to face the similarly strike-exiled Globes head on. The action-drama came in second place at 8 p.m., but slipped into third when the “Housewives” stepped in. The “24″ rating is up 5% from November’s prequel “Redemption” movie, but down a sharp 31% from the program’s 2007 series premiere. This is the lowest-rated “24″ debut in the adult demo, though not among total viewers. Reviews of the Globes: “A safe, notably apolitical show that delivered a three-hour feel-good respite to a depressed nation,” writes THR. Best/worst moments from EW. “Was actually good this year,” writes Newsday. Golden Globes live blog. Complete list of winners. Reviews of “24:” “God may have rested on the seventh day, but Jack Bauer will receive no such luxury,” writes THR. “Now that his show seems back on track, [Bauer is] rolling at top form,” writes USA Today. “The first four hours of ’24′ are self-conscious and self-referential about the issue of torture,” writes Time. Despite all the fireworks among these heavy hitters, CBS actually won the night because of some high-rated NFL overrun early in the evening. CBS also had “60 Minutes” (15.6 million, 4.0/9), “Cold Case” (12.4 million, 3.0/7) and “The Unit” (10.4 million, 2.7/7). NBC was second with the Globes. ABC placed third and had “Extreme Makeover” (10.3 million, 3.4/8) and “Brothers & Sisters” (9.1 million, 3.4/8) included in its lineup. Fox was close behind in fourth with “24″ and repeats. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

CBS Corp. and Verizon said Monday that they have extended and expanded a program carriage agreement. It includes retransmission consent for CBS’ TV stations, the CBS network, as well as local and national VOD content for Verizon’s FiOS TV video service and Verizon Wireless’ V Cast mobile video service. The new arrangement follows a more limited three-year deal unveiled in 2006. The companies would say only that the new deal is a multiyear agreement and adds new components, such as the inclusion of full TV episodes for VCast. Not included was CBS Corp.’s Showtime, which has a separate carriage arrangement with Verizon. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but sources said CBS Corp. is getting more money in the new deal, including cash for its retrans portion. Both parties in such deals generally stay tight-lipped on financial details, citing confidentiality clauses. The previous deal was believed to pay CBS about 50 cents per subscriber. FiOS TV’s fast subscriber growth should be a boon for CBS under the new pact, observers said.  The Verizon arrangement comes a week after CBS Corp. unveiled a broad carriage deal with Time Warner Cable, which some analysts saw as a major step in the company’s efforts to get paid for retrans. CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves has said he expects to get $200 million-plus in retrans profits in the next few years. But others on Wall Street have criticized that these carriage deals are so broad and complex that it is impossible for them to break out which part of the puzzle brings in how much money.  “We are extremely pleased to have reached this broad long-term agreement that recognizes the value of our programming,” Moonves said about the Verizon deal Monday, adding that the V Cast component of the deal “enhances our profile on a key emerging platform.”  Under the new agreement, Verizon secured mobile rights for full episodes of several top-rated CBS entertainment and news programs, including “60 Minutes.”  The telecom giant also got expanded national VOD rights for such hit shows as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “NCIS,” “Survivor,” and “Numbers,” as well as VOD rights for local news. All those VOD rights cover the standard and high definition TV formats. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TODAY’S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION . . .  (Mike Butts Creative)

 

Q.  55% of men cannot do THIS?

            A.  Tie a tie

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE (By Roger L’Estrange)

 

“IT IS NOT THE PLACE, NOR THE CONDITION, BUT THE MIND ALONE THAT CAN MAKE ANYONE HAPPY OR MISERABLE.”

 

 

MIND BOGGLERS . . .

 

Q.  In 2008, what singer-songwriter’s Home Before Dark became the first No. 1 album in his four decade career?

            A.  Neil Diamond

 

Q.  What is widely thought to be the first play written by William Shakespeare?

            A. Henry VI, Part I

 

Q.  What import automaker produces an SUV called the Touareg?

            A. Volkswagen

 

Q.  The basenji dog breed is different than most because it does not:

            A. bark

 

Q. “The horror, the horror!” is the last line of what celebrated war film?

            A. Apocalypse Now

 

Q. In the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure, what causes the cruise ship to capsize?

            A. a tsunami

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS . . . (Peter Greenberg Worldwide)

 

VACCINES FOR ADULTS WHEN TRAVELING ABROAD:

 

If you’re planning to travel, here’s what you should know about vaccine recommendations. All decisions regarding vaccinations should be made in cooperation with a healthcare provider, but here are some general guidelines you should know. Ideally, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or travel medicine clinic 4-6 weeks before your departure. Your body needs time to build immunity after you receive a vaccine, and some need to be given in a series over a period of time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention separate vaccinations into three categories: routine, recommended and required. The only vaccine that is required by the CDC is for Yellow Fever if you’re traveling to parts of Africa and South America. If you’re traveling to South Asia, you may need a typhoid vaccination, and if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, consider getting a rabies vaccine.

 

(Peter Greenberg is North America’s preeminent expert on Travel. An Emmy Award-Winning writer and producer, Peter is the Travel Editor for NBC’S “TODAY SHOW,” MSNBC and CNBC. A Best-Selling author of the “Travel Detective” series and host of the nationally syndicated “Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show.” Visit WWW.PETERGREENBERGWORLDWIDE.COM to learn more about Peter Greenberg and his adventures.)

 

 

MIKE BUTTS CREATIVE . . .

 

It’s almost Valentines day again–and if you’d like something Great and Unique for your lover-husband–wife–significant other-
a PERSONALIZED Love Novel is the way to go.

By contacting and interviewing Fletch and Kathy Newburn you can get a few to give to your listeners as one-of-a-kind prizes that will last a lifetime.

I have been working with Fletch and Kathy for years and Love them–so do my listeners in 3 different states!

Your listeners simply fill out facts about themselves and their partner( favorite colors-radio station–food-etc) then choose a setting where the book takes place and YourNovel.com does the rest.

Be sure and tell them I sent you and  don’t drag your feet  they get BUSY!!

Here is their contact info – 800-444-3356 or email fletch@YourNovel.com.

 

–Fletch & Kathy

a.k.a. Fletcher Newbern

Keeping the Love Alive!

YourNovel.com

 

 

BIRTHDAYS . . .

 

—1834  Author Horatio Alger  (d. 7-18-1899)

—1919  Actor Robert Stack (Unsolved Mysteries) (d. 5-14-2003) 

—1926  Actress/Dancer Gwen Verdon (Cocoon) (d. 10-18-2000)

—1930  Actress Frances Sternhagen (Sibling Rivalry)

¾1930  Singer Bobby Lester (The Moonglows) (“Sincerely”) (d. 10-15-80)

—1931  Actor Charles Nelson Reilly (Match Game P.M.) (d. 5-27-2007)

—1933  Artist/Sculptor Frank Gallo

—1934  Comedian Rip Taylor

—1943  Actor Richard Moll (The Flintstones)

—1947  Guitarist John Lees (Barclay James Harvest)

—1949  TV Executive Brandon Tartikoff  (d. 1997)

—1950  Baseball’s Bob Forsch

¾1954  Musician Trevor Rabin (Yes) (“Owner Of A Lonely Heart”)

—1955  Musician Fred White (Earth, Wind, & Fire) (“September”)

—1955  Musician Paul Kelly (Paul Kelly & The Messengers)

—1955  Writer Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City)

—1959  Musician James Lomenzo (White Lion)

—1960  Actor Kevin Anderson (Sleeping With the Enemy)

—1961  Actress Julia Louis Dreyfuss (“Elaine” Seinfeld)

¾1962  Country Singer Trace Adkins (“You’re Gonna Miss This”)

—1964  Actress Penelope Ann Miller (Adventures in Babysitting)

—1966  Actor Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy)

—1970  Actor Keith Coogan  (Adventures in Babysitting)

¾1972  Actress Nicole Eggert (Baywatch)

¾1977  Actor Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean)

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY . . .

 

—1854  Anthony Faas of Philadelphia patented the accordion.

—1885  Alfred Fuller was born in Nova Scotia. He invented the twisted-wire brush and began selling them door to door to country people, thus launching the Fuller Brush company — and a million “farmer’s daughter & traveling salesman” jokes.

—1910  Radio pioneer and electron tube inventor Lee Deforest arranged the world’s first radio broadcast to the public — in New York City.  He succeeded in broadcasting the voice of Enrico Caruso along with other stars of the Metropolitan Opera.

—1935  Amelia Earhart took off from Honolulu on the final leg of her flight to become the first woman to fly the Pacific solo. (She was already the first woman to solo across the Atlantic, in 1932.) She landed in Oakland, California 18 and a half hours later.

—1957  Elvis Presley records “All Shook Up.”

—1962  Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” is the number 1 single in the U.S.

—1964  The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” hits record stores.

—1968  Berry “Pops” Gordy, Sr. and his wife Bertha celebrate their 50th anniversary by renewing their vows at Detroit’s Bethel AME Church with many Motown family members present.

—1969  Elvis Presley returns to Memphis for the first recording sessions there since he left Sun Records in 1955.

—1971  Apollo 14 took off for the moon.

—1973  Eric Clapton performs a comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London, which is recorded as the live Lp “Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert.”

—1976  Gregg Allman is subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating drug charges. This proves to be the catalyst to be the breakup of the Allman Bros. Band.   

—1977  “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon is the top single in the U.S.

—1979  Donny Hathaway falls 15 floors to his death from New York’s Essex House.

—1982  An Air Florida jet crashed on take-off into Washington’s Fourteenth Street Bridge, killing 78.

—1986  John McCollum’s father sues Ozzy Osbourne and CBS, claiming that John killed himself over Ozzy’s “Suicide Solution.” McCollum loses eventually.

¾1999  Premiere of The Sopranos, the HBO show was a mob drama.  Featuring  James Gandolfini as “Tony.”  Last episode aired June 10, 2007.

¾2003 World renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti (67) and longtime girlfriend Nicoletta Mantovani (34) welcomed their daughter Alice into the world.  Luciano has 3 adult daughters from a previous marriage.

 

 

RADIO ONLINE® DAILY SHOW PREP. . .

 

ON THIS DAY

On this date in 1794, Congress agreed to add more stars to the U.S. flag. They immediately began a star search.

In 1854, Anthony Foss received a patent for his invention: the accordion. So he’s the one to blame!

On this date in 1920, a New York Times editorial claimed that “rockets can never fly.” I guess there’s the difference between being right at the time and right forever.

In 1972, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that a woman may become a professional umpire. And why not? For years they’ve never believed a man was safe when he was out.

The YMCA filed a suit against the Village People in 1979 — Oh, they didn’t have a problem with their song; they just wanted them to stay out of their showers!

TODAY IS

Ooooh, its Tuesday the 13th!

Orlando Bloom turns 32 today. See, I keep telling everyone, he’s much younger… and besides, he’s an inch shorter than I am. I don’t understand why you keep confusing us.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus turns 48 today. I’m sure if she were here with us right now, she’d be saying, “Shut up!”

THIS WEEK IS

Manwatcher’s Week — the second week in January. We’re going to take nominations for Watchable Men and all our nominated guys have to agree to stand out near a highly visible roadside location between 7:30 and 8:30 am the Thursday of Manwatcher’s Week. We’re going to let listeners vote by car phone or by phone when the arrive at work. The guy who gets the most votes wins $200. The woman who nominated him gets $100. Runner-up guy gets $50. We’ve suggested to the men they can wear whatever they want or as little as they want to get votes.

Top 5 Ways To Guarantee You Won’t Be Manwatched:

1.      Trim your nose hairs with a crab fork.

2.      Consume four cans of chili before church and put the pew in pew.

3.      Don’t leave the house until you’ve applied the entire quart of Aqua Velva.

4.      Take in a WNBA game.

5.      Tell Anna Nicole Smith you’re broke… whoops, wait a minute.

Men To Avoid At All Costs:

1.      Men who wear gold chains

2.      Men who smoke thin, brown French cigarettes

3.      Men with sideburns that exceed 4-inches.

4.      Balding men who comb long strands of their remaining hair across the top of their head.

5.      Men who speak of their ex-wife’s sexual shortcomings in colorful detail.

6.      Men who order for you in restaurants.

7.      Professional clowns.

8.      Men with visible nose hair.

9.      Men who live with their mothers.

10.  Men with tattoos.

Universal Letter Writing Week — Most of the time we get really positive responses from our listener e-mail, but in the event that we receive a tacky one, we always like to ask the listeners to help us reply. After reading the ugly e-mail on-air, we ask listeners to call and give us one sentence they would like to include in the reply. We write them down in the order they are received and pretty soon we have a pretty stupid, but funny letter. Try it.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

·         Patrick Swayze has pneumonia and has checked himself into a hospital for observation.

·         Actor Steven Gilborn, who appeared in scores of movies and television shows, most notably as Ellen DeGeneres’s father on her mid-1990′s sitcom, lost his battle with cancer on January. He was 72.

·         An author has been given permission to write a third “Winnie the Pooh” book, the first sequel since the 1920s.

·         Jennifer Love Hewitt has won a restraining order against a 62-year-old man she says has been stalking her.

·         Name one of the industries that was great last year? Comic books. Sales were up 5%. The best seller of all: Marvel Comics “Secret Invasion #1.”

·         Polaroid cameras aren’t coming back, but the company is coming out with the “Pogo”: a digital camera with built-in color printer.

·         Jimmy Page’s manager has said once and for all that Led Zeppelin will never reunite again.

·         Black Eyed Peas star Fergie and actor Josh Duhamel are officially husband and wife after tying the knot in Malibu, California on Saturday.

·         Amy Winehouse’s incarcerated husband has launched divorce proceedings after seeing photos of her frolicking with another man in the Caribbean.

·         Billy Mays, that screaming infomercial guy, is getting his own show on the Discovery Channel, called “But Wait, There’s More!”

·         For the record, men are losing jobs in this recession faster than women. Current unemployment rate: 7.2% for men, 5.9% for women.

·         Last Friday, in the town of Normal, Illinois, a couple exchanged wedding vows at a Taco Bell. They wanted to keep the ceremony simple and stress-free.

·         Not everyone is down-sizing. New government statistics show that 34% of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7% who are just overweight.

·         Jon Hager, who performed in the musical comedy duo The Hager Twins on “Hee-Haw,” has died. He was 67.

·         Cheryl Holdridge, one of the Mouseketeers from the 1950s “The Mickey Mouse Club”, has died. She was 64.

·         Taylor Swift will appear on an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” as a teenage girl whose family manages a seedy Las Vegas motel.

·         Jennifer Lopez was not the first choice to open the Golden Globe Awards. Rumor has it that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were originally scheduled, but bowed out fearing it could cost them a chance to present at the Oscars.

·         American troops in Iraq will be allowed to drink beer without fear of court-martial for this year’s Super Bowl – an exception to a strict military ban on drinking alcohol in combat zones.

·         Charlotte Church finally gave birth to her second child, a boy, at her home in Wales on Sunday.

·         The Obama’s haven’t made their final decision yet on the first dog, but they have whittled down the list of possible breeds to just two: Labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound.

·         Yes, that was Alex Rodriguez out on a date last week with someone other than Madonna. In fact, it was Kate Hudson.

·         Those who get the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday off next Monday are heading into a 3-day weekend.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

So boys and girls, what is the most irritating invention? When that question was asked of 2,500 adult Britons, the karaoke machine was the biggest offender. Here’s the top 5 most irritating inventions:

1.      Karaoke machines (22%)

2.      24-hour sports channels (17%)

3.      Computer game consoles (12%)

4.      Cell phones (11%)

5.      Alarm clocks (7%)

If you put that soft drink down now, you might be able to save your waistline. The typical American drinks almost 50 additional calories from sweetened beverages than they did 20 years ago, for an average of 300 calories daily, says new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. What does this mean? If you eat the exact same diet as you did in 1988 — except for the extra 50 calories from the soda — you’ll gain five pounds a year. If you cut 300 liquid calories from your daily diet, you’ll lose 2.5 pounds a month.

When a woman asks if her pants make her look fat and you both know she’s gained 5 pounds, what goes through his head? Women’s Health contributing editor, Larry Smith’s answer is: Dread. Hope. Fear. Dread because it’s a lose-lose question, no answer is going to make you happy. Hope because when we tell you, “You’re beautiful and I love you,” we hope you know we mean it, and really hope you won’t keep asking. And fear because it’s not that 5 pounds is a big deal, we’ve had ups and downs ourselves and feel lucky that your love isn’t calibrated to the scale.

Men’s Health compared a survey from 1990 to one taken today about what’s important for a successful marriage. Here’s what they found:

·         Fidelity, 95% in 1990 compared to 93% in 2007

·         A happy sexual relationship, 67% in 1990 compared to 70% in 2007

·         Shared household chores, 47% in 1990 compared to 62% in 2007

·         Adequate income, 46% in 1990 compared to 53% in 2007

·         A comfortable home, 42% in 1990 compared to 51% in 2007

·         Shared religious beliefs, 45% in 1990 compared to 49% in 2007

·         Shared tastes and interest, 44% in 1990 compared to 46% in 2007

·         Children, 65% in 1990 compared to 41% in 2007

Getting married boosts mental health, especially if you are depressed. According to a recent study conducted by Ohio State University, taking a walk down the aisle perks up anybody who’s feeling blue. On the other hand, happy people might be better off remaining single than entering into a marriage cursed by conflict or distance.

Technology is supposed to increase productivity but a recent survey shows that it’s having the opposite effect, as people are working more and accomplishing less. In 1994, researchers say American employees averaged completing three-quarters of their daily workload and these days they finish only two-thirds. Experts blame e-mail, instant messaging, cell phones, voice mail and web surfing.

Who would you turn to during a time of crisis? A growing number of adults can’t say. One quarter of people have no one to confide in, more than double the number 20 years ago, American Sociological Review finds.

PHONE TOPICS

·         How long is it OK to keep the Christmas lights up?

·         What’s missing on TV? We’re watching it less and less? Why?

·         Where’s the most unusual place you’ve ever heard of having a wedding?

·         Which is the least appealing awards show?

·         Do you ever the instructions on anything? Certain things?

·         Funniest thing you did to someone when they were passed out?

·         Best cure for a hangover?

·         Anyone addicted to a Cable TV News channel? Which one?

·         Ever meet someone on TV?

·         If you got a new car today, what would the first song you’d want to hear on your new stereo?

·         The best thing about being a kid was?

·         If the ATM machine gave me $20 too much I would…?

·         Anyone seen an extreme case of PDA (public display of affection)?

·         Anyone ever bowl a perfect game? A hole in one?

·         What do you have that you could sell on E-Bay for a lot, but haven’t?

·         Which video game is your weak spot? How much time do you play each week?

Are you obsessed with texting on your cell phone? Does your kid rack up your cell phone bill every month? My cohost sends text messages all during the show and it drives me crazy. We heard about one teen that puts her to shame. A 13-year-old girl in California racked up an astonishing 14,528 text messages in one month. The online AT&T statement ran 440 pages. It works out to 484 text messages a day, or one every two minutes of every waking hour.

Do you think the state lottery can make you rich? My brother-on-law thinks that buying lottery tickets is for “people who aren’t good at math.” I still like to buy them. In fact, more than half of all states with lotteries have reported rising sales over the past six months, and some researchers say financial insecurity might be driving people to risk more of their money than usual on $1 and $5 instant scratch-offs and other daily games in hopes of a big payoff. Is buying a lottery ticket a good investment or are you just plain dumb?

On the same topic of the rotten economy, there’s also another batch of businesses that are thriving: astrologers, psychics and clairvoyants. Since the credit crunch began to bite, astrologers across the world have reported a surge in customers. Have you ever paid a psychic? Do you believe they have the power to foresee or contact the dead?

It’s not hard to tell when a guy is “happy to see you.” The twinkle in his eye, his swagger, that sexy smile — all are clear signs he’s in the mood. And, at least subconsciously, a woman can also tell by the scent of his sweat, according to new research. Really? Guys, does that mean you should run right out and get Axe body spray? Ladies, does a man scent draw you closer? What scent attracts you the most?

A friend of mine was telling me how her brother and sister-in-law came to visit with their 18-month old triplets. When they informed her she couldn’t touch the babies unless she applied some hand sanitizer, she said, “Then I don’t want to hold your babies.” Apparently they were making everyone do that because the kids were born premature, but as she pointed out, “that was 18 months ago.” I guess they didn’t have a problem with the kids crawling around on the floor and picking up dog toys. Tell us about the new parent you know who’s over protective.

What’s the best part time job that you’ve ever had? According to Careerbuilder.com, here are some great ones:

1.      Pharmacy Technician – Average Salary: $12.32/hour (higher pay for weekend shifts and certified technicians) Job Description: Techs work in hospitals, health care facilities and retail pharmacies helping pharmacists prepare prescriptions for patients.

2.      Tax Preparer – Average Salary: $32.21/hour Job Description: Tax preparers help people and businesses file their annual income taxes. They know what expenses can be deducted and what forms need to be filled according to the law.

3.      Dental Assistant – Average Salary: $14.53/hour Job Description: Dental assistants help dentists with procedures by preparing equipment, taking X-rays and tending to patients.

4.      Personal & Home Care Aide – Average Salary: $8.45/hour (higher pay for more experienced aides) Job Description: Personal and home-care aides work at the homes or assisted-living residences of elderly, ill or disabled patients. They help patients perform daily tasks and ensure their surroundings accommodate their needs.

5.      Receptionist – Average Salary: $11.01/hour (Medical offices pay higher than the average rate.) Job Description: Receptionists greet and assist guests when they visit a business. Their duties depend on the type of business, but generally they perform administrative tasks. In medical offices they handle patient records.

6.      Clerical Library Assistant – Average Salary: $10.40/hour Job Description: Library assistants check out and reshelve books; they notify customers of overdue items; and ensure the library’s materials, such as books, movies and music, are in good condition.

My cohost was taking a shower this morning and he was listening to the radio as he was getting ready. He began to ponder about the other places that he listens to the radio so he decided that we should head to the phones and ask listeners… (As boring as this sounds it was actually quite interesting, as we had listeners call in from the cemetery, another who was in an embalming room, someone else on the toilet, another in the trunk of a car on his way to work… yeah, go figure, and numerous others.) Where’s the weirdest place you’re listening to us right now?

Is there anyone listening over 25 years old who doesn’t have a credit or debit card or a checking account?

Is there anyone listening who has been a part of a couple bridal shower or had just a man’s bridal shower?

Speaking of weddings, apparently the new fad is for the bride to not only spend a stupid amount of money on a bridal gown, but then spend big bucks on a different dress for the reception. We took calls from people who’ve been at weddings like that and found out what they thought about it.

Tell us about your childhood fears. my cohost’s grandmother used to constantly warn her about staying away from vans and it took her the longest time to be able to walk by one. (Apparently mini-vans are okay, just not the full size ones.) We heard from a woman who’s still afraid to go into her basement alone at night and another who’s nervous about one of the bridges at the zoo because of the trolls that live underneath it. The best call was from a woman whose brother was terrorized when their mom snuck back into the house when they thought she had left and hid under her bed. She made noises until they came to investigate and then she yanked the boy under it. That mom ain’t right.

A recent national data show school bus-related accidents send 17,000 U.S. children to emergency rooms each year, more than double the number in previous estimates that only included crashes. Here are some more stats:

·         23.5 million children travel on school buses nationwide each year

·         Some 17,000 children up to age 19 have been hurt each year

·         42% are because of crashes

·         25% of accidents occur when children are boarding or leaving school buses

Why do unhappy people stay together? My co-host has a friend who would divorce her husband in a heartbeat except that she fears trying to make ends meet without the dual income. We got plenty of calls from people who were in the same boat and agreed and then others who argued that even without violence or whatever, it’s still not worth it to stay in a loveless marriage.

Recent reports in the US have shown that certain areas of the internet (social sites in particular) are susceptible to Phishing, with “success rates” sometimes as high as 70% in certain quarters! The criminals tend to hit high profile sites, which are guaranteed to have many many users (sometimes in the millions) with the like of eBay, PayPal and the major financial institutions regular targets. When I get a phishing email, I fill out the forms with some “choice” words. It’s fun to feel like you’re getting some revenge. Anyone else mess with Phishers?

Clueless husbands and childbirth? One woman who described her husband as a girly-man said he didn’t want to go to the emergency room not looking his best and asked if he had time to take a shower first.

I had an ad for a personal assistant on my car, last week. Do us regular Joes use this type of service very often? I can understand nannies, but who uses a personal assistant for daily life? We got a lot of calls from people who spend the extra cash on people to run their errands.

I developed a toothache last week and as required by “man-law” I whined about it for a couple of days because I figured it would go away on its own. That prompted the ladies to call in and complain about how stupid guys are for avoiding doctors. (I did eventually call the dentist and he put me on antibiotics, but I think it was just a coincidence that the pain stopped shortly after that.) Our best call was a woman whose husband has actually asked her to go to his appointment, describe what’s wrong with him to the doctor and just pick up the medicine on the way home.

WEIRD NEWS

Anybody Seen the Fat Ninja?
Police in West Palm Beach, Florida are looking for a ninja — an overweight one at that. They say a heavyset man, dressed in a ninja costume with a visible pot belly, has unsuccessfully tried to steal two different ATM machines over the last two weeks. Security video from the two machines showed the man dressed in a black ninja outfit with a hood that showed only his eyes. Police would not say exactly how our donut-loving ninja tried to steal the machines but let’s just say his ninja skills leave a good bit to be desired. (myway.com)

Flirting For Geeks
Thanks to a new course being offered to budding IT engineers at Potsdam University near Berlin, even the geekiest computer nerds can learn to flirt with finesse! The 440 students enrolled in the master’s degree course will learn how to write flirtatious text messages and emails, impress people at parties and cope with rejection. A disc jockey, Phillip von Senftleben, who is also an author, will be teaching the course and said he’ll be teaching how to “get someone else’s heart beating fast while yours stays calm.” The course is part of the social skills section of the IT curriculum and is designed to ease entry into the world of work. Students also learn body language, public-speaking, stress management and presentation skills. A university spokesperson justified this nonsense by saying, “We want to prepare our students with the social skills needed to succeed both in their private life and their work life.” (Reuters)

Phoner: Let’s Do It Now! Flirting 101 on the air! Come on you players. How do you successfully flirt with girls? Or lady players — what do you do to catch that guy’s attention. We want to talk to some pros!

U.S. Army Now Using Video Games To Recruit!
While the U.S. Army is struggling to ensure it has enough manpower for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve taken to the world of video games to woo new recruits. Gone are the days of the metal tables and uniformed soldiers in a drab military building– the Army has now invested $12 million in a facility that looks like a cross between a hotel lobby and a video arcade. Dubbed the U.S. Army Experience Center, it’s located at the Franklin Mills shopping mall in northeast Philadelphia and has 60 personal computers loaded with military video games, 19 Xbox 360 video game controllers and a series of interactive screens describing military bases and career options in great detail. Potential recruits can hang out on couches and listen to rock music in the center that is the first of its kind and is part of a two-year experiment. So far, it has signed up 33 full-time soldiers and five reservists — roughly matching the performance of the five traditional recruiting centers it replaced. (Reuters)

New World Record — Getting to the South Pole!
Three Canadian folks have set a new world record for the fastest trip walking across Antarctica to the South Pole. Ray Zahab, Kevin Valley and Richard Weber reached their destination after walking 800 miles unaided on skis, snowshoes and on foot. Took the boys 33 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes. That’s bad news for American adventurer Todd Carmichael who made the same journey in 39 days and 7 hours and also set a new world record just a month ago. Despite covering their body and faces, the men still got sunburns from light reflected off the snow. Their daily diet included Gatorade and other high-fat foods totaling 7,000 calories. (AHN News)

I Got A Groom — Now I Just Need Some Guests!
A bride from Ukraine, who is getting married in London, is advertising on a web site for “decent” guests to fill her side of the church. As most of her family and friends won’t be able to make the wedding, she’s looking for 30 people to sit with her. She also wants bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers. Her web ad reads: “My partner has loads of family around to invite to the wedding. Unfortunately for me, my family is all in Ukraine so they all can’t make it. Only my mom and dad will be there.” Those who want to volunteer have to send a photograph and write about themselves, but in return they get invited to the reception. (Ananova)

Best Job in the World!
The heads of Australia tourism are offering up what they say is the best job in the world — they need a caretaker for a paradise island. The job pays $70,000 for the six-month gig but given the minimal work required, it works out to about $1,000 an hour! The new position on Hamilton Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, requires no academic qualifications, but applicants must be able to swim and have an “adventurous attitude”. Included is a free three-bedroom house and free flights. So what exactly do you have to do? Well those doing the hiring say they want the person to promote the island to a “global market” and the only requirement is that he or she keeps a blog of what’s going on– a job that should take less than three hours a week. The rest of the time they can go diving, help marine biologists or come up with ideas for new activities for visitors. Tourism Queensland spokesman Jonathan Sloan said, “This is the best job in the world, there’s no question about it.” The job is being advertised in 18 countries and the successful candidate will be announced in May. (Ananova)

Help! I’ve Been Buried Alive!
In Central Brazil, 73-year-old Freud de Melo operates an interesting theme park that features stone models of Noah’s Ark and other sculptures, but also features a tour of his own unusual crypt. De Melo suffers from taphephobia– the fear of being buried alive — so his giant crypt, which he designed, features a TV and fruit pantry, has access to fresh air, and features two built-in plastic cones that act as megaphones to the outside so that if he is buried too soon, he will be able to get help. He demonstrates this for tourists by going inside the crypt and then yelling, “Help me! Come quick! I’ve been buried alive!” Taphephobia was more common in centuries past when doctors more notoriously pronounced patients dead, who were in fact still alive. One of the more famous taphephobia suffers was President George Washington. (Wall Street Journal)

THIS OR THAT

Two choices: you gotta pick one and tell us why!

·         Superbowl Party with no food or Superbowl Party with Black & White TV

·         50 extra pounds or Homeless

·         No coat on a cold day or Too many clothes on a hot day

·         Mexican food or Thai Food

·         Having taxes done or Doing them yourself

·         Polka music or Classical music

·         Baking a cake from scratch or Mowing your neighbor’s lawn

·         Church picnic or Lodge meeting

·         10-mile hike or 20-mile bike ride

·         Upset stomach or Headache

WHERE IS MY CO-HOST?

We had a promoter dumped a wad of concert tickets on us. So, I sent my co-host out in the station van (starting at 5:30am) and sent her to numerous places in our area. We never said exactly where she was, just gave clues. We gave a clue the morning before and had people waiting at the right location at 4:30am. Apparently, they’ll do anything for tickets.

BIRTHDAY CLUB

Birthdays come but once a year, so we make it special weekdays at 6:50am by announcing birthday wishes. Listeners are asked to submit their special day to our “Birthday Club” for a chance to win tickets, CD’s, etc. It’s simple to enter. We set up a form on our web site where listeners can send the birthday boy/girl’s first and last name, age, place of work or school, and who the birthday wish is from.

TOP FIVE GOOFS IN PRESIDENT BUSH’S FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE

1.      Say he was here to put the “oaf” in “Oafal Office”

2.      Reminding everyone that there “Is no P in President Bush, if you ignore the president word”

3.      Calling the President-Elect Barrack O’Conner

4.      Talking about Middle East residents as “Gaza Strippers”

5.      Referring to Vice-President Shane Dicky

HUNTER’S HUMOR by Tim Hunter

“Slumdog Millionaire” won four Golden Globe Awards Sunday night. At the risk of being redundant, the movie about a big winner was a big winner.

Michelle Obama’s mom is going to live in the White House, at least in the beginning of the new first family’s time there. An economic crisis, turmoil in the Middle East AND your mother-in-law moving in with you? How much can one man take?

President Bush held what is expected to be his final press conference yesterday. Too early to pop the cork yet, but you might as well put it on ice!

For those of you who don’t know what a Ponzi scheme is, go back to “Happy Days”… and think of a get-rich scheme created by Fonzie… but executed by Potsie.

FILL IN THE BLANK

·         A new government survey shows that one out of every 200 kids are ___________. (vegetarians)

·         A new study shows that for every 1% drop in government spending, ___________’s go up to 30% the following year. (traffic tickets)

·         A 13-year-old in California had 14,528 _________’s last month! (text messages… yes, in one month!)

GARGLE & WIN

Ten callers must gargle a song. If they guess what it is, they win! Once again, so simple, but lots of fun because the listening audience has the chance to play, even if they’re not on your line. Kinda like the people in the office can all play along type thing. Gag prizes like a case of Scope, cough drops, an electric toothbrush go along great with the usual t-shirt giveaway.

WE START YOU FINISH

It’s a contest where you cue up a song to any lyrics you want. You then play a line and then cut if off. The listener has to sing the next line. It’s great when your caller has no idea what the lyrics are, but they try valiantly not to sound goofy. Ten times out of ten they sound goofy.

PETS ARE BETTER COMPANY

A recent survey of dog and cat owners by insurance group Direct Line reveals that pets are better company than our mates:

·         Nine out of 10 animal lovers say that after a bad day, their pets make them feel like a million bucks.

·         86% of respondents say Fluffy or Rover helps relieve their stress and tension.

·         45% of women would rather be with their four-legged friends than hubbies or boyfriends.

·         30% of guys like their fuzzy pals better than their wives or girlfriends. Docs say our animal friends may even help us to live longer by lowering blood pressure.

THE CITY’S UGLIEST DOG

Ask listeners if anyone has ever told them, “You have an ugly dog!” Then have them send in pictures of their “ugly” dog for posting on the web site. Narrow them down to 10 or so dogs and let your listeners vote for the Ugliest Dog in your city. Our grand prize winner receive a doggie makeover from a local pet groomer and a $100 gift certificate at a local pet shop.

HAIR’S THE THING

(National Examiner) It’s easy to color your world when you know what hues go best with your hair. You can use your wardrobe to bring out the color in your face or your locks, or help downplay them, say experts. For instance, like the sunshine, yellow brightens anything it touches. Here are some other hints:

·         Redheads — Wear colors that compliment red tones, such as deep beige, green and peach. If your tresses are more auburn, bright rust will de-emphasize the hue of your hair. You should not wear pink unless it is muted in some way. Russet or maroon is better. Orange is also good for auburn hair. Blue-violet is very flattering.

·         Brunettes — Yellow is very flattering. Pale brunettes should not wear light blue because it gives you an orange-yellow tint. Dark reds are a good choice.

·         Blondes — Purple clothes will augment your complexion, while bright yellow ones will tone down your hair. Wearing clashing orange can make your hair look dull and faded. Blue-green shades are the most flattering.

BEST EXCUSE FOR CALLING IN SICK

Ask listeners to e-mail you with their “Best excuse for calling in sick for work.” Read the entries on the air and have either the morning show (or listeners) vote on the best ones and give them cash.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

For Men:

·         Which is not an Abba song? Dancing Queen, S.O.S., or Roman Nights ***.

·         Lollipop, Sunny Daze, and Sweetberry are all characters in what animated TV show? Strawberry Shortcake ***, My Little Pony, or Rainbow Brite.

·         If you’re buying a sweater, which one is more expensive? Acrylic, cashmere ***, or wool.

·         Who wrote the book “Little Women”? Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott ***.

For Women:

·         A soccer ball is made up of how many leather panels? 24, 32 ###, or 12.

·         Who did the Pittsburgh Steelers recently beat to get into this year’s AFC championship game? The Chargers ***, the Cowboys, or the Saints.

·         Which car was just awarded Car of the Year by a panel of 50 automotive journalists at this year’s (2009) Detroit auto show? Hyundai Genesis ***, Ford Fiesta, or Honda Accord.

·         Approximately how many yards wide is a football field? 20 yards, 70 yards, or 53 yards ***.

GORSEFEATHERS by Patrick Gorse

The commanding U.S. General in Iraq, Raymond T. Odierno, has signed a special 24-hour waiver allowing beer in a combat zone so American G.I.’s can celebrate the Super Bowl. Odierno said that if NFL players like Plaxico Burress can shoot themselves in drinking zones, his soldiers ought to be able to drink in a shooting zone.

Amy Winehouse’s former boyfriend says that Amy smokes crack cocaine for breakfast. This gives a whole new meaning to the term, “the crack of dawn.”

Six Somali pirates have drowned with their share of a $3 million ransom that was parachuted to the Saudi Arabian oil tanker they’d hijacked. The deaths weren’t accidental. The Somali pirates jumped into the open seas after discovering the $3 million was paid in Zimbabwean currency.

Republicans are going to try to block the confirmation of Barack Obama’s Attorney General designate Eric Holder because he aided Chiquita Banana in a lawsuit charging them with hiring a terrorist group to protect their banana fields in Colombia. I believe the terrorist group was called Al-Quita, and their leader was an iconic recluse named Obanana bin Rotten.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich held a news conference on Friday in which he featured a teenage boy whom Blagojevich claims is alive only because his health plan secured him a liver transplant. Gov. Blagojevich maintains there is no taint attached to the boy, because he sold the boy’s taint for a liver.

Economic expert Harry S. Dent, who last year published an optimistic book about the stock market titled, “The Next Great Bubble Boom,” has just come out with a new pessimistic stock market book called, “The Great Depression Ahead.” If only the U.S. auto industry could develop a turning radius that good, the Big Three wouldn’t need a bailout.

Lisa Bonet, one of the daughters from “The Cosby Show” – who’s also known as Lilakoi Moon– has given birth to her third child, a son, that’s she’s named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa. And she says she’s going to resume her acting career—Probably to earn enough money to pay for monogrammed towels.

Two arrests have been made following the burglary of Greg Allman’s Georgia home. I’m guessing they were drug busts. The guys said, “They’re not our drugs. We stole ‘em from Gregg Allman.”

The tabloids are all over this story in Great Britain. Prince Harry, who usually gets in trouble for drinking, is in hot water now for using ethnic slurs. And what makes it worse; he was slurring his slurs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the San Diego Chargers Sunday. No offense, Charger fans, but I’m glad Pittsburgh won. It would have been embarrassing for a team that finished the regular season 8-8, to host the AFC Championship in their stadium… Almost as embarrassing as George Bush hosting state dinners at the White House.

The NFC Championship Game will be the Eagles and the Cardinals. And after the Bush administration’s environmental policies, they’re the only birds left flying.

Paris Hilton is trying to fight the image that she’s a skank claiming that she’s only slept with a couple of men…I’m guessing she means, at once.

On Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama suggested that all Americans would have to sacrifice to get the country out of its economic crisis. He said, “Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.” And thanks to the Giants’ performance against the Eagles, “Tonight Show” announcer John Melendez has a lot more skin on his head as a result of the game!

On ABC’S “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” President-elect Barack Obama stressed his philosophy of reaching across the aisle saying he’s “not trying to jam anything down people’s throats.” So, contrary to what the Republicans are saying, Obama’s presidency isn’t going to be Bill Clinton’s third term.

So Barack Obama says he doesn’t want to “jam anything down people’s throats.” Good to know there won’t be a Clintonian “second cumming” in the Oval Office while Obama’s President…

Republican House leader John Boehner criticized Barack Obama’s $750 billion dollar economic stimulus plan on Sunday saying why can’t we just “Tax less and spend less?” Duh! He’s a Democrat, Boehner… Why can’t you smoke less?

The Northeastern part of the U.S. is experiencing frigid temperatures. It was so cold in New York City; the Statue of Liberty was renamed the Statue of Librrrrrrrrty.

Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice said this week that she thought she “would be 80″ by the time a black person became president. Which means Rice thought it would never happen…because under the GOP health plan, black people don’t live to be 80.

Bill O’Reilly says that even though he’s ending his syndicated A.M. talk-show, “The Radio Factor,” his two minute “Talking Points” segment will continue to air. However, now that George Bush is leaving the White House, it’s yet to be determined who will be giving Bill O’Reilly his talking points.

A New York court has decided that $50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme architect Bernie Madoff didn’t violate the terms of his house arrest enough to require throwing him in jail. Everyone expected the judge to throw the book at Madoff, but Bernie threw him a mitten first.

According to a just-released book by the New York Times’ David Sanger, Israel asked President Bush for bunker-buster bombs, and permission to fly over restricted Iraqi airspace so the Israelis could attack Iran, but Mr. Bush said no. The Bush administration still insists that all military options for Iran remain on the table…it’s just the table in Dick Cheney’s dining room.

On Sunday, President-elect Barack Obama stressed the need for national sacrifice in order to beat the country’s economic crisis saying, “Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.” To which Larry Flynt replied, “I do! Now where’s my bailout?”

I never watch football games live anymore because I don’t have the time. I’m too busy getting material for the jokes. Here’s what I do. While I’m recording the game–I read a couple of hard-copy newspapers, and when I know the game has to be over, I play it back and fast-forward through the commercials. Unless it’s a Detroit Lions game — then I watch the commercials, and fast-forward through the game.

WHAT YOUR HANDBAG SAYS ABOUT YOU

Ladies, forget about what your daily apparel says about you it’s your purse that reveals your personality to the world. Kathryn Eisman, an Australian analyst and author of “How to Tell a Woman by Her Handbag,” says the inner contents of your purse are also an important source of information. Here’s what you handbag tells the world about you:

·         You prefer a spacious shoulder bag with lots of compartments that you can fill with a variety of stuff — You’re an eternal optimist who manages to accomplish your goals even thought it’s often at the last minute. The miscellaneous contents of your bag assure that you’re prepared for any and all situations. You try every day to make the world a better place.

·         You appreciate the sleek, clean lines of a clutch because you only carry the bare necessities — You’re elegant, sophisticated and focused, and amaze family and friends with your organizational skills. You’re a champ at solving problems with little fuss. You also play your cards close to the vest, revealing little of your true feelings to those around you.

·         You like a sensible shoulder bag in a basic color that’s roomy enough for all you “to do” lists — You prefer to stick to the rules because you believe following tried and true constraints is the best way to tackle a situation. You may lose your cool in chaotic circumstances, but your disciplined approach to life usually keeps you in control of your environment.

·         You love an eye catching purse in bright colors or embroidery you can fill with mementoes — You wear your heart on your sleeve and the loyalty and love of your friends and family are far more important than material things. You also have a unique perspective that’s reflected in your unusual handbag you believe life should be lived as a great adventure.

·         You adore a squashy tote that matches your mood and features one large space. — You’re intelligent, fun loving and endlessly curious about everyone and everything. No matter what the problem, you’re a master at boiling complex ideas down to their bare essence to produce smart solutions. Loved ones regularly look to your for innovative ideas.

ASKMEN’S WAYS WOMEN ANNOY MEN

·         Use sex as a weapon — It’s a man’s universal weak spot, and therefore unfair to use for gain.

·         Talk incessantly — With guys, you don’t need so much detail.

·         Shop till they drop — If that’s unavoidable, leave us home, don’t force us along for the hell.

·         Become too emotional — we suck at dealing with a crying woman on our shoulder, we don’t know the first thing about comforting woman. Don’t lose it during every minor setback.

·         Invade our personal space — You know the hell we’d pay for doing this to you, so stay out of our drawers! Well, at the least the ones that hold our clothes.

·         Speak in code — The old “What are you thinking?” is timeless for testing how we feel about you. Please be specific or else we just don’t get it.

·         Become needy — Don’t turn us into emotional crutches and overly use us for moral boosters, it can become too much.

·         Act jealous — A strip club is just another place to talk football… and watch nude women.

·         Criticize other women — It’s not a crime if shoes don’t match the purse. Why must everything be criticized from weight to hairstyle.

·         Pretend to be virtuous — be honest, you’ve slept with just as many men as we have women… but you won’t admit it. Find a man that appreciates your past.

TOP FIVE WAYS TO KEEP WARM ON A COLD WINTER’S DAY

1.      Stare at that Jessica Alba pin-up on the wall and think warm thoughts.

2.      Take up a new hobby… like fire walking.

3.      Try that old “fire eating trick” that got you kicked out of the 8th grade.

4.      If you’re a nudist, try wearing clothes, for a change.

5.      Go to the local fast food joint, ask if you can go bobbing for French fries!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

01.12.09

Motown Celebrates 50th Anniversary!


SANTA MONICA, CA— January 12 marks the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. It was 50 years ago that Berry Gordy launched the label that changed both music and society. Motown launches a year-long celebration that includes TV and Radio Specials, appearances in national and international electronic and print media. Motown performers will appear in-store; on-location, on-line and The Four Tops will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Grammy’s. Motown will be acknowledged at both the Motown Museum in Detroit and at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Motown Records will launch the CD “Now Motown” with 25 of Motown’s greatest hits. Also in the pipeline is Motown Fanthology; Fans vote for their favorite Motown songs, Motown 50 podcasts are available featuring interviews from classic Motown artists at both www.motown.com and from iTunes, and this fall The Motown Tribute Album; Motown hits performed by today’s hottest artists. Motown is recently release a 10-CD boxed set of The Complete #1’s Collection with is 200 hits.

As an irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown Records made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large, with a sound that that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century. Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, Lionel Richie & the Commodores, the Marvelettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight & the Pips, their music communicated and brought together a racially divided country and segregated society, around the world, touching all people of all ages and race.  No other record company in history has exerted such an enormous influence on both the style and substance of popular music and culture.  With more than 180 No. 1 hit songs worldwide and counting, that influence is still being felt today, from pop to hip-hop; Motown celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding. 

Motown, of course, stands for more than just the historic music. The label and its remarkable legacy is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. Nearly a half-century ago, on January 12, 1959, to be exact, a young African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy founded Tamla Records with a loan of $800 from his family, marking the birth of the “Motown Records Corporation.” A man of vision, drive, talent and determination, Berry Gordy was also a producer, innovative entrepreneur, and teacher. The phenomenal success of Motown Records is a tribute to all that he embodies and all the talent that he brought out in others. Under his leadership, and through determination and support of the Motown family of artists, Gordy forged new grounds for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon beloved by millions.  It’s an “only in America kind of story”. And everyone can sing along!”

What’s Going On:
*       Motown Historical Museum in Detroit  – Classic Motown artists acting as Tour Guides this week
*       Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just unveiled “Motown: The Sound of Young America: exhibit
*       Motown.com  – site revamped with podcasts, Motown merchandise, trivia, music
*       Borders promotion – Free Motown Poster with any purchase of a Motown CD  while supplies last
*       LA – Boyz II Men; 1/13 at 7pm; at the Westwood Borders
*       Detroit – Duke Fakir of the Four Tops + Martha Reeves on 1/16 at 7pm;  Borders in Dearborn
For more information; Contact Jill Ettinger at Jill.Ettinger@umusic.com

SHOW PREP JANUARY 12, 2009

 

HOLLYWOOD 411 . . .

 

Fergie and Josh Duhamel are husband and wife. The two tied the knot under magnolias filled with white roses Saturday at an ultra-private ceremony at the Church Estates Vineyards in Malibu, Calif., Usmagazine.com can confirm. Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am was among the guests. Around 5:09 p.m., attendees were overheard saying that the two had wed; cheers were also heard outside the estate. Fergie, 33, wore a fitted, white ruched, corseted wedding gown with a mesh tulle overlay, spaghetti straps and a long train designed by Dolce & Gabbana. The singer — whose veil was also made by the designer — was draped in millions of dollars worth of one-of-a-kind diamonds by H. Stern. Duhamel, 36, also wore Dolce & Gabbana, as did the bridesmaids (in black dresses) and groomsmen (in black suits and white ties). The two exchanged H. Stern rings, with each band engraved with special personal messages by the bride and groom. Her engagement ring had a round, 4-carat brilliant cut diamond set amid other diamonds, with colors ranging from white to cognac. A narrow colored diamond wedding band was designed to match. Duhamel’s ring was made of 18K white gold with a brush finish. The singer (real name: Stacy Ferguson), and Duhamel have been dating since 2004 after Duhamel confessed to In Style that she was his celeb crush. “I had read in a magazine that he had a naughty dream about me,” Fergie told Playboy last year. “All my friends knew about him because he had been a soap opera star. I’m not into soap operas, but they told me, ‘You gotta go out with him. Do it for the group. Take one for the team.’  “Time went by, and I saw on the schedule that we were taping a show called Las Vegas, and I thought, ‘Is this the show he’s on?’” she went on. “We met, and I said, ‘I read you had a dream about me.’ He said yeah, and I asked, ‘Was it good?’ He said it was. So we hit it off.” He popped the question in late 2007. Of wedding plans, Fergie told USA Today, “I have a big stack of wedding magazines, and I’ve never picked one up before in my life.” Duhamel recently told Entertainment Tonight that plans were “all going great. It’s fun, actually. We’re both really excited about it, and it will be good.” Last month, Fergie told Blender married life won’t be so different for them. “We’re practically married, anyway,” she said. “I’m madly in love with him. He understands how to treat a woman and give me respect.” (US Weekly)

 

Actress Ione Skye, star of the 1989 hit film Say Anything, chose a distant and colorful setting to exchange vows with Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee: they were wed in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India on Dec. 29  About 50 of the couple’s friends and family members, including Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother and Skye’s older brother, Donovan Leitch, witnessed the ceremony in the village of Malaikodi, near Chennai (formerly known as Madras) on the Bay of Bengal, the Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports. The two-hour ceremony was presided over by Lee’s spiritual guru, Sakthi Narayani Amma. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at a nearby guest house with Lee’s friends the Kahn Brothers performing as the wedding band. Lee, 30, and Skye, 37, then gathered the entire wedding party to visit an orphanage and performed for the children there. The couple plan another ceremony in Los Angeles to legalize their union, since the Indian nuptials were not recognized at home in California. “We have to go to City Hall tomorrow, and I’m mildly resentful about it,” Lee told the newspaper. “You go through a huge experience on an emotional and spiritual level, then you have to go and do the paperwork.” The marriage is the first for Lee, who split with Claire Danes in 2003, and the second for Skye, who was previously married to the Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz. Skye has a daughter, Kate, with ex-boyfriend designer David Netto. (People)

 

Welsh singer Charlotte Church added a little more Enchantment to her life today. Charlotte and boyfriend, rugby player Gavin Henson, welcomed their second child early Sunday morning, according to the 22-year-old songbird’s official blog. The healthy 7lb 5oz baby boy was born shortly after midnight at the couple’s farmhouse outside Cardiff, Wales. Mother and baby are doing well.  Church and Henson, 26, announced the pregnancy back in June. They are already proud parents of a 13-month-old daughter named Ruby. (Eonline)

 

Patrick Swayze has checked himself into the hospital for observation after contracting pneumonia, A&E President Abbe Raven announced Friday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association. Swayze was scheduled to appear to discuss his upcoming drama “The Beast.” Robert DeBitetto, A&E’s programming senior vice president, explained his absence. “Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation,” said DeBitetto. “Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system, and illnesses are a part of that. Patrick wishes me to tell you that he’s very sorry he cannot attend, but plans to get back to promoting `The Beast’ soon.” Swayze’s spokeswoman, Annett Wolf, confirmed that Swayze was in the hospital but would not provide additional details. “In light of the news today, it’s a bump in the road,” said Vincent Angell, one of the show’s co-executive producers. “We wish him all the best.” In the series, which premieres Jan. 15, Swayze plays an FBI veteran who trains a rookie partner played by Travis Fimmel. Producers said they found out Swayze had cancer four hours after learning A&E had picked up the series. They also said filming was completed on all episodes of the first season and hope Swayze could continue in the role for a second season. “He’s an inspiration,” said Fimmel. “He makes the little things seem so not important.” Earlier this week, Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters that his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him “through hell” while he pushed ahead on his new TV series. The 56-year-old actor also owned up to his fear: “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m (asking), ‘Why me?’” (Daily Record)

 

Angelina Jolie, who has been lying low since the birth of her 5-month-old twins, is thinking about a brief return to film, but very brief. The “Changeling” star and mother of six – twins Vivienne and Knox were born last July – says she’ll be in front of the camera early this year. The 33-year-old actress didn’t say what projects she may be working on. “I have had a year off, and I may work for a few months,” Jolie says. “But if I do, I’m probably going to take another year and a half or two. I’m going to work a lot less.” Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt attended the 14th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Thursday night. (Daily Record)

 

Looks like Madonna will do just about anything to stay thin and look young. The latest reports claim that Madge has started a salmon “retox” regimen in order to look younger. She’s even supposedly hired some experts to help her with the program. A source says, “The new ‘retox’ means she has got a more cardio-intensive gym regime and a diet overhaul. She will also be eating a lot more salmon as it’s got age-defying properties. Her aim is to knock 12 years off her appearance.” It was reported previously that she spends over $120,000 a year on bottles of “specially blessed” Kabbalah water. It supposedly helps keep you looking “fresh and young.” A source close to Madonna says, “Madonna drinks a lot of water – that’s one of her fitness secrets. And Kabbalah water is the only stuff she will touch.” But as for that weird fish diet, it turns out others do it as well. Like Liam Gallagher of Oasis, who says he eats fish every day because it keeps him slim. Gallagher even calls himself the “Salmon King” and once said “I’m always banging away at the fish man. My top three fish are salmon at number one, sea bass at two and sardines are third. My number one dish is fucking salmon and stir-fry. Let’s hope Madonna doesn’t get….. “mercury poisoning”! (Perez Hilton)

 

Talk about unrealistic standards. Hottie Czech supermodel Karolina Kurkova has been under intense scrutiny and faced some tough criticism lately. Apparently, the thin model gained some weight last year. The Brazilian media even criticized the 24 year-old in June for her supposed “cellulite and love handles” after walking in the Sao Paulo Fashion Week. They also called her “too fat” after she walked in the Victoria’s Secret lingerie show in Miami last November. In order to get “slim” for the lingerie show, Kurkova has said she dieted on mainly fresh veggies, protein, and salad.  And, even before last November’s show, a source said she cut out all carbs and worked out for hours in order to get slimmer like the other Victoria’s Secret models. The friend says, “She was exhausted and didn’t get down to where she wanted to be.” In fact, Kurkova almost didn’t make it into the VS show due to her weight, they claim. It wasn’t until the last minute that they decided to include her. That explains why her name wasn’t on any of the pre-show press materials. But, according to another insider, it seems her weight “problems” are attributed to the ever popular thyroid disorder which is said to mess with her metabolism. Forbes states Kurkova is currently the eighth highest-paid supermodel in the world. So she’s obviously doing something right! We think Karolina needs to have a sitdown with Tyrannosaurus, on her show – of course! (Perez Hilton)

 

Cheryl Holdridge, a popular Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” TV show in the 1950s, has died. She was 64. Holdridge died Tuesday at her Santa Monica home after a two-year battle with lung cancer, Doreen Tracey, another former Mouseketeer, told the Los Angeles Times. Born Cheryl Lynn Phelps on June 20, 1944, in New Orleans, Holdridge moved to Los Angeles when she was 2. She became a Mouseketeer in 1956 at the start of the second season of “The Mickey Mouse Club,” which featured 24 young singers and dancers. “She was a good technical dancer, but I think she was picked mostly because she had this angelic look and a great smile; she’s known for her smile,” Tracey said. “We used to try to keep her quiet when she started singing because she sang off-key.” Tracey said Holdridge received large amounts of fan mail. “Annette (Funicello) had the highest rating, but Cheryl came pretty close,” she said. Holdridge played Wally Cleaver’s girlfriend for two seasons in “Leave It to Beaver,” and had guest roles on shows such as “Bewitched” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She left television in 1964 when she married Lance Reventlow, the son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. Reventlow was killed in a plane crash in 1972. Holdridge married Manning Post, a prominent West Coast Democratic Party fundraiser and adviser, in 1994. He died in 2000. “She certainly was a very pretty blonde and just had a very winning personality,” said Lorraine Santoli, author of “The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book” and a former Disney publicist. “Cheryl was the most joyous person, is the best way I can put it,” Santoli said. “She saw the positive side of everything.” Tommy Cole, another former Mouseketeer, said Holdridge was “one of the prettiest girls on the set,” and he “always considered her Miss Sunshine.” “She’d walk into the room and this ray of sunshine would happen every time she smiled,” he said. (Daily Record)

 

Jon Hager, who performed in the musical comedy duo The Hager Twins on “Hee-Haw,” has died. He was 67. Sam Lovullo, who produced “Hee-Haw” and was a friend of Hager’s, said Hager was found dead in his apartment in Nashville Friday morning. He was found in bed and apparently died in his sleep. Lovullo said Hager had been in poor health and was depressed since his identical twin brother, Jim Hager, died in May 2008. The twins were in the original cast of the syndicated TV show, which debuted in 1969 satirizing country life with a mixture of music and comedy. Both were guitarists and drummers. The Hagers had worked with country star Buck Owens and joined “Hee Haw” when Owens signed as the show’s co-host with Roy Clark.

Lovullo said they were originally hired for their musical talent, but as the show went on they incorporated more comedy into their act. “They had a fun personality,” Lovullo said. “They were also the answer to the Hee-Haw Honeys. We were always looking for the other side of the gender – for good looking hunks. They fit the bill very nicely.” The Hagers left the program in the mid-80s and continued to perform together. The twins were born in the Chicago area and lived in Los Angeles before “Hee Haw.” They said in 1998 that they had been together all their lives except for three and a half years, after Jon left Los Angles and moved to Nashville. Jim remained on the West Coast, but eventually followed. “They were always contributing their talents to whatever was needed, not for money but just so they could help out. They did a lot of fund raisers and were supportive of young people who were ill,” Lovullo said. (Daily Record)

 

 

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

 

She may have a part in one of the Golden Globes’ most-nominated films, but Kathy Bates has an even better reason to celebrate these days: a clean bill of health. The Revolutionary Road star announced on the Today show this morning that her once secret battle with ovarian cancer has come to an end. “I’ve been in total remission for five and a half years,” she said. “When I was going through it, I think I just needed to go through it and not really deal with anything but what I had in front of me and going through chemo,” the 60-year-old Oscar winner said of her decision to keep her diagnosis under wraps. “I really just had to do it on my own.” Nowadays, however, she’s all about group involvement, even recording a PSA for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance last fall. “I’ve decided I’d like to try and share my story and maybe help other women, because early detection is the key in this kind of cancer and I was so lucky to find it early.” (Eonline)

 

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles held its annual awards-season kickoff tea party Saturday, attracting a slew of Golden Globe nominees. Here’s what some had to tell AP Television about preparing for Sunday’s big show. -Ron Howard, Globe-nominated producer and director of “Frost/Nixon”: “I don’t really have a regimen. … I think I try to keep it out of my mind as much as possible. I think I get up, I make sure I get a little exercise, get things done early, ’cause you have leave to get to the Golden Globes. It’s a traffic jam, believe me. I think, ‘Keep it out of your mind.’ That’s my regimen.” -Marisa Tomei, nominated for her supporting role in “The Wrestler,” on whether she has awards-show nerves:”No, not really. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to have a nice time, and seeing everyone look beautiful, and just have fun.” -Kristin Scott Thomas, nominee for her leading role in “I’ve Loved You So Long”: “I’m expecting to have a really good time. And it’s really great fun, ’cause I’m in a really great group of women – to be selected among that group of those particular actresses. I haven’t been in Los Angeles for ages, so it’s great to bump into people I haven’t seen for a long time. It’s fun.” -Tom Wilkinson, nominated for his performance in the miniseries “John Adams”: “Well, I think 3 o’clock the vehicle comes through. So, about quarter to 3, I’ll get into my tux. . . . About six years ago when I was nominated for ‘In the Bedroom,’ Georgio Armani gave me a tuxedo, and I’ve worn it ever since. I’m going to wear it tomorrow. No one else is offering, so I’ll wear that one.” -Danny Boyle, Globe-nominated director “Slumdog Millionaire”: “I’ll be watching the Chelsea-Manchester United game tomorrow morning.” The 66th annual Golden Globe awards is set for Sunday night in Los Angeles. (Daily Record)

 

Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker is house hunting in New York after leaving husband Matthew Broderick. Sarah Jessica Parker has left husband Matthew Broderick and is looking for a place to live on her own, sources have told Star magazine. Gossips claim Matthew has been cheating on the Sex And The City star with a younger woman and Sarah’s said ‘enough is enough’. “The time has come when she realizes it just isn’t worth it,” a friend of the couple claims. “Sarah Jessica is determined to get her own place and bring down the curtain on her marriage. Sarah’s not stupid. She knows exactly what’s going on. For a while it was easier for her to stay than go through a harsh divorce. They’re essentially living separate lives.” (Handbag)

 

 

LAST WEEK:

 

New “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi has a full schedule but there’s someone she’d take a phone call from – Chris Daughtry. “If he’s out there and he wants to do a (song) co-write, please call me,” DioGuardi told a teleconference Thursday. DioGuardi is a songwriter-producer who’s worked with other “American Idol” contestants and is on the judging panel for the Fox TV show’s eighth season, which starts Tuesday. But she’s yet to collaborate with best-selling rocker Daughtry, who tops her “Idol” wish list. Daughtry was a fourth-place finisher on the show and has turned out Grammy-nominated hits with the band that bears his name. DioGuardi said she loved working with inaugural “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, calling her a “feisty” performer who puts her personality into a song and can tackle any material successfully. Although she’s worked extensively with “Idol” contestants, DioGuardi said she never imagined she would be asked to join TV’s No. 1 show, and compared it to hitting the lottery. But it jibes with what she’s done as a writer-producer helping to guide young singers, she said. DioGuardi’s also worked with many of music’s biggest stars, including Celine Dion, Marc Anthony and Gwen Stefani. During auditions for the new season, DioGuardi said she was especially impressed by five or so of the male singers. She heard a “lot of soul influence” among the contestants, a style that DioGuardi said wasn’t necessarily R&B but “the way Maroon 5 is soulful.” After filming the audition episodes that kick off the season, DioGuardi was able to report that she and longtime judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson get along just fine. “It’s very pleasant; there was never any weirdness. They were very accepting of me,” DioGuardi said. She then obliged with a pocket description of her new colleagues. “Paula has a lot of heart. Simon pretty much tells it like it is. Sometimes he can be pretty harsh but he’s usually right. And Randy’s, just, he’s the diplomat,” she said. And how would DioGuardi describe herself? Viewers will see someone who is opinionated but “coming from a good place” and trying to help contestants find the best in themselves, she said. (Daily Record)

 

James Bond star Daniel Craig has joked that he hates being known as an easy-going actor. Daniel Craig has said he hates people making him out to be one of Hollywood’s few easy-going stars. “People seem determined to make me egoless. I’m certainly not,” he joked to Showbiz Spy. “I’m a nightmare on set. I just paid them all off to say otherwise! The truth is I like to work with people. If you separate yourself from the work in process then there’s no connection. Otherwise why go to work?” Umm, money? (Handbag)

 

Gregg Allman almost had a few less silver dollars after someone broke into his southeast Georgia home and stole a coin collection, knives and unreleased concert recordings, police said. The Allman Brothers Band singer and keyboardist, 61, was out of town when burglars broke into his home in Richmond Hill, 20 miles south of Savannah. “He’s upgrading his security,” detective Mickey Sands of the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday. Sands said the burglars took a case containing Allman’s collection of 19th-century silver dollars and two safes filled with gold coins, personal papers, collectible knives and several tapes of unreleased recordings. Investigators recovered all of Allman’s belongings except a handgun. Craig Matthew George, 27, and Brittney Ann Sahlberg, 19, both of Richmond Hill, were charged two days after the Dec. 27 burglary. Sands said Allman knew them but would not say how. George and Sahlberg have been released from jail on bond. Neither had a listed phone number in Richmond Hill. Sands and District Attorney Tom Durden said they did not know if either has an attorney. Allman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Allman Brothers Band in 1995. Songs he’s written include “Midnight Rider,” “Whipping Post” and “Melissa.” (Daily Record)

 

This is so crazy! According to a new report, there’s a lot of talk that Islamic extremists have drawn up a “hit list” of some of Britain’s leading Jews. Some of the names discussed on the fanatics’ website include Sir Alan Sugar from The Apprentice, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and even Amy Winehouse. Noooo, not Wino! Glen Jenvey, a British anti-terror expert, says he believes an online forum is being used to make the threats.  Jenvey said the website has been used by extremists. Adding, “Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.” And it doesn’t help that Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, told all Muslims yesterday to strike Western and Israeli targets wherever they are. Even Mahmoud Zahar, the Hamas leader, urged killing Jewish children, saying that Israel “legitimized the killing of their people all over the world.” The Community Security Trust, a group which advises Britain’s Jewish community on safety, said “We are advising prominent Jewish individuals to be conscious of potential threats.” Crazy and very sad.  (Perez Hilton)

 

Don’t lick hip hop kingpin Russell Simmons — ’cause he’s not a sucker. Our spies at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel tell us Simmons’ assistant called recently to inquire about the Presidential Suites and packages. The guy was all ears, until the hotel rep dropped the price — $51,000. Simmons’ lackey said it was way too much and hung up. For the record, the deal is for the “Ultimate Presidential” package. It includes a three-night stay in the hotel’s Presidential or Mayflower Suite, limo service to and from the airport, his-and-hers inaugural jewelry, Dom Perignon champagne with Baccarat toasting flutes, in-room massage for two, 24-hour butler service, a custom-designed cocktail by the guy the hotel calls “legendary” bartender Sambonn Lek, inaugural petit fours, and his-and-hers inaugural garb from Burberry to keep guests warm during the ceremony. Simmons is worth an estimated $300,000,000. How did he get so rich? By not blowing his money on stupid petit fours and toasting flutes. (TMZ)

 

Fathers, lock up your daughters: R. Kelly is now officially a free man. His lawyers announced last week Kells and his wife of 11 years Andrea Lee have split for good, and among other things, will share custody of their three kids. The couple filed for big D in 2006, and Andrea had filed an emergency protective order back in 2005 against R., which she ultimately pulled. Kelly was acquitted of child porn charges last summer. (TMZ)

 

Fresh out of another stint in rehab, former Stone Temple Pilots front man Scott Weiland is already losing his composure. The onetime heroin addict was with a female friend at Primo, a hip coffee shop on the Sunset Strip on Monday, when they got into a screaming fight. A spy said, “Scott called the girl a piece of trash, so she threw her pack of cigarettes at his head, but missed. They landed on [producer] Darren Star‘s table.” The woman stormed out and Weiland raged after her. (Page Six)

 

Lindsay Lohan left her constant companion Samantha Ronson at home the other night to hang with Sean Penn. He and Lohan went to Nobu in West Hollywood, reports Celebuzz.com. Later, Page Six sources said the pair – who were spotted together all over Manhattan last month – went to newly reopened club Guy’s. Ronson and Lohan have been fighting for weeks, and as one tipster told us, “Sam broke up with Lindsay but she is completely in denial about it.” (Page Six)

 

A memorial service for John Travolta and Kelly Preston‘s son Jett took place Thursday in the family’s Ocala, Fla., hometown, and many of the couples’ celebrity friends attended to pay their respects. Lisa Marie Presley, James Gandolfini, Kirstie Alley, Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood, and Forest Whitaker all came to support the family, the Ocala Star-Banner reported. Fans also made a point of expressing their condolences by leaving cards and flowers with the guards who were posted at the entrance to the neighborhood complex where the Travoltas live. Barbara Weiland and her 13-year-old son Bobby drove 2 ½ hours to deliver two dozen daisies. “We felt it was important to come out and let them know that every day people loved Jett too.” The residents of Ocala certainly felt a strong bond with Jett. Bonnie Morehardt, a former airline pilot who caters for the family, prepared apple strudel with cranberries and chocolate plus Jett’s favorite brownies for the memorial service. “From the very beginning, one of Jett and John’s favorites were my brownies. One day I remember John saying to Jett, ‘Oh look Bonnie left us brownies. Let’s dig into these.’ And they sat together like two big kids and popped them into their mouths.” Jett’s close bond with his father was easy to see. “Jett was a quiet boy but he did connect, with his dad especially,” Morehardt says. “He didn’t look at others the way he looked at John.” (People)

 

Blame the royal inbreeding! Princess Beatrice’s BMW was stolen…after she left her car unlocked and with the keys in the ignition! The Princess, who recently achieved impressive scores at university, proved that book smarts don’t necessarily mean street smarts. En route to a friend’s place for a visit, she stopped in at Devonshire Place in Kensington for a bit of shopping. Unattended and primed for theft, someone came up and drove off with the car, naturally! Even more laughable is the fact that Beatrice is accompanied by a royal bodyguard 24/7. And the car was still stolen. Which means the bodyguard didn’t notice the keys dangling in the ignition! Sounds real secure! Her sister, Eugenie, came to save the day, and the pair then stopped in at a pub to chill out. The car contained some personal items, but nothing of a “sensitive” nature. We’re sure the car will be recovered quickly.  Beatrice’s dignity? Not so much. (Perez Hilton)

 

Is Anna Wintour going to give up Vogue magazine to become Barack Obama‘s ambassador to France? Page Six Magazine – which assesses the state of Wintour’s two-decade reign in this Sunday’s issue – asked a transition team spokesman and got a “no comment.” The mag says the fashion world is buzzing over the rumor that Wintour might leave “with a guillotine glee akin to that which preceded the death of Marie Antoinette.” But one fashion source dismissed the prospects of her purported replacement, French Vogue editrix Carine Roitfeld: “I don’t see how you could give it to Carine. She barely speaks English.”(Page Six)

 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie packed on the PDA at Thursday’s 14th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica. Though they both did not take home any awards, the two did not seem to mind. A party attendee tells Us they were “kissing and looking lovingly at each other” throughout the night. Jolie even whispered to Pitt, “I miss you!” even though they were sitting right next to each other, the witness adds. At one point, Brad had his hand all the way up Angelina’s dress!” says the party attendee, adding that they kissed all night, even while chatting with other actors, including Mickey Rourke, Anne Hathaway and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Freida Pinto. Backstage, Jolie — who is expected to walk the red carpet with Pitt at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards — gushed about her beau’s work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button “Most of all I was charmed by him when he was younger,” she said. “I was charmed by it. When I first saw the film, there were a lot of blue masks that they had to put on his face, so the first half I didn’t see his acting inside the little guy. Then, when I saw him when he was young … he is just so charming. I was really moved. I thought he was wonderful.” As for their daughter Zahara’s birthday (she turned 4 on Thursday) Laughing, Jolie said, “We are having a big girl party!” (US Weekly)

 

Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman says she isn’t happy with her performance in the critical and commercial flop Australia. “I can’t look at this movie and be proud of what I’ve done,” Kidman, 41, told Sydney radio station 2dayFM. At the Sydney premiere of the Baz Luhrmann-directed epic, “I sat there, and I looked at Keith [Urban] and went, ‘Am I any good in this movie?’” she said. “But I thought Brandon Walters and Hugh Jackman were wonderful,” Kidman continued. “It’s just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all.” She went on to say that she only went to the film’s premiere to support her director. “I don’t usually see my films, but because of Baz I had to see it,” she said. “I saw Moulin Rouge. I’ve really only seen that and this in my whole career. It gets worse as I get older.” After the film (which has earned a paltry $47 million in the U.S. since opening last November) was released, Kidman said she immediately fled her native country to avoid the critics “We ran because I didn’t want to read anything. I didn’t want to know,” she said. “I saw my sister and my family and we saw Keith’s family and then we were straight on a plane.” (US Weekly)

 

Kara DioGuardi admits it wasn’t easy being the new fourth judge on American Idol. “It was a little unnerving,” she told reporters during a press call Thursday. “I didn’t know where I was going to sit and when I was going to speak.” But she said she is slowly finding where she fits among fellow judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. “I would say that Paula has a lot of heart. I would say that Simon pretty much tells it like it is. Sometimes he can be pretty harsh, but he’s usually right,” she said. “And Randy? He’s the diplomat.” As for her own judging style? “I think I’m a combination of all of them,” she said. “I do like to say it like I see it. “I don’t mince words, but I do have a heart,” she went on. “When you’re dealing with creative people who have some talent, you want to encourage them.” On the new season (which kicks off Tuesday on Fox), she said “the males [are] the strongest” — and there “at least five” who could win. One Idol male she’d like to work with: Daughtry. “I would love to co-write with him,” she said. “At one point, he was going to do a duet on a song I’d written, but it never happened. So if he’s out there, please call me!” (US Weekly)

 

Scarlett Johansson has the secret to success – hard work and a touch of good fortune. The Lost In Translation star hit the big time aged 13 in 1998 movie The Horse Whisperer and has since gone on to feature in a number of highly-acclaimed movies. The 24-year-old was always sure she’d star in films, and credits hard work with helping her achieve her life-long ambition. She tells Moviehole.net, “I wanted to make movies since I was three years old, so I guess my perspective on it is that I was more than surprised by success. “I feel incredibly lucky to have had success, because I’d seen and I know so many talented people that never get the opportunity. But I am a big believer that putting in the actual hours is kind of what makes a successful career and a lot of luck too, of course. (Teen Hollywood)

 

Jessica Biel may have some stiff competition for her man right around Valentine’s Day…and we mean stiff. Her boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, is set to show off his William Rast wares next month at New York Fashion Week, right around the time another sexy lady—Barbie!—takes to the runway. E! News has confirmed that Timberlake’s clothing line with bestie Trace Ayala will make its Bryant Park debut on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. And while the crooner will be there, he won’t be taking to the lengthy stage for a performance. Barbie, however, will be celebrating her 50th birthday all week, including a runway show of her own with looks inspired by her. Noted designers Anna Sui, Cynthia Rowley and Vera Wang are among those slated to send creations down the catwalk in the doll’s honor, and Christian Louboutin has created custom Barbie-pink shoes for the event. The dapper dude and demure doll aren’t the only stars heading to the tents. (Eonline)

 

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s marriage is reportedly on the rocks if media reports can be believed. According to Star Magazine, the Sex And The City actress is on the verge of moving out of the family home. “Sarah Jessica is determined to get her own place and bring down the curtains on her marriage,” a source told the publication. “They’re essentially living separate lives. The truth is, Sarah and Matthew still do love and care about each other, they just aren’t in love, and they don’t want to waste any more time trying to repair something that’s irreparable.” The couple, who have been married for 11 years, have a four-year-old son, Jamie Wilkie. (British Glamour)

 

There’s something about Sean Penn and awards season. Last year, at the Elton John Oscar viewing party, Sean Penn was spotted hanging out with unlikely pal Petra Nemcova, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Now, just days before the Golden Globes, Penn was spotted with Lindsay Lohan. Celebuzz reports that Penn joined Lohan and a table full of her friends at Nobu in West Hollywood. Sushi and chain-smoking was reportedly enjoyed by all. (Scoop)

 

Angelina Jolie lost hard-core at last week’s Critics’ Choice Awards. They even gave out two Best Actress awards and they couldn’t fit the Changeling star in there. Instead, the critics chose to honor Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. And Angie did not look too happy about it. While Anne stuttered through a rambling acceptance speech highlighting her fellow “celluloid sisters” (which is a considerable improvement from her “process metaphysics” lecture earlier this week), Angelina made no attempt to hide her disdain, and we love her for it. Usually actors use their acting skills to feign joy for the award show victors, which is no fun for us. We weren’t able to make out the exact meaning of the stare down, but we guess it went something like this: “Did I mention you ruined a perfectly good dress with that giant napkin?” Or “You know I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, right? Just checking.” Or “How ’bout you and your receding gums go sit on a tiara?” Or “You’re the one with the boyfriend in prison, is that correct? Have you met my boyfriend? His name’s Brad Pitt.” Really, the possibilities are endless—give it a try. (Eonline)

 

Actress Lindsay Lohan has blasted the media for criticizing her whenever she tries to do some good for charity, because the press dismisses her efforts as “publicity stunts”. Lohan has become a tabloid favorite since shooting to Hollywood stardom in 2004′s Mean Girls at the age of 18. But the press turned against her in 2007 after the party girl found herself facing a number of legal troubles, including two arrests for driving under the influence (Dui) and a stint in rehab to fight drug addiction. And Lohan, who insists her wild lifestyle is now a thing of the past, is angry the unwanted paparazzi attention has forced her to scale back on her charitable gestures. She tells America’s Interview magazine, “You know what’s hard? I want to give back. I want to do all the things that will make me feel fulfilled. “But whenever I do those things, people think it’s a press stunt or something. Because they (paparazzi) do find me, and there’s really no way of hiding from that. “And the second that you complain about it, they say, ‘Well, this is what you wanted, so this is what you’re going to get.’ That’s all people see it as now. It’s not, ‘No, I just want to have some time for myself.’ There are things I want to do, and people don’t understand that.”  (Teen Hollywood)

 

Singer Lily Allen has denied she condones the use of drugs. Lily Allen has denied she condoned the use of drugs in an explosive new interview. “The only story is that drugs are bad and they will kill you – you will become a prostitute, a rapist or a dealer. But that’s not true,” Lily was widely quoted telling Word magazine. “I know lots of people who take cocaine three nights a week and get up and go to work. But we never hear that side of the story. I wish people wouldn’t sensationalize it. Some people are just bad at taking drugs.” However, after a mass of criticism the singer issued a statement to clarify her views and insist she doesn’t condone the use of drugs. “During an interview with Word magazine Lily Allen was asked about the lyrics of a song on her album called Everyone’s At It,” the statement from her spokesman reads. “The song’s subject matter concerns drug use. In her answer she replied that she “had no statement to make, I just wish people wouldn’t sensationalize this thing that just exists”. At no point does she say that drugs are a good thing or that she condones drug use; in fact she says that “I can spot the signs (of people on drugs) and it terrifies me”. The song itself talks about a culture of both legally prescribed drugs like anti-depressants and also illegal drug use. Lily Allen would like to state unequivocally that she does not condone illegal drug use and has every sympathy with individuals and families whose lives have been blighted by drugs.” (Handbag)

 

Country star Merle Haggard has sued an environmental awareness group, claiming it illegally used his name and likeness to raise money. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Chancery Court against the Green Train, a Nashville-based organization, and its founder, Robert K. Wolf. It seeks unspecified compensatory damages. Haggard claims in the lawsuit that the group forged his signature and exaggerated his involvement with the organization to solicit money. He says his reputation could be irreparably harmed by continued association with the group. The Green Train bills itself as a nonprofit that educates the public about environmental issues. Its concert-and-train tour scheduled to depart Portland, Ore., in April and travel through 28 states on a six-week whistle-stop tour with several concerts along the way before ending in Washington D.C. A phone message left with the organization was not immediately returned. According to the lawsuit, Haggard donated $20,000 to the Green Train and agreed to ride the train as support and entertainment. He also attended a fundraising lunch and said he would ask a few of his fellow artists if they would agree to ride the train. But the lawsuit said the group “greatly exaggerated” Haggard’s support and misstated that he has personal involvement in the project’s operations. Haggard, who has had 38 No. 1 hits stretching back to 1966 including “Okie From Muskogee,” said that without his consent, permission or knowledge, the group used his name and image on all materials for the Green Train and forged his signature on “personal letters” and other solicitation materials and on merchandise sold on e-Bay and in nightclubs. The forged letters went to some of Haggard’s friends in the entertainment industry, including Dolly Parton, Jewel, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, the lawsuit states. Haggard also contends that the group did not have a state permit to raise contributions and did not report the contributions, and that “substantial amounts” of the tens of thousands of dollars it raised went to Wolf’s personal use. “By using Mr. Haggard’s name and other aspects of Mr. Haggard’s identity to promote the Green Train project under these circumstances, defendants create the false impression that the project has been operated in a credible, ethical and legal fashion, when in fact that is not the case,” the lawsuit alleges. Besides compensatory damages and attorney’s fees, he asks that his name be removed from the Green Train. He also asks the court to bar the group from keeping contributions illegally raised in his name without making “full and complete disclosure of all relevant facts to the donors.” (Daily Record)

 

A former actor on “The Sopranos” was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for a botched burglary in the Bronx in which an accomplice shot and killed an off-duty police officer. A jury acquitted Lillo Brancato Jr. in the death of the police officer, but convicted him of attempted burglary. He had faced up to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors said Brancato and the accomplice were looking for drugs when they broke into an apartment next door to the officer’s home in December 2005. When Officer Daniel Enchautegui went to investigate, he was gunned him down. Steven Armento was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The acquittal in the murder case against Brancato outraged the slain officer’s family and the union that represents police officers. Prosecutors had sought the maximum sentence in the attempted burglary conviction. Brancato has already served three years waiting for his trial, for which he will receive credit. Brancato rose to fame in 1993′s “A Bronx Tale,” playing a young kid from the neighborhood who is torn between two worlds and two men: a local mobster played by Chazz Palminteri and his straight-and-narrow bus driver father, played by Robert De Niro. Other roles followed, most notably a stint on the second season of HBO’s “The Sopranos.” His character carried out a series of low-level crimes for the New Jersey mob before being gunned down by Tony Soprano and his sidekick as he tearfully begged for his life. Brancato, 32, and Armento, 48, were drinking together at a strip club before deciding to break into the basement apartment in a hunt for Valium, prosecutors said. Brancato testified that the break-in never happened. He claimed that he had known the owner, a Vietnam veteran, for several years. He also said he had permission to go inside and take painkillers and other pills whenever he felt like it, and didn’t know the man had died earlier that year. He said the pills were part of a drug problem that began when he was introduced to marijuana on the set of “A Bronx Tale.” He later became hooked on crack and heroin. Brancato told the jury that while suffering from judgment-impairing heroin withdrawals on the night of the shooting, he accidentally broke the kitchen window of the apartment in a desperate attempt to wake up his old pill supplier. Brancato tried to deflect suggestions by the prosecution that his testimony – at times punctuated by vignettes about his drug-crazed downfall – was another acting job. His lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said Brancato wanted to turn his life around. (Daily Record)

 

Charles Barkley had booze in his blood on the night he was busted for DUI, this according to the cops who nailed the basketball star last month. Cops say Barkley’s blood alcohol level was .149 — nearly twice the legal limit in Arizona. The BAC number came from a blood test taken in the field, when Barkley refused the Breathalyzer. He’s due back in court January 20. (TMZ)

 

Ryan O’Neal pled guilty to one count of felony possession of methamphetamines in a Malibu courtroom today. The actor was sentenced to 18 months in a drug rehabilitation program. If he completes the program, the charge will be wiped from his record. As part of the judges ruling, O’Neal is not allowed to possess any controlled substance and can’t associate with anyone known to be a drug user — except for his son, Redmond. Redmond was also in court today facing the same charge — he had his case continued until February 20. (TMZ)

 

 

MUSIC . . .

 

Motown Celebrates 50th Anniversary! January 12 marks the 50th anniversary of Motown Records. It was 50 years ago that Berry Gordy launched the label that changed both music and society. Motown launches a year-long celebration that includes TV and Radio Specials, appearances in national and international electronic and print media. Motown performers will appear in-store; on-location, on-line and The Four Tops will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Grammy’s. Motown will be acknowledged at both the Motown Museum in Detroit and at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Motown Records will launch the CD “Now Motown” with 25 of Motown’s greatest hits. Also in the pipeline is Motown Fanthology; Fans vote for their favorite Motown songs, Motown 50 podcasts are available featuring interviews from classic Motown artists at both www.motown.com and from iTunes, and this fall The Motown Tribute Album; Motown hits performed by today’s hottest artists. Motown is also releasing a 10-CD boxed set of The Complete #1’s Collection. As an irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown Records made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large, with a sound that that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century. Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, Lionel Richie & the Commodores, the Marvelettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight & the Pips, their music communicated and brought together a racially divided country and segregated society, around the world, touching all people of all ages and race.  No other record company in history has exerted such an enormous influence on both the style and substance of popular music and culture.  With more than 180 No. 1 hit songs worldwide and counting, that influence is still being felt today, from pop to hip-hop; Motown celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s founding. Motown, of course, stands for more than just the historic music. The label and its remarkable legacy is a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. Nearly a half-century ago, on January 12, 1959, to be exact, a young African-American songwriter named Berry Gordy founded Tamla Records with a loan of $800 from his family, marking the birth of the “Motown Records Corporation.” A man of vision, drive, talent and determination, Berry Gordy was also a producer, innovative entrepreneur, and teacher. The phenomenal success of Motown Records is a tribute to all that he embodies and all the talent that he brought out in others. Under his leadership, and through determination and support of the Motown family of artists, Gordy forged new grounds for minorities and made the “Motown Sound” a worldwide phenomenon beloved by millions.  It’s an “only in America kind of story”. And everyone can sing along!”
What’s Going On:
*       Motown Historical Museum in Detroit  – Classic Motown artists acting as Tour Guides this week
*       Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just unveiled “Motown: The Sound of Young America: exhibit
*       Motown.com  – site revamped with podcasts, Motown merchandise, trivia, music
*       Borders promotion – Free Motown Poster with any purchase of a Motown CD  while supplies last
*       LA – Boyz II Men; 1/13 at 7pm; at the Westwood Borders
*       Detroit – Duke Fakir of the Four Tops + Martha Reeves on 1/16 at 7pm;  Borders in Dearborn
For more information; Contact Jill Ettinger at Jill.Ettinger@umusic.com

 

Rapper Kanye West has hailed his pal Jay-Z’s superstar wife Beyonce Knowles as the “greatest performer of our generation”. The Stronger hitmaker has high praise for the Bootylicious beauty, but isn’t afraid to boast about his own talents either – and insists he is up there with the best of today’s hip-hop stars. In a new interview with Vibe magazine, West says, “I believe Beyonce is the greatest performer of our generation. “I believe I am the greatest entertainer of this generation. I go neck-and-neck on Jay-Z and (Lil) Wayne as far as who’s the best lyricist. Jay-Z has longevity.”  (Teen Hollywood)

 

Jermaine Dupri has left the Universal Music building. Dupri was president of Island Records until he was unceremoniously booted on Wednesday. A source said, “After [his girlfriend] Janet Jackson‘s album and tour bombed, he basically didn’t come back to work. He still collected a paycheck, but didn’t bother to do anything that he was supposed to do, like find artists, release records or actually show up. Executives tried to talk to him, but he just lost heart.” Dupri was widely blamed for Jackson’s album flop as he insisted on letting her get her way on song selection and production of the release, “Discipline.” The spy adds, “Very few producers have turned into good executives, with the exception of Dr. Dre.” A rep for Dupri’s boss, Island/Def Jam head L.A. Reid, declined to comment. (Page Six)

 

Kelly Clarkson has named her fourth album “All I Ever Wanted,” which, as previously reported, is due March 17 from RCA. First single “My Life Would Suck Without You” arrives Jan. 16 at Amazon.com’s MP3 store and at radio three days later. The track is a propulsive blast of rock-tinged pop, produced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin. Additional album details are still being kept under wraps. “All I Ever Wanted” is the follow-up to 2007′s “My December,” which has sold 782,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Clarkson feuded with RCA exec Clive Davis over her desire to write her own material for the album, on the heels of her smash 2004 album “Breakaway,” which featured a number of co-writes with experienced songwriters. A planned arena tour was scrapped just before “My December” came out due to lower-than-expected ticket sales, and was reconfigured for smaller venues a few months later. (Billboard)

 

Rapper Flo Rida will quickly follow-up his 2008 debut album, “Mail on Sunday,” with “R.O.O.T.S.” (Routes of Overcoming the Struggle), due April 7 from Poe Boy/Atlantic. The first single, “Right Round,” which is based around Dead Or Alive’s 1985 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” is now streaming on Flo Rida’s MySpace page and official Web site. Collaborators on the album include Dr. Luke, J Rock and DJ Montay, who worked with Flo Rida on the smash hit “Low.” That song sold 4.4 million digital downloads in 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the top seller in that format for the year. (Billboard)

 

The Pemberton Festival, a Live Nation-promoted event that launched last July in British Columbia, will not be staged in 2009, according to the company. “We will not produce the Pemberton Festival this summer due to the fact that the necessary permits were approved too late in the year for us to effectively book talent. We are moving forward and focusing on 2010,” reads a statement from Live Nation, which has rights to use the site for a festival for nine more years. Pemberton was headlined last year by Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Coldplay and Jay-Z. The event was Live Nation’s first major entry into the North American festival market, though the company produces several in Europe and the United Kingdom. Pemberton’s capacity was 40,000 per day, with more than half of that campers. Live Nation Canada president Shane Bourbonnais told Billboard last year that startup challenges included such issues as transportation, alcohol licenses, water and infrastructure. There was also an education process for local authorities. “This is a small town, they’re not used to seeing this type of stuff,” he said. (Billboard)

 

 

MOVIE . . .

 

Make my weekend. Clint Eastwood has had the best movie opening of his long and esteemed career. His “Gran Torino” revved up the winter box office with $29 million in ticket sales in its first weekend of wide release, according to studio estimates Sunday. It’s Eastwood’s best opening ever, topping the $18 million his “Space Cowboys” made in 2000. In what Eastwood, 78, has said may be his last starring performance, he plays a disgruntled war veteran who reluctantly comes to the aid of his neighbors. The National Board of Review dubbed Eastwood’s performance the best for an actor in 2008, and his song “Gran Torino” was nominated for a Golden Globe at Sunday’s awards ceremony. “Gran Torino,” which Eastwood also directed, was previously in limited release for four weeks. It jumped from 84 theaters to 2,808 this weekend after boasting very high theater averages. “At this stage of his career, I think it’s remarkable,” said Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros., which released “Gran Torino.” “There are a lot of younger people that can identify with him in a role like this that maybe haven’t seen him a role like this since `Dirty Harry.’” Eastwood stole the box-office bouquet from Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. Their wedding comedy “Bride Wars,” released by 20th Century Fox, came in second with $21.5 million. The horror film “The Unborn” from Universal Pictures followed with $21.1 million in its debut. “Marley & Me,” the Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson’s family dog tale that topped the box office the last two weekends, fell to fourth with $11.4 million and a cumulative total of $124 million for the 20th Century Fox film. While awards season was heating up, most of the major contenders had solid numbers, though mostly in limited release. Paramount Vantage’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” took in $9.4 million in its third week of release, bringing its total closer to the century mark with $94 million. Focus Features’ “Milk,” Paramount Vantage’s “Revolutionary Road” and Fox Searchlight’s “The Wrestler” – all with awards hopes at the Globes and beyond – were among the best performers in screen average. Each hopes to continue to build momentum as the Oscars near. “Defiance,” in its second week of limited release, led with a robust $33,000 screen average. “Defiance” stars Daniel Craig in the story of Jewish brothers who form a band of freedom fighters against the Nazis in Eastern Europe. Fox Searchlight’s underdog hit “Slumdog Millionaire” added $3.7 million to its total of $34 million. The success of “Gran Torino” could boost Eastwood’s awards chances. The film was largely overlooked by the Globes, but the Oscars have long supported Eastwood’s directorial efforts and awarded his “Million Dollar Baby” best picture in 2005. “This will raise its profile in a very profound way,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media by Numbers. “Certainly `Gran Torino’ is in an excellent position. It’s a textbook case of releasing a film in limited, nurturing it for about a month and unleashing it upon the world in a wide release and really capitalizing on that.” That audiences remain so eager to see Eastwood on the screen suggests to Fellman that he should rethink any acting retirement. “Clint has said this is the last time he’s going to be in front of the lens. I hope he reconsiders after this,” Fellman said. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday. (Daily Record)

1. “Gran Torino,” $29 million.

2. “Bride Wars,” $21.5 million.

3. “The Unborn,” $21.1 million.

4. “Marley & Me,” $11.4 million.

5. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” $9.4 million.

6. “Bedtime Stories,” $8.6 million.

7. “Valkyrie,” $6.7 million.

8. “Yes Man,” $6.2 million.

9. “Not Easily Broken,” $5.6 million.

10. “Seven Pounds,” $3.9 million.

 

Jamal Woolard was so determined to land the role of late rap legend Notorious B.I.G. in biopic Notorious – he began turning himself into the heavyweight hip-hop star five months before he even auditioned. Woolard had no acting experience, but was an Mc, like the star commonly referred to as Biggie Smalls, and hails from the same Brooklyn, New York neighbourhood as the rapper – who was murdered in 1997. He felt it his destiny to play B.I.G. – real name Christopher Wallace – on the big screen, and set about taking on his hero’s look, voice and mannerisms, long before he could even try out for the part. Woolard says, “I went to Biggie boot camp. I had to gain the weight and I went up to 340 pounds because I felt the competition was so big. I then studied his mannerisms. “This was all five months before casting.”  (Teen Hollywood)

 

So why wasn’t Kate Capshaw, aka Steven Spielberg’s wife, cast in the latest Indiana Jones movie? After all, she was in “Temple of Doom.” Call us cynical, but really Kate….you were too busy? On the bright side, her entry, “Temple of Doom” is no longer the worst in the series. (TMZ)

 

Shia LaBeouf announced the nominees of the Orange BAFTA Rising Star Award, the trophy he won last year. The five nominees are Michael Cara, seen recently in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist; Noel Clarke, writer and star of Adulthood; Hunger’s Michael Fassbender; Rebecca Hall, shortly to be seen in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Toby Kebbell, who’s just finished filming Prince Of Persia alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. Shia, who has starred in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull since winning the award, commented: “I was delighted to win the Orange Rising Star Award last year, especially as it is an award voted for by members of the British public.” Past winners include James McAvoy and Eva Green. (British Glamour)

 

This week begins the new box-office prediction tally for 2009. This weekend we’ve got the much-publicized “Bride Wars,” starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson; “Gran Torino,” starring Clint Eastwood; and the horror flick “The Unborn.” Although I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to convince Hathaway to break away from the wedding-flick franchise, I do think “Bride Wars” will take first place. If there’s something Tom Cruise has taught us in the past year, it’s that near-constant publicity really can do your movie good, and Hathaway and Hudson have certainly been doing their part. “Gran Torino,” I suspect, won’t do better than second place. (Scoop)

 

Angelina Jolie, who has been lying low since the birth of her 5-month-old twins, is thinking about a brief return to film, but very brief. The “Changeling” star and mother of six – twins Vivienne and Knox were born last July – says she’ll be in front of the camera early this year. The 33-year-old actress didn’t say what projects she may be working on. “I have had a year off, and I may work for a few months,” Jolie says. “But if I do, I’m probably going to take another year and a half or two. I’m going to work a lot less.” Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt attended the 14th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Thursday night. (Daily Record)

 

Attorneys for rival studios fighting over the release of “Watchmen” say they’re having fruitful settlement talks. Attorneys for 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. asked a federal judge to delay a hearing Friday so settlement discussions can continue over the weekend. U.S District Judge Gary Allen Feess agreed to continue the hearing but says a trial over whether to block the film’s March release is still set for Jan. 20. Fox is suing to stop the release of “Watchmen,” claiming Warner Bros. violated its interests by filming the tale. Feess agreed last month that Fox appears to have the right to distribute the film. Since then, the two sides have made concessions and according to court documents, conducted settlement talks last weekend. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Kristin Scott Thomas has joined the cast of the John Lennon biopic “Nowhere Boy,” the producers said Friday. Scott-Thomas has been cast as Lennon’s tough talking aunt Mimi who played a major role in bringing the would-be rock icon up. Anne-Marie Duff will play his mother Julia while newcomer Aaron Johnson will play the young Lennon in the Ecosse Films’ production. The project marks the directorial debut from artist Sam Taylor-Wood and details the young life and rise to stardom of the Beatle. Sales house HanWay Films has pre-sold the title to Icon for U.K. and Australia and Mars Distribution in France. The film is scheduled to shoot in March on location in Liverpool and at Ealing Studios and is backed by Film4, the U.K. Film Council’s Premiere Fund, NorthWest Vision and Media, Lip Sync Prods. and Aver Media. The script was developed with the support of the U.K. Film Council’s Development Fund. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Falling just shy of the magic billion dollar mark, Australian 2008 box-office earnings reached an all time high of AUS$946 million ($662.2 million) in a sure sign that the cinema business is recession proof Down Under. Australia’s box-office total rose 6% from 2007 and was 4% above earnings from its previous best year, 2004, the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia said Friday. Warner Bros’ “The Dark Knight” topped the Australian box-office with AUS$45.7 million ($32 million), “exceeding all expectations,” said Joel Hedrick, MPDAA general manager, noting that the Batman sequel was the sixth highest-grossing film of all time in Australia. “Mamma Mia” was the second most popular film in the country, taking $22.2 million in 2008, with the return of Indiana Jones in “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull finishing at No. 3 with $20.5 million.  “Quantum of Solace” ($20.2 million) and “Sex and The City” ($18.8 million) completed the top five. Despite a massive build up and predictions from Fox Australia that it may overtake “Titanic” as the top grossing Australian film of all time, homegrown epic “Australia” came in sixth overall, grossing $18.8 million through December 31.  “Australia” is now director Baz Lurhmann’s top-ranking Australian feature, though it still sits well behind the all-time record of $47.7 million ($33.4 million) set by “Crocodile Dundee” in 1986. Paramount’s “Kung Fu Panda” was the top animated film of 2008 at No. 7 with a gross of $18 million. Will Smith proved a major draw with combined earnings of $30.6 million for “I Am Legend” and “Hancock” at eighth and ninth respectively. Paramount’s “Iron Man” rounded out the top ten with $14 million.  The record box-office was “driven by “a broad range of films that appealed to the young and old, and to males and females alike,” said Stephen Basil-Jones, MPDAA chairman and Sony Pictures International Australia managing director. Expectations are high for 2009, despite the economic downturn, underpinned by the number of releases coming in big screen and digital formats, Basil-Jones said. Hedrick noted that the box-office totals in the last quarter 2008, when the global financial crisis really started to bite, was up year on year, following an increase in the number of high profile releases in November and early December.  “It proves too that cinema is still a cheap and value for money family entertainment option,” Hedrick said. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TV . . .

 

Take That’s Gary Barlow is planning to launch a reality TV show to rival the X Factor. Gary Barlow is planning to take on the X Factor by launching his reality TV show, insiders have told The Sun. Sources say the singer wants to discover a new boy band and first offered the project to ITV, who turned down the idea for fear of angering Simon Cowell. The BBC are now said to have shown interest. “Gary is really keen to get into TV and has come up with a cracking idea,” the source claims. “We’ve got high hopes for it. If it gets off the ground it could be something we do every year.” However a spokesman for the Beeb has played down the plans. “We have had a very, very early meeting with Gary Barlow but it’s nothing more than that at the moment,” they explained to Digital Spy. “That’s not to say we wouldn’t like to work with him, but nothing is even near commissioned at present.” (Handbag)

 

“Solid as Barack” was among the best musical parodies of the 2008 “Saturday Night Live” season, so it’s not surprising that Ashford & Simpson, the artists behind the song “Solid (As a Rock)” took notice. That might be an understatement — the group actually plans to re-record its 1984 hit in the iteration penned by Seth Myers and performed by Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen. The tune will be available for digital download on inauguration day, of course. (Scoop)

 

Britney Spears and the rest of those stunt castings paid off—literally—for the cast of How I Met Your Mother. Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders have inked raises that will significantly bump up their salaries—in some cases, two or three times over—placing each actor’s per-episode take in the $90,000-$120,000 range. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the new deals will also increase the fivesome’s small-screen longevity, adding an additional year to their original seven-year contracts. The lucrative new deals follow months of negotiations with producer 20th Century Fox and coincide with a ratings uptick for the comedy. Meantime, NPH has a big weekend ahead, hosting Saturday Night Live and then returning to L.A., where he’s up for a Golden Globe for HIMYM. (Eonline)

 

Music video background dancers will be front and center in the new E! reality series “Candy Girls.” The docusoap will follow the owner of a music talent agency and her two underlings as they fulfill the needs of such acts as Kanye West, Outkast, Jay-Z and Three 6 Mafia. The women will send their talent to events including the Grammys, the Super Bowl, album release parties and music video shoots.  The half-hour, eight-episode series is set to premiere March 8 after the Season 3 debut of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” “This series introduces E!’s entertainment-obsessed viewers to an aspect of the industry that has not previously been revealed,” said Lisa Berger, E! executive VP original programming and series development. “While these women may be recognized for their sexy personas, viewers will find there is much more to them than meets the eye.” Also, E! sister channel Style is set to announce a second-season pickup for its docu-series “Ruby,” which follows an obese Georgia woman as she loses weight. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TODAY’S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION . . . (Internet)

 

Q.  Research show that over the course of your driving career you “do this about 30,000 time.” What is it?

            A.  Curse

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE (By Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld)

 

:WE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN MAKING OTHERS BELIEVE WE ARE HAPPY THAN IN TRYING TO BE HAPPY OURSELVES.”

 

 

MIND BOGGLERS . . .

 

Q.  The alloy known as stainless steel was initially used in the production of what?

            A. guns

 

Q.  Ulm Cathedral, home to the world’s tallest church spire, is located in which European nation?

            A.  Germany

 

Q.  The current logo for which of these brand names closely resembles the registered symbol (an R in a circle)

            A.  Radio Shack

 

Q.  What type of soup typically employs okra as a thickening agent?

            A. gumbo

 

Q.  NBA all-star Rip Hamilton wears what on the basketball court?

            A. a face mask

 

Q.  A sackbut was the Renaissance era ancestor of what musical instrument?

            A. trombone

 

 

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE . . .  (February 2009)

 

44% of men insist their wives take their last name

41% of men would like it but wouldn’t insist

 

47% of men would prefer a night at a casino or sporting event followed by bar hopping (no topless bars) for their bachelor party

31% prefer a boys bonding weekend in the woods

22% prefer a night in a strip club with lap dances

 

Can a woman be a good mother and keep up a full time career?

81% of men said YES

19% of men said NO

 

In 1995 only 29% of men said they would elect a Woman as President. In 2009 78% said they would elect a female

 

25% of men said they would encourage their wife or girlfriend to get breast implants

75% of men said they would not encourage them to get implants even if it was painless, safe and free

 

Which of the following trends do men hate most on women?

33% super short hair

20% high waisted jeans

19% black nail polish

17% loose fitting tent dresses

 

 

MENTAL_FLOSS . .  .

 

5 Historical Looks to Die for:

 

In ancient Rome, wealthy ladies colored their lips with red cinnabar stone, a type of mercury ore. The high risk of mercury poisoning made cinnabar extremely dangerous to obtain, so Romans saved the job for prisoners. Working in cinnabar mines was a death sentence.

 

Roman women lightened their faces with White lead and rouged their cheeks with red lead the same substance used to make anticorrosives for car batteries and paint. Although lead make up didn’t cause the decline of the Roman Empire it couldn’t have helped

 

During the Renaissance it was trendy for Italian women to dilate their pupils a sign of sexual arousal. To achieve this effect, they used eyedrops prepared from a plant called belladonna. Unfortunately, belladonna has some side effects including visual distortions, hallucinations, and eventually, blindness

 

The tradition of striving for paleness carried over from Rome to Medieval Europe. Pale skin was considered a sign of status, because only people who were wealthy could sit inside all day. But sitting alone wouldn’t do the trick, so aspiring ladies bled themselves in order to achieve the deathly pale look of the upper class

 

SECRETS FROM THE BRADY VALT

When casting The Brady Bunch Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady was a natural blonde, but producers felt she still wasn’t blonde enough. They ordered 8 year old Olsen’s hair to be bleached regularly. When it began falling out in clumps during the second season, a tearful Susan complained to producer Sherwood Schwartz, who immediately ordered the staff to leave Cindy’s hair alone

 

 

Sports Edition

 

Highest Recorded Speeds, According to Guinness World Records:

Karate Chop- 32 mph

Frisbee- 74 mph

Baseball pitch – 101 mph

Tennis Serve – 150 mph

Golf Ball – 170 mph

skydiver – 330 mph

drag race – 332 mph

competition rifle bullet – 2,353 mph

 

Highest Jumps

tiger – 16 ft

horse – 8.1 ft

human – 8.07 ft

dog – 5.5 ft

Michael Jordan’s Vertical Leap – 4 ft

pig – 2.29 ft

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS . . . (Peter Greenberg Worldwide)

 

TRAVELING WITH ALLERGIES:

 

Traveling to a different country can be hard enough, but having food allergies can make the experience especially daunting. If you’re traveling in a foreign country where English is not the first language, and you have food allergies, it can be a difficult situation. Here’s what you can do to avoid a medical emergency. At selectwisely dot com, you can order allergy and emergency cards in several languages, and you can even add pictures to help you further communicate. Dietarycard dot com, based in the United Kingdom, offers special cards for those who must follow a gluten-free diet and authenticates the need as a medical one, so the restaurant staff is especially careful. Lastly, in case an emergency should occur, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends contacting the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, where you can receive a directory of English-speaking physicians throughout the world.

 

(Peter Greenberg is North America’s preeminent expert on Travel. An Emmy Award-Winning writer and producer, Peter is the Travel Editor for NBC’S “TODAY SHOW,” MSNBC and CNBC. A Best-Selling author of the “Travel Detective” series and host of the nationally syndicated “Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show.” Visit WWW.PETERGREENBERGWORLDWIDE.COM to learn more about Peter Greenberg and his adventures.)

 

 

BIRTHDAYS . . .

 

—1588  Colonial Governor John Winthrop  (d. 3-26-1649)

¾1737  American Patriot John Hancock (d. 10-8-1793)

—1876  Author Jack London (d. 11-22-1916)

—1906  Comedian Henny Youngman (d. 2-24-1998)

—1912  Actress Luise Rainer (The Good Earth)

—1920  Civil Rights Leader James Farmer

¾1926  Singer Ray Price (“Release Me”)

—1930  Singer Glenn Yarborough (“Baby The Rain Must Fall”)

—1941  Musician Long John B

—1944  Musician Bobby Columby  (Blood, Sweat, & Tears)

¾1944  Boxer Joe Frazier

—1945  Singer Maggie Bell

—1946  Musician Cynthia Robinson  (Sly & The Family Stone) (“Dance To The Music”)

¾1951  Talk show host Rush Limbaugh

—1952  Basketball’s Campy Russell

—1954  Radio Host Howard Stern

—1955  Actress Kirstie Alley  (Veronica’s Closet)

—1959  Musician/Singer Per Gessle  (Roxette)

—1960  Basketball’s Dominique Wilkins

—1967  Supermodel Vandela

¾1970  Musician/Singer Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against The Machine)

—1997 Actor HAL (Computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey)

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY . . .

 

Today is ORGANIZE YOUR HOME DAY, NATIONAL CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK DAY

—1773  The first public museum in the U.S. was organized in Charleston, South Carolina.

¾1915  The US  House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

—1933  Hattie Carraway of Arkansas was sworn in and seated as the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

—1945  American planes sank about 40 Japanese ships near Indochina (WW II).

—1952  Little Richard records an early track “Thinkin’ Bout My Mother” in Atlanta.

—1960  Dolph Shayes of the Syracuse Nationals (NBA) netted 34 points against the Boston Celtics, and became the first pro player ever to score 15,000 career points.

—1963  Release date of the Beatles’ second British single “Please Please Me,” which begins a string of number one hits for the band.

—1963  Bob Dylan plays a folk singer in a BBC Radio play, singing “Blowin’ In The Wind” and the never-recorded “Swan On The River.”

—1966  “Batman” premiered on ABC TV.

—1970  The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is the top Lp in Britain.

—1971  “All In the Family” premiered on CBS-TV.

—1974  Steve Miller’s “The Joker” is the top single in the U.S.

—1977  Keith Richards is fined over $1000 for cocaine possession, stemming from a May 1976 arrest.             

—1979  The Bee Gees receive a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame as “Too Much Heaven” tops CHR.

—1979  Aynsley Dunbar joins Jefferson Starship as drummer, replacing John Barbarta, who had been injured in an auto accident.

—1980  Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” is the top single in Britain, while in the U.S. the number one is Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).”

—1980  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band have their first record in the U.S. singles chart in nine years with “An American Dream” featuring Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.

—1981  “Dynasty” premiers on ABC TV, starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans

—1987  Pollstar names ZZ Top the #1 concert artist of 1986; the Monkees are 7th.  Micky Dolenz and Gloria Loring, meanwhile, film an episode of “Mike Hammer.”

—1989  Tracy Chapman becomes the most nominated new artist in Grammy history with six nods.

—1989  Tony Orlando sings “Knock Three Times” at an L.A. McDonalds.

¾1991  The US Congress passed a resolution authorizing the President of the US to use force to expel Iraq from Kuwait.  This was the sixth congressional vote in US history declaring war or authorizing force on another nation.

—1994  Three months after going gold, the Gin Blossom’s debut album “New Miserable Experience” goes platinum.

—1996  Janet Jackson signs an $80 million deal with Virgin Records.

¾1998  Santana, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Lloyd Price, Gene Vincent, and The Mama’s & Papas are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

¾2003  Maurice Gibb (The Bee Gees) died at age 53 of in Miami.  He was the twin brother to Robin Gibb, they were born on December 12, 1949.

 

 

RADIO ONLINE® DAILY SHOW PREP. . .

 

ON THIS DAY

On this date in 1773, the very first museum in the United States opened its doors. But it’s what happened at night that inspired the movie.

It was on this date in 1839 that iron was first made with hard coal… which made Geritol very hard to swallow.

On this date in 1912, a town in Idaho recorded a temperature of 47 degrees below zero. It was so cold, Frosty the Snowman was seen collecting firewood.

On this date in 1943, soybean “Victory Sausages” began replacing hot dogs in America’s grocery stores. Up until then, they tried making at least one half of the hot dogs out of beef, pork or chicken, but times were tough… and it was just too hard to make both ends meat.

Batman debuted on ABC-TV way back in 1966. The first episode was “Hi Diddle Riddle,” followed the next day by “Smack In The Middle” and starred Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. The series ran from 1966-1968.

·         “Holy nightmare!”

·         “Under this garb, we’re perfectly ordinary Americans.”

·         “C’mon Robin, to the batcave. We haven’t one moment to lose.”

The very first Super Bowl was played on this date in 1967. The big scandal at half-time was when a wardrobe malfunction revealed Anita Bryant’s upper arm. Yep, times were different back then…

TODAY IS

Rob Zombie turns 43 today… in this lifetime.

Rush Limbaugh turns 58, despite his best efforts. Rush’s worst health concern is not feeling right.

Kirstie Alley is 58 today. You know, you never see her and Rush Limbaugh together. Hmmmmm…

The “Amazing Kreskin” turns 74 today. He’s a mentalist, known for being able to read minds. Whenever he feels like a quick read, he visits President Bush.

National Handwriting Day — a day celebrate the importance of handwriting, in conjunction with John Hancock’s birthday (1-12-37). Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large, bold signature — Here are some clues to people’s character according to their handwriting:

·         If your letters slant to the left: Indicates introspection and a lot of emotional control.

·         If letter slant to the right: Reveals a person who’s more impulsive, outgoing, friendly, and emotionally open.

·         If letters are straight up and down: The sign of someone who’s ruled by the head, not the heart.

·         Letters that slant in more than one direction: indicates versatility and adaptability.

·         An erratic slant usually means a lack of flexibility.

·         Heavy pressure writing (like you can feel the rib made on the back of the paper) means the writer is agitated.

·         Moderate pressure (the writing is dark, but you can’t feel the rib on the other side of the paper) shows ability to deal with stress.

·         Light pressure indicates someone who seems to take life in stride.

·         Tiny Letters: indicate the writer is somewhat low on self esteem but quite high on brain power.

·         Small Letters: are the hallmark of quiet, introspective types. They’re generally detail-oriented and have good powers on concentration.

·         Large Letters: are usually the sign of a confident, easygoing individual.

·         Huge Letters: denote someone who’s loud, theatrical and needs to be the center of attention at all times.

·         Wide Letters (their width and height are about the same): The mark of someone who’s open and friendly.

·         Narrow Letters: Show someone who’s kind of shy and inhibited but also very self-disciplined.

·         Letters that don’t touch: are the sign on an impulsive, artistic, sometimes impractical free thinker.

·         Some letters connecting: Means the writer’s personality blends logic and intuition.

·         All letters making contact: The calling card of someone who’s highly cautious.

·         A curved first mark: Shows a person who’s traditional and plays by the rules.

·         A straight beginning stroke: Reveals someone who’s rigid and doesn’t like being told what to do.

·         A final stroke straight across: is a clue that the writer is cautious.

·         An end mark that curves up: shows generosity.

·         Perfect penmanship: is the hallmark of a communicative person.

·         An indecipherable scrawl: indicates a person who’s secretive, closed-up and likes to keep his thoughts to himself.

Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day — the second Monday of January. Have your stunt boy/girl clean off your sidekick/partner’s desk and make a list of all things good and evil. We home-brewed our own jingle for the game and contestants had to guess different products and categories. Bonus points are given if the player can correctly identify the name brand of the said product.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

·         Ugly Betty’s Ana Ortiz is pregnant with her first child.

·         Lisa Bonet from “The Cosby Show” — also known as Lilakoi Moon (she changed her name in 1995) — has given birth to her third child, a son, that’s she’s name Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.

·         Children who are born four months before the height of cold and flu season have a greater risk of developing childhood asthma than children born at any other time of the year, according to researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

·         Patrick Swayze, fighting pancreatic cancer, says he’s hoping to live another five years.

·         Two arrests have been made following the burglary of Greg Allman’s Georgia home.

·         NBC’s “ER,” whose 15th and final season is this year has been extended by three episodes.

·         Patty Duke has done a commercial for Social Security as Patty & Cathy Lane, her characters from the old “Patty Duke Show.”

·         This Wednesday, Marvel Comics is releasing a special issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583 with Barack Obama depicted on the cover.

·         Alfred Shaheen, the inventor of the Hawaiian shirt, has died at age 86. He’ll be laid to rest with real lei’s.

·         There may be a hidden reason you crave that designer bag: People are more apt to buy luxury items when they feel powerless according to the Journal of Consumer Research.

·         Angelina Jolie says she’s going to take some time off from the movies… at least until twins Vivienne and Knox are toddlers.

·         Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan — the stars of CBS’ comedy “How I Met Your Mother” — are all getting new deals that will bring their salaries up to $90,000-$120,000 per episode.

·         Hundreds of small earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park in recent weeks have the rumor mills working overtime.

·         Lindsay Lohan is said to be in denial about her split with Samantha Ronson.

·         Kevin Costner was hospitalized overnight last Tuesday after experiencing some lightheadedness.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

The top secret most American women keep from the man in their life is not about sex, or past boyfriends, or money. It’s the number of shoes they own, according to a poll by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes, even though she only wears four pairs regularly. 15% of women own more than 30 pairs of shoes. Want more?

·         Women buy, on average, four pairs of shoes a year.

·         13% of women admit to hiding a purchase from their partner.

·         60% of women regret at least one shoe purchase.

·         43% admit they had been at least moderately injured by shoes

When a woman is around, men work out harder. Well, duh! In a new German study, men pushed themselves 12% harder and complained less about pain during a bicycle stress test when a female doctor supervised than when a man did. Study author Christian Jung, M.D., says the results could translate to your gym: “Working out with a woman may help you push harder, probably because men are evolutionary programmed to impress women,” he says. Choose your treadmill wisely. (Men’s Health)

Ladies, batting your eyelashes at someone other than your partner may improve your relationship. Women make an unconscious effort to strengthen their bond after flirting because we see it as threatening to our primary bond, reveals a study from McGill University in Montreal.

Meanwhile, women who are flirts at work — wear short skirts, send flirtatious e-mail messages or even massage a man’s shoulders — get fewer pay raises and promotions than women who don’t exhibit such sexy behavior in the office, according to a study from Tulane University.

Glamour lists the things women should never take for granted:

1.      Your right to vote.

2.      Any random morning you wake up happy and rested.

3.      Love, even if it comes from your parents.

4.      Your body right now (whatever it weighs).

5.      Male upper-body strength, that couch won’t move itself.

6.      Your digital photos.

7.      Invitations RSVP, be nice, respond.

8.      The bliss of vacation sex.

9.      Everyday you don’t have to call tech support.

10.  When they make your favorite bra, buy four.

11.  Your fertile years.

12.  The great guy who never takes you for granted.

It’s bad enough that we’re broke. Now comes word that a bad economy may make men more likely to stray, experts say, and downturns can be a boon for prostitutes. A bigger shock: 40% of sex transactions don’t involve a “service,” says sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, Ph.D.

Men rest easier next to their partners, but women do better sleeping solo, several studies show. According to the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis, ladies have it tougher because guys are more likely to snore. An Austrian study proves women’s sleep was more fragmented when they shared a bed. And American gals don’t do much better: The National Sleep Foundation says 23% of U.S. couples get their Zs separately.

PHONE TOPICS

·         Which is better? Blackberry or iPhone?

·         Most fun thing about college (that you can remember)?

·         Any heroic teacher stories?

·         So, is it okay to have a TV in the bedroom?

·         Do you always have to have a TV on?

·         How old is the oldest bill you need to pay?

·         Have you ever been to small claims court?

·         What’s the best way to dump a lover?

·         What TV show could you watch over and over and it never gets old?

·         What’s more important, appearing wealthy when you aren’t, or appearing average but your loaded?

·         If you could only watch three TV or cable channels for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

·         Anyone convinced they have job security in today’s tough economy?

·         How much time each day do you spend reading blogs?

·         How much do you save clipping coupons?

·         Based on movies you’ve seen, what was the best picture of 2008?

Just when you thought you heard of it all. Now, a CD just for dogs. Skip Haynes and Dana Walden are all about making the world a better place for dogs and their CD, “Songs to Make Dogs Happy”, is a hit with the dogs. Over 200 dogs were tested in focus groups, and they yelped that they liked it! We found a copy of the songs on Amazon.com and let people say if their dogs reacted or not.

I read about a doctor in New York that is making tons of money putting spells on people. Some New Yorkers are paying a hypnotist hundreds of dollars for a trance to feel like they’re rich. But since we as an underpaid morning show staff can’t afford that, we decided to do a phoner: What do you do that makes you feel rich? Maybe a hot oil massage? A Cruise? Lots of great calls.

Is anyone as confused as I am about this digital TV conversion? Maybe you want to take calls from people who “think they know” the deal. See if you can agree on an answer. Apparently, the government is out of $40 rebate coupons for the digital converter box that old TVs need, when the conversion to digital takes place soon.

What kind of things do you have hanging on your rear-view mirror? This seems to mainly be a “chick” thing and we heard it all: ID badges from work, pictures of kids/grandkids/pets, jewelry, graduation tassels (20 years later) and more! Good topic on a slow day.

Do you have family members that live on the same street as you? Is this a good idea or bad? One of our listeners lived on the same street with her brothers and sisters (all 4). We started our chat with the story of 69 members of the same family living on one small street in Cotswold Gardens, Gateshead, England. I guess you always have someone to borrow eggs and butter from if you need them.

My cohost had a smash and grab happen to her yesterday at the mall. Someone smashed her window and stole her $300 GPS system that was on her dash. She is so upset. So this morning (although a day too late), we went over a few ways to prevent the theft of your GPS system:

·         Remove the device as well as the mount each time you park. The mounts serve as notice to criminals that the device is most likely in the car.

·         Use a friction mount rather than a suction cup mount. Suction cup mounts leave an obvious smudge on your windshield and are more difficult to remove and reattach.

·         If you insist on using suction cups, try to wipe away the ring residue on the glass.

·         Record your serial number and use a password. Not highly effective, but it can help.

·         Don’t leave your windows open. Do we need to repeat that?

·         Car alarms. No brainer.

·         Go old school and buy a road map.

Anyone have any more tips for keeping GPS systems and other gadgets in your car safe?

What is jail really like? It was somewhat interesting until the calls came in from people who enjoyed their time in the big house, then it was like an explosion. Irate rednecks and 6-page faxes from people who couldn’t get through. We had a young lady who said she was in jail for a year and that she got to sleep as long as I wanted and had big screen cable TV. Get someone on the line who loves prison and the taxpayers will want to join the fun!

A guy called us and wanted to know what to do about his parents. Whenever they come to visit, and there’s any kid of disagreement with his kid, they always take the child’s side. How do you get the grandparents to keep their noses out of your parenting business? Great calls about other meddling grandparents.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever accidentally tasted? Listeners called with: Magic Marker, Preparation H, Wesson Oil, Pine Sol, Sea Breeze, Ben-Gay, Vaseline and furniture polish.

What was your favorite cartoon as a child? In these troubled times we live in isn’t it nice to think back to when we were kids and got to sit front of the TV and just gel to our favorite animators? Are kids cartoons today as good as when we were kids?

Mangled song lyrics are always fun on a slow day. We started trying to figure out some lyrics to a Rolling Stones song, and it just snowballed from there. Have people call and ask about song lyrics they can’t understand, play the section in question and ask somebody else for help. You’ll get vastly different answers about the same lyrics and all of them will swear they have the “right” ones.

Here are five ways to handle the situation when bumping into an ex and his/her new mate, according to Dating and Personals:

1.      Put a smile on your face and say hello. Introduce yourself, but make the conversation brief. This will take two minutes; you can fall apart right after. Be the adult and act gracious and pleasant – to both of them.

2.      Say a quick hello and make up an excuse that you’re in a rush to meet someone. This will get you out of there fast and possibly make him/her wonder who you’re meeting.

3.      If you’re in the same place for a length of time, acknowledge him/her in the moment, but wait until his/her mate goes to the bathroom before you actually approach and say hello.

4.      If stopping to talk is too difficult, you can make eye contact with him/her and simply nod or wave. No one says you have to talk.

5.      If at any moment you feel like you are going to get upset, turn around and leave quietly. If you know you can’t handle it – just go.

Phoner: What’s the worst ex encounter you’ve ever had?

Anyone listening ever end up on nationwide TV? A walk-on in a movie? You’ll be surprised by how many people have had their 15 minutes of fame.

I took my daughter to see the Hannah Montana movie concert last week, and I’m quite upset. Not that the movie was bad. But Disney made it like it was only a week event. Come to find out Disney extended the 3-D’s film run. I feel duped. I rushed to get my kids into the theater, and now this! I think it’s wrong that Disney did this. It’s obvious I fell for a marketing ploy. Phoner: Have you ever fallen for a marketing ploy? Disney is famous for these “limited time” offers. Have you ever heard when they “re-release” a DVD from the Disney vault? It’s only for a “limited time.”

Phoner: Man or woman, without a medical condition, what’s the longest you’ve ever slept, or stayed in bed? Guys, do you make your bed everyday? How long do go without changing sheets?

70% of adults admit to indulging in at least one ice cream indiscretion. They’ve eaten it in bed. They kept a secret stash hidden from the spouse and kids. They’ve even eaten it for breakfast. That’s according to a poll by Harris Interactive for Perry’s Ice Cream Company. What’s your ice cream indiscretion? Maybe you pick out the nuts, candy, and other chunky stuff so others don’t get it first! We want to know.

We theorized that the secret to a successful marriage is a sense of humor. I’ve noticed that a lot of married couples goof on each other so we took calls on what they do. That led to calls on the secrets of a successful marriage. One somewhat embarrassed woman described how they really get into pretending they don’t know each other so they can pick each other up in public places. They even drive separately.

WEIRD NEWS

Getting Married Outside the Box
In Normal, Illinois, Paul and Caragh Brooks thought outside the box for their wedding. You might also say they ran for the border. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the couple got married at Taco Bell. Other customers continued to order tacos and burritos as the Brooks’ sat in an orange booth and exchanged vows. Paul says, “It’s appropriate. It’s an offbeat relationship.” In the meantime, employees displayed hot sauce packets with the words “Will you marry me?” and decorated the restaurant with streamers and balloons. The bride wore a $15 hot pink dress and the entire wedding cost about $200. Several dozen guests looked on as the couple’s friend, Ryan Green administered the vows while wearing a T-shirt. He was ordained online by the way. So what did the parents think of all this? Well, Kathy Brooks, the groom’s mother said, “This is the way to go– there’s no stress.” 21-year-old Caragh and 30-year-old Paul met on an Internet dating Web site and interestingly enough, already had the same last name. After nine months of emailing and talking on the phone, Caragh moved from her native Australia to the U.S. Paul proposed on New Year’s Eve and, because they like to spend time at the local Taco Bell, they decided to get married there. (The Pantagraph)

Giant Lobster Gets Pardoned
A 20-pound giant lobster is now safe back in the ocean after City Crab — a New York City restaurant– granted the crustacean a pardon. He had been slated for the dinner table but the folks from PETA finally convinced City Crab to give the lobster his freedom. PETA says the giant lobster may be up to 140 years old, although conventional standards for guessing a lobster’s age put it closer to 80. PETA members transported the lobster back to Kennebunkport, Maine, and returned it to the ocean less than a mile from the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush. It had been caught off Newfoundland, Canada, and lived in the restaurant’s tank for about 10 days. (myway.com)

Oh Yeah — There Are Some Mental Problems Here
In Texas 25-year-old death row inmate Andre Thomas — who has a history of mental problems pulled out his only good eye and then told prison guards he ate it! He was arrested for the fatal stabbings of his estranged wife, their young son and her 13-month-old daughter back in March 2004. The victim’s hearts also had been ripped out. Not surprisingly, Texas gave him the death penalty. While in the Grayson County Jail in Sherman, Thomas similarly had plucked out his right eye before his trial back in 2004. Nevertheless, a Texas judge still ruled he was competent to stand trial. Now completely eyeless, he is being housed at a prison psychiatric facility. His attorney, Bobbie Peterson-Cate said, “He will finally be able to receive the mental health care that we had wanted and begged for from day one.” (Houston Chronicle)

Kind of Saw This Coming
You would have thought that watching a man with a ski mask standing in line at the bank might have given folks an early warning. But there he was, 24-year-old Feliks Goldshtein of Highland Heights, Ohio, patiently waiting his turn — and donning a ski mask. When it was finally his turn at the teller window the teller did ask him to take the mask off before being served. That’s when Feliks allegedly displayed what turned out to be a toy gun and told the teller to give him all the money. He made off with an undisclosed amount. Fortunately he was captured just a few minutes later. Police Captain Rick Myers said actually it’s unusual for a masked robber to wait in line at a bank. (myway.com)

Death By Eye Drops?
Hey, Visine may get the red out, but it isn’t very helpful if you’re trying to kill your husband. In Fair Grove, Misourri, 40-year-old Tonia L. Peterson was arrested and charged with first-degree assault after allegedly dumping half a bottle of eye drops in her husband’s tea. Her husband had been having stomach problems for two months until her plot was discovered. Poison control authorities said that ingesting too much Visine “could put a person in a coma with several other serious symptoms.” Tonia later told police that she had been told by a friend that “Visine would kill him.” (News Leader)

Eternal Flame — Or Until the Bill Gets Paid
Bullhead City, Arizona had erected a new veteran’s memorial complete with an “eternal flame.” Unfortunately the flame only lasted a few weeks — until city officials received a $961 gas bill. The flame has now been re-let following complaints by veterans groups. The Medal of Honor Memorial at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Park alongside the Colorado River was lit on Veterans Day in November. But the big bill arrived in late December and city officials were stunned. City Manager Tim Ernster said, “It caught us by surprise. What we decided to do for the time being is to turn the flame on for special events, for Veterans Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day – those types of activities.” But complaints from disgruntled veterans who had worked to pay for and build the memorial led to the flame being re-lit the next day. In the meantime, city parks officials are looking at ways to put a smaller burner in place and only use the larger one at special events because as Johnson pointed out, $1,000 a month in these economic times is certainly a consideration.” So nobody had done any research to find out just how much gas this thing would use and what type of bill to expect before they built it? (Mohave Valley Daily News)

Dumbest Bank Robber Ever
In Serbia, we may have found the world’s dumbest bank robber ever. A man ran into the Kredi Bank wearing a balaclava and brandishing a shotgun and demanded tellers hand over all the cash they had. He got about $15,000 and then ran out of the bank. But just a few minutes later, while the staff were still recovering from the shock of the robbery, our man returned — this time sans the balaclava, and went to a teller window to settle his overdrawn checking account. But a staff member recognized him anyway and quickly called police. The bright red shoes he was wearing kind of stood out during both bank visits. He’s since been arrested and has started enjoying the special good times only a Serbian prison can offer. (Ananova)

YES OR B.S.

·         Exposure to sunlight helps our bodies generate the essential Vitamin M. (B.S., Vitamin D)

·         India was the birthplace of the late reggae pioneer Bob Marley. (B.S., Jamaica)

·         South Carolina was the first state to secede from the United States in the months leading up to the Civil War. (Yes)

·         Verizon was the first commercial online service provider available throughout the United States. (B.S., CompuServe)

·         5 Major League Baseball teams are named after birds. (B.S., only 3 are – Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles)

·         Fox has broadcast the highest rated TV show of the year since 2005. (Yes, ” American Idol”)

·         Swarthmore College is the best value in a private college according to the Princeton Review, which ranked the school at the top of the list. (Yes)

·         A new survey of high-paying jobs across America shows that you might want to consider being a computer IT professional because the career has the highest pay in the country. (B.S., it’s a surgeon)

·         Layoffs in the U.S. in 2008 were the worst since 1940. (B.S., since 2003)

·         Toyota is suspending production at all 12 of its Japan plants for 11 days over February and March. (Yes)

·         In the 1997 movie “Titanic,” Mel Gibson’s hands are seen when Jack draws a picture of Rose wearing her diamond necklace. (B.S., it was those of director James Cameron)

·         “Final Frontier” was the title of the theme song for the TV show “MacGuyver”. (B.S., “Mad About You”)

·         Dizzy Gillespe served as the assistant musical director of “The Tonight Show” for 25 years. (B.S., it was Tommy Newsom)

·         The first Olympics, held in ancient Greece, consisted of this one event, a foot race. (Yes)

·         In 1959, the Dalai Lama took political asylum in the town of Dharamsala in India. (Yes)

·         Mount St. Helen is the most visited mountain in the world. (B.S., Japan’s Mount Fuji)

·         Benji was Dorthy’s pup in the classic flick “The Wizard of Oz. (B.S., it was Toto)

·         At minus 40 degrees Celsius matches degrees Fahrenheit. (Yes)

·         The man who successfully piloted the first powered airplane in history was Thomas Jet. (B.S., it was Orville Wright)

·         An undecagon has 30 sides to it. (B.S., only 11 sides)

YOU SUCK

Take five listeners and they get to judge the contestant on their talent (kinda like “The Gong show”). And if one of the listeners yells out “You Suck” before the 90-second time limit is up the guy is gone, if not the guest gets to pimp books, web sites or whatever.

MA’S BELL

Have listeners call in and tell you how their moms used to call them for breakfast; for the bus; when they were late, etc. Everyone thinks their mom had the most annoying voice. We have telephones from the phone company for the winners of the most “aggravating” mom’s voices. When you’re on the air with the moms make sure they put the phone down and go into the other room to yell. This is a scream!

TOP FIVE HIGHLIGHTS OF LAST NIGHT’S GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS

1.      Jack Nicholson forgot his glasses and accidentally hit on two coat racks

2.      For the first time, they television the breaking down of separate checks

3.      Sean Combs, fighting a cold, announced he’s changing his name to “Stuffy”

4.      Martin Scorsese presented Tina Fey with a Golden Globe and an American Express card

5.      Someone poured a bucket of watch on Lindsay Lohan and she melted

HUNTER’S HUMOR by Tim Hunter

American Idol is getting ready to start up its 8th season and they’ve added a 4th judge. It’s amazing what can happen with a new judge: just ask O.J.!

I haven’t been this excited since “Battlefield Earth” came out on Blue Ray. An ex-boyfriend of Amy Winehouse says that Amy smokes crack for breakfast. Amy denies the accusation, but refused comment about lunch and dinner.

The Army has changed their policy and is now accepting overweight recruits. In a related announcement, the Army has increased the size of the standard foxhole from 42-inches to 56-inches.

Fans of Elvis Presley celebrated what would have been his 74th birthday yesterday by eating several Elvis birthday cakes. Exactly what “The King” would have done…

Regardless of what the press might lead you to believe, Paris Hilton says that she has only slept with a couple of men. Thank God for video tape, huh?

THE WRONG GAME

Round 1

·         What do you throw in the game of darts?

·         What are baby sheep called?

·         Name any of the living former presidents.

·         Which yellow fruit do monkeys love?

·         What’s deodorant used for?

Round 2

·         How many holes in a bowling ball?

·         Which way does a compass point?

·         What’s 3 times 3?

·         What is massage oil used for?

·         What color is broccoli?

Round 3

·         What are baby dogs called?

·         Which country is Athens in?

·         How many sleeves on a shirt?

·         Which bird is the crowbar named after?

·         Which spice is usually offered with salt?

GET OUT OF BED

One of our listeners called us this morning saying that her family was the hardest family to wake up and that she was running out of ideas on how to get them up and out of their beds. We asked her if she was willing to try anything to get them up, and we meant anything. She answered yes, so the next morning we sent stunt boy to the lady’s house with a marching band from a local university. The band and stunt boy all piled into the house and paid a huge wake up call to this family. It was great audio.

SHOULD YOU SPLIT OR COMMIT?

(Men’s Health) Watch for these warning flares when deciding if she’s a keeper. Sometimes you have a moment of clarity about a woman – like when you find her indexed, 7-year collection of Brides magazine. Other times, the signals are harder to read. Here’s help:

·         She hand feeds free-range chicken to her dog. Stay – Why? She may seem like a coddler, but dogs can lower stress and blood pressure, making her a healthier and more stable person.

·         She can’t make a decision without calling her parents, best friend, therapist, and psychic. Go – Why? Her insecurity means she tells everyone about the finer points of your relationship.

·         She “wuvs” the “cutie-ooty” baby talk. Go – Why? “Hey, baby” isn’t so bad, but the coochie-coo stuff, especially in bed, is just creepy. She wants to be treated like a baby, like a precious princess plaything.

·         She doesn’t know from A Bronx Tale. Stay – Why? Relax. So she doesn’t lean over and unlock your car door. It’s not her fault she hasn’t seen the classic film. Rent it and watch it together.

·         She over quotes Hegel and other dead white guys you should read. Go – Why? Aside from the obvious fact that the know-it-all act is annoying, she’s not comfortable in her own skin if she’s cloaking herself in book smarts.

·         She over quotes movie quotes. Stay – Why? Lock that one down especially if they’re lines from A Bronx Tale.

·         She’s a Bohemian who hasn’t had a steady paycheck. Ever. Stay – Why? The arty vibe hooked you, and it’s not a huge leap to help her turn that creativity into a career.

INTERVIEWS/GUESTS

Celebrity Boxing Federation is producing what it calls the “Biggest Celebrity Boxing Showdown Ever” between of Danny Bonaduce vs. Jose Canseco. The boxing match is scheduled for January 24. To schedule an interview with Danny Bonaduce or Jose Canseco, contact Shannon Rose at 813-960-8412 or 813-389-0801 or e-mail info@mediaproductions.tv.

The Grammys are around the corner and Vibe magazine is weighing in on with the first annual Vammy Awards, featuring categories and nominees the mag thinks will make the award show ballot hotter and hipper in 2009, including Vammy categories: “Best Ringtone,” “Best Hook,” and “Best Hook Artist.” For interview opportunities and to speak with a Vibe editor, contact Pam Workman at JLM PR, 212-431-5227 or e-mail pam@jlmpr.com.

UNEMPLOYMENT LINE

Get unemployed listeners on the line and let them tell you their qualifications. Hopefully, you will have prospective employers that call in and want to at least interview them, and maybe hire them. We got one girl hooked up with a data entry job immediately.

WACKY FAX PATROL

Some folks do a “win free lunch on us party,” but we do it with a twist. Someone sends us a fax with the name of a person they work with that want us to crank call, if they fall for the call then they win lunch.

COSMO’S CAR SMARTS

·         Adjust all systems: climate controls, seats, the CD player, etc. before driving.

·         If you absolutely have to use a cell phone, have a passenger dial the numbers or pull off the road.

·         Don’t read maps while driving pull over. If you have a GPS device, set it before starting your drive. If you’re following written directions, ask a passenger to read them.

·         Stop driving immediately if you doze off, have trouble staying awake, miss an exit, etc.

·         Consume caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of coffee; even keeping a box of chocolate-covered espresso beans in the car can help.

·         What won’t help, according to NHTSA, is rolling down windows or turning on the radio.

·         Do not take off and drive after an emotionally upsetting event. Take a walk instead.

·         Don’t drive aimlessly, with no destination in mind.

·         Don’t let friends drive emotionally either. Treat it like drunken driving: Take the keys or offer to drive her.

·         Yes, it’s obvious, but wear your seat belt, and insist that everyone else in the car do the same. Young men are particularly reluctant to buckle up; don’t let them get away with it. It’s the law everywhere bun New Hampshire, although penalties vary from state to state.

·         Be wary of riding with a newly licensed driver whatever his or her age is.

·         Always arrange for a designated driver or call for a cab if you’re going to be out drinking.

·         Remember that if you are extremely tired, having one drink can feel like having four and could have the same effect on your driving abilities.

·         Tell your inebriated friend that you heard a sobriety checkpoint has just been set up at a nearby intersection.

·         If you’re hosting a party that got too boozy, offer a “hangover brunch” for anyone who wants to stay the night.

DID YOU KNOW?

Here’s more evidence that water is a dieting do: When Stanford University researchers analyzed the diets of 173 overweight women, they found that those who drank six glasses a day consumed about 200 fewer daily calories than their water skimping peers. Why? Opting for water eliminates the waist widening calories you’d have taken in with other drinks, experts say. (Good Housekeeping)

A University of Colorado study reports in order to prevent catching an infectious disease, women must wash their hands more frequently than men. Part of the reason is body chemistry. Men tend to have more acidic skin than women, and the high acidity helps kill germs on contact. Another factor is lifestyle. Women use more lotions, creams and moisturizers, all of which leave a slight sticky residue on their hands, allowing germs to glom onto them more easily. Frequent hand washing is especially important during cold and flu season. (Sun)

If you’re visiting England, drink the beer it’s cheaper than water. A startling survey in London found that discount brands carrying a supermarket’s name cost less than bottled H2O. Tesco Value lager sold for a measly 35 cents a can far less than an equivalent size container of water. And alcoholic cider cost just 90 cents a can. Even hard stuff was going for cheap. A discount brand of vodka cost just $9.75 for a bottle. But while customers are happy with the prices, anti-booze crusaders say the cheapness of alcohol only increases drinking and bad consequences. They want government officials to clamp down on low cost alcohol. “we see how cheap booze leads to excessive drinking and accidents, injury and reckless behavior in our treatment centers every day,” says Deborah Cameron of Addiction, a rehab group that did the survey. “This survey shows there is still an urgent need for the government to take hard action to stop shops selling under priced drink immediately.” (National Examiner)

Once you take a sip of a milkshake, you aren’t likely to stop which is why it’s best not to guzzle such calorie laden concoctions in the first place. But researchers at the Seattle VA Medical Center wondered: What is it, exactly, that makes a shake so irresistible the sugar, the fat, or the flavor? Turns out, it’s the sweet stuff. “Unlike fat, sugar is rapidly absorbed by the body, and the metabolic effects are immediate,” says study author Dianne Figlewicz Lattemann, Ph.D. “As a result, we seem to want more of it.” The simple solution? Avoid foods with added sugar. Not only will you cut extra calories, but you’ll also be less likely to binge. (Men’s Health)

Another reason to give up soft drinks: Kicking your soda habit could make your kids healthier. University of Iowa researchers found that when people stopped drinking soda and removed it from their homes, their kids drank less pop, too. Not surprised? Just remember this on your next supermarket trip: “The messages parents send their kids with the food and drinks they keep at home have a big impact on their children’s behavior,” says study author Helena H. Laroche, M.D. and sometimes, those messages last a lifetime. (Men’s Health)

Harvard University reports memory loss is one of the most annoying and frightening aspects of getting older. but new research has confirmed that there’s a simple and pleasant way to ward off this distressing phenomenon. All you have to do is snack on chocolate. Cocoa flavonols, powerful antioxidants that occur abundantly in dark chocolate, stimulate blood flow to the brain, slowing the mental decline that often accompanies aging and keeping your memory sharp as a tack. Additional studies indicate that several other everyday items can help keep your brain in high gear, no matter how old you are. Antioxidant vitamins, such as A, C and E, reduce the risk of dementia. Fish oil supplements protect your brain against memory destroying inflammation and curry powder improves scores in memory tests among seniors. (Sun)

GORSEFEATHERS by Patrick Gorse

The Illinois House has voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich 114-1. Oops… sorry. That should read that Joe Biden today defeated Barack Obama in bowling 114-1.

President-elect Barack Obama warned Congress on Thursday that there’s not a moment to waste when it comes to fixing the economy. To prove that time is of the absolute essence, today Obama reduced the number of Inaugural Balls he’ll be attending from 12 to 11.

Buttons, one of the star dogs from Disney’s sequel of “101 Dalmatians,” “102 Dalmatians,” has given birth to a record litter of 18 Dalmatian puppies. The great event took a tragic turn when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tried to turn the puppy births into a photo op, and as Palin spoke… what went on in the background…Well, I don’t even want to talk about it!

On Thursday, President Barack Obama called attention to the importance of fixing the U.S. economy by saying, “Every day we wait, or point fingers, or drag our feet,” more Americans lose jobs, savings and dreams. The speech was then interrupted by the commotion of Republicans, waiting, pointing fingers and dragging their feet.

Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the state of the economy is so bad; the House of Representatives won’t go into recess until they’ve passed the stimulus package. But won’t that be bad for business? With the Democrats in Congress not taking any breaks…prostitutes, the liquor industry and gay porn manufactures will all take a big financial hit.

So Speaker Nancy Pelosi says members of the House can’t go home until Barack Obama’s stimulus package is passed. Talk about strange bedfellows. Both Bernie Madoff and Congress are under ‘House’ arrest!

Several parts of the Pacific Northwest are under flood watches. The Wal-Mart in Chehalis, Washington, prepared for flooding. Emergency crews said all the smiley faces were wearing snorkels, and the “Prices are Dropping” signs were changed to “Prices are Drowning.”

Alaska is experiencing extreme, bitterly cold weather with temperatures dropping to 60 below. Sarah Palin said she could see Siberia from her house.

The temperatures are so cold in Alaska, emergency crews are asking for help to check on residents who may be without heat. In fact, 12,000 guys volunteered to keep Bristol Palin warm.

It was so cold in Alaska; Levi Johnston’s mother said she’s glad the DEA has her in hot water.

Congress certified the outcome of the presidential election on Thursday, meaning Barack Obama has finally and officially been declared the President-elect–Which proves why this country should really be named, the United States of Florida.

During an interview on “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” Thursday night, Nancy Pelosi said that she “heard on Jay Leno last night” that President Bush’s proudest achievement “was his attempt to privatize Social Security.” No wonder the country is in trouble. The Democratic Speaker of the House is getting her news from Jay Leno’s jokes!

We now know that the reason Barack Obama and his family had to move into a Washington hotel, rather than use the residence President-elects normally use, is because President Bush promised it to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Howard once said that Al Qaeda in Iraq would “pray” for Barack Obama to win the election. So, it appears that because Barack Obama opposed the Iraq war, George Bush made the Obama girls spend their first school-week in a hotel, and let the EX-Aussie Prime Minister enjoy the 119 rooms of Blair House all to himself. Rumors that George Bush has class just went down the toilet counter-clockwise.

Paris Hilton’s says she’s slept only with a couple of men, even though she’s been videotaped in bed with several men. In Paris’s defense, the guys from the video said, “We are not men. We are Devo.”

Sarah Palin is calling out liberal bloggers and she even called Keith Olbermann “evil.” The bloggers responded by saying Palin is a bald-faced liar… Which we all know isn’t true because that close-up Newsweek cover revealed that Sarah Palin has lot’s of facial hair.

Sarah Palin is claiming that the liberal blogosphere still maintains that her daughter Bristol is the mother of Sarah’s baby, Trig. The idiot liberal bloggers denied that charge saying what they’ve actually been posting is that Bristol is the mother of Rosemary’s baby.

President Bush is returning to Crawford, Texas, on January 20th, but we may see him back on the national stage by April. The Texas Rangers have invited Mr. Bush to open their season by throwing out the first shoe.

Some people are theorizing that a transit cop in Oakland who fatally shot a suspect with his sidearm thought he was using his taser gun. In fact, the victim’s last words were, “I said TASE me, bro.”

$50 billion Ponzi-scheme swindler Bernie Madoff has been accused of further defrauding his investors by sticking his assets in mittens—Which is kind of ironic–because when Madoff goes to jail, everyone is going to be sticking their mittens up his assets…

You know, I’ve been around a while, and this country has never been in worse shape during that time. If history judges George Bush to be a good President, I’m building a time machine…going into the future…and beating the crap out of history.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has asked the courts to grant him a time extension to indict Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich because Fitzgerald claims he’s got too much evidence to go through to indict him right now. In a related story, the people who owe me money have asked for an extension on paying it back because they’ve got so much cash to count, they don’t have the time to pay it back right now.

TOP FIVE WAYS 2009 HAS ALREADY BEEN A ROUGH YEAR

1.      Boss informs you that 2009 is the year of the firing

2.      What do you mean it’s 2009?

3.      Just now mailing my Christmas cards

4.      I’m just now remembering to write 2008 on my checks

5.      The calendar I bought is missing January

NAME THAT YEAR

(1979)

·         President Carter formally welcomes Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House, following the establishment of diplomatic relations.

·         Pope John Paul II begins his first overseas trip as pontiff, traveling to the Dominican Republic.

·         The Pittsburgh Steelers become the first team to win three Super Bowls, when they defeat the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31, in Super Bowl XIII.

·         Former U.S. vice-president Nelson A. Rockefeller dies at age 70.

·         “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 2 weeks.

(1963)

·         Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped, then released a few days later when $240,000 ransom is paid.

·         In South Bend, IN, the Studebaker automobile plant shuts down.

·         The Roman Catholic Church approves the use of some English in the Mass where Latin had been spoken before.

·         6-year-old Donnie Osmond makes his debut on “The Andy Williams Show.”

(1991)

·         President Bush announces the start of Operation Desert Storm, a massive air-strike in conjuction with 28 allied countries to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

·         The New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, 20-19.

·         Pete Rose leaves an Illinois federal prison camp and checked into a halfway house in Cincinnati to complete his sentence for cheating on his taxes.

·         Financially strapped Eastern Airlines shuts down after 62 years in business.

·         “Someday” by Mariah Carey and “All This Time” by Sting both enter the U.S. top 40 chart.

(1959)

·         It’s the first movie to open simultaneously in major cities on the same day. The end of the world saga, “On The Beach.”

·         Louisiana Halfback Billy Cannon wins the Heisman Trophy.

·         Twelve nations agree on scientific peaceful use of Antarctica.

·         Guy Mitchell has a #1 hit with “Heartaches By The Number.”

(1980)

·         The Soviet Union vetos a U.N. Security Council resolution protesting the Soviet military intervention of Afghanistan.

·         Gold rises past the $700 per ounce mark.

·         A freeze damages 90% of Florida’s citrus crops.

·         Larry Williams (“Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Bony Moronie”) is found shot to death.

·         “Please Don’t Go” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band is #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart.

(1964)

·         Lockheed’s spy plane, the SR71 sets a new speed record, 3530 kph.

·         Shocking news out of California as superstar Sam Cooke loses his life.

·         Dr. Martin Luther King is announced as the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

·         The Supremes have a hit with “Come See About Me.”

(1983)

·         In order to stop leaks, President Reagan orders White House staff members to stay away from the press.

·         The final episode of “M*A*S*H” is filmed in on Stage 9 in Century City, California.

·         The Pentagon announces that an out-of-control, radioactive Soviet spy satellite crashed in the mid-Indian Ocean.

·         A commission studying reform of the Social Security system recommends gradually raising the retirement age from 65 to 66.

·         “The Girl Is Mine” by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney peaks at #2 on the U.S. top 40 chart.

(1961)

·         Elvis’s “Blue Hawaii” album hits #1 on the charts, where it will stay for four months!

·         For the second year in a row, the Associated Press names Wilma Rudolph as “Female Athlete of the Year.”

·         President John F. Kennedy sends American helicopters and crews to South Vietnam.

·         The Marvelettes have a #1 hit with “Please Mr. Postman.”

(1997)

·         President Clinton declares northern Nevada a major disaster area following several days of rain that sent rivers over their banks in the Reno and Carson City area.

·         Two firebombs are tossed at abortion clinic in Tulsa, OK, causing minor damage.

·         Newt Gingrich becomes the first Republican re-elected House speaker in 68 years.

·         The Green Bay Packers defeat the New England Patroits, 35-21, in Super Bowl XXXI.

·         “Macarena” by Los Del Rio appears on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for the 56th non-consecutive week, becoming the longest charted record in the chart’s history.

(1966)

·         Baseball experts still call it one of the worse trades ever… Roger Maris to St. Louis, for Charlie Smith.

·         Young and old mourn the loss of Walt Disney at age 65.

·         Dean Martin stars in a spy spoof as Matt Helm in “Murderers Row” with Ann Margaret.

·         Both Frank and Nancy Sinatra have top ten hits with “That’s Life” and “Sugar Town.”

DO YOU WORK WITH A BUTT-KISSER?

Psychologists call it “upward influence” or “supervised-focused impression management” or “tactical subordinate ingratiation.” Here’s some words we compiled through the listeners: apple polisher, ass kisser, boot licker, brown noser, foot licker, kiss-up, suck-up, and yes man. Ask your listeners for more. Then, follow up with an Office Challenge: get four people from the same office, maybe even more. One at a time the entire office must correctly identify the number one butt kisser in the office or they lose.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

01.08.09

 SHOW PREP JANUARY 8, 2009

 

HOLLYWOOD 411 . . .

 

It’s another girl for Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Affleck’s spokesman, Shawn Sachs, and Garner’s spokeswoman, Leslie Sloane-Zelnik, said Tuesday that Garner gave birth to their second daughter but would not provide any additional details. Garner and Affleck, both 36, were married in June 2005. Garner gave birth to daughter Violet in December 2005. Affleck co-starred with Garner in “Daredevil,” and they began dating in 2004. (Daily Record)

 

Jodie Sweetin and estranged husband Cody Herpin “are working hard to avoid a protracted custody battle,” the actress’s lawyer tells PEOPLE.  The former Full House star, 26, and Herpin, 31, attended their first joint mediation session this week at an Orange County, Calif., court.  “They’re trying to work things out regarding the sharing of their child,” attorney Wilma Presley says. “As far as reconciliation as a couple goes, in family law, you just never know.”  Despite recent court drama, “Jodie is doing very well,” Presley adds. “She had a very nice Christmas. She had her daughter on Christmas Eve and morning, and so far, the sharing has been smooth. There haven’t been complaints from either side.”  Presley says that Sweetin is also “working hard on sobriety attending a 12-step program,” as well as dedicating time to her book, an autobiography about her childhood stardom and personal struggles.  Calls to Herpin’s lawyer, Robert Benavente, weren’t immediately returned. Sweetin Denied Relapse A judge ruled at a Dec. 17 hearing that custody over their daughter, Zoie, 9 months, was to be shared 50-50, and that custodial time would take place at her parents’ home where she currently lives, or if not at home, in the presence of one of her parents. Presley stressed this was not monitored custody, because Sweetin can drive their daughter alone to and from Herpin’s residence.  The December hearing was held after Herpin made accusations that Sweetin had relapsed into substance abuse. Sweetin, a recovering alcoholic and meth addict, admitted to having two glasses of wine recently, but denied relapsing into meth use.  Sweetin filed for legal separation from Herpin on Nov. 19, seeking joint custody of their daughter. Herpin responded with his own filing on Dec. 4, seeking sole custody.  The couple’s next hearing is set for Feb. 9. (People)

 

Jennifer Love Hewitt is back to work, but a source on the set of her hit show The Ghost Whisperer says the actress is “having a tough time” in the wake of her breakup with fiancé Ross McCall. “She is usually very bubbly, but she is more quiet and seems sad,” the source says. “She usually hangs out with the crew between takes, but [Tuesday] she is only hanging out with her bodyguard.” The source adds that skipping work wasn’t an option for the actress. “She is always so professional,” says the source. “She would never even think to miss a day of work because of personal problems.” Hewitt returned to the set Jan. 5, the same day PEOPLE reported exclusively that she and McCall had called it quits over the holidays. “They’re both really sad about this,” another source, who is close to the couple, said at the time. “Even their friends are surprised; they seemed really happy.” Hewitt, 29, got engaged to the Scottish actor, 32, in November 2007 after dating for two years. (People)

 

Patrick Swayze – who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year – says he may have only two years to live. On ABC’s Patrick Swayze: The Truth (airing last night, 10 p.m. ET), Swayze, 56, tells Barbara Walters he has already has defied survival rates and reports predicting he should have “been dead a long time.” Still, he admits, “I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking. Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. “I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it,” says the star, who denies he is on his “death bed.” He admits he is “scared” but says he is waging his battle against cancer “moment to moment.” “When do you decide the fight isn’t matching up to your quality of life?” he asked. “So far, I’ve got potential for a lot of quality of life.” He also says he refused painkillers while working on his new A&E drama The Beast.  People thought he was “out of his mind,” he says. But “when you’re shooting you can’t do drugs… ’cause it takes the edge off your brain.” Swayze says he missed only a day-and-a-half of filming of the show, which premieres next week. As for his smoking habit, the actor has “cut back” but says quitting for him is not a “priority.” (US Weekly)

 

Dakota Fanning has reached out to her Secret Life of Bees costar Jennifer Hudson, who is grieving over the murders of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. “I have spoken to her. I have been in contact with her,” Fanning told Usmagazine.com at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Tuesday in Palm Springs, Calif. “I can’t imagine what she is going through, but she knows the whole cast is there for her, and I love her.” Hudson — who just earned four Grammy nominations for her debut album — is expected to sing the songs of Neil Diamond at MusiCares Person of the Year gala on Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (US Weekly)

 

Mamma Mia co-stars Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried set tongues wagging after they were spotting kissing at Mayfair’s Mahiki nightclub. “They really were all over each other, sharing a Treasure Chest [Mahiki's signature cocktail],” a spy said. “They were kissing and holding hands, and being very tactile with each other.” In an interview last June, Amanda admitted that she did have a romantic relationship with Dominic while they filmed the musical in 2007. “‘I just found him funny and it was like we were the same person – except that he’s British, almost 30 and a man! We both look like frogs with our wide-set eyes, we’re both indecisive and neither of us has a lot of willpower.” The pair, who arrived with a group of 15 people, stayed at the club until it closed at 3am and got a taxi home together. (British Glamour)

 

Kate Moss has further fuelled pregnancy rumors by telling her nanny that she can expect “twice as much work”. The model gave Mary Davidson, mother of pal Sadie Frost and the nanny of daughter Lila Grace, a huge Christmas bonus and told her that she could expect her workload to double in 2009. “Kate told her that the bonus had been doubled, as she hoped she’d have twice as much work for her this year,” an insider revealed. “She told the nanny that she is the only person in the world she would want to be there if she had a new baby. Mary was so touched by Kate’s words that she burst into tears.” Kate Moss is currently on holiday in Thailand with Mary, Lila and boyfriend Jamie Hince. (British Glamour)

 

Now that Scarlett Johansson is married, are kids next? Probably not. “I’m not pregnant, and I’m not going to be anytime soon,” The Spirit star, 24, tells February’s Harper’s Bazaar. She says she gets a kick out of baby rumors. “I got these calls that I was engaged way before it happened. I’ve also been pregnant several times,” she says. “With, like, sextuplets. That must mean I’ve been eating way too many bagels or something.” Johansson also opens up about her engagement to actor Ryan Reynolds, whom she wed last September. “I wasn’t surprised that it was happening, but anyone being presented with a beautiful diamond ring, as a girl, you just squeal with delight,” she says. “You say you can’t believe it, but of course, you really can.” Despite getting hitched, she says has no plans to put her career on hold. “Every actor wants to work on a Western,” she says of her dream role. “I would run a brothel, like a madam or something. I’m working with what I got. It’s only so long that people are going to want to see me in a corset. So I might as well do it now.” (US Weekly)

 

Looks like Nicollette Sheridan is the latest to be sucked in by the mysteriously alluring gaze of David Spade — a gaze that already has claimed Heather Locklear, at least one Playboy Playmate, and Nic’s co-star, Teri Hatcher. Spade & Sheridan were rumored to have hooked up at her birthday party back in November — three months after she broke it off with former mullet master Michael Bolton. Last night, each dodged cameras after eating together at Koi. (TMZ)

 

The divorce is final, but the squabbling goes on for Christie Brinkley and ex-hubby Peter Cook, who now accuses her of withholding the passport of their 13-year-old son, Jack, denying him a trip to Egypt with his dad. “Everything she does, she does to interfere with my time with my children,” Cook told The Post’s Selim Algar. The trip was offered through Jack’s exclusive East End school, the Ross School. Sources said Brinkley was served the papers during a school concert, and threw them up in the air. “His latest filing is unfounded, unwarranted and petty,” she said. (Page Six)

 

Betty Freeman, patron to such contemporary musical masters as John Cage, Philip Glass and Pierre Boulez, has died. She was 87. Freeman died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at her Beverly Hills home, daughter Shelley Butler said Wednesday. Over four decades, Freeman commissioned works from about 80 composers and underwrote performances and recordings. Her gifts ranged from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. “I’ve always been interested in the new, and don’t understand why everybody isn’t,” Freeman told The New York Times in 1998. “I like contemporary painting, clothing, furniture, architecture. So of course I like contemporary music. Old music is fine. But I like complexity, challenge, ambiguity, abstraction.” “I cannot think of many individuals whose actions would have had a more profound effect on our art form or culture in general,” Esa-Pekka Salonen, music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, told the Los Angeles Times. John Adams’ opera “Nixon in China” was dedicated to her. The music Freeman supported frequently ran to minimalism and dissonance. Based on her personal taste, she backed artists who might be too avant-garde to win art committee or government grants. “She had a passion for it,” her daughter said. “She didn’t care if anyone else liked it or not.” In 1964, Freeman met eccentric American composer Harry Partch, who was living in his car. Partch invented a 43-tone musical scale and a variety of instruments to play his compositions. Freeman got him a house and a studio and supported him for a decade until his death in 1974. In the 1980s, she held musical salons that were famous for attracting modern composers. “Her greatest effect was as a kind of focal point for artistic activity,” Adams told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “If Betty had a dinner, everyone came. You didn’t say no, partly out of respect and love for her and partly because you knew it was going to be a really exciting evening.” Freeman also was a photographer, whose images of composers and musicians were displayed at Carnegie Hall. Before turning to music, she collected art. She was the inspiration for a 1966 David Hockney painting “Beverly Hills Housewife.” Born Betty Wishnick in Chicago on June 2, 1921, she grew up in Brooklyn and New Rochelle, N.Y. Her wealth was inherited from her father, a successful chemical engineer. She married Stanley Freeman and had four children before they divorced. She later married painter and sculptor Franco Assetto. (Daily Record)

 

 

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

 

The Hong Kong government has agreed to preserve a former home of late martial arts legend Bruce Lee and turn it into a tourist attraction, an official said Wednesday. The house where Lee lived from 1972 to 1973 is currently used as a “love motel,” where rooms are rented by the hour and people often carry on affairs. The owner has lobbied to covert it into a museum. Hong Kong’s commerce and economic development minister met with the owner Tuesday and agreed to the project that would restore the two-story house back to its “original outlook and features,” said government spokeswoman Winnie To in an e-mail statement. It did not elaborate on the timeframe or how the project would be funded but said the government hoped the project would enable Lee’s supporters to commemorate his achievements. Lee, who died in Hong Kong in 1973 at age 32 from swelling of the brain, was born in San Francisco but grew up in Hong Kong.

His credits include “The Chinese Connection,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Return of the Dragon.” (Daily Record)

 

Is Brad Pitt trying to declare peace in the Brangelina vs. Jennifer Aniston media smackdown? It seems that way in his latest interview in W magazine, where he’s photographed au naturel and gives unguarded answers when asked about Jen’s “uncool” comments. “Jen is a sweetheart,” Brad says. “I think she got dragged into that one, and then there’s a second round to all of that Angie versus Jen. It’s so created.”  He echoes Jen’s claims that they’re still in touch, saying that he and Jen still “check in” with each other. “She was a big part of my life, and me hers,” he continues.  But don’t think he didn’t defend Angelina too… Brad shoots down claims that he and Angelina had an affair while filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith (while he was still married to Jen). Both stars have admitted they fell in love on set. “We were still filming after Jen and I split up,” Brad says. “Even then it doesn’t mean that there was some kind of dastardly affair. There wasn’t. I’m very proud of the way that it was handled. It was respectful.” Brad also dishes about the personal photos he snapped of Angie breast-feeding the twins for the previous cover of the magazine.  “It’s really sexy to see your loved one through the lens,” the budding photographer said. “I went much further [than the shot of Jolie breast-feeding]. I didn’t show those.” Think Brad’s latest interview will stop the war of words, or has he just added fuel to the fire? Sound off below. (Eonline)

 

Anne Hathaway is a getting a little more serious with her new man, actor Adam Shulman. At least enough to bring him to an awards show. The Golden Globe nominee’s blond beau was at Tuesday  night’s opening gala of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where Hathaway picked up the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Rachel Getting Married. The PDA was kept to a minimum—Shulman waited inside the Palm Springs Convention Center ballroom while Hathaway did red carpet arrival press—but… I did spot them quickly locking lips when Hathaway made her way from their table to the stage to accept her award from her Rachel costar Rosemarie DeWitt. We’ll assume Shulman, who was first linked to Hathaway in November, has gotten the seal of approval from the family. He spent most of the evening sitting between Hathaway and her brother, Michael. Hathaway looked absolutely stunning in a black strapless body-hugging Balmain dress, Christian Louboutin shoes and gazillion-dollar Cartier jewels. Her acceptance speech, however, was a little less pretty. She gave heartfelt thanks to her family and friends (she was especially grateful to her brother for not allowing her to get too “comfortable” as a smoker like Kim, her drug-addict character in Rachel), but then Hathaway proceeded to chatter on about “religious pluralism,” which she read about in The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News. I’m all for having beauty and brains, but note to Anne: Keep the talk about “process metaphysics” out of your acceptance speeches. Also picking up awards in Palm Springs were Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Dakota Fanning, Amy Adams, the cast of Revolutionary Road, composer Alexandre Desplat and Slumdog Millionaire newcomer Freida Pinto. Ben Stiller presented Dustin Hoffman with the Chairman’s Award for Career Achievement. “He’s the reason short Jewish guys are allowed to be leads in the movie,” Stiller cracked about his Meet the Fockers star. “Believe me, there’s a secret society of guys like us who worship his image.” Josh Brolin said it took him at least two decades to finally work with director Gus Van Sant (the night’s Sony Bono Visionary Award winner) in Milk. He remembered traveling to Van Sant’s hometown, Portland, when he heard he was making My Own Private Idaho. “What I was going to do was find Gus Van Sant and be discovered by him,” Brolin said. “Gus would see me on the street and go, ‘Oh my God. That’s the guy. He’s perfect. Look at him.’ ” (Eonline)

 

This small central Florida town is about as far from Hollywood as you can get. Maybe that’s why actor John Travolta moved his family here. The town square features a fondue restaurant, the social scene revolves around ranchers’ soirees and horse riding is one of the main pastimes. Mobile home parks, peanut farms and moss-covered oak trees dot the landscape. There is little pretension or glitz. Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston seem to fit in: They appeared on the cover of this month’s Ocala Style magazine with big smiles, wearing jeans and sweaters. Now, with the death of their 16-year-old son Jett, this is where they have come to grieve. On Monday night – four days after Jett was found unconscious in the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas – Travolta and Preston flew back to Ocala. The city is welcoming them quietly and respectfully. Mayor Randy Ewers said the city sent the Travolta family condolences and would give them space and privacy. “They’re fantastic people, really family oriented,” Ewers said. “We want to respect their privacy as much as possible.” Doctors in the Bahamas performed an autopsy on Jett on Monday but did not release results. A Bahamas undertaker said the teen’s death certificate had “seizure” as the cause of death. The teen had a history of seizures; his body was cremated Monday and flown to the U.S. the same night. A memorial service for Jett will be held Thursday for family and close friends in Ocala, his publicist said. The Travoltas, who have been together since 1991, bought their unusual $8 million property in Ocala in 2003. The reason had nothing to do with the area’s famed thoroughbred horse farms: Travolta, an avid pilot, was looking for a home where he could fly his many planes, including a Boeing 707 airliner, right to his front door. The estate, located in a subdivision that boasts the largest private residential runway in the country, was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest in 2004. The style was inspired by Morris Lapidus, the architect of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Eero Saarinen, designer of Washington Dulles International Airport. “If I can look out the bedroom and see the planes, I am happy,” Travolta told The Associated Press last year. His eldest son, Jett, and daughter, Ella, played happily around the mid-century compound. “We’ve got a big pool, a slide and a golf course,” Preston told Architectural Digest. “We’re a family who likes to play a lot.” And although that family traveled often for work – Travolta’s latest movie, “Bolt,” in which he does the voice for an animated dog, was just released – they also spent time in Ocala and the even smaller village of Anthony, which is right down the street from their home. “I love rubbing elbows with life and real people,” Travolta, 54, once told the local newspaper, the Star-Banner. “I don’t like living in ivory towers. I want to enjoy life the way everybody else does.” “He’s just, I don’t know, a normal person,” said Barbara Pound, a waitress at the Saddle Rack Cafe. She served him his favorite breakfast – a $6.49 western omelet – on a handful of occasions. “Nobody bothers him here. We let him have his peace.” Travolta once brought his son into the cafe and the boy “wouldn’t stop smiling,” said manager Jackie Gomillion. Others have spotted Travolta and his family cruising around in his classic Thunderbird or just shopping at the Gap in the local mall. Twice, Travolta hosted charity fundraisers around movie premieres at the local movie theater in Ocala where thousands of local fans showed up. Brent Johnson of Ocala once saw him at the gym at 5:30 a.m. “I thought to myself, I’m not going to harass him, but he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’” Johnson said. “He asked about my kids and family. I think there’s a sense of pride here in Ocala that someone like that would want to live here.” (Daily Record)

 

Brad Pitt wants to set one thing straight regarding his wife Angelina Jolie: She’s not a home wrecker. “What people don’t understand is that we filmed ['Mr. & Mrs. Smith'] for a year. We were still filming after Jen [Aniston] and I split up,” he tells W in the annual “A-List” February issue. “Even then it doesn’t mean that there was some kind of dastardly affair. There wasn’t. I’m very proud of the way that it was handled. It was respectful.” Aniston might disagree – she called Jolie’s comment that the couple fell in love on-set “uncool” – but Pitt downplays any animosity. “Listen, man, Jen is a sweetheart. I think she got dragged into that one, and then there’s a second round to all that Angie versus Jen. It’s so created,” he claims. “We still check in with each other. She was a big part of my life, and me hers. I don’t see how there cannot be [that]. That’s life, man. That’s life.” The issue hits stands Jan. 20. (Page Six)

 

Kevin Federline’s new chick isn’t low rent — she’s no rent — if you believe the landlord suing her for skipping out on her payments! Sources tell TMZ Victoria Prince was booted from her Beverly Hills home back in September after she allegedly didn’t pay rent for six months. We’re told she struck a deal with her landlord to pay him back in installments, but she never made any of the payments. Now, the landlord is suing Prince for $7500, but there’s a catch — nobody knows where to find her! We’re told her landlord tried to serve her where she works, but security wouldn’t let the process server in. Try Vegas next? Calls to Prince were not returned. (TMZ)

 

There are more photos to add to the Spears family album! Britney rang in the New Year with her sons Jayden James, 2, and Preston, 3, at her brother Bryan’s intimate wedding in Louisiana, and Celebbuzz.com has the first look at the big day. “It was beautiful,” a source tells PEOPLE about the wedding. “It was only close family, very small and intimate.” For this shot, the singer dressed up and posed with her boys prior to the festivities. Bryan, 31, tied the knot with talent manager Graciella Sanchez, 36, at Latrobe’s on Royal in New Orleans. “The family was totally excited,” a friend of the family tells PEOPLE. “Graciella’s wonderful. Everybody was happy about it.” (People)

 

Solo trips to Las Vegas, public appearances without their wedding rings – what’s up with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez? According to those who observed them on a holiday vacation to Puerto Rico, nothing. The couple, who left for their romantic jaunt on Dec. 26, rang in 2009 poolside at La Concha Hotel, reports the Puerto Rico newspaper El Voce.  On their trip, which lasted through the first week in January, the couple also attended the gubernatorial inauguration and had a cozy dinner together at Marmalade restaurant in Old San Juan.  What’s more, a reliable source tells PEOPLE that Lopez, 39, and Anthony, 40, are seriously considering purchasing property at Trump’s International Gulf Club Puerto Rico, where they took a tour over the holiday. ‘They’ve Been Arguing’ While both their reps tell PEOPLE that the couple are “great,” insiders indicate that their marriage isn’t perfect. “They have been having problems, like in any marriage,” says one. “They’ve been arguing.”  The likely cause? The growing pains naturally associated with raising 10-month-old twins Max and Emme.  “The marriage is experiencing frustrations because of the added stress of the twins,” says another source familiar with the situation, “but they will work things out. They love each other, and that will dictate what happens. I don’t think divorce is in the picture.” (People)

 

We don’t know what else Eli Manning got for his 28th birthday, but his wife gave him a sexy lap dance. The Giants QB and teammates Shaun O’Hara, David Diehl, Amani Toomer, Brandon Jacobs and Kevin Boss hit Tenjune on Little West 12th Street Friday. After a few rounds of tequila shots, our spy said Eli’s wife, Abby (above), “gave him a special lap dance” while Beyoncé‘s hit, “Single Ladies,” blared. “They were trying to hide, but everyone on the dance floor could see them.” (Page Six)

 

Is British comic Eddie Izzard being plagiarized by atheists? At his last Madison Square Garden concert a few months ago, Izzard mocked/praised Henry VIII’s Vatican-exiting Church of England as the world’s first religion to acknowledge God as “a well- intended pretend person.” His monologue also mentioned an Anglican vicar telling a confessing sinner to “just have a few gin and tonics and make a real effort not to do it again, all right?” Now an atheist group has launched a billboard campaign in Britain with the similarly themed slogan, “There’s probably no God . . . now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” One of its creators, Ariane Sherine, said she was inspired after noticing Christian advertisements warning that people who reject God are condemned to spend an eternity of “torment in hell.” (Page Six)

 

As we mentioned last month, Fastasia Barrino is facing some serious money issues. The former American Idol winner’s North Carolina home has been seized and will be going up for sale at auction soon. Now, reports reveal that her $1.3 million home will definitely be up for auction this coming Monday. And as for Fantasia, she’s apparently ignoring the legal threat. It all seems to have started when she borrowed $65k back in 2006 from a Florida credit card company to pay back taxes to the IRS. The following year she paid back the company $10k but never paid the rest. So the company won the right in court last month to auction off her house for the balance. And it seems over the past year she hasn’t even responded to any court documents and no lawyer ever appeared in court to represent her. It wasn’t until last month – when she was threatened with losing her home – that a rep finally got in contact with the lawyers for the credit company. Fantasia’s attorney yesterday declined to comment. And her agent referred all questions to her publicist but couldn’t provide contact information for that person. Shady! And this isn’t the first time she’s had problems with money and losing her property. Back in 2005 she almost lost another home she owns in NC along with her over $200,000 Mercedes. And last year she failed to pay the $187,000 she borrowed to buy her Mercedes so she was sued by the car dealership but it was eventually resolved. Time to get a GOOD accountant to pay your bills on time, honey!

And maybe a job to make some money. (Perez Hilton)

 

Joe Francis and Larry Flynt claim the economy has made America’s sexual appetite go limp, so they’re going to the one place where sex is always rampant — Congress. Flynt (the “Hustler” guy) and Francis (the “Girls Gone Wild” dude) are asking the government for a $5 billion bailout, claiming the adult entertainment industry has taken a huge shot to the face because of the downturn — citing the fact that XXX DVD sales are down 22% from a year ago.  “With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind,” Flynt says. “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America.” Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER: “Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration.” Francis says he’s going to D.C. to personally make the pitch. Sounds like someone has a bone to pick. (TMZ)

 

Stuck in Britain on Inauguration Day? Madame Tussauds, the London waxwork museum, is offering U.S. tourists the chance to see their new president up close for free. The museum says Americans need to bring proof of citizenship. The offer is intended to celebrate the inauguration of the museum’s new attraction – a Barack Obama waxwork – on Jan. 20. Sculptors are still adding the finishing touches, but the museum said Wednesday that Obama would be shown in an informal and relaxed pose, smiling with arms folded amid a reproduction of the White House Oval Office. Museum spokeswoman Liz Edwards declined to say how many people she thought would show up for the free viewing. The museum typically charges 25 pounds ($38) at the door. (Daily Record)

 

Lisa Marie Presley is expressing her condolences over Jett Travolta’s death and defending Scientology, the religion that Presley, John Travolta and Kelly Preston follow. Presley’s MySpace blog on Tuesday read: “I am writing this because I have noticed that for the most part, people and the media have been very sympathetic and respectful, but there are those certain ones that want to use this horrible tragedy as an opportunity to once again, blame and-or attack Scientology.” Elvis Presley’s daughter also writes that it’s was untrue that Scientologists do not believe in medical care and insisted if “a medication will make it better then they take it.” (Daily Record)

 

Law enforcement sources say comedian/actor Faizon Love is the suspect in a battery last night in West Hollywood. The incident went down at 1:00 AM this morning at the Standard Hotel. Love — who played Big Worm in “Friday” — allegedly struck a man in the head with his fist. By the time cops arrived, Love was nowhere to be found. Cops tell us — they’d Love to talk to him. In June 2007, Love was sued for allegedly committing a “barbaric assault” on a woman who was a former stage manager in one of his productions. She says the actor chased her around the table, yelled and cursed and threw chairs at her after she allegedly rejected his sexual advances. It appears a default judgment was entered against Love. (TMZ)

 

Rapper T.I. went to court and promptly paid an $8,000 overdue lawyer bill for the mother of two of his sons, telling a judge the debt was an oversight. Lawyers for LaShon Dixon asked a Fulton County judge to intervene after the 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, failed to pay in November. He had agreed to the payment as part of an ongoing child support case. T.I. had a check for the money owed, effectively settling the matter. During the Tuesday hearing, which lasted more than four hours, he told the judge the order to pay got lost when he changed assistants. “It was just a clerical error, totally innocent,” he said. “I will accept full responsibility for that.” The two-time Grammy winner was ordered in September to pay more than $3,000 a month to Dixon – to whom he had been paying about $2,000 per month – as well as the boys’ private school tuition, uninsured medical bills and expenses related to their extracurricular activities. T.I. and Dixon are still negotiating child support and custody of the boys, ages 7 and 8. He also has two sons with his fiancé, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, of the defunct R&B group Xscape. It is unclear when the judge will issue a final decision. T.I. is scheduled to be sentenced on federal weapons charges in March. He is expected to serve at least a year in federal prison. (Daily Record)

 

A judge has sealed records in a paternity suit filed by a California man who claims he is the biological son of the late country singer Eddy Arnold. Probate Judge Randy Kennedy on Monday ordered all new filings private. Forty-eight-year-old Christopher Tanner of Anaheim filed his suit in June, a month after Arnold died at 89. Arnold’s family says Arnold denied fathering Tanner. The family asked the judge to seal records to limit damage to the late singer’s reputation. Arnold’s best-known songs include the 1965 hit “Make the World Go Away.” (Daily Record)

 

 

MUSIC . . .

 

Beyoncé Knowles, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson are all double threats for the NAACP Image Awards, earning nominations in both music and film categories. Knowles, Keys and Hudson are competing for outstanding female music artist and for best music video. They are also nominated for supporting film actress, Keys and Hudson for “The Secret Life of Bees” and Knowles for “Cadillac Records.” “Cadillac Records” and “The Secret Life of Bees” are best-picture contenders, along with “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Seven Pounds” and “Tyler Perry’s the Family That Preys.” The Image Awards honoring diversity in the arts will be presented Feb. 12. (Daily Record)

 

Some very lucky Katy Perry fans will get the opportunity to join her on stage….at the Grammys! How cool is that??? Katy is set to perform at the Grammy Awards, which will air on February 8th. And fans can now compete to perform alongside Perry at the awards. Those interested can upload a video of themselves singing a part of Katy’s hit song I Kissed a Girl onto this site. We’ve already done it! The Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow says, “We are very excited that this year’s installment of My Grammy Moment allows numerous online fans to be an integral part of a performance.” Eager fans can submit videos up until February 6th, just two days before the love broadcast on the 8th.  (Perez Hilton)

 

Taylor Swift notches her fifth non-consecutive week atop The Billboard 200 with “Fearless” (Big Machine), which moved 90,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a 66% sales slide from the previous week’s sum, marking the first time a No. 1 album has sold fewer than 100,000 units since the Feb. 3, 2008 chart, when Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” shifted 61,000. Beyonce’s “I Am … Sasha Fierce” (Music World/Columbia) stays put at No. 2 for a second week with 77,000, a 64% decline. Kanye West’s “808s and Heartbreak” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) slips 57% to 71,000 but bumps up 5-3. The Chop Shop/Atlantic soundtrack to “Twilight” moves 66,000 (-56%) and rises 6-4.  Nickelback’s Roadrunner album “Dark Horse” descends 4-5 with 64,000 (-64%), while Britney Spears’ “Circus” (Jive) falls 3-6 with a couple hundred copies fewer than that, also at 64,000 (-68%). On a 58% decline to 54,000, Keyshia Cole’s “A Different Me” (Geffen) keeps the No. 7 spot warm for a second week. Jamie Foxx’s “Intuition” (J) ascends 9-8 on a 57% decline to 45,000. The multi-label “NOW 29″ hits compilation flip-flops with it, slipping 8-9 with 44,000 (-64%). An anomaly amongst overall post-holiday declines, Hollywood Records’ “All Wrapped Up” experiences a 112% sales surge, catapulting the album 88-10. The Target exclusive, which features Christmas songs from the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, among others, shifted 40,000 and was deeply discounted after the holiday season. The only album to bow inside the top 50 of The Billboard 200 is “The 99 Most Essential Beethoven Masterpieces” (X5 Music Group) at No. 29 with 21,000 copies. The collection sold for just $1.99 at Amazon.com’s MP3 store. At 6.49 million units, sales are down 55% compared to the same total last week and off by 14% compared to the same week last year. (Billboard)

 

There’s still no solidified release dates for upcoming Interscope albums from Eminem and 50 Cent, but new music from both acts has emerged in the past 24 hours. Eminem’s “Crack a Bottle,” which features 50 as well as Dr. Dre, leaked online today (Jan. 6); an earlier version without the guest appearances had leaked in November, much to the dismay of Eminem. “It wasn’t close to finished, and it even has me doing guide vocals for Dre as a suggestion of how he could lay his verses down,” he told Billboard in an exclusive interview. Eminem’s new album, “Relapse,” is expected this spring. Meanwhile, a new 50 Cent song, “I Get It In,” debuted last night on New York radio station Hot 97. Its parent album, “Before I Self Destruct,” was originally due Dec. 9 but was delayed while the rapper continued recording. An Interscope spokesperson was unable to confirm a rumored Feb. 3 release date. An earlier single “Get Up,” peaked last year at No. 23 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. (Billboard)

 

Jay-Z isn’t performing at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, but he is planning to make a big splash on the eve of the event. The rapper, one of Obama’s biggest celebrity boosters, has announced that he’s playing a concert in Washington on Jan. 19, the day before Obama officially drops “elect” from his title. Jay-Z will perform for a crowd of less than 2,000 at the Warner Theatre. (Launch)

 

Jay-Z isn’t performing at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, but he is planning to make a big splash on the eve of the event. The rapper, one of Obama’s biggest celebrity boosters, has announced that he’s playing a concert in Washington on Jan. 19, the day before Obama officially drops “elect” from his title. Jay-Z will perform for a crowd of less than 2,000 at the Warner Theatre. (Daily Record)

 

Florian Schneider, a co-founder of Kraftwerk, the German band that built the foundation for electro-pop and scored a chart-topping global hit with “Autobahn” in 1974, has left the group, its label said Tuesday. News of the departure was first reported on the Web site Kraftwerk in November but gained prominence when the Kraftwerk Official Fan Web Site posted a short statement on Monday. “Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk after a 40 years (sic) partnership with Ralf Huetter,” the statement said, adding that the partnership between the pair generated “incredible music and huge advances in music technology.” In an e-mail to The Associated Press, EMI Germany confirmed the move but did not elaborate. Despite Schneider’s exit, Kraftwerk is planning a 10-stop tour this year, with appearances in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Germany in March and April. Schneider co-founded the band with Ralf Huetter in 1970 after the two met while studying in Duesseldorf a couple years earlier. Since then, Kraftwerk has released 12 albums, including “Autobahn,” “Radio-Activity” and “The Man Machine.” (Daily Record)

 

 

MOVIE . . .

 

Robert Pattinson certainly has his priorities straight. The Twilight megahunk has dropped out of Parts Per Billion, the independent film he was supposed to begin shooting in Los Angeles this month, to ready himself for round two as vampiric heartthrob Edward Cullen. “Unfortunately, the prep time and production schedule on New Moon haven’t left enough time for Robert to work on Parts Per Billion in the first quarter of this year,” the star’s agent, Nicholas Frenkel, told MTV. No word yet on who will fill the heartthrob’s shoes on the indie flick, produced by and starring Rosario Dawson. Pattinson was supposed to have some hot and heavy love scenes with actress Olivia Thirlby (Juno), but fans may have to wait for that heat until the fourth Twilight film. Until then, though, the actor has Little Ashes and How to Be coming down the pipeline. Phew! (Eonline)

 

Kate Winslet has already said she’s not reprising her role in the stage musical version of Finding Neverland, but that may be because Katie Holmes beat her to the punch. (Eonline)

 

The world economy is in dire straits, but you sure wouldn’t know it from the red carpet at the 20th-annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. The actresses were dripping with jewels, actors donned high fashion, and logos of jeweler Cartier and automaker Mercedes-Benz loomed large behind all as they posed for photographers. “I’m just doing what I know how to do, and that’s make movies and hopefully get people to go see them so I can continue to make more movies,” said actor Leonardo DiCaprio, when asked if he felt uncomfortable in this setting, given widespread financial woes. DiCaprio was on hand Tuesday night to accept the fest’s Ensemble Performance Award for the drama “Revolutionary Road,” for which he’s a nominee at Sunday’s Golden Globes. This year’s other Palm Springs honorees included many who are widely considered strong Oscar contenders, including “The Changeling” director and “Gran Torino” star and director Clint Eastwood, who showed up to take home the Career Achievement Award. “Milk” actor Sean Penn and “Rachel Getting Married” actor Anne Hathaway each came to pick up a Desert Palm Achievement Award. Is Hathaway ready for eight more weeks of awards-show mania, ending with the Oscars on Feb. 22? “I’ve decided to keep a journal about it, and write down my reflections every night. Because I know that if I don’t do that now, when I look back, I won’t be able to remember things so clearly,” Hathaway said. “So I think that’s what I’m going to do.” The Oscar-winning Penn summed up the red-carpet experience in two words – “It’s loud!” – and Eastwood had only a few more. “Once in a while it’s fine,” he said. “But, after a while, you go blind by the time they hit you with about 400 flashbulbs.” Awards Gala presenters included “Frost/Nixon” star Frank Langella, there to give the film’s director Ron Howard the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and actor Ben Stiller to hand his “Meet the Fockers” co-star Dustin Hoffman the Chairman’s Awards. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” composer Alexandre Desplat received his statuette from “Button” actor Taraji P. Hanson – herself an awards-show veteran, thanks to her role in the acclaimed “Hustle and Flow.” The red carpet is “a lot of work and I really would like to find out who said it was all glamorous and I’d like to kick them in their shins because it’s not so glamorous,” Hanson noted. “You have to be on, you have to be personality, you know, even if you don’t feel like it.” (Daily Record)

 

You can’t keep a good shape shifter down. Taylor Lautner could reprise his role as Jacob Black in the Twilight sequel New Moon, Entertainment Weekly reports.  Summit Entertainment is expected to announce its decision as early as this week for the next film based on Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series. A decision that will make many Twilight – as well as the Lautner, 16 – very happy. “Jacob is a totally different character in New Moon,” Melissa Rosenberg, screenwriter of both Twilight films, tells EW. “He’s a foot taller and huge – and he’s supposed to look 25. It’s really a question of whether or not the same actor can play the role.” Even Lautner recognizes the difference in his character and told MTV last month he had been working out he enough to gain 19 lbs. and had 10 to go!  Kristen Stewart, 18, is set to return as Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson, 22, will definitely be her hunky vampire love interest, Edward Cullen. The sequel will be directed by Chris Weitz and released Nov. 20, 2009.  In a recent PEOPLE poll, readers overwhelmingly chose Lautner to stay on rather than be replaced by Michael Copon, 26, in the more mature role. Rosenberg adds, “‘Everyone would love to keep him. We all think he’s the loveliest person ever.” (People)

 

Daniel Craig said he reckons Bond filmmakers were forced to change the direction of the franchise after Mike Myers poked fun of the films in his Austin Powers movies.  The last two 007 films, which both starring Craig, have been noticeable darker than previous Bond incarnations, with fewer cheesy catchphrases. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m up for (gags), as long as the gag works. But the problem is that Austin Powers screwed everything up. He exploded the genre,” the actor said. (British Glamour)

 

Zac Efron, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria Parker are among the many A-listers who received Razzie nominations. Congratulations! (British Glamour)

 

The world economy is in dire straits, but you sure wouldn’t know it from the red carpet at the 20th-annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. The actresses were dripping with jewels, actors donned high fashion, and logos of jeweler Cartier and automaker Mercedes-Benz loomed large behind all as they posed for photographers. “I’m just doing what I know how to do, and that’s make movies and hopefully get people to go see them so I can continue to make more movies,” said actor Leonardo DiCaprio, when asked if he felt uncomfortable in this setting, given widespread financial woes. DiCaprio was on hand Tuesday night to accept the fest’s Ensemble Performance Award for the drama “Revolutionary Road,” for which he’s a nominee at Sunday’s Golden Globes. This year’s other Palm Springs honorees included many who are widely considered strong Oscar contenders, including “The Changeling” director and “Gran Torino” star and director Clint Eastwood, who showed up to take home the Career Achievement Award. “Milk” actor Sean Penn and “Rachel Getting Married” actor Anne Hathaway each came to pick up a Desert Palm Achievement Award. Is Hathaway ready for eight more weeks of awards-show mania, ending with the Oscars on Feb. 22? “I’ve decided to keep a journal about it, and write down my reflections every night. Because I know that if I don’t do that now, when I look back, I won’t be able to remember things so clearly,” Hathaway said. “So I think that’s what I’m going to do.” The Oscar-winning Penn summed up the red-carpet experience in two words – “It’s loud!” – and Eastwood had only a few more. “Once in a while it’s fine,” he said. “But, after a while, you go blind by the time they hit you with about 400 flashbulbs.” Awards Gala presenters included “Frost/Nixon” star Frank Langella, there to give the film’s director Ron Howard the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and actor Ben Stiller to hand his “Meet the Fockers” co-star Dustin Hoffman the Chairman’s Awards. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” composer Alexandre Desplat received his statuette from “Button” actor Taraji P. Hanson – herself an awards-show veteran, thanks to her role in the acclaimed “Hustle and Flow.” The red carpet is “a lot of work and I really would like to find out who said it was all glamorous and I’d like to kick them in their shins because it’s not so glamorous,” Hanson noted. “You have to be on, you have to be personality, you know, even if you don’t feel like it.” (Daily Record)

 

Add writing to Batman’s bag of tricks. “The Dark Knight” earned a nomination Wednesday for best adapted screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. Director Christopher Nolan and brother Jonathan Nolan co-wrote the screenplay for the Batman blockbuster, which is based on the DC Comics franchise. “The Dark Knight” is up against the romantic fantasy “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” written by Eric Roth and based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story; the Roman Catholic drama “Doubt,” adapted by director John Patrick Shanley from his stage play; the Richard Nixon saga “Frost/Nixon,” adapted by Peter Morgan from his play; and the street-orphan tale “Slumdog Millionaire,” written by Simon Beaufoy from Vikas Swarup’s novel “Q and A.” Joel and Ethan Coen, last year’s adapted-screenplay winners for “No Country for Old Men,” have an original-screenplay nomination for their CIA romp “Burn After Reading.” Also nominated for original screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for the Harvey Milk drama “Milk”; Woody Allen for his Spanish romance “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”; writer-director Tom McCarthy for the cross-cultural tale “The Visitor”; and Robert Siegel for the ringside story “The Wrestler.” Nominees for documentary screenplay: Stefan Forbes and Noland Walker for “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story”; Brett Morgen for “Chicago 10″; Johnny O’Hara for “Fuel”; Alex Gibney for “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”; and Ari Folman for “Waltz With Bashir.

Awards will be presented Feb. 7 at simultaneous ceremonies in New York City and Los Angeles. The Writers Guild honors could give nominees a last-minute boost for the Oscars, whose nomination balloting closes Monday. (Daily Record)

 

Disney has picked up-and-comer Garrett Hedlund to star in “Tron,” the studio’s sequel to the 1982 cult classic by the same name being directed by Joseph Kosinski.  Hedlund, who made his debut in 2004′s “Troy,” has until now acted in larger ensemble pieces. He was one of the football players in Peter Berg’s “Friday Night Lights,” one of the foursome in the ensemble thriller “Four Brothers,” a supporting player in the fantasy film “Eragon,” and he appeared opposite Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman in “Georgia Rule.” Hedlund has been considered one of those actors that is on the cusp within the industry, though without much of a profile in middle America. Starring in a $150 million effects-intensive feature could change that. Disney cast a wide net as it searched for the role that, because of the title, generated a lot of interest. Such potential leads as Ryan Gosling and Chris Pine met on the project, while Michael Stahl-David (“Cloverfield’) was one of those that screen-tested. Hedlund will play the lead, a man who finds himself pulled into the world of a computer and retracing the steps of a character from the original movie named Kevin Flynn. Jeff Bridges is reprising the role of Flynn, who was a computer program but ended up as the CEO of a software corporation. Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett have also been cast in the project, which was known as “Tron 2″ and “Tr2n” but it now going with the simple “Tron.” Sean Bailey is producing along with Steven Lisberger, who co-wrote and directed the original film, and Jeff Silver. The movie is eyeing a spring shoot. Hedlund is repped by Endeavor and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Barely two weeks before George W. Bush leaves the White House, Bollywood is ready with a farewell present — a film that takes pot shots at the outgoing U.S. president. “The President is Coming,” set in Mumbai during Bush’s trip to India in 2006, tells the fictional tale of six Indians vying for a chance to shake hands with the visiting head of state. Bush is a running theme in the film and so are ‘Bushisms’ — verbal slip-ups in his speeches — that have gained notoriety during his eight-year presidency. “Bush is more of a sort of metaphor for the things that America represents — good or bad — but he’s also used as a bit of a punching bag because he’s an easy target,” said Kunaal Roy Kapur, the film’s 29-year-old director. Shot in a mock documentary style, the English-language film depicts a series of farcical tests conducted in a room at the U.S. consulate to single out a young Indian worthy enough to meet Bush. “The President is Coming,” adapted from a play of the same name, opens in Indian cinemas Friday, just days before Barack Obama takes office on January 20 as the first black U.S. president. “It’s definitely a nice little goodbye present for Bush,” said Kapur. There is no word yet on whether an actor plays the president’s role in the film, although the director has said he used different ways to deal with the problem, including using video footage of Bush. Television promos for “The President is Coming” showed a person wearing a rubber Bush mask and a business suit walking past various Mumbai landmarks. Kapur said the film, made at a cost of about 30 million rupees ($615,000), would have lost much of its charm if Bush had not been the incumbent U.S. president. “The premise wouldn’t have been as much fun if any of the other presidents had been around,” the first-time director said. “The whole fun of it is that it’s President Bush.” (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to “Juliet,” a novel by Danish author Anne Fortier, for James Mangold and Cathy Konrad to produce through their Tree Line Film banner. Mangold is also attached to direct the adaptation. The tome, to be published in 2010, was one of the talks of September’s Frankfurt book fair, where Ballantine pre-emptively plunked down seven figures for U.S. rights to the English-language debut of Fortier. The book now has up to 21 deals, many of which have garnered serious advance money, including six-figure agreements in Germany, Spain and the U.K.  The story, which takes a cue from “Romeo and Juliet,” toggles from medieval Siena to the present day in a story about a woman who discovers she may be descended from the people who inspired one of the most popular and tragic love stories of all time. No writer is on board to adapt. Kristen Lowe will oversee the project for Universal. Husband-and-wife team Mangold and Konrad last worked on 2007′s “3:10 to Yuma.” Tree Line is developing the time-travel thriller “The Archive,” also at Universal.  Mangold and Konrad are repped by CAA and Management 360. Fortier is repped by CAA and Writers House. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TV . . .

 

Ian McKellen says his on-stage “King Lear” nude scene is discreetly avoided in the upcoming public television version of the play. A public TV executive said Wednesday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association that the decision to forgo full-frontal nudity by McKellen was made by Trevor Nunn, director of the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company production that airs March 25. McKellen said audiences can be distracted when an actor or actress strips. The British actor, who turns 70 this year, of “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” films fame, said cutting the nudity left the production’s quality unaffected. (Daily Record)

 

HBO will kick off coverage of Inauguration Week with an exclusive Sunday, Jan. 18, telecast of the star-studded opening ceremony, two days before the saturation coverage of President Barack Obama’s inauguration begins in earnest. In 1993, HBO paid $1.5 million to the Presidential Inaugural Committee to exclusively televise Bill Clinton’s kickoff from the Lincoln Memorial, something that annoyed non-HBO subscribers who weren’t able to watch the concert by Bob Dylan and Diana Ross.  This time around, HBO — which has been awarded the rights for an undisclosed sum — is planning to offer the event free to cable and satellite subscribers, regardless of whether they have the pay channel or not. The entertainment lineup for the event, which may also be streamed, hasn’t yet been announced, but both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to attend. “(HBO’s) proven track record as a leader in television will help ensure an event that reflects President-elect Obama’s commitment to holding an inauguration that is open, accessible and reflects America’s spirit of unity,” inaugural committee executive director Emmett S. Beliveau said. Meanwhile, while they won’t be televising that Sunday afternoon event live, the other networks — including all the broadcast and cable news channels as well as TV One — are rolling out extensive coverage of the Jan. 20 inauguration and the events preceding it. Plans that will include a full-court press of the top anchors and correspondents, Web streaming of events and, in some cases, extensive radio. All three broadcast nets will feature an hour of primetime as well, capping several days of heavy coverage. “It’s more of an inaugural week than Inauguration Day,” ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said Tuesday. In primetime, CBS anchor Katie Couric will anchor a one-hour special at 9 p.m. ET about the first hours of the Obama administration. NBC and ABC will have their own hour-long specials at 10 p.m. ET. For its part, NBC hasn’t aired an hour-long inauguration special since 1993 when Clinton was inaugurated. That’s one of the last times in recent memory that there has been such a changing of the guard at the White House. In 1997 and 2005, it was the beginning of the second term of a sitting president. In 2000, because of the lengthy court battle over the results, there wasn’t as much time to plan the pomp and circumstance. “It’s going to be an incredibly historic day in our country’s history,” CBS News president Sean McManus said. The networks saw intense interest in the presidential campaign and election that has, for the most part, carried through to the transition. CBS, for instance, logged its highest ratings in two decades for its “60 Minutes” sit down with the President-elect and Michelle Obama. Stephanopoulos, who will co-anchor along with Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer — the same ABC team that anchored throughout the primaries, convention and election night — said this inauguration is unusual in many respects. “Here you’ve got the drama of the changing of the guard combined with a barrier-breaking president and the biggest challenge the country has ever faced probably since FDR was inaugurated,” Stephanopoulos said. The day will begin for the networks between 5-7 a.m. ET, when the morning shows set up the event at Capitol Hill. Many of the anchor platforms will be set up around the Mall in Washington, with CNN and ABC at the Newseum and MSNBC on the mall itself. Major coverage will take place beginning at about 10:30 a.m., when the Obamas visit the White House for the traditional tea before the president and president-elect take the motorcade the short distance to Capitol Hill where the swearing in will take place. There are other events throughout the day, including a long parade that will be televised by all the major networks. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

ABC News and the BBC will expand their news partnership in Iraq, with ABC reducing its full-time presence there while relying on the BBC for day-to-day reports from inside the country. ABC will continue to have a Baghdad bureau, although it will have fewer employees than there had been since the war began in 2003 and no full-time correspondent assigned there. ABC News will continue have correspondents covering the war in Iraq, for larger stories like the upcoming elections as well as when the situation warrants. “We will have a presence but significantly less than there was before,” an ABC News executive who declined to be named told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is more of a reallocation of resources so we’re not spending money for a substantial presence on the ground waiting for something to happen.” Now, the BBC’s correspondents will cover any of the day-to-day stories that the network will carry. ABC News president David Westin announced the change Wednesday morning in Baghdad in an email to employees obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote in the email that Iraq would continue to be an important story for ABC News and “we will devote all the resources necessary to do the story justice.” ABC hopes that the expanded partnership will free ABC News’ resources from daily stories. The Baghdad bureaus have cost ABC and the other broadcast networks and cable news channels phenomenal amounts of money to keep open since the war began in 2003, millions of dollars per year with seemingly no end in sight. That includes not only keeping at least one correspondent and producing team there for much of that time per network but also the support staff and the heavy security that is required for operating in-country. As the war dragged on, the broadcast networks had occasionally explored the sharing of resources and possibly content in Iraq. Throughout the war, it’s been an often deadly place for journalists with among others the deaths of two CBS News employees in an IED explosion Memorial Day 2006 and the severe IED injury of CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier and a January 2006 IED explosion that severely wounded ABC News’s Bob Woodruff. The networks have always shared intelligence and security matters in regular conference calls. But efforts to extend that to content sharing, perhaps having one correspondent for the networks in Baghdad at a time working in a pool arrangement, never came to fruition. CBS News president Sean McManus said that it wasn’t “an arrangement that made sense for CBS News.” The network also doesn’t have a full-time correspondent in Iraq, although Elizabeth Palmer spent 10 days there before Christmas filing reports. McManus said that having no full-time correspondent there saves a little bit of money but not as much; there is still a CBS News bureau there with employees. “It wasn’t so much a question of saving some money but being more intelligent in how we use our resources,” McManus said. ABC’s decision to share content with the BBC comes at a time when the broadcast networks are finding their budgets slimming and the need to cover stories like the war in Afghanistan increasing. ABC hasn’t shied away from covering international stories, with a creative use of resources in one-person, high-tech bureaus in India, Africa and elsewhere. But the Iraq war has, even with 130,000 U.S. troops remaining there, fallen mostly off the front pages and top of the evening newscasts. Troop deaths are down; so is the amount of time that the networks have devoted to the story in the election year just past. The evening newscasts only gave 434 minutes of airtime to the war, down sharply from the 1,888 in 2007 when it was the top story of the year, according to the Tyndall Report. The networks gave 2,009 minutes of coverage in 2006. But the presidential election and the recession were by far the biggest stories of the year, pushing Iraq far down the list of news priorities. By contrast, there were 745 minutes of stories on the Obama campaign and 531 minutes of stories on the McCain campaign, Tyndall said. “For a good long time, the nature of the [Iraq] story has been day of air stories,” the ABC executive said. “There’s not as much day-of-air reporting that needs to be done. There are major stories that need to be reported out, and we will continue to do that.” That includes ABC’s award-winning “Iraq: Where We Stand” series that began soon after the war started and is a big annual effort between ABC, the BBC and other print and foreign network partners. “Where Things Stand” will continue again this year. “We’re committed to that series,” the exec said. It also includes embedding with U.S. troops, as correspondent Martha Raddatz has done continually, and other longer-term stories as warrants. ABC News has had a long-term content sharing plan with the BBC, the only U.S. network to do so. The partnership has grown from 1994, when it began, to include having BBC correspondents file stories for the network. The partnership goes both ways, with the BBC providing reports from the Congo last year while ABC helped the BBC with coverage of the presidential election. The deal includes some financial support for the BBC’s coverage by ABC, but it wasn’t clear how much. The BBC announced to its employees the change Wednesday afternoon. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Neil Flynn has been tapped to star opposite Patricia Heaton in ABC’s comedy pilot “The Middle,” while up-and-comer Amy Gumenick has been cast in the title role of Lifetime Movie Network’s telefilm “The Natalee Holloway Story.” The WBTV-produced “Middle” revolves around a middle-class couple (Heaton and Flynn) in middle America who cope with the financial and emotional strain of trying to raise three kids.  Flynn, who plays the janitor on ABC’s “Scrubs,” is repped by APA. “Holloway,” which will be directed by Mikael Salomon, is based on the book “Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith” by Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, and chronicles Twitty’s (Tracy Pollan) efforts to discover the truth about what happened to her daughter (Gumenick), who disappeared in 2005 during a senior class vacation in Aruba. Gumenick is repped by TalentWorks and Flutie Entertainment. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

TODAY’S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION . . . (Mike Butts Creative)

 

Q.  According to a poll Michael Jackson was voted “Most likely to be a space alien”! Who came in 2nd?

            A.  Jack Nicholson

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE (By Woody Allen)

 

“THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, GOOD AND BAD. THE GOOD SLEEP BETTER, BUT THE BAD SEEM TO ENJOY THE WAKING HOURS MUCH MORE.”

 

 

MIND BOGGLERS . . .

 

Q.  The third most populated city in the world, after Tokyo and Mexico City, is?

            A.  Sao Paulo

 

Q.  The top hat, now associated with black-tie dress, was originally used during?

            A.  Fox Hunts

 

Q.  Phyllis Wheatley is known as the first African-American?

            A.  Woman poet

 

Q.  The “Pentagon Papers” concerned the U.S. involvement in?

            A.  Vietnam

 

Q.  What caused the death of James Dean?

            A. Car Wreck

 

Q.  This quipster once said, “I can resist everything except temptation”?

            A.  Oscar Wilde

 

 

MENTAL_FLOSS . . .

 

4 Strange Trends Started by Royalty:

 

  • In the early 1900s, England’s Queen Alexandra contracted rheumatic fever during pregnancy and developed a permanent limp. Ladies of Alexandra’s court immediately adopted limps to keep up with the “fashion.”

 

  • Queen Alexandra’s husband, Edward VII, may have started a trend of his own. After too many royal banquets, the portly king couldn’t fasten the lowest button of his waistcoat. Before long, leaving the lowest button undone became the mark of a true gentleman.

 

  • Charles VIII of France had six toes on one foot. When he assumed the throne in 1484, square-toed shoes mysteriously came into fashion. Pointed toes had been all the rage for decades.

 

  • Royal brides wore silver until Queen Victoria married Prince Albert on February 10, 1840. Her bold decision to wear white was immediately embraced by an adoring public, and brides have followed in her footsteps ever since.

 

 

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:

 

  • The first automobile accident in the U.S. happened when a car stuck a bicyclist in New York in 1896. The driver spent the night in jail, and the bike rider suffered a broken leg.

 

  • Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was lambasted by Parisians for its industrial ugliness. The only thing that saved it from being demolished in 1909 was its potential use as a radio tower during World War I. Luckily, by the end of the War, it had won over enough hearts to stay.

 

 

TOP 10 CAT AND DOGS NAMES FOR 2008 . . . (AOL)

 

The most popular dog and cat names also rank among the Social Security Administration’s most popular baby names.

 

Top 10 Dogs Names for 2008

10. Chloe

 9.Sophie

8. Daisy

7. Maggie

6.Buddy

5.Lucy

4.Molly

3.Bella

2.Bailey

1.Max

 

Top 10 Names for Cats For 2008

10. Charlie

9.Shadow

8.Bella

7.Oliver

6.Smokey

5.Lucy

4.Tiger

3.Tigger

2.Chloe

1.Max

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS . . . (Peter Greenberg Worldwide)

 

NAVIGATING MASS TRANSIT:

 

If navigating a city’s mass transit system is a daunting task, I have some suggestions to help you figure out some of the best ways to get around. If you’re not used to taking trains or buses and making transfers, there are several websites that can help you understand public transportation in almost any city. Transportation dot org offers information on nationwide transit systems with interactive maps, fare costs, and information on getting to and from all major airports. The website Hopstop dot com can get you from point A to point B on public transportation, and can take into account whether you want more walking or more transfers. Hopstop even offers mobile service, sending transportation help directly to your phone. Google now has public transit information at Google dot com slash transit. It offers maps and trip planners both domestically and internationally.

 

(Peter Greenberg is North America’s preeminent expert on Travel. An Emmy Award-Winning writer and producer, Peter is the Travel Editor for NBC’S “TODAY SHOW,” MSNBC and CNBC. A Best-Selling author of the “Travel Detective” series and host of the nationally syndicated “Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show.” Visit WWW.PETERGREENBERGWORLDWIDE.COM to learn more about Peter Greenberg and his adventures.)

 

 

MIKE BUTTS CREATIVE . . .

 

REDNECK BUMPER STICKERS:

 

BREAST INSPECTION ½ MILE AHEAD—PLEASE HAVE ME OUT!

I CHILD-PROOFED MY HOUSE BUT THEY STILL GET IN!

DRIVER CARRIES NO CASH—HE’S MARRIED!

WIFE AND DOG MISSING—REWARD FOR DOG.

CAN’T FEED EM?  DON’T BREED EM !  AMEN.

 DRUGS LEAD NOWHERE BUT IT’S THE SCENIC ROUTE

 

 

ITALY’S CHEESE BAILOUT!

 

THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS PUT UP $65 MILLION DOLLARS TO BUY 200,000 WHEELS OF PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO AND GRANA PADANO CHEESE

AND ARE DONATING IT TO CHARITY. WHY? ITALY HAS HUNDREDS OF SMALL CHEESEMAKERS ALL LOSING MONEY AND THEY NEED A BAILOUT JUST

LIKE THE BANKS DO. NOBODY CUT YOUR CHEESE—THEY JUST MOVED IT—INTO THE MOUTHS OF THE NEEDY.

 

 

EX PRESIDENTS GET PAID: L

 

DO WE WANT TO SAVE MONEY AND QUIT WASTING IT? YES! DO WE WANT TO LOWER THE COST OF GOVERNMENT? YES—WELL THEN WE CAN

STOP PAYING EX-PRESIDENTS WHEN THEY LEAVE OFFICE!!

 

THEY GET: $191,000 PENSION—MONEY TO RENT AN OFFICE—PAY FOR A STAFF—AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT. THE COST TO YOU AND I FOR SECRET

SERVICE PROTECTION FOR EX-PRESIDENTS IS $23 MILLION A YEAR!! CONGRESS ALSO GAVE $12.1 MILLION TO JIMMY CARTER–$9.75 MILLION FOR

GEORGE BUSH SENIOR—AND $7.93 MILLION TO CLINTON. You will find your air sickness bag under your radios-carry-on!

 

 

BIRTHDAYS . . .

 

—1824  Author William Wilkie Collins  (d. 9-23-1889)

—1912  Actor Jose Ferrer (d. 1-26-1992)

—1923  Actor Larry Storch  (F-Troop)

—1924  Actor Ron Moody  (Oliver)

—1930  Comedian Soupy Sales

1931  Bill Graham – concert promoter (d. 10-25-1991)

—1933  Journalist Charles Osgood  (Osgood File)

—1935  Entertainer/Actor Elvis Aaron Presley  (“Heartbreak Hotel”) (d. 8-16-1977)

—1937  Singer Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger”)

¾1938  Game Show Host Bob Eubanks (Newlywed Game)

—1941  Actress Yvette Mimieux  (Where the Boys Are)

—1940  Singer Anthony Gourdine  (Little Anthony & The Imperials) (“Tears On My Pillow”)

1942  John Peterson – drummer for The Beau Brummels (“Laugh, Laugh”)

—1943  Musician Marcus Huston  (The Whispers)

—1946  Musician Robbie Krieger  (The Doors) (“Light My Fire”)

¾1946  Actress Kathleen Noone (Passions)

—1947  Musician/Singer David Bowie (“Fame”)

—1947  Musician Terry Sylvester (The Hollies) (“Bus Stop”)

—1952  Pianist Vladimir Geltsman

—1953  Baseball’s Bruce Sutter

¾1955  Musician/Singer Mike Reno (Loverboy)

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY . . .

 

Today is SHOW AND TELL DAY AT WORK.

—1815  U.S. troops under General Andrew Jackson fought and won the Battle of New Orleans. Unfortunately, neither side knew that the war had ended two weeks earlier with the signing of a peace treaty in Ghent, Belgium.

¾1851  Using a device now known as Foucault’s pendulum in his Paris home, physicist Jean Foucault demonstrated that the Earth rotates.

—1918  President Woodrow Wilson sent his “Fourteen Points” for world peace to Congress for approval. They rejected them.

—1957  Elvis Presley passes his army pre-induction exam.

—1957  Bill Haley & The Comets embark on their first tour of Australia, with LaVern Baker and Big Joe Turner opening.

—1962  Jack Nicholas won his first money on the pro golf circuit – $33.30 for 50th place at the L.A. open.

—1966  ABC’s “Shindig” program is broadcast for the last time.

—1973  Elvis Presley sues his wife Priscilla for divorce.  They have one daughter Lisa Marie.

—1974  Kiss signs with Casablanca records.

—1975  Fans cause damage at the Boston Gardens while waiting overnight to purchase tickets to a Led Zeppelin concert, prompting Boston Mayor Kevin White to cancel the show.

—1979  The Canadian Government announces that Rush is the country’s official Ambassadors of Music.

—1981  Harry Chapin performs his 200th show at New York’s Bottom Line.

—1982  The Justice Department dropped its anti-trust suit against AT&T when the phone company agreed to split up into seven regional companies.

—1987  Elton John leaves a Sydney, Australia hospital two days after undergoing exploratory throat surgery.

¾1987  The Dow-Jones index of 30 major industrial stocks topped the 2,0-00 mark for the first time.

—1988  Richard Marx weds actress/dancer/singer Cynthia Rhodes, now of the group Animotion.

 

 

RADIO ONLINE® DAILY SHOW PREP. . .

 

ON THIS DAY

On this date in 1815, General Andrew Jackson led American troops in a win over the British in the Battle of New Orleans, ending the war of 1812. The two countries had been fighting over what name to call the war. It was a confusing time.

In 1918, President Wilson unveiled his plan of 14 points for peace. He was so far ahead of his time. Point #7 was keep Elizabeth Hasselbeck away from Rosie O’Donnell at all costs!

On this date in 1925, the first all-female state supreme court gathered in Texas. It was a great day in court for any guy who needed the men’s room.

In 1946, Elvis Presley received an $8 for his birthday. He was also given a can of soda pop, which had been all shook up and, well, the rest is history.

Yes, the king of rock & roll, Elvis Aaron Presley, was born on this date in 1935. Test your knowledge of the King and his hit records by completing the song titles.

·         Don’t Be _____ (Cruel)

·         Hound _____ (Dog)

·         All _____ Up (Shook)

·         Let Me Be Your _____ (Teddy Bear)

·         Are You _____ Tonight (Lonesome)

·         _____ Minds (Suspicious)

·         _____ Rain (Kentucky)

·         Crying In The _____ (Chapel)

·         _____ Rock (Jailhouse)

·         Viva _____ (Las Vegas)

10 Things You Should Know About Elvis Presley

1.      He was very polite. “He was always taught manners,” Sam Phillips says. “His mother thought there was no reason to treat people except with great respect. If you didn’t say ‘yessir’ and ‘nosir’, that was a cardinal sin.”

2.      But you wouldn’t like him when he was angry. “He was real slow to anger,” Phillips says. “But once he was angered pound for pound I don’t know of a person who was stronger. I remember one time at the gas station out the back of the Peabody Hotel. This one person who didn’t like his long sideburns wouldn’t leave him alone. Elvis had him down on the concrete in no time flat.”

3.      Colonel Tom Parker really was a colonel. Kind of. Presley’s legendary manager was given an honorary colonel’s commission in October 1948 by Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis. Parker did serve in the U.S. Army in 1930 and 1931, but he didn’t attain the rank of colonel. (Parker wasn’t his real name, either.)

4.      Elvis’s gold suit was the genuine article. The colonel had it designed for him for the opening date of a 10-city tour in 1957. It was made by famous Hollywood tailor Nudie Cohen and cost $2,500. During the show, Elvis fell to his knees and left a pile of gold leaf on the stage. Afterward, a distraught Parker begged him never to do such a move again.

5.      He really loved his mother, Gladys. At her funeral in 1958, he tried to jump into her grave. For days afterward, he carried him nightgown around with him.

6.      He was a very spiritual man. Larry Geller, who became Presley’s hairdresser and guru in 1964, introduced him to spirituality. Geller gave him books he would cherish for the rest of his life: Autobiography of a Yogi, The Impersonal Life and Beyond the Himalayas. “I’ve always known there had to be a purpose for my life,” Presley once said, “There’s got to be a reason why I was chosen to be Elvis Presley.

7.      He made 31 movies over 13 years. “Elvis hated most of those later films,” says friend and bodyguard Red West. “I mean, in Stay Away, Joe they had him singing to a bull.”

8.      He never sold more records in a year than in 1956. That’s when the single “Hound Dog” and its B-side, “Don’t Be Cruel,” sold 4.6 million copies in the United States.

9.      And never fewer than he sold in 1967. That year was the nadir of his Hollywood period. “The Easy Come, Easy Go EP never charted,” Jorgensen says. “That’s when Presley’s management realized something had to change. The movie was horrible. The songs were poor and poorly recorded, with bad arrangements. And Elvis didn’t sing them particularly well. I’m told the Cokes and burgers during the sessions were OK.”

10.  Elvis was an officer of the Memphis police force. Shelby County sheriff Roy Nixon made the King a chief deputy in 1970. He had legal authority, and could have made arrests.

TODAY IS

Reggae singer Sean Paul is 36 today and hoping someone finally buys him a last name.

David Bowie turns 62 today. These days, he’s using wrinkle-reducing glitter.

Bob Eubanks, the one-time host of the Newlywed Game, turns 71 today. It was a show where recently married couples found out just how much they didn’t know about each other. Today we call that Facebook.

Former Kids TV show host, Soupy Sales, turns 83 today. He was one of the few TV show hosts that went great with crackers… and pie. Don’t forget the pie.

Show-And-Tell Day — Have listeners call from their bedrooms, get on their hands and knees and start pulling stuff out from under their bed to describe it to your audience. The grossest, wackiest or most unusual item or items win.

Hook up with a local sports team: hockey, baseball, football, etc. We give away tickets to a particular game that they want to promote. In return they give us a player for one of our listener’s kids to take to school for show and tell. It’s great for the team it’s great for the school and it’s great for the station especially if your listeners have school kids.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

·         Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner became parents again this week… daughter #2 is in the house.

·         Carrie Underwood’s latest steady: Ottawa Hockey Player Mike Fisher.

·         The fashion color of the year is mimosa, a shade of yellow that reflects the flowers of the mimosa tree. That’s the word from Pantone, who says this shade of yellow was chosen as the color of the year for 2009 because it exudes “optimism” in a time of economic uncertainty.

·         Alyssa Milano got engaged earlier this month to agent David Bugliari.

·         Lindsay Lohan says she hasn’t split with DJ Samantha Ronson, despite media reports they had publicly sparred several times over the holidays.

·         Bristol Palin’s future mother-in-law pleaded not guilty Monday to felony drug charges for allegedly selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin.

·         In a story posted on W magazine’s web site, Brad Pitt insists he didn’t cheat on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie.

·         For the record, Daughtry likes to have Lucky Charms backstage at concerts.

·         A group of honors students at LSU have formed their own quidditch team, playing a “muggle” version of the sport from the Harry Potter novels. They keep a broom between their legs for the “wizard” feel.

·         Yes, Paris Hilton has only slept with “a couple of people” — because she respects herself too much. She tells Glamour magazine, “I’ve only done it (had sex) with a couple of people. People make up stories, but mostly I just kiss.”

·         If you’re keeping score at home, Hugh Hefner is now back up again to three girlfriends living with him at the Playboy mansion.

·         The 66th annual Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday beginning at 8pm on NBC.

·         Kate Hudson says no more “big deal” weddings for her. If and when she ever gets married again, she’s going to elope.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

Our greatest fear of all is being in plane crash, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Diabetes Association. The top five things we fear the most:

·         Being in a plane crash, 16%

·         Snake bites, 13%

·         Being hit by lightning, 5%

·         Getting a disease, 5%

·         A shark attack, 4%

When further asked about their fear of disease, 49% of the respondents said they have a fear of cancer, while just 3% said they fear diabetes.

Oh no. Your cell phone is turning your soul into a shriveled prune, charges one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most powerful clerics. Father Federico Lombardi, Pope Benedict’s personal spokesman, targets cell phones as an example of humanity’s rampant addiction to technology, which he believes is robbing us of the peace and quiet required to preserve the purity of our souls. “In the age of the cell phone, it is more difficult than before to protect silence and nourish the interior dimension of life.” While we’re gabbing away on our cell phones, our souls “can become barren to the point of drying up and dying,” Lombardi warns. The cell phone threat has become so dire, it may even be imperiling Pope Benedict XVI himself. While railing against the evils of modern culture, the Pontiff was caught text messaging sermons to teenagers at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. (Sun)

Thin really isn’t in when it comes to models. A surprising new study found that a plus size female models are more effective at selling products to women than rail thin ones because they make consumers feel better about themselves. Psychologist Phillippa Diedrichs conducted the research by devising a series of ads for a shampoo, a party dress and underwear. Each ad was shot twice, once with a thin size 8 model and the other with a plump size 12 gal. When the ads were shown to women between the ages of 18 and 25, they felt better and were more likely to buy the products that were modeled by the larger ladies. (National Examiner)

Exercise is good for your heart, bones and mental health, plus it will lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol level and reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer. But Loyola University Health System in Chicago says it won’t help you lose weight. Why? People who exercise regularly compensate by eating more.

PHONE TOPICS

·         Does anyone exercise at work?

·         Who’s on a diet that’s really working?

·         Ways you’ve injured yourself trying to impress your kids?

·         Strangest thing you found while cleaning out your kid’s bedroom?

·         Klunker car stories?

·         What should somebody write a book about?

·         What’s the one thing you’d change about your significant other?

·         Who would you like to see on a postage stamp?

·         If you could spy on anyone, anywhere and anytime, who would you want to spy on and why?

·         How did you get over the fear of flying?

·         Who’s not running for president that should have been?

·         What’s the weirdest dream you’ve had lately?

·         I knew this was going to be the worst first date ever when ____.

·         What’s your hidden talent no one knows about?

·         Make me feel better: who’s got the most credit card debt?

We found out about a goofy new fad: “speed babysitter finding,” It’s like speed dating, but in this case, you’re inviting the person you interviewed for all of three minutes into your home to watch your kids. We talked about a California company called “Sitter Socials”, started by a California mom of a toddler and two older kids who was having trouble finding sitters. For $49.99, Sitter Socials’ clients attend a neighborhood speed meeting, where they spend three minutes apiece interviewing a dozen or so potential baby sitters who’ve already cleared a background check. Phoner: Would you trust your toddler with someone you’ve only known for three minutes?

How long before you found out that he was married? A friend of my wife’s dated a guy for 6 months before she found out that he was married. You’ll get tons of phones.

I heard that late night, not early morning, is the best time to exercise in a recent study. Which is better, early morning or late day exercise?

Parents, did you learn something bad about your kids by reading their social web site page? This was a hot one for us. Scientists at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington randomly selected 500 MySpace profiles belonging to self-described 18-year-olds in the U.S. to determine what sort of information the average teen was sharing online. Their conclusion? The kids are not alright. Well, half of them anyways. Nearly 54% of the selected profiles revealed details about risky sexual lifestyles, drug addictions and violent encounters with peers.

There’s good news ladies! When it comes to the bedroom, you really do just keep getting better. I read a new poll today that says that women in their 20s and 30s have the most “lovin”. Younger women sow their wild oats 10.4 times a month on average, compared with 4.5 times a month among more mature ladies. But more than half of the older age group – 56 per cent – said they enjoyed sex more than they did when they were younger. Ladies, at which age did you enjoy “love” the most?

Do you know anyone with really bad habits at the office? We read some excerpts from a CareerBuilder.com article that sparked some great calls:

·         Bad Habit: Missing deadlines. What you think: “If it’s only a little late, it doesn’t mean anything.” What it really says: Your colleagues and boss can’t count on you. What to do: Don’t view deadlines as negotiable. Remind yourself that people are counting on you to do your job well, which includes completing tasks on time. Even if you just barely missed the deadline and everything turned out OK, you probably caused your teammates a lot of anxiety and extra work, which they won’t forget.

·         Bad Habit: Dressing unprofessionally. What you think: “I’m the office free spirit with a quirky sense of style!” What it really says: You don’t take the job seriously. What to do: You don’t have to be a boring dresser to be professional, but you shouldn’t look like you’re about to go clubbing or strutting down a runway. Take a cue from your co-workers to see what’s considered acceptable in the office.

·         Bad Habit: Not being punctual. What you think: “As long as I get all my work in, nobody cares.” What it really says: You think your time is more important than everybody else’s. What to do: Stick to the schedule. Everyone in your office would like to sleep in a little or leave early, but they don’t because people rely on them to be on time.

·         Bad Habit: Checking your e-mail, playing games, shopping. What you think: “I’m discreet.” What it really says: You’re not doing your job. What to do: Keep the fun stuff to a minimum. Most employers don’t mind if you check your e-mail every once in awhile or read your favorite blog for a few minutes in the morning. They begin to care when you minimize that game of Scrabulous every time they walk by your desk. You’re being paid to work, not play.

·         Bad Habit: Gossiping. What you think: “I’m just saying what I heard.” What it really says: You can’t be trusted. What to do: Sure, everybody gossips a little here and there, but it shouldn’t be your livelihood. Eventually you’ll gain a reputation for not keeping anything confidential –whether it’s a personal matter or work-related. Plus, your chattering could end up hurting somebody’s feelings or reputation.

·         Bad Habit: Being negative. What you think: “Everybody complains.” What it really says: You’re the person to avoid. What to do: It’s natural to grumble about work once in awhile. If you gripe and moan when you’re asked to do anything, however, people will not only get annoyed, they’ll wonder why you don’t just quit. Keep in mind that work isn’t always fun; keep the complaints to a minimum.

·         Bad Habit: Trying to be everybody’s best friend. What you think: “I’m just sociable.” What it really says: You don’t know how to set boundaries. What to do: It’s not uncommon for friendships to develop at work, but don’t expect it to happen with everybody. Unless you have reason to do otherwise, treat your superiors, colleagues and subordinates like professionals, not like drinking buddies.

Have you ever said anything to a woman who was smoking while pregnant? Is it OK to do, or should you always just keep your opinions about pregnancy to yourself? This was a disturbing study we found: Women who smoke during pregnancy risk delivering aggressive kids according to a new study published in the Journal Development and Psychopathology.

Have you ever had a nightmare about losing your kids? Not to worry. Here’s a new way to “watch” them! Literally! Worried parents can now track children with GPS locator. A satellite tracking device that will plot a child’s location to within 10ft is being launched by a British firm. The Nu.M8 digital watch uses GPS satellite technology like car sat navigation systems. The watch can be securely fastened to a child’s wrist and will trigger an alert if forcibly removed. So-called “safe zones” can also be set up in which children can play safely and an alert will be sent to the parent’s mobile phone and computer if the child strays out of that area.

Phoner: Who drinks the most diet soda everyday? Anyone drink more than 2 liters a day? 4? 6? It may be bad for your health. Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels — and elevated blood pressure.

Exposure to attractive, flirtatious women may cause men to hold their current mates in lower esteem after such encounters, according to a provocative recent study. The researchers believe the findings may explain why men who are chronically exposed to attractive, young women at work — such as male high school teachers and college professors — have an unusually high incidence of divorce. Do you think this is true? Does working with attractive people put your marriage at risk?

Stay at home husbands. There’s a bunch of them out there and the calls were interesting on how they reached that decision. The best was a guy who just recently found himself in that position because his workplace closed. The ladies loved hearing him go on about how hard it is. He can’t wait to find a new job.

If you work in insurance, call us and let us know about the strangest claim you’ve ever received. Here are a few to start with:

·         Well, it’s one way to turn off your TV… permanently. A man accidentally shot his set while cleaning an antique gun.

·         Did you hear about the shameless policyholder who claimed for a new bed because he had worn out his old one by having too much sex?

·         One claimant whose home was burgled supplied the receipts for a collection of sex toys that had gone missing.

·         Another claimed for loss of his glasses – after a bird flew in through the bedroom window and pinched them from a bedside cabinet.

·         And there were many claims for damage to electronics such as players and mobiles from people who admitted putting them in the dishwasher to clean.

We got going on some old cafeterias that have gone out of business here in our area. Some real landmarks and places that hold great memories for many of us. That got conversation going on the old drive thru days… Remember those?! And some of the amusement parks we used to have growing up here. Great flashback/feel good topic! Remind your audience about some old landmarks and get your listeners reminiscing. They’ll appreciate you helping them start their work day feeling so good!

Stuff men love that women hate? Callers had examples ranging from power tools that are only used once to using farts as entertainment such as the ‘ol Dutch Oven in bed. (In case you don’t know, that’s holding one’s wife under the blanket after you’ve let one loose.)

Does having kids make you stupid? Our host mentioned that since he’s had kids he’s become a lot stupider. Took calls, and sure enough, most of the fathers we talked to could barely put a sentence together. The more kids you have, the dumber you get. It relates directly to the amount of cartoons, Barney and brain cell damage from hearing constant screaming.

Men, what normally-clothed things would like to see a woman do naked (oddly, most of them involve cleaning). What things wouldn’t you not like to see women doing naked? Things you have learned you shouldn’t do naked? Frying chicken, eating spaghetti, cleaning the toilet, playing with the dog, skydiving… Any more?

Cosmopolitan says 91 percent of men want to open doors for a date, and 77 percent like to help with her coat. It’s a simple concept, yet there are women that reject that sort of chivalry. It’s pure gold if you can find one to call in with that opinion, too.

WEIRD NEWS

The Bravest 9-Year-Old On Earth
Next time you’re in Bakersfield, California, don’t mess with 9-year-old Drew Heredia. He’s way tougher than you. The young boy is being called a hero after he used a choke hold on a pit bull to save the 12-year-old girl the dog was attacking! Drew and his friend were walking the girl’s small dog when a land shark — a.k.a. pit bull– came out of nowhere and attacked the small dog. When the girl tried to defend her pet, the pit bull turned on her. While Drew said his first thought was to kick the pit bull, he instead jumped on the beast and applied a choke hold he had learned from taking jujitsu lessons. Our young superhero then held the dog in the choke hold for 20 minutes until animal control workers arrived. The girl was taken to the hospital for puncture wounds. Both she and her dog are expected to fully recover. In the meantime, the devil dog will be put down unless someone wants to claim it — and face subsequent charges. (AHN News)

If You Get Lost Come On Home To Green River
Almost 40 years ago Creedence Clearwater Revival sang “Come on Home to Green River.” Now, Brad Meyer has asked the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to dye Saginaw River emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day this year. He says, “Each year Bay City has a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration consisting of a parade that heads downtown towards the Saginaw River. Dyeing the river green would add to the excitement of the day without any harm to the watershed.” While many think it’s a great idea, officials are not sure they’ll give the green river idea the green light. City Commissioner Mary Jane Gorney said, “I have no idea, but dyeing the river green when it’s already brown does not appeal to me at all because I’m afraid the color is not going to be green.” Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Robert McCann said the agency will carefully consider the request but said he had not yet seen the official proposal. (myway.com)

The Old Recorder in the Teddy Bear Trick
In Omaha, Nebraska, William Duane Lewton is suing his ex-wife and former father-in-law for the old hiding a recording device inside a teddy bear trick. In this case, the teddy bear was his daughter’s and Lewton says they did it to spy on him. He is now trying to use the audio they recorded in the divorced couple’s custody case. The ex– Dianna Divingnzzo– had been awarded sole custody of the young girl when the couple divorced in May 2004, but William wants custody rights. He learned of the recordings when his attorney was given copies by Divingnzzo’s then-attorney in advance of a June hearing. Lewton, his daughter– who is now 5– and five other plaintiffs who were recorded by the bear are seeking $20,000 each, plus other damages and court costs, from each defendant for invasion of privacy and violation of state and federal wiretapping laws. The lawsuit also names the Divingnzzo’s former attorney, William Bianco; his law partner, Chris Perrone; and their Omaha law firm who are no longer representing the Divingnzzos. Sadly, we have no information regarding the most important part of the story — what was on the tape? (myway.com)

Ski “Bum”?
In Vail, Colorado, a 48-year-old man who dangled upside down from a ski lift with his bare bottom exposed probably doesn’t want to hear any “ski bum” jokes. Officials at Vail Resorts aren’t quite sure how all this happened but workers stopped the lift, backed it up 10 or 12 feet and rescued the bare-bottomed man after about seven minutes. His name hasn’t been released but plenty of pictures of his ordeal have been — all over the internet. Most were snapped by other skiers who witnessed the mishap. The pictures show a man who looks to be hanging by one ski boot, his ski pants and underwear apparently snagged in the chair and reaching no farther than his knees. (myway.com)

The Worst Way To Die
Of course we could debate for hours on what’s the worst way to die, but dying from having your genitals set on fire by your insanely jealous wife has to be near the top! It happened in Adelaide, Australia and now police have charged 44-year-old Rajini Narayan with murder. The initial charges were endangering life and arson, but those were trumped up to murder after her husband, 47-year-old Satish Narayan, died last week from his burns. Prosecutors say Narayan poured an alcohol-based solvent on the genitals of her sleeping husband then set him on fire after seeing him hug another woman. The husband knocked over a bottle of alcohol when he woke up, causing the fire to spread. Oh and by the way — the couple’s three children were at home at the time of the fire. (AHN News)

What Do You Expect? I Missed the Bus!
In Wicomico Church, Virginia, a 6-year-old boy who missed his school bus decided to deal with the problem himself and took his family’s car and tried to drive to school before crashing the vehicle. State Police Trooper J.L. Lewis said the boy felt so bad about missing the school bus yesterday morning that he took the keys to the family’s 2005 Ford Taurus while his mother was sleeping and drove toward school. He ultimately struck an embankment and utility pole and he was not wearing his seatbelt. Fortunately he was not seriously injured but it could have been a lot worse. So let this be a lesson to you kids — if you miss the school bus and steal your family car — always buckle up! (Richmond Times Dispatch)

A Very Angry 4-Year-Old
In Jackson, Ohio, a 4-year-old boy — with apparently some serious anger issues– actually grabbed a gun from a closet and shot his baby sitter after the baby sitter accidentally stepped on his foot. The baby sitter was 18-year-old Nathan Beavers who hospitalized with minor wounds to his arm and side after the shotgun attack. Police say another teen was also injured. Beavers was watching the child at a mobile home in Jackson with several other teenagers and several other children. The child has not been charged but authorities are still investigating. Any time you ever see the words shotgun and mobile home in the same story — it’s not going to end well. (myway.com)

Scaring Young Drivers To Death
Australia has taken a novel new approach to get the attention of speeding young drivers. Street racing among Australian teens has become a big problem so an Australian court has issued a very graphic and blunt warning about what awaits those teens arrested for speeding. They are being told, “You’ll find big, ugly, hairy strong men in jail who’ve got faces only a mother could love that will pay a lot of attention to you — and your anatomy!” The court also is telling teens that if they are repeat offenders they’ll get to “shower with the gorillas in the mist down at Long Bay jail.” Hey — that’d keep me from speeding! (Reuters)

HOLE IN THE HEADLINE

·         “Woman Sits On Boyfriend’s ____ For 2 Years!” (Toilet)

·         “Man’s ____ Kills Wife On Way To Cemetery!” (Coffin)

·         “Homeless Woman Lived In Man’s ____ For Year!” (Closet)

·         “Cops: Man ____ By Friend So He Could Skip Work!” (Shot)

·         “Sheriff: Family Cremated Mom On ____!” (Barbecue)

·         “Illinois Man Orders Custom ____-__ Coffin!” (Beer-Can)

·         “Dead Man Stands Throughout 3-Day ____!” (Wake)

·         “Lost Parrot Tells Veterinarian His ____!” (Address)

·         “Burglar: I Was Held Captive By ____ For 3 Days!” (Ghost)

·         “Woman Kills Husband With Pull-Out ____!” (Couch)

·         “Woman Gets Extra Coffee Jolt: Fresh ___!” (Bat)

·         “Driver Kills Dog, Then Sues ____s For Damage!” (Owners)

TO TELL THE TRUTH

What did you do at their house? Call and tell us what terrible thing you did while at someone else’s house. Our winner this week was a listener who burnt down her best friend’s house.

KNOW THE SHOW

Like all of you, we talk about our personal lives on the air. Every once in a while we do a little quiz to see if people actually pay attention. Just ask listeners questions about stuff you’ve said on the air in the past. For example, what’s host’s favorite movie or what happened to co-host last week that really peeved them?

TOP FIVE SIGNS THESE ARE THE FINAL DAYS OF YOUR PRESIDENCY

1.      First Lady keeps stacking up moving boxes from the liquor store

2.      Vice-President gives you noogies

3.      Post office has sent you “change of address” kit

4.      Speaker of the House gives you noogies

5.      White House band just played a special version of “Hail to the soon to be former”

HUNTER’S HUMOR by Tim Hunter

Larry Flynt is suing his two nephews for trying to sell adult movies under his name. After all, Flynt’s got a reputation. Wait, did I just say that out loud?

President-elect Obama says he has changes planned for the military, including the full acceptance of gays. No more “don’t ask, don’t tell,” just an open acceptance. Of course, military leaders will have to drop certain commands like “bringing up the rear” and “fall out.”

President-elect Barack Obama is offering the job of surgeon general to Dr. Sanjay Gupt: yes, the same guy you’ve seen reporting on CNN and CBS. If he doesn’t work out, Obama could always just pick one of the interns from “House.”

The latest industry to hit up the government for a bailout: the U.S. PORN industry. They say that if they don’t get a government bailout, hard times could mean fewer hard times ahead.

SLOGAN OFF

Classic Edition

·         “Have you met life today?” (Met Life Insurance)

·         “And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984″ (Debut of Apple Macintosh)

·         “Is it live or is it ___________?” (Memorex)

·         “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t” (Almond Joy, Mounds)

·         “With a name like _______, it has to be good” (Smuckers)

Modern Edition

·         “Bee happy. Bee healthy” (Honey Nut Cheerios)

·         “Obey your thirst” (Sprite)

·         “_______ minds. _______ products” (Sharp)

·         “Live in your world, play in ours” (Sony Playstation, Playstation 2)

·         “Thousands of possibilities. Get yours.” (Best Buy)

WELL, WOULD YOU?

Nearly 30% of Americans avoid public restrooms for fear of germs, according to a recent Quilted Northern “Bathroom Confidential” survey. The poll found that of the people who use a public restroom, more than 40% flush with their feet rather than touch anything potentially “germy.” 60% said they never sit down and don’t touch a thing. Anyone willing to spend a bit of time, perhaps the whole show in a gas station restroom eating breakfast for some great concert tickets?

SECRETS FOR A LONG, HAPPY MARRIAGE

How do people stay married for 40, 50 and 60 years or more? Turns out, they know something the rest of us don’t. Those secrets were revealed to bachelors Matthew Boggs and Jason Miller, who traveled 12,000 miles around the U.S. to talk to couples they call the “Marriage Masters” — people who had been married four decades or more. In an appearance on the “Today” show, the men, who wrote “Project Everylasting,” shared these secrets for a long and happy marriage:

·         Divorce? Never. Murder? Often! — Translation: Commitment is king. Couples who stay married a lifetime enter their marriage with the mindset that divorce is not an option. So when arguments, disagreements and other issues arise, they learn to work them out and don’t run away. The only deal breakers are the three A’s: addiction, adultery and abuse.

·         There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, only perfect moments — It takes work to create a great marriage. As one wife said, “Whoever said being soul mates was going to be easy?” And her husband of 52 years added, “Marriage is a bed of roses — thorns and all.”

·         Unpack the gunnysack — Translation: Don’t be afraid to fight. Say what is on your mind. It’s the unexpressed frustrations that will cause more problems in the long run as they turn into resentments that will eat away at your marriage. Those who have been married for decades advise “unpack the gunnysack” by opening up the lines of communication.

·         Never stop dating — It’s not just the quality of time you spend together; it’s also the quantity that counts. Keep the romance burning by stoking the fire. Go out on dates, take getaway weekends and long vacations with just the two of you.

·         Love is a four-letter word spelled give — Be selfless. Marriage is not 50/50. It’s 60/40. You give 60 and take 40. And that goes for both of you.

·         Join the CMAT Club (Can’t Miss A Thing) — Life is short, so enjoy every minute of it. It’s easy to get caught in the day-to-day busyness of life and in the process take your spouse for granted. Life is an adventure and all too soon it will end. So relish your sweetheart’s presence now.

·         The discipline of respect — You can have respect without love, but you can’t have love without respect. According to all those interviewed, the No. 1 secret for a thriving, everlasting marriage is respect. When you respect your partner and your partner respects you, everything else flows into place: trust, connection, authenticity and love.

WHEEL OF SHARPIE

We played Wheel of Sharpie today to give away concert tickets. We let listeners call in and give us words or phrases to put up on the wheel. If a member of the morning team missed the answer to a trivia question, they had to spin the wheel, and the phrase that it landed on was written on their forehead with a Sharpie. Phrases like “I like guys” and “Shut up!”

C’MON AND TAKE A FREE RIDE

With the raising high gas prices again, we are doing a “Free Ride Day.” We are registering people by fax and on our web site. We teamed up with a limo service to give the winner and up to six of their friends a ride to and from work.

TRIVIA

·         Baskin-Robbins has introduced a new line of better-for-you ice cream treats and will offer a free scoop of any Bright Choices flavor on Jan. 15 to any consumer who does what? (Shows proof of a gym membership)

·         New Mexico city has the highest pay in the country for this occupation? (Surgeon)

·         The Bush administration has approved a plan that could allow more than 18,000 natural gas wells to be drilled in what state over the next two decades? (Montana)

·         Which car company says that on some 2010 vehicles it will introduce self-parking technology that uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle, combined with electric power steering to angle and guide it into a snug parking space, all with the push of a button? (Ford)

·         Who is the well-known investor who sold his remaining 5 percent stake in Ford Motor? (Kirk Kerkorian)

·         Which airlines reached new heights when one of its passenger jets powered in part by vegetable oil successfully completed a two-hour flight to test a biofuel that could lower airplane emissions and cut costs? (Air New Zealand)

·         U.S. holiday sales were the worst since what year? (1970)

·         Entrepreneur’s 30th annual Franchise 500 issue tells us which franchise is No. 1? (Subway)

·         Cuba is accepting requests for electronic access to more than how many documents from Ernest Hemingway’s home on the island? (3,000)

·         A woman who police used as a decoy for what celeb at Los Angeles Airport in September is now demanding airport police pay her $2 million, or she will sue? (Jamie Lynn Spears)

·         Surviving members of the Grateful Dead say they’ll regroup for a 19-city tour, their first since 2004, beginning April 12 in which city? (Greensboro, NC)

·         Which actor was voted the top money-making movie star of 2008? (Will Smith)

·         Oprah Winfrey gave a $365,000 check to an innovative private school that opened in one of which city’s poorest neighborhoods in 2007? (Atlanta)

·         Is burning money a crime? (Yes, it’s a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Enforced by the Secret Service, perpetrators may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.)

·         Which “That 70s Show” star has webbed feet? (Ashton Kutcher has two toes on his left foot that are fused together, qualifying as webbed feet.)

·         “Papaphobia” is an intense fear or what? (It’s the fear of the Pope, or of the Roman Catholic Church.)

·         True or false? A seagoing ship’s captain can perform legal marriages while at sea. (False, Contrary to what the Love Boat would have us believe, sea captains could never legally perform marriages at sea or anywhere else.)

·         Which star set a Guinness World Record on their August 20, 2004 show, which gave them a total of 15,188 hours on television? (Regis Philbin)

·         Which star has won the most acting Oscars, but Walt Disney leads all Academy Award winners, with 26 wins and 64 nominations? (Katherine Hepburn)

·         Currently, each United States penny is primarily made of what? (Zinc, with copper plating on the exterior)

WORST BABY NAMES EVER

Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback, co-authors of “Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With and You Can Too!” shared with MSNBC some of the worst baby names ever.

Names that sound like a disease:

·         Fever Bender (born 1856)

·         Leper Priest (born 1929)

·         Cholera Priest (born 1830 during the second cholera pandemic)

·         Rubella Graves (born 1814)

·         Typhus Black (born 1897)

·         Hysteria Johnson (born 1881)

·         Emma Royd (born 1850)

·         Kathryn E. Coli (born 1894)

·         Mumps Sykes (born 1891)

Names that sound like a job:

·         Cook Cook

·         Governor Bush

·         Lawyer Low

·         Doctor Love

·         Teacher Blackbear

·         Judge Savage

·         Editor Honeycutt

·         Mayor Bland

·         Sales O. Justice

·         Gamble Moore

Names that sound like a sin:

·         Lust Garten

·         Greed Sister Mancini

·         Avarice Sullivan

·         Sloth Washton

·         Wrath Gordon

·         Envy Burger

·         Pride Saint

·         Greed McGrew

·         Lust T. Castle

Names that sound lucky:

·         Lucky Green

·         Lucky Jewell

·         Lucky O’Brien

·         Lucky Pleasant

·         Luck Fortune

·         Shamrock Hardeman of Illinois

·         Shamrock Dates of Mississippi

·         Shamrock Holland of Texas

Names that sound religious:

·         Saint Patrick Blan

·         Saint Patrick Forrest

·         Saint Patrick

Names that sound whimsical:

·         Rainbow Green

·         Emerald Jewel

·         Clover Field

·         Clover B. Green

Names that sound good enough to eat:

·         Lunch Magee

·         Dinner Ware

·         Bread White

·         Hero Brat

·         Mayo Head

·         Mustard M. Mustard

·         Pickle Parker

·         Plum Sellers

·         Banana Bowdy

·         Cherry Grant

TALK BLOCKERS

You can have the best intentions, but if you’re sending the wrong signals, kids will clam up, says Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of “12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know.” Watch for these:

·         Body language — Avoid gestures like shrugging your shoulders or leaning back with arms folded, which a kid is likely to read as, “I don’t accept you.” And don’t stand above her if your teen is sitting or is shorter than you, sit down.

·         Facial expressions — Beware the scowl, the raised eyebrows, the rolled eyes, the smirk. They don’t like it any more than you do.

·         Nonverbal sounds — Skip the heavy sighs and groans. You probably do it without even realizing.

·         Tone — Are you talking to your teen in the voice you’d use with a friend? Keep it casual and conversational.

·         Yelling — If you’re not careful, your voice may go up a level. Moms need to use their “indoor” voice, too.

·         Talking too much — Bite your tongue literally if necessary. Count to 10 and give your child plenty of time to formulate his thoughts.

·         Sarcasm — Don’t try to be funny; hypersensitive kids may feel insulted. Save your sparkling wit for grown-ups.

·         Anger — Stay as relaxed as possible, even if you have to say, “I need some time to calm down. Let’s talk later,” and come back when you’re cooler.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

01.07.09

 SHOW PREP JANUARY 7, 2009

 

HOLLYWOOD 411 . . .

 

Craig Ferguson made a surprise announcement on his CBS Late Late Show Monday night: He got married over the holidays. Ferguson, 46, wed his longtime girlfriend Megan Wallace Cunningham, an art dealer. “The wedding took place in Vermont, where they have legalized gay civil unions – and I married a woman,” said the astounded Ferguson, who showed off his wedding ring and announced, “It’s not just bling.” “But,” he joked about the ceremony, “I am European, so I was both the groom and the maid of honor.” Looking for Nickname On the show, Ferguson showed off a picture of his new wife and himself (wearing a kilt) from the wedding, whose backdrop was layered with snow.  He also suggested he and Megan get a trendy nickname, like “Cragan,” the way Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are sometimes called “Brangelina.” The Scottish comedian has been married twice previously – briefly in the ’80s and also to a gym owner, Sascha, whom he divorced in 2004. The two have a son, Milo, 7. Now that he’s married, Ferguson said during his monologue, he is being informed that he needs to live by a new set of rules. “People are telling me I can’t flirt with guests anymore.” Taking issue with the edict, Ferguson said that simply wasn’t true. “If we ever get George Clooney on this stage, all bets are off.” (People)

 

Actor Tim Allen and his wife Jane Hajduk are expecting their first child together, his rep told PEOPLE. “Tim and Jane are ecstatic about the upcoming birth,” the rep announced Monday. The baby is due in the spring. The couple married in October 2006 in an outdoor ceremony in Grand Lake, Colorado after dating for five years. Allen, 55, has a 19-year-old daughter, Katherine, from his previous marriage to Laura Deibel. (Aol)

 

Kate Hudson couldn’t be more thrilled for former fling Lance Armstorng, who is expecting a child with girlfriend Anna Hansen. Asked if she’s happy for her ex, she told Usmagazine.com at Monday’s NYC Bride Wars premiere, “Of course! Oh, yeah!” Hudson also said her new “I Do!” comedy — co-starring Anne Hathaway — hasn’t made her want to wed again. (She split from ex-husband Chris Robinson in 2006.) “I’m a girl. I think all girls, deep down, have that fairy tale thing,” she said, adding that she already had her “dream wedding.” I was so in love. It was such an amazing day — and it should be,” she said. “Relationships and love should be celebrated.” As for Bride Wars, she said she didn’t draw on any personal experiences from weddings she’s been to. “If I used some of the stories I had about weddings, this movie would be X-rated!” she joked. “I can’t even get into them!” When it comes to tying the knot, Hudson said, “people get so stressed out, freaked out. It can really bring out the best — and the worst — of what’s to come.” (US Weekly)

 

Alyssa Milano is engaged, her rep confirms to PEOPLE. Milano, 36, will marry David Bugliari, an agent at the Creative Arts Agency. The couple has been dating for more than a year. No further information about their nuptials – including a wedding date – has been announced. Milano was previously married to Cinjun Tate. The couple split in 1999. Milano has most recently been in seen in NBC’s comedy My Name Is Earl in a recurring role. (People)

 

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the acting/singing/modeling debut of Madonna’s firstborn, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, for a while. The 14-year-old, who looks like she just fell out of an American Apparel ad, always seemed destined to follow in her mother’s creative footsteps. Looks like we may have to wait awhile longer. Despite a report that she’s enrolled in Manhattan’s Professional Children’s School (also attended by Sarah Jessica Parker, ScarJo and the Tiz), Madonna’s rep tells E! News, “That is not true.” Too bad. Rumor had it Lourdes was “desperate to become an actress.” And considering Madge was never really able to make the whole acting thing work, maybe this is the one road to fame in which Lola could legitimately succeed. Are you guys ready for Madonna 2.0: The Actor? (Launch)

 

Patricia Arquette has filed for divorce from her actor-husband. Arquette filed for divorce from Thomas Jane in Los Angeles on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple, who were married in May 2006, have a 5-year-old daughter, Harlow Olivia Calliope Jane. Arquette, the Emmy-winning star of the NBC show “Medium,” is seeking custody of their daughter, with visitation rights for Jane. Jane, who appeared in the 2007 film “The Mist” and 2004′s “The Punisher,” was placed on a year’s probation in September after pleading no contest to a drunken driving count in California’s Kern County. (Daily Record)

 

Hollywood actress Katie Holmes has spent £10million since moving to New York six months. Katie Holmes has spent £10million in six months sources have told the New York Post. The Batman Begins star moved to the city in July after landing a starring role in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. “While ordinary city dwellers are cutting back, Mrs. Cruise has been valiantly doing her bit to boost our economy,” the paper claims. “We tally up a conservative estimate of her 24-week NYC spending spree, and crown her Manhattan’s Most Valued Shopper.” It goes on to claim that since her arrival she has bought three loft apartments along with spending £5,000 on dining, £11,700 on clothes, £4,800 installing gym equipment, £3,745 on cultural activities and £9,600 on additional childcare. What credit crunch? (Handbag)

 

Paris Hilton has only slept with “a couple of people” – because she respects herself too much. The Simple Life star has had high profile relationships with former Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter and Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, but is currently single after splitting from the rocker in November. And Hilton insists she just kisses the majority of her suitors, and plays “hard to get” to ensure men are serious about dating her. She tells Glamour magazine, “I’ve only done it (had sex) with a couple of people. People make up stories, but mostly I just kiss. “I think it’s important to play hard to get. Nobody wants the fake Prada bag; they want the brand new bag that no one can get and is the most expensive. If you give it up to a guy he won’t respect you; he’ll want you much more if he can’t have you.” (Teen Hollywood)

 

Lindsay Lohan says she hasn’t split with DJ Samantha Ronson, despite media reports they had publicly sparred several times over the holidays. In a brief post on her MySpace blog, the 22-year-old actress wrote: “We did NOT break up!” Lohan asked several media outlets “AND every GOSSIP website” to get their stories straight. The “Mean Girls” star also complained Monday that her friends had been e-mailing her to console her about the rumored breakup with the 31-year-old Ronson. The pair had confirmed their relationship last September. Lohan’s publicist, Leslie Sloane-Zelnik, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. (Daily Record)

 

Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole has described her experience of husband Ashley’s infidelity as “horrendous”. Cheryl Cole has spoken out about her husband Ashley Cole’s well-publicized infidelities last year, describing her ordeal as “horrendous”. In January last year Chelsea star Ashley was accused of cheating on the Girls Aloud star with hairdresser Aimee Walton. “It was horrendous. Look, Ashley’s young, and he’s got a young mentality for his age anyway,” Cheryl told Vogue magazine. “He’s learning. He has a beautiful soul, he’s a really nice guy, and I’m not stupid, you know – I’m really not. I know what I’m doing. I’ve had enough knocks to know what the circumstances are, you know, and I’m happy. If other people aren’t, that’s their problem.” (Handbag)

 

Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead this morning (Jan. 6) at his home in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to local police. He was 60. Ann Arbor Detective Bill Stanford tells Billboard.com that police were called to Asheton’s house early this morning by Dara Hytinen, his personal assistant, who had not been able to reach him for several days. Hytinen let officers into the house with her key and Asheton’s body was found in his bedroom. Stanford said he “looked fairly peaceful” and that there was no sign of foul play or drug use. Asheton, who had likely been dead since New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, had high blood pressure but no other major medical problems. Asheton’s body was taken to the University of Michigan medical center, where an autopsy was to be conducted this afternoon. Stanford said a cause of death likely won’t be determined until toxicology reports are complete, which should take about a month. Asheton and his drummer brother Scott formed the Stooges with Iggy Pop in Ann Arbor in 1967. Amid a music scene that also reared acts like Bob Seger and the MC5, the Stooges stood out for their reckless abandon, theatrics and pummeling style, a clear precursor for punk and alternative rock. Asheton’s riffs were at the heart of classic Stooges tracks such as “No Fun” and “TV Eye.” And while albums such as “Fun House” and “Raw Power” would later be viewed as some of the most influential of the era, the band never enjoyed commercial success at the time, eventually splitting up in 1974. Pop then embarked on a solo career. “No one ever said, hey, I quit,” Ron Asheton said during a 2007 South by Southwest panel devoted to the Stooges’ legacy. “It was just like, I need a break. It was a long break, but we needed a break.” Seeing Pop play Stooges songs as a solo artist was no easy pill to swallow, but Asheton acknowledged, “It’s show business and it’s a wicked animal. You take the offers you get and see what happens.” Asheton also fondly discussed making whole grain waffles for his band mates when they lived at the Fun House in Ann Arbor, where watching an old black-and-white TV and smoking pot were day-long activities. “We were foodies early on,” Pop said. “I made the salad everyday,” Asheton added. “For all that knew him behind the facade of Mr. Cool & Quirky, he was a kindhearted, genuine, warm person who always believed that people meant well even if they did not,” the Stooges said in a statement. “As a musician, Ron was The Guitar God idol to follow and inspire others. That is how he will be remembered by people who had a great pleasure to work with him, learn from him and share good and bad times with him. Speaking to Billboard.com, MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer remembered Asheton as “unique amongst rock guitarists. He had his own take on what the electric guitar was all about. He was one of the guys that understood that you not only play the guitar but you play the amp, too. He was into the sound of the guitar — the sound was almost more important than the notes. He had a real visceral, raw expression.” Matthew Smith of the Detroit-based bands Outrageous Cherry and the Volebeats recalled meeting Asheton while both were en route to New York in 2004 when the Stooges performed at Little Steven’s International Underground Garage Festival on Randalls Island. “I asked Ron if he’d had a chance to see any of the other acts,” Smith said, “and he told me he hadn’t. He’d isolated himself in a trailer all day with his guitar, just to be able to concentrate without any distractions so he’d be in the right frame of mind to go onstage with the Stooges. He said he needed to do this for every gig. This is how Ron prepared for ‘battle’ … which is what it must’ve literally been, back in the early ’70s.” After nearly three decades of inactivity, the Stooges reunited in 2003 to play the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., and toured frequently in recent years. With Mike Watt filling in on bass for the late Dave Alexander, the group also returned to the studio in 2006 to record a new album, “The Weirdness,” released the following year by Virgin. “The one thing that kind of amazes me is that it sounds like us,” Pop told Billboard of the album at the time. “You put it on, and right away, you’d know, well, that’s them. There they go.” The Stooges had just completed a European tour last month. Funeral arrangements are pending for Asheton, who is survived by Scott and a sister, Kathy. (Billboard)

 

 

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

 

Actor John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston have returned to Florida with the remains of their 16-year-old son, Jett, who died at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama. The couple received an urn with his ashes and left the island chain on Monday night, according to Obie Wilchcombe, a member of the Bahamas parliament and a family friend. “Everything was in place, the cremation was completed, and they decided to leave,” Wilchcombe told The Associated Press on Tuesday. He said the family is back in Ocala, Fla., where they have a home. Doctors in the Bahamas performed an autopsy on Jett on Monday but did not release results. However, a Bahamas undertaker told the AP the teen’s death certificate had “seizure” as the cause of death. Jett Travolta had a history of seizures and was found unconscious Friday in a bathroom. The body was in “great condition,” said Glen Campbell, assistant director of the Bahamas funeral home that handled Jett’s remains, though police officials had said the teen hit his head on a bathtub. Funeral plans have not been announced. In Ocala, Mayor Randy Ewers said the city sent the Travolta family condolences and will give them space and privacy. “They’re fantastic people, really family oriented,” Ewers said. “We want to respect their privacy as much as possible.” In a public statement Sunday, Travolta, 54, and Preston, 46, said they were “heartbroken that our time with him was so brief.” Travolta tried CPR to revive his son, who may have died in his arms before an emergency medical technician took over, Usmagazine.com reported, citing Travolta attorneys Michael McDermott and Michael Ossi. They did not respond to calls from the AP on Monday. Travolta and Preston have said Jett became very sick when he was 2 years old and was diagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome, an illness that leads to inflamed blood vessels. Preston blamed household cleaners and fertilizers and said a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine. Police said in a statement that Jett had not been seen since Thursday when a caretaker, Jeff Kathrain, found him unconscious late Friday morning. But McDermott said that wrongly left the impression that Jett was unsupervised. He said two nannies were with Jett throughout the evening, and he does not believe the teen was in the bathroom for very long. The couple also have an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu. (Daily Record)

 

Friends of John Travolta and Kelly Preston offered condolences after the death of son Jett and said the couple will find strength in caring for 8-year-old daughter Ella.  Mike Nichols, who directed Travolta in 1998′s Primary Colors, tells PEOPLE: “They’re very strong. They have Ella. They have lots of people they love to take care of. And they will. But they have to have time for just plain grief.” A source close the family tells PEOPLE that the autopsy on their 16-year-old son Jett revealed his death Jan. 2 in the Bahamas was caused by a “seizure disorder.” Because there was no foul play, the body was released immediately to the Travolta family. “There’s probably nothing in the world that is harder for a parent than losing a child, so for both of them, I just … I just can’t imagine anything more difficult,” says family friend Anne Archer. “I think what’s most important is that friends and family and the community collectively put their arms around them and hold their thoughts for them and help support them through this time.” ‘Kind and Decent’ Sherry Lansing, the former CEO of Paramount and a longtime Travolta friend, says Travolta and Preston are “two of the kindest, most decent people, and everything is about their family and everything is about their children.” “I cannot begin to imagine the depths of pain that somebody feels when this happens,” she says. “It’s just the worst of anything that could ever happen to anybody.” Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli, a close friend of Preston, said the actress is “a wonderful lady, a wonderful mother” to whom he sends his “deepest sympathy.” “He was their pride and joy,” says Tonioli. “Their children are everything to them. There are no words to express how sorry I am; I am at a loss for words.”  A Father First Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, who has known Travolta since they worked together on the 1996 film Michael, says the actor has always been a devoted family man, now suffering a great loss. “He was a father first,” says Pascal, who wrote to the family upon hearing the news of Jett’s death. Travolta’s Wild Hogs costar Tim Allen says he and his family wanted to “extend our condolences to John, Kelly and Ella. We know how much they loved and adored Jett and words cannot express how sad we were to hear about his passing.” (People)

 

While Madonna entertains herself with Brazilian boy toy Jesus Luz, she’s apparently willing to share her other man, Alex Rodriguez, with her kabbalah friends. A-Rod flew into Parrot Cay to ring in the New Year with Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Bruce Willis and Donna Karan . While on the island, a spy says the slugger got “very close to [Karan] who only had eyes for him and followed him around all night on New Year’s Eve.” But apparently Rodriguez is “still hung up on Madonna” and refused Karan’s advances. (Page Six)

 

Spike Lee owns houses on the Upper East Side and on Martha’s Vineyard, and he sends his kids to private schools. But he’s a big whiner when it comes to his wealth. “It’s not rich rich,” he moaned to Britain’s Observer. “Rich is Spielberg. Lucas. Gates. Steve Jobs. Jay-Z! Bruce Springsteen. I’m not complaining. But that’s money. Will Smith. Oprah Winfrey – that’s a ton of money. Compared to them, I’m on welfare!” Lee does pinch pennies. A Page Six spy recently spotted him with his wife and son in economy class on a flight from the Bahamas. (Page Six)

 

Caroline Kennedy experienced her first foot-in-mouth gaffe with the press at the tender age of 6. In his new book, “Rethinking Kennedy: An Interpretive Biography,” Michael O’Brien recalls that as she once ran around the White House and was approached by a group of reporters, one of them asked her what her father, JFK, was doing. “Oh, he’s upstairs with his shoes and socks off, not doing anything,” Caroline innocently replied. It was her first and last “press conference” – until recently, of course. (Page Six)

 

In his first television interview since his pancreatic cancer diagnosis last year, Patrick Swayze admits he get scared. “There’s a lot of fear here,” Swayze, 56, tells Barbara Walters on Wednesday’s 20/20, according to excerpts on ABC News’ Web site. “There’s a lot of stuff going on. “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m [asking] why me,” he goes on. “Yeah, I’m all this stuff. “You can bet that I’m going through hell,” the actor also says. “And I’ve only seen the beginning of it.” He remembers when he first felt sick in late 2007. As he celebrated New Year’s Eve with his wife, Lisa Niemi, “I tried to have champagne, and it would be like pouring acid, you know, on an open wound,” he recalls. Soon, he says, “my indigestion issues got gigantic and constant. And then I started thinking, I’m getting skinny. “I dropped about 20 pounds in the blink of an eye. And then when you see it in the mirror, when all of a sudden, you pull your eyes down and the bottom of your eyes go yellow and jaundice sets in — then you know something’s wrong.” Doctors found that Swayze had a malignant tumor in his midsection and a tiny mass on his liver. After a series of procedures over several days, doctors discovered that the actor had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “For the first few weeks, it was like being in a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from,” his wife, Niemi, 52, tells Walters. Swayze says his response to the diagnoses was: “‘Watch me! You watch what I pull off.’” Because his cancer had spread to his liver, having surgery to remove it was not an option. So Swayze underwent traditional chemotherapy along with the experimental drug Vatalanib. He has lived with his cancer for a year. He credits his wife with getting him through it. “Part of me says I couldn’t have made it through without her, but, of course, the other part of me says I could have, but not nearly as elegantly as I have,” says the star. He says his illness has made him think more about the afterlife. “I don’t know what’s on the other side,” Swayze says. “It tests everything I believe in … that here is something unique in all of us that does not, does not die.” He says he often thinks of his late father. “I like to believe that I’ve got a lot of guardian warriors sitting on my shoulder, including my dad, saying, ‘You just let Swayze dog know it’s been his turn all this time. You just let us do the work and we’ll finish it for him.’ “And so, I’m trying to shut up and let my angels speak to me and, and tell me what I’m supposed to do,” he says. “What winning is to me is not giving up, is no matter what’s thrown at me, I can take it,” Swayze says. “And I can keep going.” (US Weekly)

 

Christina Aguilera is rumored to be designing her own collection of clothes for Topshop in a £4 million deal. Following in the footsteps of Kate Moss, who launched her own Topshop range back in May 2007, Christina is likely to target younger visitors of the High Street store with new raunchy collections. A story in the Daily Mirror reports the singer is in talks with Topshop boss Sir Philip Green to launch a new collection this year. But there is no intention of dropping Kate’s range to make way for Christina’s clothes. A source in the paper says: “Philip loves her style and believes she would add something new to TopShop. Christina is the blonde bombshell who is into pop whereas Kate is the rock chick and model.” (British Glamour)

 

The liberal media elite have run afoul of Ann Coulter yet again. Well, that didn’t take long. The lightning-rod conservative pundit is crying conspiracy—liberal media elite conspiracy, that is—over her last-minute cancellation from this morning’s edition of the Today show. She claims her new book’s inflammatory, right-leaning rhetoric, and not, as NBC insists, the little matter of devoting more air time to the ever-worsening Middle East conflict, was the reason for her abrupt bump. “I guess this ends the ‘they just want to get ratings’ argument about liberal media bias,” Coulter grouses on her website. Coulter was due to appear on the first and fourth hours of Today to promote her new book, Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America, and while the Drudge Report yesterday upped the conspiracy ante, breathlessly reporting that Coulter has been permanently banned from the show, NBC News says hooey. (Eonline)

 

Watch out JabbaWockeeZ! Jamie Foxx and Joaquin Phoenix began a dance battle in Miami, and Brett Ratner eventually joined their crew. Casey Affleck filmed the whole thing documentary-style. The quirky quartet gave a repeat performance the following night. (Eonline)

 

Paris Hilton would like to begin breeding in the next two years and name her first daughter London. (Eonline)

 

Lily Allen is threatening to post Katy Perry‘s phone number on Facebook. (Eonline)

 

Hollywood star Tom Cruise has credited controversial religion Scientology with curing his childhood dyslexia. Tom Cruise has said controversial religion Scientology cured him of his childhood dyslexia. The Top Gun star is an outspoken follower of the religion founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. “I asked myself if I was normal or an idiot. I would try to concentrate but I felt anxiety, frustration, boredom,” Tom told Spanish magazine XL Semanal. “When I graduated from high school in 1980 I was functionally illiterate. Nobody gave me a solution and I wanted to know why the system had failed. Finally, as an adult I learned to read perfectly through the method of L. Ron Hubbard.” (Handbag)

 

For a change of pace, Amy Winehouse is looking fit in 2009 as she enjoys the Caribbean sunshine alongside a sporty hunk.  The multiple Grammy Award winner, 25, has been pictured on the arm of former rugby player Joshua Bowman as she continues her vacation in St. Lucia. Bowman, who is quoted in the U.K.’s Daily Mail saying, “She’s just a cool girl, very nice, and we’re just very friendly,” is said to be on the island with his mother and sister. He is a former player with rugby team Saracens and has since turned to acting. He adds of his new friend, “She’s a good laugh – she is such a lovely girl and on great form. I can’t say much more than that.” Some reports are calling her friendship with Bowman a “holiday romance.” The actor’s reps had no further comment. Winehouse, who has been plagued with ill health for much of 2008, has been seen kicking a soccer ball around the beach and running on the sands – clearly loving the life away from the turmoil of her life back in the U.K. that has seen her husband Blake Fielder-Civil jailed. Winehouse’s U.K. rep Chris Goodman is not commenting on Bowman and he cannot confirm some reports that she and Fielder-Civil have split. Some people close to her expect them to be together when he leaves jail. “She has been enjoying herself on her break and meeting lots of new people. There are many like-minded people there having extended breaks. Amy is a friendly person and very sociable and behaving exactly as I would expect her to do,” Goodman says. He adds: “She has consciously been trying to eat better and get fitter for some time now and it is beginning to pay off.” Winehouse dropped her appeal in a Norwegian drug case Tuesday, and won’t have to return to Europe to appear in court Jan. 12. “After a careful review of the whole matter, they decided to drop the appeal,” attorney Ole Kvelstad said by telephone regarding accepting the fine for illegal marijuana. Looks like more sun and sand are in her future! (People)

 

Back in July, actor Josh “W.” Brolin, his W co-star Jeffery “Colin Powell” Wright, and members of the movie crew were arrested in Shreveport, LA after a celebration of the movie’s completion got a little out of hand at a local bar. As we’ve previously mentioned, cops were called to settle a disturbance caused by one of the movie’s crew members and actors Brolin and Wright were pepper sprayed/arrested when they tried to intervene!! Yesterday, Tuesday, lawyers representing Josh appeared in a Shreveport court on behalf of the actor to face the misdemeanor charge of interfering with police during the arrest of his W. buddy. He faced up to six months in jail and/or a fine of $500 if convicted as charged, according to the city’s prosecutor’s office. Well, the actor was granted a district attorney’s probation. If he goes until March 11 without getting in further trouble, the charges will be dismissed. It’s reported that the others charged in the incident also got DA’s probation, with no court costs or fines assessed. Shreveport went easy on the Hollywood kids! So, is it safe to assume that there’s truth to the claim that a video of Shreveport cops yelling a racial slur at Wright exists? (Perez Hilton)

 

Ed McMahon and his wife Pamela sicked a vicious attack poodle on a process server — allegedly. Here’s how it all went down…The Date: Saturday, January 3. Time: 2:00 PM Location: The McMahon estate … (until they’re kicked out) The Poop: A process server was there to serve McMahon’s legal papers. We’re told the process server went up to the door — Pamela answered — and when he attempted to serve her, the server claims Pam released the poodle on him and it attacked him. The L.A. County Dept. of Animal Control confirmed the process server did have a dog bite on his right knee. Status: Active Animal Control investigation. Fun Fact: The process server is not a total wuss … it was a standard poodle, not the “toy” variety. Statement from Ed’s rep, Howard Bragman: “Dog bites man is not news. Call me back when it’s man bites dog.” (TMZ)

 

British singer Amy Winehouse dropped her appeal in a Norwegian drug case and will accept a fine for illegal marijuana possession in 2007, her attorney said Tuesday. Winehouse and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were arrested during a concert stop in the western city of Bergen in October 2007 on charges of possessing 7 grams (1/4-ounce) of marijuana. They were held overnight and released after paying fines of 3,000 kroner ($428). Winehouse, 25, later appealed the fine, claiming Norwegian police made mistakes in the case. An initial trial date in March 2008 was postponed at the request of her attorney, and Winehouse was summoned last month by the Bergen appeals court to make her case on Jan. 12. “After a careful review of the whole matter, they decided to drop the appeal,” attorney Ole Kvelstad said by telephone. He refused to give reasons for the decision to withdraw the appeal. Police Prosecutor Rudolf Christoffersen confirmed the two had withdrawn the appeals and would not have to appear in court. “That means the fines stand,” he said on the TV-2 network. Kvelstad earlier said the payment of the fine amounted to a guilty plea, which he said could have serious consequences if Winehouse sought to enter the U.S. Winehouse was denied a U.S. visa this year when she wanted to perform at the Grammy Awards ceremony. Winehouse, who won five Grammys at the 2008 ceremony, has had problems with drug use, run-ins with the law and a dramatic marriage. Concerns about her health grew as the singer checked in and out of a London hospital, most recently for an allergic reaction to prescribed medication. (Daily Record)

 

Actor Rip Torn has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving charges in Connecticut, nearly two years after being fined and losing his license for similar charges in New York. The 77-year-old Salisbury resident appeared in Bantam Superior Court on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane. State police say a trooper stopped Torn on Dec. 14 on Route 44 shortly after he had left the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, a town of about 4,000 people in the northwestern corner of the state that borders New York and Massachusetts. Police say Torn was driving in the breakdown lane in his 1994 Subaru with a Christmas tree tied to the top. He failed part of a field sobriety exam, then gave up after saying the ground wasn’t level enough, state police said. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test and used profanity while in the trooper’s cruiser, police said. Torn, who won an Emmy for his role on “The Larry Sanders Show,” is set to return to court Jan. 28. His attorney, A. Thomas Waterfall of Torrington, told The Register Citizen newspaper: “All I can tell you is that we will review the reports, and Mr. Torn and I will meet to discuss his defense options. At this point, I don’t know what they are yet.” Despite previous drunken driving arrests in New York, Torn may qualify for Connecticut’s alcohol education program. The program is for first-time offenders and could lead to the charges being dropped after a period of probation. In April 2007, Torn agreed to pay a $380 fine and give up his license for 90 days after pleading guilty to driving while impaired in North Salem, about 60 miles north of New York City. In a Manhattan case in 2004, Torn was acquitted after jurors said the prosecution failed to prove he was drinking before a fender-bender with a taxi, although a police videotape showed him cursing and berating officers before turning down a sobriety test. Torn has had a recurring role on NBC’s “30 Rock.” His screen credits include “Cross Creek” and the “Men in Black” movies. (Daily Record)

 

Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the maker of classic china and crystal, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after attempts to restructure the struggling business or find a buyer failed. Four administrators from business advisory firm Deloitte were appointed to run the company’s businesses in Britain and Northern Ireland, while a Deloitte partner in the Irish Republic was appointed as receiver of Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the ultimate parent of the U.K. companies, and other Irish subsidiaries. The U.K. joint administrators said they intended to continue to run the business as they seek a buyer. Trading in the company’s shares was suspended on the Irish Stock Exchange where they languished at just one-tenth of a euro cent. “Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton are quintessentially classic brands that represent a high quality product which is steeped in history,” the administrators said in a statement. “The administration team will be working closely with management, customers and suppliers during this time to ensure operations continue whilst a sale of the business is sought.” Waterford Wedgwood, which employs around 7,700 worldwide, is the latest in a burgeoning list of iconic British companies to succumb to the global economic slowdown and credit squeeze. Department store veteran Woolworths, the queen’s tailor Hardy Amies, tea and coffee merchant Whittard of Chelsea and fellow ceramics stalwart Royal Worcester and Spode have all filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months. Wedgwood has been an iconic name in British pottery for 250 years, after its founder Josiah Wedgwood opened the first factory in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, in 1759. It began making bone china in the 19th century. Waterford Crystal traces its lineage to a factory opened in Waterford, southeast Ireland in 1783, although that business failed in the 1850s. The brand was revived by Czech immigrant Miroslav Havel in 1947. (aol)

 

 

MUSIC . . .

 

The good girl gone bad has promised to be good for one night. R&B sensation Rihanna will shun skimpy outfits when she performs in Malaysia next month, the concert’s organizers said Tuesday, becoming the latest international star affected by the Muslim-majority country’s strict rules on performers’ dress. Recent concerts by Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne faced protests by conservative Muslim Malaysians over immodest clothes. Stefani eventually made what she called “a major sacrifice” at her show by donning attire that revealed little skin. Under government guidelines, a female performer must be covered from the top of her chest, including her shoulders, to her knees. The organizers of a Pussycat Dolls concert in 2006 were fined nearly $3,000 after the U.S. girl group was accused of flouting decency regulations. The Malaysian organizers of Rihanna’s Feb. 13 stop on her “Good Girl Gone Bad” tour voiced hopes that protests would not mar the Grammy-winning singer’s show. Rihanna’s management is “aware of the country’s regulations and the difficulties of doing a show,” Razman Razali, managing director of Pineapple Concerts, told The Associated Press. However, a district branch of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which blasted Lavigne’s on-stage moves as “too sexy” last year, said in an online commentary that Rihanna was “sexier and more dangerous” than Lavigne. Concert ticket Web site Axcess said sales for Rihanna’s show in a 16,000-capacity Kuala Lumpur stadium were selling briskly Tuesday, just hours after newspapers announced the event. Rihanna, 20, has had a slew of hits since bursting onto the music scene in 2005, including “Umbrella,” “Pon de Replay” and “Unfaithful.” (Daily Record)

 

“Why don’t you come back, baby? Why don’t you go away?” Elvis Costello sings in the duet “Go Away” with indie rock favorite Jenny Lewis on his recent CD, “Momofuku.” Rock ‘n’ roll is filled with mixed messages, as someone like Juliana Hatfield can attest to. Her disc “When I Grow Up” is a career highlight. Twenty years of experience, honing her skill at crafting pop rockers, paid dividends with these smart, tuneful tales. Chances are you never heard it, or even heard OF it. She, like Costello and other veterans, put out solid work in 2008 with little fanfare or commercial success. Hatfield probably should have released it under the name Fleet Foxes. Then, thanks to rock’s constant fascination with what’s new, she’d be hailed on critics’ Top 10 lists. She’d make all the magazines, just like during her brief period of fame in the early 1990s, when her music wasn’t as good. Now, no disrespect to Fleet Foxes. “White Winter Hymnal” is gorgeous. But they get the attention because they’re not one of rock’s in-between acts, the artists who don’t come back because they don’t go away. They keep working at their craft, and don’t give up because some tastemakers deem them old hat. They don’t become oldies acts. Here’s to some artists whose work should not be overlooked because, as in Hatfield’s case, she’s 41 instead of 21. James McMurtry got a burst of attention two decades ago when he was “discovered” by John Mellencamp. He’s kept improving, too, while most of the world didn’t notice. His dry-as-west-Texas wit, keen observations and sharp political commentary are all evident in the “Just Us Kids” disc. We’re most impressed by how good a guitar player he’s become, honed from years of clubbing as part of a three-man band. Talking Heads fans who have lost track of David Byrne’s solo career should seek out his new collaboration with Brian Eno, “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.” It’s his best sustained work since “Speaking in Tongues.” Byrne and Eno were once world music pioneers, and here they’re much more conventional in their songcraft. Don’t mistake that for a lack of ideas; this disc sounds playful and joyous. Don’t forget Elvis, either. “Momofuku” was almost a spontaneous album, born out of Costello’s work with Lewis on her disc, “Acid Tongue,” also out last year. “Momofuku” is a little spotty as a result, but “My Three Sons” is one of the best songs about late-in-life fatherhood you’ll ever hear. Oh, and “Go Away” is not bad, either. (Daily Record)

 

Fans of Germany’s renowned Berlin Philharmonic can now follow the orchestra’s performances from anywhere in the world through a new “digital concert hall” accessible via the Internet. Tuesday’s performance – directed by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony – will be the first to be broadcast online from the philharmonic’s home concert hall in the German capital. Single tickets to follow the online performance live, or to access it on demand at any point in a 48-hour period after the broadcast, cost €9.90 ($13.45). A season ticket for €149 gives viewers access to all concerts during the season. The concerts can be viewed at http://dch.berliner-philharmoniker.de/#/en/ . (Daily Record)

 

Aerosmith is ready to return to work on its next studio album, according to a Web post yesterday (Jan. 5) from drummer Joey Kramer. “Today is the first day [bassist] Tom [Hamilton] and I are getting back together,” he wrote. “We just rehearsed for two hours and it feels so good! We can’t wait to get back into the studio and get back out on the road to do what we do best.” As previously reported, work has already begun on the band’s first album of original material since 2001′s “Just Push Play.” Aerosmith pressed pause on the project last year while band members recovered from a variety of medical issues. “Like a lot of other things in life, you don’t get to call the shots on these things, do you?,” guitarist Brad Whitford told Billboard.com last fall. “We’re just … getting older.” There’s no date for the new album, but it’s expected to be out sometime this year via Columbia. Aerosmith also has one live show lined up on Feb. 1 at Estadio Olimpico in Caracas, Venezuela. (Billboard)

 

Leona Lewis, who won U.K. talent TV show “The X Factor” in 2006 and topped charts around the world with her debut album “Spirit,” has signed a deal to pen her autobiography with publishing house Hodder & Stoughton. The book, which will include more than 100 new photographs, will hit shelves in October, shortly before the scheduled release of Lewis’ second album, the publisher said. “The last two years have been an unbelievable experience for me,” said the 23-year-old Londoner, who debuted at No. 1 last year on The Billboard 200, the first British woman to achieve the feat. “Spirit” has sold an estimated five million copies around the world since its release in 2007. Hodder & Stoughton, which did not disclose the financial details of the deal, said photographs for the autobiography would be taken by Dean Freeman, who also worked on the publisher’s collaboration with soccer star David Beckham. “This will be the first time Leona tells her story of how ‘The X-Factor’ launched her from waitressing in Pizza Hut in Hackney [East London] to stardom on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Hodder editor Fenella Bates. “It is a real-life fairytale and every girl’s dream.” (Billboard)

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and his orchestra of Arab and Israeli musicians say they are canceling performances in the Middle East this weekend because of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Instead, they will play in the German capital. Barenboim says they are canceling the shows in Qatar and Egypt amid concerns for the musicians’ safety. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will perform works by Beethoven and Brahms at the Staatsoper in Berlin on Monday, the opera house said in a statement Tuesday. Argentinean-born Barenboim has advocated peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But he is a contentious figure in Israel for his provocative performances of Wagner operas and accepting honorary Palestinian citizenship. (Daily Record)

 

 

MOVIE . . .

 

John Woo is preparing to introduce his first Chinese-language film in 16 years to foreign audiences after the historical epic proved a massive success in Asia. The Hong Kong native said Tuesday he has finished editing an international version of “Red Cliff” and is offering it to American distributors. It has already been picked up in Europe and South America. The $80 million epic, based on an ancient Chinese battle, was split into two installments lasting a combined five hours for Asia, but a single movie lasting two hours and 25 minutes has been prepared for audiences elsewhere. “For Western viewers, watching a foreign-language movie and reading subtitles is very tough,” Woo said. The war epic is set in the Three Kingdoms historical period, which Woo said is familiar to Asian audiences. The first installment of the “Red Cliff” project was a big hit when it was released across Asia in July, earning more than $100 million thanks to a $50 million performance in Japan and $47 million earned in mainland China. In South Korea, it drew more than 1.6 million viewers – about 130,000 more than the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight.” The second installment will debut in China on Thursday and across the rest of the continent later this month. Woo said the international version of “Red Cliff” focuses on the main characters and eliminates peripheral ones. But, he says, both Asian and Western versions are more down-to-earth than their contemporary Asian rivals, concentrating on grounded battle scenes over far-fetched gravity-defying kung fu fighting sequences. “I wanted to make Asian audiences feel it’s a familiar story but also make Western audiences feel they’re watching a love story like ‘Troy’ or an Asian version of ‘Gladiator,’” Woo said. Woo also said he will start shooting another Chinese-language film, “1949,” later this year. (Daily Record)

 

Keira Knightley is to star in a new movie about the life of acclaimed author F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The film, called The Beautiful and The Damned, will feature Keira as Zelda Sayre, the controversial partner of the literary genius. Zelda’s notorious behavior and schizophrenia are said to have both inspired and hindered the author while writing some of his greatest works. The couple were literary celebrities in New York throughout the 1920s, and their marriage lasted until Zelda was put into a mental hospital in 1930. Zelda’s battles with her overbearing husband later turned her into a feminist icon. The part of Scott Fitzgerald has yet to be cast in the new movie, but one of his short stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, is being tipped for Oscar nominations this year. (British Glamour)

 

Michael Gambon, Leslie Bibb, Colm Meaney and Theresa Randle have come aboard the Film Department thriller “Law Abiding Citizen.” Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx already have been cast in the F. Gary Gray-directed vigilante movie. “The Longest Yard” screenwriter Sheldon Turner recently came on to do production work on the script as the film chugs toward its Jan. 21 start date in Philadelphia. Butler, Alan Siegel, Lucas Foster and Mark Gill are producing; Neil Sacker and Robert Katz are executive producing. “Citizen” is set in motion when a district attorney orchestrates a plea bargain that sets free the killers of another man’s family. The aggrieved victim then seeks personal justice from the D.A. Writers Kurt Wimmer (“The Recruit”), David Ayer (“Harsh Times”) and Frank Darabont (“The Mist”), who was once in line to direct “Citizen,” have worked on the script. The CAA-repped Turner has a film known as the untitled Ben Affleck/Arizona project in development and the Jason Reitman-directed “Up in the Air” shooting next month. Producer-distributor the Film Department also is producing “The Rebound,” a comedy starring Catherine Zeta-Jones; “The Perfect Man,” a remake to be directed by Peter Chelsom; and “The Beautiful and the Damned,” a biopic starring Keira Knightley. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Jimmy Hayward, who directed the animated “Horton Hears a Who!” will make his live-action debut with “Jonah Hex,” the Warner Bros. western based on the DC Comics character. Josh Brolin is attached to star in the film, which previously had Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (“Crank”) on board as directors. The duo, who also wrote the script, bowed out over creative differences in November. The studio, which hopes to put the movie into production in March or April, went on a fast-track search, putting together a short list that included such names as Andy Fickman and McG before narrowing it down to Hayward. The character of Hex, known for having the right side of his face disfigured and wearing a Confederate army uniform, was a rough-and-tumble gunslinger and part-time bounty hunter whose adventures always ended in blood. One incarnation of his comic book series saw the Western genre combined with supernatural elements, and it’s this aspect that was featured in Neveldine and Taylor’s script. The studio will likely keep the script, though it’s expected that Hayward will put his stamp on it.  Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance and Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road are producing. Hayward, repped by UTA and manager Jason Grode, began his career as an animator on the Canadian TV series “ReBoot” before becoming a member of the Pixar family, where he worked on such films as “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.” He also was involved in Fox and Blue Sky’s animated film “Robots.”  Hayward made his directorial debut with 2008′s “Horton,” which grossed $154.5 million at the domestic box-office. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Fresh off the success of his fairy tale hit “Bedtime Stories,” Adam Shankman is giving a boost to a Birdie. The musical veteran is coming on to develop and produce a long-gestating remake of “Bye Bye Birdie” at Columbia. Shankman will join Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, who will produce via their Red Wagon banner, as producers. Jennifer Gibgot, Shankman’s partner in Offspring Entertainment, will executive produce. A stage favorite for the past half-century, “Birdie” centers on Conrad Birdie, a popular singer whose character is based loosely on Elvis Presley. He’s about to be shipped off to the army, but as part of a publicity stunt, he agrees to one last encounter with a fan before he goes to war. The 1958 musical has had several screen adaptations, including an Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke version in 1963 and a television movie starring Jason Alexander in 1995. Columbia has been developing an updated version for a number of years, with the logline at one point re-imagining the title character as a hip-hop star. Several writers also have taken cracks at a new version of the story, with “Step Up 2 the Streets” director and film student wunderkind John Chu and “SNL’s” Tina Fey attached to write at different points. (Shankman also produced “Step Up 2.”) No new writer has been attached in the project’s current incarnation. The UTA-repped Shankman, a veteran choreographer who bolstered his musical cred by producing and directing the “Hairspray” remake in 2007, recently lined up two projects, coming on to direct “Bob: The Musical” for Disney and “The 8th Voyage of Sinbad” for Columbia. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

 

TV . . .

 

Though he wasn’t picked in the finale of “The Bachelorette,” Jason Mesnick isn’t just giving love another shot – he says he’s found it. Mesnick, ABC’s newest “Bachelor,” says he’s engaged to one of the women who compete for his affection on the 13th season of the reality series, which was to premiere Monday. The 32-year-old accountant has finished filming “The Bachelor,” but can’t reveal his pick until the finale, which will air this spring. Mesnick says being pursued by 25 women made him empathetic to DeAnna Pappas, who chose snowboarder Jesse Csincsak over him during the “Bachelorette” season finale. “It gives you a lot more respect for what she had to go through,” Mesnick said. Csincsak and Pappas, co-host of Lifetime’s “Get Married,” have since broken up. This time around, “The Bachelor” has a new twist: There’s a child in the mix – Mesnick’s 3-year-old son Tyler. Mesnick checked with Ty’s pediatrician and a psychologist before exposing him to the show’s unique situation and any separation involved. “He’s always in the forefront of my mind,” Mesnick said. (Daily Record)

 

“Damages” arrives just in time to help you start the new year right: off-kilter … on edge … hooked … and loving it! There’s a comfort factor to this dizzying legal thriller, with its mind games, masquerades and clash of power brokers. Returning for its second season Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST on FX, “Damages” brings you reassurance at a time when, in real life, a U.S. Senator’s seat has been peddled by a governor, and when Bernie Madoff’s investors have seen their $60 billion go poof. The unfolding events of “Damages” are similarly twisted and toxic, but (here’s the reassuring part) safely fictitious. Neither your 401(k) nor your soul will be put in harm’s way by the mischief “Damages” has in store. Continuing her reign is high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes. Played by Glenn Close in an Emmy-winning role, Patty is a diabolical mix of charm and ruthlessness, with a dash of psychosis for good measure. Last season, the action surrounded a huge class-action lawsuit waged by Patty’s firm against billionaire mogul Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), who conned his employees and investors as his company collapsed. Patty was ably assisted by Ellen Parsons (series co-star Rose Byrne), a recent law-school grad whose wide-eyed idealism went dark when her fiancé was murdered and she was charged with the crime. In season two, a sadder-but-savvier Ellen has stuck with Hewes & Associates. But like everybody on this show, Ellen is driven by a hidden agenda: She wants revenge on Frobisher, who was responsible for her fiancé’s death, and, as an FBI informant, she wants to prove that Patty was behind her own near-fatal assault. But there’s lots more going on. For example, a mysterious scientist named Daniel Purcell reconnects with Patty after many years. Played by William Hurt, he has life-threatening problems and desperately needs Patty’s help. At first, she turns him away. Then she’s forced to reconsider. Some “Damages” fans thought too much was going on last season, with a multilayered narrative that whipsawed the audience between past and present. The seemingly disparate story lines converged in a sharply focused finale, but by then the series had shed more than half of its initial 3.7 million viewers. “Damages” faithful rejoiced when FX (already enjoying success with antihero-centric dramas like “The Shield” and “Rescue Me”) re-upped for not one, but two more seasons. Now, with the goal of broadening its audience, “Damages” is easier to follow. But never simple. Things still have a habit of turning on a dime. Leave it to the brothers Glenn and Todd A. Kessler and their partner Daniel Zelman (who created, produce and write the series) to keep the plot in delirious flux. No wonder guidance from this trio known as KZK has been essential for Hurt. His mercurial Danny Purcell is a role even he began the season not fully grasping. Hurt is an actor accustomed to nailing down the character and story for himself long before shooting begins, and to not being forced to bring his character to life on the fly, script by script, on TV’s unforgiving terms. As he adapts to his first TV series, he remains an actor who loves to muse about the creative process, his interview laced with such aesthetic observations as: “The most exquisite form of violence is mediocrity, because it’s the absolute absence of consideration, absence of sensitivity. Art is in constant combat with that.” On “Damages,” the 58-year-old Hurt retains a creatively combative streak decades after his run as an A-list star in films such as “Body Heat,” “Broadcast News” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” for which he won an Academy Award for best actor. He confers stature on a series already boasting splendid performances by fellow newcomers Timothy Olyphant and Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, as well as the old friend he calls Glennie, with whom he is working for the first time since their 1983 classic “The Big Chill.” Also on hand are the returning Byrne, Tate Donovan, Anastasia Griffith and Danson (whose delightfully villainous Frobisher was presumed dead in last season’s finale). “I’m the least equipped for this of anyone,” said Hurt, summing up the demands of serialized TV. “What I’m relying on here, instead of experimentation over a long period of time, is my faith in them: KZK. They know what they’re doing.” But so did Hurt as he spoke, having reached the 12th of the season’s 13 episodes, with the fate of his character now in his sights. “The guys and I had these conjecture conversations about how it would turn out,” he said. “There was one way I had hoped for the most.” He pointed at his script for the finale while he gave himself a moment to feel satisfied. “This is where I hoped it would go. “Now I know.” (Daily Record)

 

Singer Lily Allen is the bookies favorite to become the Doctor’s next assistant. Lily Allen is the favorite to win the coveted role of the Doctor’s assistant in the next series of Dr Who the Telegraph has claimed. Sources have told the paper that the show’s bosses are eager to hire a show business name to act alongside new Doctor Matt Smith. “Having got the casting of The Doctor out of the way, the companion role is where we will be looking next,” Executive Producer Piers Wenger explained. “Someone terribly exciting like Billie Piper, who was at the beginning of her acting career but who had a profile for other reasons, would be great. We are looking for someone whose light can burn brightly. We would never cast anyone on the basis of their celebrity, but if Lily wanted to audition we would be delighted. It would be a lot of fun.” (Handbag)

 

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Michelle Heaton has said she was terrified of the other night’s task as she would have to sing. Michelle Heaton has said she was scared of last night’s Celebrity Big Brother task as the former Liberty X star was forced to sing. Housemates were asked to showcase the talents that made them famous, with Michelle being asked to sing her former band’s biggest hit, 2002’s Just A Little. But Michelle admitted to fellow housemate Ulrika Jonsson that she had only whispered on the hit. “Are you gonna sing with no music?” Jonsson asked. “No, they’re giving me the track,” Michelle said. “It’s awful. I didn’t sing any lyrics. I whispered at the end. I wasn’t good enough to cut it.” (Handbag)

 

A US version of gritty Manchurian comedy Shameless is being developed for cable network HBO by the man behind ER and The West Wing. After years of discussion with the show’s creator Paul Abbott, Mike Lombardo of HBO told Television Business International: “We are developing a US version of Shameless with John Wells writing. [The question is] how do you move that show to America and not lose its essence?” Three years ago, rival network NBC was reported to have struck a deal to bring the show to the States, which would have seen Woody Harrelson in the central role, but it never took off. Other British comedies that have been exported over the Atlantic include The Office, Coupling, Cold Feet and Little Britain. (British Glamour)

 

Emmy winner Christine Lahti and Johnny Sneed have joined the cast of USA Network’s 90-minute pilot “Operating Instructions,” directed by “Hitch” helmer Andy Tennant. The project, from Conaco Prods. and Universal Cable Prods., centers on Lt. Rachel Scott (Emily Rose), a former Marine who returns from a tour as a Navy surgeon to take a post at a military hospital. Lahti will play Cmdr. Helen Keller, the hospital’s chief administrator, who butts heads with Rachel almost from the get-go. Sneed will play Capt. Will McKay, who might share a history with Rachel. He is the hospital’s chief medical officer and arranged for her to take the job there. Lahti and Sneed join the previously cast Rose, Nick Zano and Diana Maria Riva. “Instructions” marks Lahti’s return to the medical genre after her Emmy-winning turn on the CBS drama “Chicago Hope.” The actress, repped by ICM and Management 360, next appears in the features “Obsessed” and “Yonkers Joe.” Sneed, who starred in the Fox sitcom “Unhitched,” is repped by the Paul Kohner Agency and the Gold Co. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp. unveiled a broad carriage agreement Tuesday morning that extends retransmission consent for CBS’s TV stations and carriage of Showtime Networks’ programming through 2013. Financial details of the deal, which the companies said came ahead of the end of the previous arrangement, weren’t disclosed. Under the agreement, selected CBS and Showtime programs will be used in TWC’s enhanced video services, such as Start Over and Look Back, as well as video-on-demand offerings. “We are extremely pleased to have reached this agreement which recognizes the value of our programming to Time Warner Cable and its subscribers,” said CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves.  Melinda Witmer, executive VP and chief programming officer at TWC, said: “We are glad that we were able to reach an early renewal of our agreement with CBS and extend our relationship with Showtime. This new arrangement represents an exciting expansion of our relationship with the CBS Corporation.”  Moonves signaled at an investor conference last month that he expects a new major retransmission deal soon. While the Viacom-TWC carriage talks ended in a public spat around New Year, Moonves has focused on early talks behind closed doors. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

TLC is gearing up a new reality show tracking the spouses of NASCAR drivers. The cable network has ordered a docusoap series titled “NASCAR Wives,” starring women with surnames familiar to racing fans. TLC will air an hour of the series as a special Jan. 24 with a lead-in from the network’s most-watched annual event, the Miss America pageant. A full season, including an undisclosed number of episodes, will follow in the spring. The concept mixes racing with the “wives genre” peppering cable primetime, from Lifetime’s drama “Army Wives” to Bravo’s reality show “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” “Viewers turn to TLC for an insider’s view into uncommon lives, and ‘NASCAR Wives’ will give an unprecedented look at what happens on and off the track,” TLC president Eileen O’Neill said. “NASCAR is a remarkable and respected brand to partner with, and we look forward to exploring both the heart and adrenaline that keeps its fans coming back for more.” Lest the concept seem too male-skewing for a female-skewing genre, O’Neill added that 40% of NASCAR fans are women. Participants include DeLana Harvick (wife of Kevin, who has 11 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins), Shana Mayfield (wife of Jeremy, a 15-year Sprint Cup veteran), Kelley Earnhardt (sister of Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver) and Angie Skinner (wife of Mike, who competes in NASCAR’s top three national series). The series is produced by NASCAR Media Group for TLC. “Throughout a 10-month season, the drivers’ wives are the glue holding together each racing family,” NASCAR Media Group COO Jay Abraham said. “This show provides an honest and emotional peek into their experience with our sport.” (Hollywood Reporter)

 

QVC is traveling to Washington to mark President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month – and is bringing along plenty of coins, stamps, jewelry and even a small handbag to sell. The retail network has already sold more than 100,000 items related to Obama’s election and sees the inauguration as an opportunity to reach far beyond the group of people regularly interested in political collectibles. “Frankly, if we were not at the inauguration, we would feel like we were not doing our job,” said Doug Rose, vice president of multichannel programming for the retail giant, which is available in 94 million American homes and had sales totaling $7.4 billion in 2007. QVC will show portions of the parade and conduct interviews with spectators, then air live on the night of Jan. 20 from the Creative Coalition’s inaugural ball. Host Leah Williams will be decked out in an inaugural gown. Obama’s inauguration has attracted plenty of interest from TV networks, not only the traditional broadcast and cable news outlets, but specialized venues such as BET and Nickelodeon that don’t normally pay attention to live political events. “We’re trying to give the audience a flavor of what the event is like, from the event,” Rose said. “We will try to give them a sense of the electricity in the air.” Among the items QVC has been selling since the election are a Barack Obama stamp collection, with stamps from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Grenada, St. Vincent and The Grenadines ($38.88). One set has an Obama-Biden half dollar coin and a 1939 stamp depicting George Washington taking the first oath of office ($23.75). An Obama throw blanket is marked down from $41 to $36.84. Several products are set to debut within the next few weeks. For $200, a shopper can have a coin set with each of the 44 presidents on a South Dakota quarter. A gold presidential pocket watch with Obama’s image will sell for $90. A coin and stamp set commemorating Martin Luther King Day and Obama’s inauguration is $20. And QVC will also sell a portfolio of newspaper front pages from inauguration day.

Some of QVC’s designers are at work, too, making a simulated pearl necklace and a small handbag. QVC, which began operation in 1986, sold inauguration-related items in 1997, 2001 and 2005. Only in 1997 did the network televise from Washington. Weeks before the event, the company has nearly reached its previously best sales figures marking a presidential transition, from 1997, and is certain to go well past that standard this year. QVC’s competitor, the Home Shopping Network, isn’t going to Washington, but it will telecast eight one-hour specials the weekend before the inauguration hawking medallions, porcelain plates, pocket watches and the like. HSN offered an Obama coin set the weekend after the election, with $3 million in sales over a few hours, spokesman Brad Bohnert said. And they’re not the only places to find Obama memorabilia, either. ShopNBC is offering Obama coin sets and throw blankets. The New York Times Store offers framed photographs, a framed copy of the front page announcing Obama’s election victory and an Obama jigsaw puzzle. NBC is also selling a DVD compilation of Obama speech highlights and NBC News coverage of the campaign. (Daily Record)

 

 

TODAY’S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION . . . (Mike Butts Creative)

 

Q.  You and I have one . . . most kids don’t!  What?

            A.  A wrist watch – it’s all in their cell fone

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE (By Dr. Joyce Brothers)

 

“THOSE WHO HAVE EASY, CHEERFUL ATTITUDES TEND TO BE HAPPIER THAN THOSE WITH LESS PLEASANT TEMPERAMENTS, REGARDLESS OF MONEY, “MAKING IT”, OR SUCCESS.”

 

 

MIND BOGGLERS . . .

 

Q.  What do you obtain by fermenting molasses?

            A.  Rum

 

Q.  Delirium tremens is a condition caused by?

            A.  Alcohol Withdraw

 

Q.  What relationship does Walter Huston have to Angelica Huston?

            A.  Grandfather

 

Q.  Who becomes president of the United States if the president and the vice president should die?

            A.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

Q.  The patchwork quilt originated in this part of the world:

            A.  North America

 

Q.  Where did the Ohio state marching band get their famous script Ohio routine?

            A.  Oddly enough from the University of Michigan’s marching band. First performed in 1932.

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS . . . (Peter Greenberg Worldwide)

 

SPA RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES:

 

Many travelers enjoy a day at the spa, but what if you actually could live at one? I’ll tell you where to find something called a spa residential community. Nowadays, you can find condominiums and rooms available for those who are willing to pay to have easy access to a spa. In California, the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage features the La Prairie Spa. Some of these units have outdoor soaking tubs and fire pits, as well as private walkways leading directly to the spa. Opening in December 2008 is Capella, Telluride’s Mountain Village, which will feature a spa, European style ski-in and ski-out access, and a gondola ride with unbeatable views. Or try the company that has set trends in the spa industry for years: Canyon Ranch Living in Florida. It has embraced the idea of living where you can enjoy spa treatments, gym facilities, classes, and healthy-living activities every day.

 

(Peter Greenberg is North America’s preeminent expert on Travel. An Emmy Award-Winning writer and producer, Peter is the Travel Editor for NBC’S “TODAY SHOW,” MSNBC and CNBC. A Best-Selling author of the “Travel Detective” series and host of the nationally syndicated “Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show.” Visit WWW.PETERGREENBERGWORLDWIDE.COM to learn more about Peter Greenberg and his adventures.)

 

 

MIKE BUTTS CREATIVE . . .

 

ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR YOU!

 

EVERY NEW YEARS EVE WE ALL HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS TO COME—MAYBE WE WANT A SLIMMER BODY—A PROMOTION AT WORK—BETTER

HEALTH—MORE MONEY TO BE BETTER PROVIDERS—WE HAVE HIGH HOPES AND MAKE RESOLUTIONS—AND YET SO MANY OF US DON’T FOLLOW THROUGH. WE HAVE TO PERSEVERE!

 

WALT DISNEY WAS TURNED DOWN BY 301 BANKS-THAT’S 301 “NO’S—BEFORE A BANK SAID YES—AND HE BUILT DISNEYLAND—AND THEN

DISNEYWORLD. WE CANNOT GIVE UP—KEEP MOVING TOWARD WHAT YOU WANT. YOU CAN DO IT!!

 

 

RECESSION HITS HOLLYWOOD!

 

HOLLYWOOD IS MAKING CUT-BACKS TOO! CHARLIE SHEEN’S SHOW IS NOW DOWN TO 1 ½ MEN! J

 

 

2008’S MOST POPULAR PET NAMES:

 

DOGS                                                 CATS

BUDDY                                               LUCY

MAX                                                   MOLLY

DAISY                                                OREO

JACK                                                  KITTENS

LUCY                                                  SMOKEY

 

 

OUTRAGEOUS FACTS!

 

THE ACLU HAS A MOVE TO CLAIM THAT PRISON OVER CROWDING VIOLATES A CRIMINALS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS—IF JUDGES AGREE—IN

CALIFORNIA ALONE—52,000 CRIMINALS WILL BE SET FREE!!

 

 

BIRTHDAYS . . .

 

—1800  13th President Millard Fillmore  (d. 3-8-1874)

—1912  Cartoonist Charles Addams  (The Addams Family)

—1922  Actor Vincent Gardenia  (L.A. Law) (d. 12-9-1992)

—1928  Author/Screenwriter William Peter Blatty  (The Exorcist)

¾1929  Actress Terry Moore (Empire)

¾1930  Journalist Douglas Kiker (d. 8-14-1991)

¾1936  Musician Eldee Young (Young / Holt Unlimited) (“Soulful Strut”)

¾1938  Musician Paul Revere (Paul Revere & The Raiders) (“Kicks”)

¾1939  Lefty Baker – guitar, banjo, vocals for Spanky and Our Gang (“I’d Like To Get To Know You”)

¾1944  Musician Mike McGear (McCartney)

¾1945  Baseball’s Tony Conigliaro

¾1946  Andy Brown – drummer for The Fortunes (“You’ve Got Your Troubles”)

¾1946  Publisher Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine)

¾1948  Musician Kenny Loggins (“I’m Alright”)

¾1949  Musician Marshall Chapman

¾1952  Actress Erin Gray (Silver Spoons)

¾1956  Actor David Caruso (CSI; Miami)

—1957  TV Anchor Katie Couric (CBS Evening News) 

¾1959  Musician Kathy Valentine  (The Go-Gos)

—1964  Actor Nicolas Cage  (Con Air)

¾1974  Singer John Rich (Big & Rich)

¾1977  Actor Dustin Diamond (Saved By the Bell)

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY . . .

 

Today is …I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE DAY

¾1782  The first commercial bank in the US, the Bank of North America, was opened in Philadelphia.

¾1785  The first airmail letter in history was carried on the first hot-air balloon flight across the English Channel, from Dover to Calais.

—1789  In the first presidential election, George Washington won by a vote of 69 to 0 (electoral votes.)

—1830  The B&O Company put a horse-drawn carriage on a steel track to begin the first commercial railroad service in America.

—1914  The Panama Canal opened for navigation, shortening the sea route from New York to San Francisco by about 7000 miles.

—1927  Commercial transatlantic telephone service between New York and London was inaugurated.  There were 31 calls made the first day.

—1953  President Truman announced that our country had developed a new weapon, many times more powerful than the atomic bomb — the hydrogen bomb.

—1954  Muddy Waters records “I’m Your Hootchie Chootchie Man” at Chicago’s Chess Records.

—1976  Record executive Kenneth Moss is sentenced to four months in jail for involuntary manslaughter in the drug overdose death of Average White Band Drummer Robbie McIntosh.      

—1980  Foreigner’s “Head Games” album goes gold.

¾1982  TV premiere of NBC’s “Fame.”  The series centered on life at New York’s High School of the Performing Arts.

¾1994  Nirvana plays their last U.S. show at the Seattle Arena.  Kurt Cobain was found dead, with self-inflicted gunshot wound, April 1994.

 

 

RADIO ONLINE® DAILY SHOW PREP. . .

 

ON THIS DAY

On this date in 1789, the very first presidential election took place, when voters choose electors. They picked George Washington as our country’s first president. I believe they still conduct elections that way in Florida.

In 1894, Thomas Edison filmed a man sneezing. The critics were unanimous and said the same thing: “Bless you.”

On this date in 1963, the price of stamps went from 4 cents all the way up to 5 cents. The change was featured in the movie, “Cent of an Increase.”

TODAY IS

Nicholas Cage celebrates his birthday today. No secret — he’s 45.

Katie Couric turns 52 today. She’s the host of the “CBS 6 O’Clock Perky News.”

Kenny Loggins celebrates #61 today. Getting close to moving into that retirement center down on Pooh Corner.

THIS MONTH IS

National Prune Breakfast Month — We are going to call up local restaurants and ask them what they have on their menu this month to help promote prunes. This has led to some funny results in the past. McPrunes anyone? Of course we’ve had to pre-record the bit because so few restaurants are open early enough for the morning show. For a variation, keep in mind that it is also National Oatmeal Month as well.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

·         A new survey breaks down what ticks you off about being back at work after the holidays: Co-workers eating noisily (28%), sniffing (26%), talking too loudly on the phone (21%) and even singing (5%).

·         Patricia Arquette has just filed for divorce from her husband of two years. They have a 5-year-old daughter. So much for True Romance.

·         Jennifer Love Hewitt and her fiancé Ross McCall didn’t survive the holiday season. The wedding and the relationship are both off.

·         Enjoy your morning coffee guilt-free. New research from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan concludes that drinking coffee lowers the risk of developing cancers of the oral cavity and throat — at least among the Japanese.

·         Tim Allen (55) and his wife Janie Hajduk (42) are expecting their first baby together this spring.

·         The first family is mourning the loss of the Bush family cat, India — also known as “Willie” — who died Sunday, at age 18, at the White House.

·         Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the proud parents of twin girls born December 28th. Their names: Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip.

·         Scarlett Johansson has won her lawsuit and that means the people who were running ScarlettJohansson.com without her consent will have to shut the web site down.

·         If you like to know a happy ending is on the way, the new “Bachelor,” Jason Mesnick, says he’s engaged. Of course, you won’t know to who until the finale this spring.

·         “A seizure” is officially listed as the cause of the death of John Travolta’s son, Jett, in the Bahamas last week.

·         Madonna’s outspoken brother, Christopher, says that Demi Moore is a “diva” and treats gay men like handbags… whatever that means.

·         Robert Pattinson, the star of “Twilight,” says when he was younger his sisters used to dress him as a girl and call him ‘Claudia’.

·         Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson married his long-time girlfriend over the holidays.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

Our greatest fear is being in plane crash, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Diabetes Association. Here’s the top five things we fear the most:

·         Being in a plane crash: 16%

·         Snake bites: 13%

·         Being hit by lightning: 5%

·         Getting a disease: 5% (cancer, 49%, 3% diabetes)

·         A shark attack: 4%

Christians accept that their imperfection through disobedience walls them away from Almighty God, and that barrier was removed by Jesus Christ — providing the hope of eternal life. But Scientologists do not believe in God, Jesus, heaven or hell. Even so, according to the Church of Scientology, John Travolta’s son Jett, who died of a seizure last week at age 16, will live on as an immortal spiritual being.

Hot “Transformers” co-star Megan Fox has been named the sexiest female movie star by both men and women in a 2009 poll of 5000 Fandango subscribers who were asked this question: “Which sex symbol do you want to see on screen in the coming year?”

Top 10 Sexiest Female Movie Stars (as voted for by men):

1.      Megan Fox

2.      Jessica Alba

3.      Scarlett Johansson

4.      Charlize Theron

5.      Salma Hayek

6.      Kate Beckinsale

7.      Jessica Biel

8.      Jennifer Aniston

9.      Nicole Kidman

10.  Halle Berry

Top 10 Sexiest Female Movie Stars (as voted for by women):

1.      Megan Fox

2.      Jennifer Aniston

3.      Halle Berry

4.      Jessica Alba

5.      Salma Hayek

6.      Kate Beckinsale

7.      Scarlett Johansson

8.      Charlize Theron

9.      Kate Hudson

10.  Julia Roberts

More than half of teen users of the social networking site MySpace include information in their profiles about their sexual behavior and drug and alcohol use, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle. The results were shocking as 54% of the MySpace profiles contained at least one reference to sexual behavior, drug or alcohol use or violence. Substance use was the most common, seen in 41% of profiles, followed by sexual behavior (24%) and violence (14%).

Half the people who listen to iPods or MP3 players risk permanent hearing loss because their music is far too loud. And one in five blast their ears with sounds of 100 decibels or more the equivalent of standing 10 feet from a pneumatic drill. Save your ears by turning down the volume and taking a five minute rest every hour, says Britain’s Royal National Institute for Deaf People, which carried out the survey. (Globe)

PHONE TOPICS

·         Ever get stuck somewhere as a kid?

·         Where does too much of your money go?

·         Tell us about something you’re just not good at?

·         What is the first novelty song you remember?

·         Have you put your foot in your mouth recently?

·         The most boring person in town? (Public figures, media personalities, etc.)

·         Who’s the best actor or actress on TV today?

·         If you could go back in time and witness one of the most significant moments from the past, what would it be?

·         How did you catch your spouse or significant other cheating? Did you take them back? Did you get revenge?

·         What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever argued about? Burnt toast? Choice of clothes? Something ever more stupid?

·         Guys get truly passionate about football, cars, stats, etc. What do women get passionate about?

·         Most valuable thing you’ve lost or broken?

·         What’s the most desperate thing you’ve ever done in the name of love?

·         What did you do as a kid that your parent’s still don’t know about?

·         What time is the perfect time to start work?

Were you teased in school? Anyone that wasn’t? According to one psychologist, Dr. Erin Heerey, teasing can be good for your child and should not be stopped. Insulting playground nicknames such as four-eyes, carrot-top and pizza-face can be good for children according to the doc. But are they an “essential part of life”? What do you think? Another angle that we took on it was, what was your nickname back in school?

Okay ladies, true confession time, have you ever claimed to have “female problems” when you didn’t just because you know it’s a guaranteed excuse? It’s funny watching a male boss get all nervous and uncomfortable after just hearing those two words. I’m not saying you might sometimes be tempted to abuse the situation (like I would if I could use those two words) but you’ve got to admit it’s perfect because the boss doesn’t want to hear any details.

We got some good calls when we did the phoner on mistakes that guys make that guarantee you’ll never see him again. For instance, one guy who had pestered a woman for weeks to go out expected her to go Dutch on their first dinner date. Another woman said a guy picked her up, stopped near a restaurant and said he’d be right back. After she sat in the car for an hour wondering what happened to him, he returned and said, “That was good. Sorry, I was starving. What do you want to do… go to a movie or have a few drinks somewhere?”

Everyone has ‘em… Those stories you love to tell over and over again! I have a friend that back in college, everything seemed to just happen to him. I told one where he walked all the way to class, half asleep after pulling an overnight shift the night before. He was so out of it, he did not realize the red bikini underwear that he had on he night before was now around his ankle and partially over his shoe! He wondered why everyone was looking at him like that! This was great! People loved calling in their stories!

Is it necessarily a bad idea to hook back up with an ex? And we stipulated that you’re both single again… it’s not an affair. We got an entertaining and mixed bag of answers. One woman said it’s a really bad idea because invariably one of the two want more than just a one night stand. It was a hoot when it became apparent that she’d just been through it and she was the one who only wanted a bootie call. Another woman said her parents hooked up after being divorced for 18 years and have been happily re-married for several years now.

What foods best power your libido? Everyone seems to think they know what the best food to “fuel their fire” is. But we went to the experts at MSN.com Health and Fitness:

1.      Pomegranate juice

2.      Shrimp salad

3.      Oatmeal

4.      Spinach

5.      Citrus fruits

6.      Honey

7.      Blueberries

If you ever sense that your teenager is not taking your feelings into account, it’s probably because they’re just incapable of doing so. According to a recent study, the area of the brain associated with higher-level thinking, empathy, and guilt is underused by teenagers. Are all teenagers thick headed and incapable of taking your feelings into consideration? Are teenagers getting a bad rap?

There’s no rulebook on how to raise your kids, but let your listeners call in and give you some tips. There are a lot of parents that are going through diaries and listening in on phone calls. The new version of spying on your kids is checking out what they do on the Internet and instant messenger. Do you think that it is okay to be that strict on your kids?

My co-host talked about having his mouth washed out with a bar of soap when he was a kid. So, we asked on the air if that had ever happened to any of our listeners. This was another phone buster. Then, it turned into crazy punishments. Our best story was from a guy that said his parents tried everything to discipline him and his brother and nothing worked. So, they went to Goodwill and bought two plaid suits from the 70′s and made them wear them to school for a couple of weeks. They even called their teachers to tell them about it, so none of their friends could bring them clothes to change into at school. We had a blast with this one.

A recent study shows U.S. diversity training programs have failed to eliminate bias and increase the number of minorities in management. When you got hired, what was the cheesiest video or training program you had to sit through?

We talked about food treats our moms used to make. Stuff you don’t see anymore. Like Kool-Aid frozen pops that were mixed and frozen by dear old mom. Also various kinds of pudding treats and things. Had some great calls. A super female bit.

What’s your favorite quote or saying of all time? It seems like we all have one. I posted a quote from John Lennon on my myspace page. Here are some famous star sayings:

·         “Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion.” – Madonna

·         “I thought Star Wars was too wacky for the general public.” George Lucas

·         “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey

·         “The day I made that statement, about inventing the Internet, I was tired because I’d been up all night inventing the camcorder.” – Al Gore

·         “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

·         “I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.” – Rosa Parks

I’m one of the country’s 90 million unmarried citizens, and I’m very unhappy. My co-host, who is married is always giving me a tough time about how I’m not married. And I keep telling her that I’d rather be single and happy than rushed into marrying the wrong person, right? Plus what’s so wrong about being single? Sure society pushes you into marriage from birth, but I say there are more reasons to be single than there are to be married. I’m going to open the phones tomorrow and see what happens, a list of both, the benefits of being single and of being married, which list is longer?

My relatives are in town this week who we basically have to wait on hand and foot. We asked our audience if it was appropriate to ask them to change certain behaviors or just “tolerate it.”

We asked women to call in and describe how they changed their husbands from frogs into princes. Good calls. We then offered to call some of the husbands and see if we could convince them to change some things their wife wanted to change but they would not. We got one guy to throw away his cinder block entertainment center he has kept since college.

We asked people to call in to tell us the most uncomfortable situation ever? Some of the answers were: They farted on the first date during the “first kiss.” This was by a woman. Needless to say, she never saw the guy again. A lot of calls about their kids stripping down in public. The funniest story was a when a caller was in line for a military physical among several other men and saw a pretty nurse walk by and well…

We opened the phones and asked our smoking listeners how far they have had to go to be allowed to have a cigarette. They were eager to share their experiences, and this subject always brings out the controversy.

WEIRD NEWS

Topless Coffee Anyone?
Hey, this could be just the thing to save Starbucks! In the small central Maine town of Vassalboro, the planning board has something rather unusual on their table. Donald Crabtree has applied for a business permit to open a topless coffee shop on the busy Route 3! The townspeople have the usual mixed emotions. Some say Vassalboro is a nice rural town and that a topless coffee shop would bring the wrong crowd. But others say they’d like to see a business make a go of it there. Mr. Crabtree says he’s keeping quiet about his plans until after the planning board meets. (Kennebec Journal)

Strange Bedfellows
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, 21-year-old Michael Bass ended up in the same jail with the man who was arrested for shooting him — his stepfather! 37-year-old Richard Hayes allegedly shot his stepson and Bass was holding a bloody towel to his abdomen when paramedics arrived. But during the investigation police discovered that Bass himself had outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court and so they took him to jail as well after he was treated and released from the hospital. Hayes told investigators he has a bad neck and shot his stepson because he thought Bass wanted to fight him. So now both men sit in jail together. (The Daily News)

Father and Son Grave Robbers
In Colonie, New York, police are trying to figure out what in the world would motivate a father and son to steal six tombstones from a monument company in suburban Albany. Detective Lt. John Van Alstyne said he’s not sure what kind of black market there might be for the hefty granite grave-markers. Plus these babies aren’t easy to steal — each weighing between 300 and 600 pounds! The gravestones are valued at $6,000 a piece and a traffic stop of the father and son team’s rented truck turned up the stolen goods. (Times Union)

But Your Honor — He’s Really Sorry!
In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 21-year-old Stanley Carter says he’s really “sorry and upset” that he allegedly squatted in the attic of a family’s home over Christmas and helped himself to their food, clothing, cash and Christmas presents. Carter had been staying with friends who are neighbors of Stacy Ferrance in a duplex, but after they asked him to leave, he accessed the shared attic through a trap door in a bedroom ceiling and lived there for several days. Police found him on December 26 after Ferrance told authorities that items had been taken and she found footprints in her bedroom closet, where the attic trap door is. Carter apparently even kept a list of everything he took, labeling it “Stanley’s Christmas List.” (myway.com)

Thieves Try To Teach Mr. Madoff a Lesson
A group of thieves are apparently trying to send Wall Street financier Bernie Madoff a message. A statue stolen last month from Madoff’s Florida home was returned undamaged, but with a note attached which read: “Bernie the Swindler, Lesson: Return stolen property to rightful owners. Signed by The Educators.” The statue was returned to a country club where Madoff is a member. Police Sgt. Chris Proscia said, “We don’t know who it was and we think it was done just to prove a point.” Of course Madoff, a former Wall Street fund manager, is accused of running a scam that robbed wealthy investors, banks and charities around the world of $50 billion! The 70-year-old investment advisor is currently under house arrest in his Manhattan apartment. (Reuters)

Massachusetts — The New Haven For Pot Heads!
If you haven’t heard, a new law in Massachusetts decriminalizes having small amounts of “pot” and police departments across the state say they will not ticket people in possession of marijuana, even if they are caught smoking it. Officials say the new law makes it virtually impossible to enforce penalties because it is poorly written. Mark R. Laverdure, chief of police in Clinton, a Central Massachusetts town of about 8,000 said, “You’ll probably have a lot of officers that, unless there’s a caller complaining about it, won’t even bother with it. They probably handled a lot of it informally before and probably more so now.” The new law, that passed the ballot in November with 65 percent approval, dropped the fine to $100 with no criminal charges. Under the previous law, possession of small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts was a criminal offense, with a possible fine of $500 and up to a six-month jail term. (Boston Globe)

Man Prefers Jail To Mom and Dad
In Palermo, Italy, 30-year-old Guido Beneventi says he much prefers jail to living at home with his parents. He had been given an early prison release on the conditions he wore and electronic tag and lived at his parent’s home. But he said his parent’s constant lectures about his life of crime and the fact that they began ordering him around like a child was too much to take. He finally broke his curfew to flee to police headquarters and demanded to be arrested. As police took him back to jail Beneventi told them, “You are my saviors! I just couldn’t take another day with them!” (Ananova)

Two Little Kids Try to Elope!
In Germany, two small children, aged five and six, were stopped by police from eloping to Africa to get married on New Year’s Day! The childhood sweethearts were apparently determined to tie the knot under the African sun after seeing a nature documentary together. The pair, identified only as Mika and Anna-Lena, hatched the plan for the destination wedding as the children’s families celebrated New Year’s Eve together. The following morning, as their parents slept, the two, accompanied by the would-be bride’s seven-year-old sister, packed their bags and set off for the airport. They made it all the way to the central train station but were busted while waiting to catch a train to the airport. Two officers managed to convince the trio that they would struggle to get to Africa without money or a plane ticket. And while any wedding plans have been put on hold for the immediate future, as a consolation, the children were given a special tour of the police headquarters at Hanover station while they waited for their parents. (Ananova)

Spooky Voodoo Plant Puts Curse on Gasoline
A mysterious plant, used by Haitian voodoo priests and priestess to free dead souls from evil spirits and put curses on the living, has been found to be a potent source of biofuel. Voodoo practitioners also claim jatropha can cure constipation and acne, but scientists say it can produce high grade diesel fuel to run everything from cars to massive electricity generators. The plant grows abundantly all over Haiti, and experts predict it will boost the poverty stricken Caribbean island out of the economic doldrums by providing much needed low cost fuel. In a related development, researchers from Montana State University have discovered that a tree fungus growing in the South American rainforest can also help free us from dependence on fossil fuels by producing biodiesel more efficiently than plants alone. Normally, plants have to be converted into cellulose before they can be turned into diesel fuel, but the fungus called Gliocladium roseum, eliminates this preliminary step, resulting in lower costs and increased production. (Sun)

MATCH THE MOUTH

“All the money and all the fame and all of the attention and the glamorous life and the success doesn’t mean one thing if you can’t control your own being.”

·         Bill Parcells

·         Oprah Winfrey (about her recent weight gain) ***

·         Bret Favre

·         Sean Penn

·         Madonna

·  “If somebody asks me out on a date, I go out with them! But I never get asked. And I never know how to ask other people. I’m not good at the whole ‘dinner’ thing. I’m a bit of a loner.

·         Robert Duvall

·         Robert Downey Jr.

·         Eli Manning

·         Robert Pattison (“Twilight”) ***

·         Zach Braff

·  “I am European, so I was both the groom and the maid of honor.”

·         Sean Connery

·         Pierce Brosnan

·         Craig Ferguson ***

·         David Beckham

·         Brad Pitt

TO TELL THE TRUTH

Each of our 3-person show wrote true statements about our lives. Then we all three made the statement and the first caller to guess who the statement is true for wins. It’s really a fun little game and if you have the right true stories, it will shed a new light on who the listeners think they are listening to.

WHOSE REAR END IS IT?

Play the last second or two of a song and callers must identify the song. Works best with songs that end cold.

TOP FIVE DISTURBING THINGS OVERHEARD AT A TOPLESS COFFEE SHOP

1.      “Cream? You wouldn’t dare!”

2.      “This is the breast coffee I ever had!”

3.      “Yes, one lump”

4.      “No, I didn’t notice the color of her eyes, either”

5.      “She reminds me of your mother”

HUNTER’S HUMOR by Tim Hunter

First Lady Laura Bush signed a book deal Monday for her memoirs to come out next year. She plans on doing a special version for her husband, where the pictures aren’t already colored in.

When Barack Obama takes the oath of president, he’ll begin working with the oldest congress ever assembled. Makes you wonder how many times the Obama girls are going to be told to get off the White House lawn over the next four years?

Despite being up there in age, members of this oldest congress ever assembled say that they’ll work tirelessly on the war, the economy and regularity.

They held the World Series of Beer Pong last weekend in Las Vegas. 400 teams competed for $50,000 and a chance to get in the restroom.

An uproar has broken out in the small Maine town of Vassalboro, where a topless coffee shop wants to open. How do you serve coffee in a topless coffee shop? Very carefully.

“Yes, I’d like a double tall and a cup of coffee, please… ”

WAYS TO DEAL WITH A NOISY OFFICE

CareerBuilder.com offers these tips to eliminate excess noise at work when you don’t have an office door to close.

·         White Noise — If colleague conversations and ringing phones have you reading the same sentence over and over, try purchasing a white noise CD to play in your computer.

·         Radio/CDs — If your company allows it, download a media player onto your computer, bring in a small radio or listen to some of your favorite CDs.

·         Plants — Plants are good at absorbing noise. Talk to your office manager about getting some greenery in the office to help take the edge off the hubbub — and they look nice too!

·         Nonreflective Surfaces — Make some noise of your own and consult the facilities manager about putting some noise absorption materials in your office, such as carpets, curtains, dividers or acoustic ceiling panels.

·         Confront the Culprit — If it’s just one person in the office who is making all the noise, talk to him or her and explain your situation. They may not even be aware of how loud they are.

·         Set Up a Noise-Free Zone — Perhaps you and your colleagues can designate a particular conference room or area that can be used to escape the noise. It’s always good to have a quiet place to consult with clients or interview candidates.

·         Noise-Canceling Products — There are many products out there that can help with the vexing problem of noise pollution. From small, lightweight headsets to varying types of earplugs, these devices can be used to reduce annoying noise.

·         Move It and Lose It — If an ill-placed copy machine is causing too much traffic, or an over-burdened fax machine rings constantly, check with office services about the possibility of relocating the noise-maker. If that won’t work, see if you can relocate your work station further away from the machines.

·         Post a Sign — Simple and friendly “quiet” signs in hallways and outside conference rooms will help remind co-workers to keep it down when leaving a meeting, heading down the hallway or grabbing a cup of coffee.

REALITY BITES

Find a group of ladies who watch the same reality show each week and have discussions about it. We do this with three ladies and it is hysterical. Then when you get one of the people thrown off the show, bring ‘em in and let them all have at it.

KEEPSAKES REVEAL PERSONALITY

Here’s another fun “personality” test. The types of things you save reveals your true personality, according to psychologist Dr. Elayne Kahn:

·         Baby Shoes — You’re very nostalgic, and you’re family-oriented. You have happy memories of when your family members were young.

·         Old Love Letters — Definitely a romantic, you believe in love and cry at sad movies. You still remember your very first date. You love hearing from old friends. More of a dreamer than a practical person, you’re not scared to take chances.

·         Old Address & Phone Books — You feel that the old ways are often the best, so you’re slow to change. You like antiques and would rather fix an old item than buy a new one.

·         Clothing That Is Out-Of-Style — An eternal optimist, you’re an individualist who’d rather do what you like than what you’re told. You don’t make many mistakes because you’ve learned from the past.

·         Old Photos — You’ve had a lot of good times and enjoy remembering them. You look for the best in people and tend to overlook their faults.

·         Canceled Checks & Receipts — A logical, practical person, you’re in control and rarely lose your temper.

·         Old Magazines & Newspapers — Idle time makes you nervous. You run your house or business very well. You’re intellectual and like to plan ahead and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

SHOP ‘TIL HE DROPS

Okay, women play this game while their boyfriends or hubby’s are unaware it is going on. You send your stunt boy to report and record. The game is simple. The lady drags the guy shopping and tries on outfit after outfit while parading in front of him and getting his opinion. Eventually he will crack unless it is new and he digs her like you do when it’s new. So you want to find couples that are together for the same amount of time basically. The women who tries on the most outfits in front of him before he cracks wins.

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE (JOCKS)?

If you’re doing a remote broadcast soon, try “Where In the World Are (Jocks)?” We give clues the day before, starting out very vague, like what state we’ll be in. Then the county, then the city, then more specific if we have to. It works out that they find us around 7:15am, then we give away concert tickets for the next (frequency) minutes. It’s a great bit because we have prizes for everyone who finds us. We’ll be in five different counties this week.

INTERVIEWS/GUESTS

That crazy Danny Bonaduce is available for interviews. Contact Shannon Rose at Eclectic Media Productions at info@mediaproductions.tv or call 813-960-8412.

VH-1 reality show “Confessions of a Teen Idol” aired Sunday night at 8pm in all time zones. McVay media is offering a “Voice Tracked Virtual Interview” for you to conduct with actor Billy Hufsey. They’ll provide you with the questions. You ask them and Billy answers. Questions and audio answers are available for you to download at http://www.mcvaymedia.com/billyhufseyinterview

Even in the dark economy, you can see the world and come back to your cash stash, but only if you’re part of the 50-and-older set. Joan Rattner Heilman, a leading authority on the extensive world of senior travelers, happily informs you that age has its privileges in “Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures That You Absolutely Can’t Get Unless You’re Over 50, 2009-2010.” For review copies and interviews, contact Ann Pryor at McGraw-Hill Professional: ann_pryor@mcgraw-hill.com or 212-904-4078.

HEADLINE TRUTH OR TRASH

“President-Elect Obama Plans to Move Clock Ahead Two Hours!”
Trash! If he was going to do any time moving, it would be two weeks ahead so he could get going!

“Stonehenge Was Used For Early Raves!”
Truth! At least according to Dr. Rupert Till, a sound technology professor at Huddersfield University in the UK. He carried out experiments which he says show the 5,000-year-old stone circle is ideal for listening to trance music and that the stones have perfect acoustics for repetitive rhythms. In other words, he thinks that ancient Britons built the structure 5,000 years ago to hold raves!

“Lindsay Lohan Dating Robot!”
Trash! If a machine was that intelligent, it would know better.

“New Study Says We Love to Torture People!”
Truth! Jerry Burger of Santa Clara University just finished a big research project to measure’s people’s willingness to torture other’s with electric shocks if ordered to do so. And guess what he found — we will! 82.5 percent of participants continued administering shocks even after hearing their victim — a hired actor — cry out in pain. Burger said the results were “surprising and disappointing.”

“Olsen Twins are Dating Jonas Brothers!”
Trash! With those numbers, there would be an odd one out… and there are too many odd ones.

“Five and Six-Year-Old Kids Try To Elope to Africa!”
Truth! In Germany, two small children, aged five and six, were stopped by police from eloping to Africa to get married on New Year’s Day! The childhood sweethearts were apparently determined to tie the knot under the African sun after seeing a nature documentary. Police discovered the pair at the train station waiting to catch a train to the airport and held them until their parents arrived. Okay you two — no more Discovery channel for a month!

“Space Aliens Take Over Saturday Night Live and No One Notices!”
Trash! They’d only pull that off if someone told them to not be funny.

“Man Arrested For Secretly Video Taping His Naked Wife!”
Truth! Sorry guys — you can’t do that even if you’re married. Or so said the Iowa Supreme Court which upheld two lower-court rulings against Jeffrey Tigges who secretly videotaped his now ex-wife at home. Jeffery must now pay his former spouse $22,500 for invading her privacy.

GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY?

(Sun) If the smallest mistake plunges you into a guilt trip, you may be expecting too much of yourself. Take this quiz and find out:

You haven’t exercised and now your best dress is tight. You would;

a.       Buy a bigger dress.

b.      Wear it with a promise to start working out.

c.       Cover it with a sweater and cut back on sugar.

You remember a pal’s birthday a week late. You would;

a.       Do nothing since it’s already past.

b.      Immediately send a big bouquet of flowers.

c.       Mail a gift certificate inside a belated birthday card.

Your kid is acting up in school, and you;

a.       Think the teacher must be the cause.

b.      Fear it’s because your a bad parent.

c.       Make an appointment to see the teacher.

You’re doing housework on a Saturday afternoon and your family wants to go out. You would;

a.       Drop what you’re doing and go.

b.      Send them on without you.

c.       Get their help with tasks before you take off.

Analysis

Mostly “a” – You ask so little of yourself that your home and family may be a mess. Caring for others can be a joy.

Mostly “b” – You routinely ask too much of yourself. Stop trying to be so perfect and make an effort to enjoy life more.

Mostly “c” – You’re a rock in a crisis and save your energy for what’s important. But you also ask for help when needed.

GORSEFEATHERS by Patrick Gorse

Adam Sandler says he’d like to guest-host “Saturday Night Live,” but he just can’t stay up “till 11:30.” Well, there’s an excuse that won’t work on Jay Leno anymore…

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero has been suspended for 50 games because he used a banned substance. He’ll lose nearly a third of his yearly salary. I guess his new nickname is, J.C. Penny-Pincher.

Did you see quarterback Chad Pennington’s pathetic performance against the Ravens on Sunday? Four interceptions! He sucked so badly; he now qualifies for next year’s Comeback Player of the Year Award too!

Congratulations to rocker Marilyn Manson who turned 40 this week. Gee, Marilyn. You don’t look a day over 30. Hours in makeup that is.

President Bush said Monday that no truce should be signed on Gaza until Hamas promises to stop launching rockets into Israel. Mr. Bush added that his dad shouldn’t be invited to meals with the Japanese head of state until he promises not to launch his lunch on the Japanese Prime Minister.

A lot of people say Israel’s response in Gaza is disproportionate. You know, like Amy Winehouse’s head compared to her hair.

When he heard that Israel had invaded Gaza, Charlie Sheen said, “We’re talking about the Gaza Strip, not the Gonzaga Strip Club, right???

The Washington pundits say the President-elect Obama is working overtime trying to woo Republican supporters on Capitol Hill because he doesn’t want to ram his stimulus package through Congress. That’s as opposed to President Bush who worked overtime on his hand-brakes because he didn’t want to ram his bicycle into the White House.

The new U.S. Embassy in Iraq opened on Monday. It’s the largest American Embassy in the world! White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said it only cost $700 million dollars and two national elections.

In the last few days, death claimed former Senator Claiborne Pell and former Attorney General Griffin Bell. If I were Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell, I’d make sure my insurance premiums were paid up.

Sources say that Barack Obama asked Governor Bill Richardson to withdraw his name as the Commerce Secretary nominee. He didn’t want to be tainted by scandal, so Obama threw Richardson under the bus. You’ve got to admire Obama. First… for being strong enough to throw a guy as big as Richardson… and second for having the ingenuity to find a bus with enough clearance under the carriage to fit Bill Richardson.

Republicans applauded the withdrawal of Bill Richardson’s name as Commerce Secretary, but warned President-elect Obama that eliminating Richardson still doesn’t fulfill his promise of cutting all government pork.

Insiders say Barack Obama was reluctant to drop Bill Richardson as his nominee because of Richardson’s deep resume and excellent qualifications. Obama said his next choice would have some big shoes to fill… shoes, jackets pants and Triple X underwear.

Al Franken has won the Minnesota Senate by 225 votes after 6,000 rejected absentee ballots were not allowed to be considered. Franken applauded the decision not to count the absentee votes–because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough…but he’s not ahead by enough to win if they count the absentee ballots.

Getting elected to the Senate may prove to be a real money maker for Al Franken. Not only would he collect a congressional salary—who better to play Senator Al Franken on “Saturday Night Live” than Al Franken?

Even though Al Franken has been declared the winner of the Minnesota election, because of legal challenges, it’s possible he still won’t be certified as a senator. This is nothing new for Al. A lot of comics never certified him as a real professional comedian.

Sources in the Bush administration are criticizing Barack Obama’s choice for CIA chief because they say he has no experience in intelligence. Of course, the man the CIA building is named after, George Bush’s dad, George Herbert Walker Bush, had no intelligence experience when HE became CIA chief. Today Bush Sr. said he’d like his son Jeb to become president…and he wants him to start Thursday.

Republicans are wary of the total cost of Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. GOP Congressional leader John Boehner said he’s a little concerned “at the overall size of the package.” To which Elton John said, “I agree partially. I love big packages but not in overalls.”

The faculty at the prestigious Sidwell and Friends School in Washington said they’re absolutely thrilled to have Malia and Sasha Obama on their campus… Especially the girl’s volleyball coach.

The Israeli Army says they’ve been training for two years for a possible ground invasion of Gaza neighborhoods by practicing fighting in houses, hand-to-hand. They even hired Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown as expert consultants.

In the wake of the “scandal” involving Bill Richardson, all of Barack Obama’s nominees are under scrutiny. Republicans say they won’t confirm Interior Secretary nominee Ken Salazar until he reveals what he’s hiding under his cowboy hat.

Democrats are hoping what Ken Salazar is hiding under his cowboy hat isn’t the same thing Congressman William Jefferson was hiding in his refrigerator.

The Obama trillion dollar economic stimulus package focuses on infrastructure. Stuff like filling up holes. For instance, the ones in Caroline Kennedy’s resume…

WHAT HIS HAIR SAYS ABOUT HIM

(Cosmopolitan) A guy’s do can tell you more than whether male pattern baldness runs in his family. It can give you real insight into who he is:

·         Short and tidy — He’s a little fussy or he may be a little punk rock. Regardless, he’s a leader.

·         Long — If it’s flawlessly styled and well maintained, he may think he’s prettier than you.

·         Textured and messy — He wants to look good, but the lack of perfect part means he can chill out too.

DRIVING STYLE REVEALS YOUR PERSONALITY

Whether you have endless patience behind the wheel or often fly into a blind rage at other motorists, the way you drive is a window into your true personality and it began forming in childhood, years before you took the wheel. “We call the back seat of the car ‘road rage nursery,’” says Dr. Leon James, a psychologist at the University of Hawaii. See what your driving style reveals about you:

·         You’d rather go under than over the speed limit, prefer side roads and never begin a trip without a planned route. – You’re ambitious, practical and hardworking. The time and thought you take to plan a road trip reflects the dedication to detail you bring to work projects. You’re also generous with your time and talents when it comes to family and friends, putting in that extra effort to make others happy.

·         You prefer public transportation or carpools to driving alone, and you plan errands carefully to save gas. – You’re a dreamer who’d rather not be behind the wheel so you can relax and let your mind wander while you’re on the way to your destination. When you must drive, you show your public spirit by carefully combining all your errands in one trip to save gas and help the environment.

·         You can drive in the tightest traffic jams without a care, love the fast lane and avoid accidents with superior reflexes. – You drive just like you think fast. You’re also hyper-observant, reacting to things that most others don’t even notice. That’s why you can merge, change lanes and spot trouble way ahead of the rest of the pack. You find creative ways to solve problems while others are still idling.

·         Your driving record is A+ because you obey all traffic rules and always forgive the stupid mistakes of other motorists. – You’re a sweet natured person who glides through life the way you glide through traffic. You see driving as a team effort, going with the flow to achieve the same goal. You also believe in giving everyone the respect they deserve, and you’re warm generosity attracts scads of loyal friends.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

01.06.09

 SHOW PREP JANUARY 6, 2009

 

HOLLYWOOD 411 . . .

 

Rebecca Romijn and husband Jerry O’Connell have welcomed twin girls, Howard Stern announced on his Sirius radio show Monday morning. In July, Usmagazine.com first broke the news that the two (who wed in 2007) were expecting. A month later, O’Connell, 34, joked that he was already feeling protective of his unborn daughters. “Just the fact that they’re girls, you know?” he told Us. “I don’t want them to date. They’re only allowed to date men who run countries. They’re only allowed to date men who are heir to the throne or are currently running a nation.” In November, Romijn, 36, told Page Six magazine she was ready to give birth. (She had to skip pal Stern’s October wedding because she was put on bed rest.) “I can’t move anymore… I’m a beached whale!” she said. “I have not been without a bra this entire pregnancy. I refuse. I’m not taking any chances. I’m determined to keep the puppies up!” She also revealed that the twins were conceived without the help of in vitro fertilization or the fertility drug Clomid.  “A year ago, we tried Clomid for a couple of months unsuccessfully,” Romijn said. “But by the second month, I was like, ‘Ahhh! I hate this!’ I think when you start messing with your own hormones, it’s crazy-making.” Having babies is a dream, she added.  “I was never a girl who dreamed about what her wedding day would be like, but I’ve always dreamed about decorating my baby’s nursery.” And Jerry will make a “fantastic dad,” she said. “He’s a pragmatic, smart, savvy, enthusiastic person. He really lives his life with tremendous integrity, and he’s a healthy person in every single way.” Romijn and O’Connell “are going to be the most fun, zany parents in California,” Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams told Us in September. “The kids are going to be gorgeous.” And she’s smart, she’s talented, she’s funny, and she’s well grounded,” Williams added. “That’s what you need to be to be a great mom and raise great kids.” (US Weekly) Their rep has released the following statement: “Rebecca Romijn gave birth on December 28th to two healthy daughters, Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip. Mother, Father and both girls are all home and doing well.” And as Jerry joked about in an interview last year, it seems Rebecca did name one of the girls Dolly after her love of Dolly Parton. (Perez Hilton)

 

False alarm! Again! Yet another visit to the hospital and still no baby! A very pregnant Jennifer Garner was accompanied by hubby Ben Affleck to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills on Sunday. She’s probably just going in for last-minute checkups.  As the date grows closer, though, we’d suggest she stay at a hotel or a friend’s house. Having all those paparazzi follow you when you’re actually in labor would be super annoying!!! (Perez Hilton)

 

One of Top Chef‘s most spirited contestants, Nikki Cascone, got engaged to her long time boyfriend and partner, Brad Grossman, over the holidays. “I’m beyond happy,” Cascone, 36, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “My only issue is that I can’t cook with my engagement ring on!” Grossman, 31, proposed while Cascone was, appropriately, cooking him dinner. “I tied the ring around one of the dogs’ necks and tried to get him to run over to Nikki … but that wasn’t happening … so in the end I told Nikki to go see the dog,” he says. The couple co-owns 24 Prince, a popular restaurant in SoHo.  Top Chef fans remember Cascone for her rustic, Italian-inspired cooking and big-sister-like relationships. She plans on having an entirely “green and sustainable” wedding in spring 2010 with more than 200 guests.  “Nikki started planning two seconds after I proposed,” Grossman says with a smile. (People)

 

Jennifer Love Hewitt and her fiancé Ross McCall have called it quits, PEOPLE has learned. “They broke up over the holidays and have ended their engagement,” says a source close to the couple. “They’re both really sad about this. Even their friends are surprised; they seemed really happy. Everyone just wants the best for both of them.” Reps for both Hewitt and McCall had no immediate comment.  The Ghost Whisperer star, 29, got engaged to the Scottish actor, 32, in November 2007 after dating for two years. While the couple hadn’t announced a date, in October Hewitt told PEOPLE her svelte new look was prompted not by those infamous 2007 bikini pictures – and the ensuing controversy over body image after she took to her blog to defend herself – but by her upcoming nuptials. “I’m getting ready to turn 30 and get married and all those things,” Hewitt said. “This year was my year to try to glow from within and feel better.” McCall, who costarred in the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and stars in the USA drama Crash, appeared in one episode of Hewitt’s hit show Ghost Whisperer, in 2006. (People)

 

Harlow Winter Kate Madden won’t be a year old until Jan. 11, but her uncle, Benji Madden, already has a warning for potential suitors. “I’m going to be keeping a close eye on her,” Madden, 29, tells PEOPLE of the daughter of twin brother Joel Madden and his girlfriend Nicole Richie, 27. “I’ll leave the shotgun right by the door.” Says Madden, who rang in the new year in Las Vegas at Hard Rock Hotel’s Body English, “We’re lucky being twins, because Joel can be the good guy and I’ll be the bad guy.” The Good Charlotte guitarist is thrilled with the way Harlow’s parents have been raising her so far. “When they had her, their instincts just kind of came out, and it’s amazing to see,” he says. What makes it work? Harlow comes first, says Madden. “They just really put their child above everything.” Adds Madden: “Joel is such a great dad and Nicole is the best mom I’ve ever seen. Joel is all about showing up. His main concern in life is protecting and caring for his family.” (People)

 

Even if celebrity astrologists aren’t your thing, Susan Miller in 2004 correctly called Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s January 2005 split; in our book that’s cause enough to take note when she puts herself out there with more predictions. Among the predictions Miller just shared with AOL: The rumored split between Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony will happen in 2009. Miller says it’s Anthony who is the unhappy, but Lopez might be forced to make a decision soon. “A lunar eclipse in Leo on February 9 will push Lopez to make a decision about her future … so something will be finalized around that date — very possibly a division of property.” And we might have to retire “sad, lonely” as a prefix to Jennifer Aniston’s name. Miller says beginning Jan. 5, Aniston will begin a “decade-long cycle that will bring enormous happiness in just about every part of life — from her career and finances to her home life and health. Perhaps most importantly, 2009 is Aniston’s best year to fall head over heels in love. She should use her time carefully, for this is once-in-a-lifetime romantic opportunity.” (Scoop)

 

Who knew it got that cold there??? That’s A LOT of snow! Julia Roberts has made her personal life – specifically her kids and family – her priority these last few years. Acting has gone on the back burner. To that extent, the Pretty Woman lives in New Mexico most of the time and this past weekend she was spotted in Taos with all her kids. Though daddy Danny Moder was noticeably absent, Roberts was joined by a family friend and her son as they took twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and youngest son Henry to the local playground before a trip to the pizzeria.  The whole family seemed happy to frolic on the snow-covered ground and Phinnaeus and Hazel took turns singing songs as they made their way back to the car with the nanny.  How normal….and sweet. (Perez Hilton)

 

After giving us her personal holiday recipes, Gwyneth Paltrow shares her post-holiday diet secret in her latest GOOP newsletter. Gwyneth admits, “I need to lose a few pounds of holiday excess. Anyone else? I like to do fasts and detoxes a couple of times during the year, the most hardcore one being the Master Cleanse I did last spring. It was not what you would characterize as pretty. Or easy.” Working with her doctor, a detox diet specialist, Gwyneth has created a seven-day elimination diet that helps detox the body. “As I do not wish to subsist on lemon water in the middle of winter, I asked my doctor, a detox diet specialist, for the guidelines he uses to achieve a good detox that is not as hallucinogenic (in a bad way) as the Master Cleanse,” says Gwyneth. “What it came down to was this: you can detox easily and effectively while you continue to eat as long as you are cutting out the foods and other substances that interfere with the detoxification process.” While cutting out dairy, grains with gluten, meat, shellfish, anything processed (including all soy products), fatty nuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), condiments, sugar and obviously no alcohol, caffeine or soda, Gwyneth’s diet consist of salads, fruit smoothies, chicken, soups and lots of water. Click here to read the full scoop on Goop.com. (People)

 

After a couple of failed marriages under her belt, Carmen Electra feels comfortable dishing out a smart suggestion. “My advice to anyone is to not get married in Vegas,” she tells PEOPLE. “Do not get married at the drive-thru in Vegas, especially. Take your time – enjoy it!” Electra, 36, adds: “It’s important to think out marriage in general because it’s a huge commitment. Besides that, I hate to say it, but it’s a lot of paperwork and a lot of emotions. It can be difficult.” Electra knows all about the quickie Vegas wedding – she married former NBA All-Star Dennis Rodman in 1998 and filed for an annulment just nine days later.  Now Electra, who also was once hitched to rocker Dave Navarro, is engaged to former Korn guitarist Rob Patterson, 38. But they have no plans to marry anytime soon. In fact, they’ve done no wedding planning whatsoever. “There’s no pressure,” says Electra, who hosted a New Year’s Eve party at Tao Las Vegas. “I’ve learned that you have to be yourself and go at your own pace.” (People)

 

Jennifer Aniston showed off her bikini bod during her New Year’s getaway to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with beau John Mayer. The actress, who has since returned home, was spotted strutting around a villa in a skimpy swimsuit with a shirtless Mayer over the weekend.  Despite turning 40 next month, Aniston told January’s GQ that she had no problem showing some skin. “I feel more comfortable today than I ever did in my twenties or early thirties,” she said. “I am more at peace in my mind and with my body.” Meanwhile, Aniston’s doggy dramedy Marley & Me just topped the box office for a second weekend in a row, earning $24 million. Her ex Brad Pitt‘s drama, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, landed in third place with $18.4 million. (US Weekly)

 

A fuller-figured Amy Winehouse smoked her lunch and clung to some unidentified man while in St. Lucia this weekend. The married 25-year-old looks healthy … for her. (TMZ)

 

Pop star Britney Spears has been accused of fuelling rumors she has been having a fling with a Bollywood choreographer. Britney Spears and her team have been accused of whipping up rumors that she has been having a relationship with Indian choreographer Sandip Soparrkar. Gossips claim Britney and Sandip had a three-day romantic break in Jodhpur after the Bollywood expert choreographed the singer’s Womanizer video. However his girlfriend of four years, model Jesse Randhawa, claims Britney and her team are behind the rumors. “Britney did come over to India and she and Sandip went away for a few days, but it was purely professional. They were busy rehearsing,” she told the Mirror. “I really do wish she’d just leave us alone now. It was Britney and her management who keep hassling Sandip to get his pictures taken with her and her dad Jamie. And one of her team even borrowed Sandip’s laptop and sent out emails from Sandip’s address saying that he was on a romantic break with her.” (Handbag)

 

Paris Hilton has blasted the press for fabricating stories about her life, insisting 95 per cent of such articles are “BS”. The Simple Life star regularly reads untruths about herself in newspapers and magazines – and she confesses she took particular offence to reports last year alleging that she harassed two British royals in a London nightclub. She tells Britain’s Glamour magazine, “Ninety-five per cent is Bs (bulls**t). I read a story about myself dancing sexily in front of Prince William and Harry, when actually I was just sitting there and they came up to me and said, ‘Hey, nice to meet you.’” And Hilton strongly refutes claims at the time that she gave the young princes – who both have girlfriends – her phone number. She adds, “You see, I didn’t. They were really friendly and down to earth, and I thought Harry’s girlfriend, Chelsy, was beautiful and really sweet.”  (Teen Hollywood)

 

Director Guy Ritchie had a “lonely” New Year’s Eve. Guy Ritchie’s friends are concerned about the recently divorced director after he spent New Year’s Eve alone “brooding” sources have told The People. “Guy was on a real downer over New Year and just wanted to be alone to think. He watched TV, had a few beers and then had an early night,” the insider claimed. “He and Madonna called a truce after Christmas and spent time together with the kids. He was surprised at how friendly and natural it felt. I suppose it got him wondering whether they could have handled things differently. Guy was on a real downer over New Year and just wanted to be alone to think. He watched TV, had a few beers and then had an early night.” (Handbag)

 

Kelly Osbourne has vowed never to wed in Las Vegas – because she has more “class” than fellow rock offspring Peaches Geldof. Sir Bob Geldof’s wildchild daughter married rocker Max Drummey in the U.S. gambling mecca in September following a whirlwind romance. And it was rumored Osbourne would follow suit and marry her model fiancé Luke Worrell in a similar Sin City union. But Osbourne has slammed the reports – insisting she would never even consider exchanging vows in Las Vegas. She says, “I wouldn’t get married in Vegas – I have a touch of class, thank you.  “I feel sorry for Peaches – I feel like it was such an attention thing.” (Teen Hollywood)

 

 

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

 

John Travolta says he and his wife, Kelly Preston, are “heartbroken” over the death of their chronically ill 16-year-old son, who collapsed at the family’s vacation home on Grand Bahamas. Police Superintendent Basil Rahming has said a caretaker found Jett Travolta unconscious in a bathroom late Friday morning and he was later pronounced dead at a Freeport hospital. The youth was last seen entering the bathroom on Thursday, according to Rahming’s police statement. “We are heartbroken that our time with him was so brief. We will cherish the time we had with him for the rest of our lives,” Travolta and Preston said Sunday in their first public statement since Jett’s death. “Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered,” said a statement posted Sunday on Travolta’s Web site. “We have received many messages of condolence from around the world and we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It has meant so much to us. It is a beautiful reminder of the inherent goodness in the human spirit that gives us hope for a brighter future.” Preston and Travolta have said that Jett became very sick when he was 2 years old and was diagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome, an illness that leads to inflamed blood vessels in young children. Preston blamed household cleaners and fertilizers, and said that a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine. Others said Jett was prone to seizures. Michael McDermott, an attorney for the actor, said Sunday that although Jett was last seen Thursday and found the following day, he doesn’t believe that the teen was in the bathroom for a substantial amount of time. “The police left the impression that the boy was unsupervised. No. There were two nannies with him for the entire evening,” McDermott told The Associated Press. “They made it seem like he was sent to the condo and nobody checked in on him until the next morning.” “(Jett) was spectacularly supervised,” said McDermott, who said he has not had the chance to talk to the two nannies himself. McDermott said he had no knowledge of Jett’s medical history but “understood he had a history of seizures.” It is unclear whether Jett was taking medication for that. The Bahamas’ health minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis, has said that a second, U.S.-certified pathologist will fly in at dawn Monday to assist with the teenager’s autopsy. “I have spoken to (Travolta) and informed him that the government is doing everything it can,” Minnis said Sunday, adding he could not disclose further specifics about the autopsy. About a dozen security guards and Bahamian police officers patrolled Sunday around the luxury Old Bahama Bay resort community where Travolta and Preston remained inside their home. The white-sand beach in front of the suites was closed. The couple also have an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu. Travolta, 54, is trying to finish funeral arrangements and hopes to fly his son’s body to Florida by midweek, McDermott said. Travolta and Preston, 46, have a house in Ocala, Florida. The Church of Scientology, established in 1945 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, has attracted numerous celebrity followers, and among its more famed members is Travolta, who has long been one of Hollywood’s biggest names. (Daily Record)

 

The plummeting real-estate market hasn’t been a slam-dunk for Shaquille O’Neal. The Phoenix Suns center has just relisted his Star Island estate in Miami Beach for $25 million – $10 million less than its all-time high asking price back in November 2007, when a prospective buyer backed out of a deal for it. O’Neal bought the spread for $18.8 million in 2004, when South Florida was riding a boom. (Page Six)

 

Jeremy “The Pivert” Piven has struck again. The sex-mad hypochondriac, who’s in Thailand recovering from “mercury poisoning” after eating too much sushi, apparently can’t get enough of Mansion NYC employees, either. Not only did he hook up with waitress Ashley Chontos, he’s also been seeing hostess Brandi Harper. Harper, an African-American stunner who is studying cosmetology, met Piven backstage through friends after seeing him in “Speed-the-Plow.” A source said, “They went out several times, and she saw him the day before he became sick and had to leave the play. He was fine with her, though.” Piven has since been texting and calling Harper several times a day. “She was surprised when she found out he’d been seeing Ashley – but she didn’t really care,” the friend said. Harper told us, “I know Jeremy, and he is a gentleman.” (Page Six)

 

The Office star Ricky Gervais has defended his right to make fun of overweight people. Ricky Gervais has spoken out about his jokes about the overweight. The comedian faced widespread criticism recently over jokes in his new comedy audiobook where he calls people who get gastric bypass surgery “lazy fat pigs.” However Ricky has said despite the controversy he’ll continue poking fun. “I heard someone on the radio say they were tired of the prejudice aimed at the overweight. They said something like ‘you’re not allowed to make fun of gay people, so why are you allowed to make fun of fat people? It’s the same thing,’” He wrote on his official blog. “It’s not the same thing though, is it? Gay people are born that way. They didn’t work at becoming gay. Fat people became fat because they would rather be that way than stop eating so much. When a doctor tells me that that’s how you become gay, I’ll stop making jokes about fat people.” (Handbag)

 

There’s no love lost between Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees’ hometown rivals. While watching the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Miami Heat at Miami’s American Airlines Arena recently, he was introduced to June Azoulay, the wife of Madison Square Garden’s official photographer, George Kalinsky. Rodriguez hugged her, but not before tapping her cap with his hand and saying, “It’s a pleasure meeting you, despite the fact that you’re wearing a Mets hat.” A red-faced June said it was a pleasure, too. (Page Six)

 

Sean Avery is a free agent in more ways than one. The former New York Ranger showed up at Bungalow 8 New Year’s Eve on the arm of – his brother. A spy at the club said that Avery and his girlfriend of several months, Kelly Klein, have split – “They’re no longer together.” Avery was dumped by the Dallas Stars last month after he made a nasty comment about his ex, Elisha Cuthbert. He tried to make up for lost time at Bungalow 8, flirting with women and hanging with former teammates Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Nigel Dawes and Marcus Nasland. (Page Six)

 

Tom Cruise has credited Scientology with helping him to overcome his dyslexia, claiming he was illiterate until he started following the teachings of the religions founder L. Ron Hubbard. “I asked myself if I was normal or an idiot. I would try to concentrate but I felt anxiety, frustration, and boredom. When I graduated from high school in 1980 I was functionally illiterate,” the Hollywood actor said. But after he took on science fiction writer Hubbard’s methods of learning and embraced Scientology, he overcame his learning difficulties. “Nobody gave me a solution and I wanted to know why the system had failed. Finally, as an adult I learned to read perfectly through the method of L. Ron Hubbard,” Cruise said. (British Glamour)

 

The Obama family has arrived in Washington, and while most of the news of the day is centered around Sasha and Malia’s first day of school, let’s not forget about another important item on the family to-do list: choose a puppy. Or puppies, as the case may be. An American Kennel Club source says that there’s a good chance that the first family could ultimately decide to get two dogs at once. “A dog from a shelter is almost a given, but there’s the problem of shedding and Malia’s allergies. Getting a second dog at the same time, one that is purebred and has the least chance of shedding, hasn’t been ruled out,” says the AKC source. “It’s a good solution that will make everyone happy, most of all, Malia.” (Scoop)

 

She’s not engaged to Tony Romo (yet), but Jessica Simpson is officially a part of the Dallas Cowboys family. She appears in the 2008 Cowboys Family Cookbook, presented by “the wives of the Dallas Cowboys” ($25, www.happyhillfarm.org). On page 127, Simpson (who is not photographed) and Romo share their favorite family recipes for a “banana breakfast fruit smoothies” and “no-fat broccoli and cherry tomatoes” (scroll down to read). The two also show off their funny sides in the book’s biographical section, with Simpson listing her occupation as “hairdresser” and Romo stating that he’s a “fence builder.” Romo — who lists “U2, Coldplay and AC/DC” as among the artists on his iPod (sorry, Jess!) — also reveals that his favorite good is “chicken enchiladas.” His life philosophy? “Every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around!” (US Weekly)
Banana Breakfast Fruit Smoothie

1 banana, peeled, cut into chunks, and frozen
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup ice
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend, until smooth.

No-Fat Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 bag Broccoli-Wokly-fresh broccoli florets (about 4 cups)

12 ounces (1 pint) cherry tomatoes, stems removed

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/8 teaspoon each salt and coarsely-ground black pepper

Wash broccoli and tomatoes under running water. Cut broccoli into 3/4-inch
pieces. Bring broth to a boil, in a 12-inch skillet, over high heat. Add
broccoli, salt, and pepper; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push
broccoli to edges of skillet, and add tomatoes to center.

 

Funeral services were held for Majel Barrett Roddenberry, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s widow who played Nurse Christine Chapel in the original sci-fi TV series. Friends, family and Trekkies were among more than 250 people who attended the funeral Sunday at a Los Angeles cemetery. Roddenberry died of leukemia at her Bel-Air home Dec. 18. She was 76. Among the mourners were “Star Trek” stars Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig. Three people wore Star Fleet Academy formal tunics, and many others sported “Star Trek” rings, pins or medallions. Roddenberry was involved in the “Star Trek” universe for more than four decades. She played the dark-haired Number One in the original pilot, but metamorphosed into the blond, miniskirted Nurse Chapel in the 1966-69 TV series. She had smaller roles in all the show’s TV successors. (Daily Record)

 

 

MUSIC . . .

 

Troubled Michael Jackson is hoping to end his 24-year feud with Sir Paul McCartney. Michael Jackson is making plans to end his long-running feud with Sir Paul McCartney. The musical pair fell out in 1985 when Jacko, whose sister LaToya is currently appearing in Celebrity Big Brother, outbid the former Beatle to win the ownership of the whole Lennon-McCartney songbook and have not spoken since. “The annoying thing is I have to pay to play some of my own songs. Each time I want to sing Hey Jude I have to pay,” Paul recently told press. However, sources say Jacko is planning to make things right by leaving the rights to Macca in his will. “Michael is worried about his health so decided it was time to look at his finances,” an insider told the Mirror. “He is suffering serious back and leg pain and has for a few years. He gets spasms in his back which means he spends a lot of time in bed and a wheelchair. He weighs just over seven stone and is very frail. He’s also had a nasty bout of emphysema and there have been reports he has another lung disease. Most of his estate has been divided up between his three children. But Michael told his lawyers he was sad he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right.” Michael Jackson’s spokesman recently officially denied the star believes he is dying. (Handbag)

 

Embattled hip-hopper Damon Dash is counting on his son, Boogie, to carry on the family name. The 18-year-old protégé debuted his deejay skills at The Plumm on New Year’s Eve. After spraying revelers with champagne, Boogie told some of the partiers that he just finished an album with his new group the Heir$, titled, “Heir$ to the Throne.” He then accepted a weekly gig at the 14th Street club. Let’s just hope he learns to pay his taxes on time. (Page Six)

 

Overall music sales set record in 2008, with more than 1.5 billion units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Nielsen Co.’s annual year-end music industry report shows that combined sales of albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks increased 10.5% over 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The report covers purchases made during the 52 weeks between Dec. 31, 2007, to Dec. 28.  It was the best year yet for digital sales: Tracks posted a 27% gain to more than a billion units sold in 2008, and digital albums grew 32% to 65.8 million units, both new highs. But the 2008 numbers dragged when physical product was accounted. Combined sales of albums on CD, cassette, vinyl and digital download were down 14% over 2007, from 500.5 million units to 428.4 million. When track-equivalent albums are figured in, with 10 digital tracks counting as an album, the decrease comes to 8.5%. On a brighter note, total music purchases across all product categories topped 65 million units in the last week of 2008, making it the biggest music sales week since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. In terms of market share, Universal Music Group remained the leader, with 31.5%, a slight drop from 2007, when it held 31.9%. Sony BMG was in second place with 25.3%, followed by Warner Music Group, which increased its market share to 21.38%, and EMI, which dropped to 8.97%. Independents collectively dropped to 12.8% of the market. Lil Wayne scored the top-selling album in 2008 with “Tha Carter III” at 2.9 million copies, but it’s the lowest total for the year’s top album in SoundScan history. Other standouts included Taylor Swift, who was the top-selling solo artist across her two albums (4 million copies sold in 2008), and AC/DC, the top-selling group of 2008 (3.4 million). Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” led the digital tracks list with 3.4 million paid downloads, while Rihanna was the top digital track seller with 9.9 million units. The top master ringtone, according to Nielsen RingScan, was Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop.” (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Radiohead has drafted legendary German electronica act Kraftwerk to support its spring tour of Latin America, which begins March 15-16 in Mexico City. Kraftwerk will also play headlining shows April 25-26 in Wolfsburg, Germany. However, the group’s lineup appears to be in flux. Founding member Florian Schneider, who did not appear onstage with Kraftwerk during its 2008 world tour, has left the group, according to Kraftwerk’s official fan Web site. Lone remaining original member Ralf Hutter told the New Zealand Herald in September that Schneider has spent the last few years “working on other projects; technical things.”  Last year, Schneider was replaced onstage by Stefan Pfaffe. The group also includes Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz. Here are Kraftwerk’s tour dates:
March 15-16: Mexico City (Foro Sol)
March 20: Rio de Janeiro (Praca da Apoteose)
March 22: Sao Paulo, Brazil (Chacara Do Jockey)
March 24: Buenos Aires, (Club Ciduad)
March 26-27: Santiago, Chile (San Carlos De Apoquindo)
April 25-26: Wolfsburg, Germany (Altes Heizkraftwerk) (Billboard)

 

As Alexandra Burke’s “Hallelujah” (Syco Music/Sony BMG) started a third week as the U.K.’s No. 1 single yesterday (Jan. 4) and Take That’s “The Circus” (Polydor) a fifth atop the album chart, top newcomer status went to much-feted electronica star Lady GaGa. Her U.S. hit “Just Dance” (Polydor) featuring Colby O’Donis, took its U.K. bow at No. 3. That was the only prominent new entry in a static top 40 that saw Burke’s Syco label mate Leona Lewis holding fast at No. 2 with “Run” and Beyoncé “If I Were A Boy” (Columbia) down a place at No. 4. Take That’s huge album success held off Kings Of Leon’s “Only by the Night” (Hand Me Down/Sony BMG), which climbed 3-2, while Duffy’s “Rockferry” (A&M/Universal) moved back 6-3. “The Sound of Girls Aloud — The Greatest Hits” (Fascination/Polydor/Universal), a U.K. No. 1 in November 2006, vaulted 45-6 thanks to holiday commerce and label mate Elbow’s “The Seldom Seen Kid” rebounded 47-11. Also back in the top 20 were MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular” (Columbia), up 48-13, and Michael Jackson’s “King of Pop” (Epic), up 54-20. Billboard’s final weekly pan-European sales charts of 2008 showed a sixth aggregate week atop European Top 100 Albums for AC/DC’s “Black Ice” (Columbia), while Beyoncé “If I Were a Boy” began a third non-consecutive week at No. 1 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles. (Billboard)

 

Robert Ward, a Georgia blues musician who played with some of Motown’s biggest artists, died Dec. 25. He was 70. His wife, Roberta, told the Telegraph of Macon that her husband died at his home in Dry Branch in central Georgia. She said her husband had suffered a stroke in 2001 and never fully recovered. Ward, a Georgia native, moved to Ohio and founded the Ohio Untouchables, which later became the Ohio Players. However, Ward left the group well before its biggest successes in the mid-1970s, when it scored No. 1 hits with “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster.” In the 1970s, he moved to Detroit where he performed with the Temptations, Wilson Pickett and other Motown artists. The vocalist and guitarist recorded multiple albums over his career, starting in 1991 with “Fear No Evil.” His last album, “New Role Soul,” was released in 2000. (Billboard)

 

 

MOVIE . . .

 

Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and their little dog have not lost their box office bite. The family tale “Marley & Me,” starring Aniston and Wilson as owners of an adorably mischievous pooch, took in $24.1 million to finish as the No. 1 movie for a second-straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The 20th Century Fox flick raised its total to $106.5 million since opening Christmas day. With no new wide releases, the weekend shaped up largely like the previous one, with Disney’s Adam Sandler comedy “Bedtime Stories” in second place with $20.3 million. Rounding out the top five again were Paramount’s Brad Pitt romantic drama “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” with $18.4 million, MGM’s Tom Cruise World War II saga “Valkyrie” with $14 million and the Warner Bros. Jim Carrey comedy “Yes Man” with $13.9 million. In a season loaded with wartime stories, two more Nazi-themed films opened in limited release. Paramount Vantage’s “Defiance” debuted with $121,000 in two theaters for a whopping average of $60,500 a cinema. By comparison, “Marley & Me” averaged $6,862 in 3,505 theaters. “Defiance” stars Daniel Craig in the story of Jewish brothers who form a band of freedom fighters against the Nazis in Eastern Europe. ThinkFilm’s “Good” opened with $9,300 in two theaters, averaging $4,650. The film casts Viggo Mortensen as an upright German academic gradually seduced into the Nazi fold as World War II approaches. Hollywood finished 2008 with solid returns. Domestic movie revenues totaled $9.63 billion for the year, just shy of the $9.68 billion record set in 2007, according to box-office tracker Media By Numbers. Factoring in 2008′s higher admission prices, the number of tickets sold fell to 1.35 billion, down 4.3 percent from the year before. That was a solid result given hard economic times, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. “The movie industry is totally holding its own in the face of the recession, increased competition from other entertainment options and emerging technologies,” Dergarabedian said. The new year was off to a good start, with the top 12 movies taking in $130.1 million, up 7.4 percent from the same weekend in 2008. “Marley & Me” remained the pet picture for audiences looking to relax and unwind over the holidays, said 20th Century Fox distribution executive Bert Livingston.

“A picture doesn’t stay No. 1 for two weeks without getting great word of mouth,” Livingston said. “It’s a feel-good movie. That’s what people want to see right now.” Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday. (Daily Record)

1. “Marley & Me,” $24.1 million.

2. “Bedtime Stories,” $20.3 million.

3. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” $18.4 million.

4. “Valkyrie,” $14 million.

5. “Yes Man,” $13.9 million.

6. “Seven Pounds,” $10 million.

7. “The Tale of Despereaux,” $7 million.

8. “Doubt,” $5 million.

9. “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” $4.9 million.

10. “Slumdog Millionaire,” $4.8 million.

 

His Harry Potter character, Sirius Black, may not have lived to see the franchise’s sixth installment, but Gary Oldman has made it down the aisle a fourth time. The actor, 50, wed singer Alexandra Edenborough, 31, in Santa Barbara last week, his agent confirmed to the Daily Mail. The new Mrs. Oldman scored a hit single in Asia several years ago as Alex E. Oldman’s previous marriage to model Donya Fiorentino dissolved in April 2001. Actresses Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman were his first and second wives, respectively. The Sid & Nancy star has three sons, one with Manville and two with Fiorentino. (Eonline)

 

It was a photo finish, but 2008 hit the wire in a furious gallop to post a 12-month domestic box-office almost 2% higher than the year-earlier tally, with an unprecedented $9.78 billion in estimated grosses.  Avid holiday movie going helped the industry leg it into the record books in the home stretch, though substantial ticket-price boosts helped pad the annual haul. Industry estimates put average U.S. ticket prices at about $7.20, or almost 4.7% higher than in 2007. About 1.36 billion tickets were sold in the U.S. and Canada in 2008. That compares with a total 1.40 billion admissions in the previous year. “There were a lot of predictions this would be a really, really hard year for movie theaters, but this year in big ways and small ways turned out to be a really strong year,” said Patrick Corcoran, media and research director for the National Association of Theatre Owners. “We had ‘Dark Knight’ in the summer, which was huge, and films grossing under $100 million apiece totaled $500 million more than the same category of films in the summer of 2007.” Bowing in July, Warner Bros.’ Batman sequel “Knight” rang up a phenomenal $531 million to become the No. 2 theatrical release ever, after 1997′s “Titanic.”  The Burbank studio thus easily copped distributor bragging rights with an industry-record $1.79 billion year, representing an 18.3% market share. Warners’ other big releases including two successful adaptations of TV shows — “Sex and the City,” produced by corporate kin New Line Cinema ($153 million), and “Get Smart” ($130 million). “The year was sensational,” Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said.  Warners had 12 weeks of films ranking at No. 1, more than any other studio. Its record box-office also means Warners has rung up more than $1 billion in an unprecedented eight consecutive years.  The studio’s theatrical performance was enhanced by the midyear takeover of New Line distribution. Yet Warners would have enjoyed an even heftier box-office haul if it hadn’t postponed the release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” from November to July. Paramount, which took top domestic honors in ’07, finished in second place on the year with $1.60 billion and a 16.4% share. The Melrose studio had the second-biggest domestic grosser with the Marvel Studios-produced “Iron Man,” which registered $318.3 million domestically. In addition to the iron-clad success of that Robert Downey Jr. starrer, Paramount also saw outsized tallies from Steven Spielberg’s global phenomenon of a sequel — “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” a $317 million domestic grosser. “The success of ‘Benjamin Button’ at the end of the year just capped off a fabulous year,” Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blancett, has registered $79 million in its first 11 days of release. Sony was the year’s No. 3 finisher with $1.28 billion and a 13.1% share, fielding a slate topped by the Will Smith starrer “Hancock” at $228 million. “Not only did we have a terrific year, but almost every film we released this year was profitable,” Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said. “That’s a distributor’s dream.” Data service Nielsen EDI will release its official annual statistics today, after weekend receipts are finalized. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Tsui Hark will direct Andy Lau in the period martial arts suspense thriller “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” in Hong Kong and China beginning in May, production company Huayi Brothers said. With a $13 million budget, a script by Chen Kuofu and production by Chen, Tsui’s wife and partner Nansun Shi and former Columbia and Emperor executive Peggy Lee, Tsui and Huayi will bring to life an imagined case solved by a real Tang Dynasty detective. When the mysterious deaths of a series of loyal subjects threaten to delay the 690 A.D. inauguration of Empress Wu, China’s only female leader, she calls the infamous Detective Dee (Lau) back from an exile into which she cast him eight years earlier. “They had such an interesting relationship of hatred, love and passion,” said Tsui, who is focused on finding the perfect empress to play opposite Lau (“Infernal Affairs”). “She was the sole one, the first and last empress in China, who claimed to be very iron-fisted, using all these cruel methods in handling her politics. At the same time she was very smart, using all the intelligent people she selected for her cabinet.” Dee accepts the challenge and partners with gung-ho Commander Bei and the Ghost Doctor, a master of disguise, to solve the crimes. Tsui has not yet chosen actors to play the rest of the historical figures who will follow him on his shoot from Hong Kong and Beijing to Hangzhou and Henan. After years of planning and scheduling delays around the Beijing Olympics, Huayi got a shooting permit from the Film Bureau in October. The company hopes to finish the film in time for a summer 2010 release in Asia. Felice Bee, head of international sales, said Huayi and Tsui chose to call Lau’s character a detective, rather than a judge — a title closer to the historical record — to avoid confusion with a popular series of Judge Dee books based on Tang Dynasty court sleuth Di Renjie by Dutch diplomat and novelist Robert van Gulik. “We want this movie to be fun, not to give people too much of a history lesson,” Bee said. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Sylvester Stallone may have his man. Forest Whitaker is negotiating to join the cast of the action film “The Expendables,” Stallone’s latest writing and directing effort. Whitaker would play the CIA liaison for a group of mercenaries (played by Stallone, Jet Li, Randy Couture and Jason Statham) who are clandestinely sent to South America to overthrow a dictator. Nu Image/Millennium Films is producing the film. Avi Lerner, John Thompson and Kevin King Templeton are producing along with exec producers Boaz Davidson, Trevor Short and Danny Dimbort. Stallone, who expressed his intention to woo Whitaker at the AFM in November, has been scouting locations for a February shoot. Reports about Stallone’s pursuit of “Demolition Man” co-star Sandra Bullock amount to, according to a Nu Image/Millennium spokesperson, merely wishful thinking for fans. “Expendables” is the first project in Stallone’s two-picture deal with Nu Image/Millennium. He last wrote and directed “Rambo,” which mowed down $155 million in worldwide grosses. The WMA-repped Whitaker won an Oscar for “The Last King of Scotland” and next appears in “Hurricane Season” and “Repossession Mambo.” (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Gus Van Sant is prepping audiences to be underwhelmed with his work under the new Obama administration. The “Milk” director told the Times of London that a friendly leader doesn’t make for much in the way of edgy fare. “Art tends to get quite good when the regime is oppressive. The films I’ve made under friendlier leaders, like Clinton, have become less challenging. With Bush in the White House, my films got darker and more extreme,” Van Sant said. “(Obama’s election) suggests I’ll get more conventional.” That doesn’t explain “Psycho,” which he directed in 1998, but “Good Will Hunting” and “Finding Forrester” definitely qualify as some of his tamer work, both of which were filmed during the Clinton administration. Up next: an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” (Scoop)

 

 

TV . . .

 

Netflix Inc. has come up with another way to get movies to people without sending DVDs in the mail. In a partnership announced Monday, LG Electronics will start selling high-definition TV sets that stream Netflix videos directly from the Internet, without an additional device. The deal marks the first time Netflix’s streaming service will be embedded in a television. Netflix, still best known for its online DVD rental service, offers about 12,000 movies and TV shows for instant streaming over the Internet, for no additional cost to subscribers who pay at least $9 per month for a DVD rental plan. Those streamed movies can be watched on a computer, or sent to a TV through an increasing number of devices, including a $100 unit made by Silicon Valley startup Roku Inc. Other partnerships enable Netflix to pump its video library to TVs through Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 video game consoles or recorders made by TiVo Inc. LG and Samsung Electronics Co. also sell Blu-ray DVD players compatible with the streaming service. Also on Monday, Amazon.com Inc. said it is making its video streaming service available on the Roku player. The service offers about 40,000 movies and TV shows, including titles not currently available through Netflix streaming on Roku, such as “Pineapple Express.” Piping movies directly to TV sets is the natural evolution of the video streaming service, said Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix. “The TV symbolizes the ultimate destination,” he said. That idea – shared by Sony Corp., which already streams feature films and TV shows directly to its Bravia televisions – is still in its early stages. Netflix’s streaming service taps a library of 12,000 titles, while the company’s DVD menu numbers more than 100,000 titles. Hastings expects that gap will “definitely narrow” over time, but he noted that DVDs maintain an advantage over streaming, which is that “they are very profitable” for film studios. Tim Alessi, director of product development for LG Electronics USA, said the broadband TVs will sell for roughly $200 to $300 more than a regular HDTV set. (Daily Record)

 

Greek shipping scion and chief executive of Antenna TV Theodore Kyriakou has emerged as an unlikely potential investor in British media assets, after telling the Financial Times he has a warchest of 2 billion pounds ($2.9 billion) to invest in U.K. and European media. He would not comment directly on a possible investment in ailing commercial broadcaster ITV, but said he was “not going to rule out anything.” Shares in the broadcaster that airs “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent” have been steadily rising since mid-December despite falling markets. Kyriakou, told the Financial Times he had 600 million pounds ($874 million) in cash to invest and hoped to bulk that up with leverage to over 2 billion pounds, and would be looking for growth opportunities in the U.K. and Europe. “We are not about to rush in anywhere, but will wait to see what opportunities turn up in the next six to 18 months,” he told the Financial Times. “We are looking for businesses with growth potential and we are looking at Internet, production, pay TV, free-to-air television and magazines.” (Hollywood Reporter)

 

USA Network is moving forward with “Royal Pains,” giving a series pickup to the show starring Mark Feuerstein as an on-call doctor to the Hamptons elite. The cable channel has ordered 11 hour-long episodes in addition to the two-hour pilot for a potential summer launch. “Pains” marks the first original series produced for USA by corporate sibling Universal Cable Prods., which was formed in the spring when the cable operations of Universal Media Studios were spun off into a new production entity under Bonnie Hammer. “Pains” is eyed as a possible companion for “House,” the off-network rights to which USA has acquired. Jeff Wachtel, executive VP original programming at USA and co-head of original content at Universal Cable Prods., said he and executive VP original programming Jackie de Crinis began developing shows centered on a doctor two years ago after they acquired the “House” rights. “‘Royal Pains’ is our first doctor show,” Wachtel said. “And I say ‘doctor’ rather than ‘medical’ because ‘doctor show’ means it’s more personal and offbeat, and that fits into our brand.’ Medical show’ typically means more of a hospital ensemble.” Paulo Costanzo, Jill Flint and Reshma Shetty co star in “Pains,” which is exec produced by Rich Frank and Paul Frank and written and co-exec produced by Andrew Lenchewski. John Rogers also is co-executive producer. The pilot’s helmer, Jace Alexander, will stay on as directing producer. “Pains” is one of three cast-contingent 90-minute pilots USA green lighted last summer, along with “White Collar” and “Operating Instructions,” both of which are wrapping casting. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Meet David E. Kelley’s newest discovery — Charity Wakefield. After making Calista Flockhart a household name by tapping her as the title character in his legal dramedy “Ally McBeal,” Kelley has cast 27-year-old English actress Wakefield as the female lead in “Legally Mad,” his new quirky legal drama for NBC. Jon Seda also has been cast in the Warner Bros. TV-produced project, which centers on Brady Hamm (Wakefield), a twenty something woman who takes a job at her father’s law firm and quickly becomes the practice’s center. Brady is deeply devoted to her father and chose to work for him despite being offered several prestigious clerkships out of law school. She is easygoing, deadpan funny and disarms with charm. Seda will play the rugged, grumpy but lovable Joe Matty, who is an equal-opportunity offender. The two join previously cast Kristin Chenoweth. Oxford School of Drama graduate Wakefield got her break in 2008 as a star of the BBC’s latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.” In the mini, which aired in the U.S. on PBS, she portrayed Marianne Dashwood, a role played by Kate Winslet in the 1995 feature. “Homicide” alum Seda, whose recent series credits include “Kevin Hill” and “Close to Home,” will next be seen in HBO’s World War II mini “The Pacific.” Wakefield is with management 360 and the U.K.’s United Agents. Seda is repped by Gersh and A Management. (Hollywood Reporter)

 

Looks like the b—- is back in town! We’re talking about the return of Michelle Trachtenberg’s Georgina Sparks to Gossip Girl. According to EW.com’s Michael Ausiello, Blake Lively’s arch nemesis will be riding back to the Upper East Side on her crazy train for multiple episodes. Georgina will appear toward the end of the season, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she’s more unhinged than before. (People)

 

 

TODAY’S IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION . . . (Mike Butts Creative)

 

Q.  Nearly everyone uses THIS . . . even though we didn’t get it until 1984?

            A.  Call waiting

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE (By Joseph Addison)

 

“THREE GRAND ESSENTIALS TO HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE ARE SOMETHING TO DO, SOMETHING TO LOVE AND SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR.”

 

 

MIND BOGGLERS . . . (QuickTrivia)

 

Q.  Which TV show’s theme song is titled “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”?

            A.  Cheers

 

Q.  All but one can be seen among the carved faces on Mt. Rushmore. Which one can not?

            A.  Woodrow Wilson

 

Q.  What is a lathe is used for?

            A.  Shape wood or metal

 

Q.  In which city can a family visit the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow?

            A.  Orlando

 

Q.  What fruit flavor is in framboise liqueur?

            A.  Raspberry

 

Q.  What is the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world?

            A. Beer

 

 

GUEST INTERVIEW . . .(Confessions of a Teen Idol)

 

VH-1 reality show “Confessions of a Teen Idol” aired Sunday night at 8:00pm in all time zones. We have a “Voice Tracked Virtual Interview” for you to conduct with

actor Billy Hufsey. We’ll provide you with the questions. You ask them and Billy answers. Questions and audio answers are available for you to download at http://www.mcvaymedia.com/billyhufseyinterview

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS . . . (Peter Greenberg Worldwide)

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE THAT COVERS ADVENTURE SPORTS:

 

If you’re into death-defying activities, finding affordable travel insurance isn’t always easy. But even if you’re into tamer sports like sailing or scuba diving, it’s not always easy to find coverage.  Adventure travel activities are not confined to extreme sports, and there are insurance plans designed specifically for these tamer outdoor activities. AIG Travel Guard covers activities like sport fishing and hunting, offers roadside assistance, and will even cover equipment loss—in case that hundred pound tuna steals your rod.  Patriot America’s Sports Rider coverage can protect you for sports adventures such as snowboarding, snorkeling, surfing, and water skiing. IMG-Patriot’s Extreme Plan offers medical coverage for high-intensity sports such as bungee jumping and sky diving, but also for activities such as rock climbing, scuba diving and even white water rafting. Remember, these plans usually need to be purchased separately from traditional travel insurance, but those extra few dollars may be worth it in the long run.

 

(Peter Greenberg is North America’s preeminent expert on Travel. An Emmy Award-Winning writer and producer, Peter is the Travel Editor for NBC’S “TODAY SHOW,” MSNBC and CNBC. A Best-Selling author of the “Travel Detective” series and host of the nationally syndicated “Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show.” Visit WWW.PETERGREENBERGWORLDWIDE.COM to learn more about Peter Greenberg and his adventures.)

 

 

MIKE BUTTS CREATIVE . . .

 

ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR YOU: J

 

EVERY YEAR WE TELL OURSELVES WE ARE GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GO ON A DIET—THEN QUIT! OR START A GREAT PROJECT—THEN STOP—

SPEND MORE TIME WITH THOSE WHO REALLY MATTER—THEN BLOW THAT OFF. THAT DOESN’T WORK—WE HAVE TO PERSEVERE!

 

A GREAT STORY I HEARD GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS—A SALES MANAGER FOR A FORTUNE 500 FIRM HAD A MEETING WITH ALL HIS TOP PEOPLE—

 

HE ASKED THEM: DID LANCE ARMSTRONG QUIT?  THEY ALL SHOUTED-NO!  HE ASKED DID CHARLES LINDBERGH QUIT? EVERYONE SHOUTED NO!

 

THEN HE ASKED, DID JAMES KILROY QUIT?  THEY ALL LOOKED PUZZLED UNTIL SOMEONE ASKED, “WHO IS JAMES KILROY”?  THE MANAGER SAID

“YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM BECAUSE HE QUIT!

 

YOU AND I MUST KEEP TRYING AND PERSEVERE!! YOU, CAN, DO IT!!

 

 

ARE YOU THE FATHER OF MY KIDS?

 

A MAN IS IN THE SUPERMARKET( LOCALIZE) A NOTICES A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WAVING AND SMILING AT HI. HE ASKS HER, ”DO YOU KNOW ME?”  SHE  REPLIED I THINK YOU’RE THE FATHER OF ONE OF MY KIDS!

 

HE’S WORRIED AND HIS MIND STARTS TRAVELING BACK IN TIME—THEN HE ASKS, ARE YOU THE WOMAN I MADE LOVE TO AT MY BACHELOR PARTY?

 

SHE SAID NO!! I’M YOUR SON’S TEACHER!  L  OUCH

 

 

BIRTHDAYS . . .

 

¾1412  Joan of Arc  (d. 5-30-1431)

¾1878  American Poet Carl Sandburg (d. 7-22-1967)

—1880  Actor Tom Mix (d. 10-12-1940)

—1911  Comedian Joey Adams

—1912  Actor Danny Thomas (d. 2-6-1991)

—1913  Actress Loretta Young  (The Loretta Young Show) (d. 8-12-2000)

—1920  Baseball’s Early Wynn

—1921  Golfer Cary Middlecoff

¾1924  Musician Earl Scruggs

—1925  Auto Executive John Z. DeLorean (d. 3-19-2005)

—1929  Actor Vic Tayback (Alice) (d. 5-23-1986)

—1931  Writer E.L. Doctorow (Welcome to Hard Times)

—1935  Musician Nino Tempo (“Deep Purple”)

—1941  Musician Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention) (d. 4-21-1978)

1940  Van McCoy (“Do the Hustle”)

—1944  Actress Bonnie Franklin (One Day at a Time)

—1946  Musician Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd) (“Another Brick In The Wall”) (d.)

¾1951  Musician/Singer Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds)

—1953  Musician Malcolm Young (AC/DC) (“You Shook Me All Night Long”)

—1955  Actor/Comedian Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)

¾1954  Director/Writer Anthony Mighella (The English Patient)

—1957  Golfer Nancy Lopez

—1959  Singer Kathy Sledge  (Sister Sledge) (“We Are Family”)

1959  Neil Simpson – bassist for Climax Blues Band (“Couldn’t Get It Right”)

—1960  Football’s Howie Long

¾1964  Football’s Charles Lewis Haley

—1968  Director John Singleton (Boyz In The Hood)

¾1970  Professional Volleyball/Modelgf Gabrielle Reece

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY . . .

 

Today is THREE KINGS DAY.

¾1412  Joan of Arc was born in Domremy, France. The “Maid of Orleans” was 17 when she led French forces to victory against the British in the Hundred Years’ War.  She was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, at the age of 19, for the military action she’s taken against the British 

—1838  Samuel F.B. Morse gave the first public demonstration of his claim-to-fame — the telegraph — in Morristown, New Jersey.

¾1912  New Mexico became the 47th state.

¾1945  George Herbert Walker Bush, 20, and Barbara Pierce 19, were married at the  First Presbyterian Church in Rye, NY.

—1957  Gibson patents the “Flying V” guitar.

—1957  Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing seven tunes, including “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

—1962  “Pro Bowlers Tour” premiered on ABC.  This is the 39th anniversary.

—1964  The Rolling Stones begin their first headline tour of Britain, with the Ronettes opening.

—1975  “The Wiz” opens on Broadway.

¾1975  TV premiere of “Wheel Of Fortune” hosted by Chuck Woolery.

—1977  EMI Records in London tears up its contract with the Sex Pistols, three months after signing them and releasing their first single, “Anarchy In The U.K.” They announce they will melt down all unsold copies.            

—1987  Elton John undergoes exploratory throat surgery in Sydney, Australia, for what proves to be a nonmalignant lesion on his vocal chords.

—1988  The Bullet Boys are formed.

¾1994  American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was struck on the knee with an iron rod at Cobo Arena in Detroit where she had been practicing for the upcoming US Championships.  The contest winner was Tonya Harding, who was later accused, along with her ex-husband of planning and carrying out the attack.

—1994  Virginia Kelley, President Clinton’s mother, dies at 70 of cancer.

—1996  “Politically Incorrect” debuted on ABC.

 

 

RADIO ONLINE® DAILY SHOW PREP. . .

 

ON THIS DAY

King Richard II was born on this date in 1367. Besides ruling England, Richard is also credited with inventing the handkerchief… at approximately the same time he came up with the idea of short-sleeved shirts.

On this date in 1412, Joan of Arc was born. Years before Paris Hilton, she coined the phrase, “That’s hot!”

George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married 250 years ago today in 1758. The 250th wedding anniversary… which one is that? Petrified rock?

On this date in 1838, Samuel Morse demonstrated his telegraph machine. It was a system of dots and dashes… until the name changed to Nissan dashes years later.

Silent movie cowboy Tom Mix was born on this date in 1880. He was best remembered for the phrase, ” “.

TODAY IS

Bonnie Franklin turns 65. She used to star in the sitcom, “One Day at a Time,” which is a great way to describe working with her co-star, Mackenzie Phillips.

Rowan Atkinson celebrates his 53rd birthday today. He’s better known as “Mr. Bean”… which, I suppose, is better than Mr. Beano.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

·         Prince is going to release three albums this year… all without a record label and with a “major retailer”. (Wal-Mart?)

·         President-elect Obama is said to have requested Jennifer Hudson to sing the National Anthem at his inauguration.

·         According to Swedish researchers, children born to fathers who are older than 30 are more likely to develop bipolar disorder, which causes extreme shifts in mood, energy and ability to function.

·         You’re going to need 3-D glasses to see the 90-second “Monsters Versus Aliens” commercial inside the Super Bowl game. 150 million 3D glasses are going to be given away for Super Bowl viewers to make sure you see it right.

·         During Charlie Rose’s New Year’s Eve salute to those who had died the past year, he saluted movie director George Butler. George called to say he’s not dead yet.

·         Jack Black says he has two breakfasts each morning that he hopes will prevent him from eating all day long.

·         Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy from “Dancing with the Stars” spent their New Year’s Eve together getting engaged.

·         Taylor Swift performs on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, on her mom’s birthday.

·         The number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. That’s the word from a survey commissioned by Weight Watchers, which found that 45% of Americans say losing weight is their New Year’s resolution (again!) for 2009.

·         Kevin Federline is coming out with a line of children’s clothing.

·         Rumor has it that the Obamas will actually bring two puppies to the White House with them.

·         American Idol Season Six star, Gina Glocksen, married her longtime boyfriend, school teacher Joe Ruzicka, on New Year’s Eve.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

There’s a new love guru out there and it ain’t Michael Myers. Nope, it’s 9-year-old years old. Alec Greven, of Castle Rock, Colorado. His book of advice, “How to Talk to Girls,” says the secret to his success was watching his friends at play. “I saw a lot of boys who had trouble talking to girls,” explains Greven, an avid reader. His assembled his first collection of advice as a small handwritten pamphlet, which he sold for $3 a copy at the school book fair. It took off like a rocket, and now Greven’s worlds of wisdom fill a 46-page book. Here are some of Greven’s top dating tips:

·         Control your hyperness. Cut down on sugar if you need to.

·         Girls always like the smartest boys.

·         Girls win most of the arguments and have most of the power.

·         A crush is like a love disease. It can drive you mad.

·         Comb you hair and don’t wear sweats.

·         Make sure you have good friends who don’t try to take the girl you like.

·         Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil.

·         Class clowns never make a good love story with a girl, if you catch my drift.

·         If you’re in elementary school, try to get a girl to like you, not love you.

A recent poll of folks over 55 revealed that 28% have been unfaithful to their beloveds. Furthermore, only about one third of the mid-life cheaters harbor any shame about straying. In the same poll, 24% of people between 18 and 35 admitted cheating, with about half of them feeling guilt over their infidelity. “These older people were the children of the ’60s, when free love was the order of the day,” says Emma Soamers, editor of the social networking Web site Saga Zone. “They were exploring alternative lifestyles, such as living together without marriage.” In addition, the Saga Zone poll of 1,600 adults discovered that younger people are much more uptight about what constitutes infidelity. Nearly 90% of the adults under 35 considered kissing someone else cheating while only about 50% of the over 55s rated smooching as a scarlet letter offense. (National Examiner)

The New York Times, Intel and Harris Interactive asked the question, “Which would you rather go without for two weeks? The Internet or sex. 46% of women and 30% of men would opt to forgo sex for two weeks instead of giving up access to their precious Internet for the same period.

Engineers at the University of Florida and Texas Tech University have teamed up to build a robotic version of a flying dinosaur called a pterosaur that existed 115 million years ago. The dinosaur that can not only fly, but also walk on land and swim in the sea. They’re replicating the prehistoric creature all the way down to its skin, muscles, tendons, skeleton, nerves and blood vessels. The resulting spy plane will be able to alter its wing shape to squeeze through small spaces, dive between buildings, zoom under overpasses and land on apartment balconies. (Sun)

PHONE TOPICS

·         What’s the biggest sports bet you’ve ever won?

·         Who owns the most shoes?

·         The best way to break up with someone is in person. What’s the second-best way?

·         Who owns the oldest TV?

·         Anyone ever hurt themselves on gym equipment?

·         Who has the most changed saved up?

·         How many times a day do you check your email?

·         Do you give money to beggars, and if so why? What’s the best way to get rid of someone begging for money?

·         Who’s not speaking to someone because they embarrassed you in person?

·         What is the strangest thing you’ve ever sent through the mail?

·         Who is your favorite singer of all time?

·         I’m not rich, but if I was, I’d really like to have a _____ in my home.

·         What’s the best or worst thing that you bought from an infomercial?

·         Real expensive things you have broken?

·         How much cash do you usually have on you?

My co-host and I talked about the birthday of one of the most popular state slogans of all time, “Virginia is for Lovers.” In fact that famous slogan turns 40 this year. What’s your state slogan? Do you need a new one? We had fun coming up with some comical ones, like “The Beef Jerky State,” and “Virginia, Don’t Be Hatin!”

You know how you see those shark attack shows on TV all the time? We talked about how seeing the sharks fin might be worse than it’s bite! According to a new study, sharks actually have wimpy bites for their size and can crunch through their prey only because they have very sharp teeth — and because they can grow to be so big. Today’s studies of shark jaws show that lions or tigers win hands down when it comes to jaw strength — but sharks prevail in the water because of their wide jaw size. Pound for pound, sharks don’t bite all that hard. But still really, would you wanna get bit? Phoner: What’s the strangest or most dangerous thing you’ve ever been bitten by?

For all you parents listening. Are you happier now that the kids are out of the house? Popular wisdom has it that parents’ relationships may suffer once their young fly the coop, because they feel they have lost their purpose in life. But that’s not true according to a study we brought to our show. The new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that many couples actually feel happier when their children leave home because they are able to enjoy spending time together.

This next topic was a real warm and fuzzy for us. Tell us about the best comeback story that you’ve ever heard. We started talking about a guy in the U.K., that ran against all odds, to run. John Reynolds was so weak after treatment for cancer, he could barely put one foot in front of the other. Now though, at 46-years-old, he is set to run 110 miles without stopping. I can’t walk to my car without getting out of breath, that’s some trek!

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we asked our audience for romantic things that you can do with your partner that don’t cost a lot. We got some great ideas. Like setting up a taco bar with all the fixings or making homemade pizza. Cook together! We heard that women think it can be very romantic. Or maybe you could take a class to learn Italian, or learn to paint with each other (or each other).

Getting a tattoo? Worried that it’s going to hurt? You may want to consider where you’re getting inked. If you have several tattoos, where did it hurt the most to get one? Here’s a short list of the most potentially painful places for body ink:

·         The eyeball. Believe it or not, some people do get permanent makeup inside the eye. The many nerves going into the front of the eye would make this an excruciating procedure without anesthesia. (Two other popular spots for permanent makeup — the eye brows and lips — are also painful, the lips especially so because of the many nerve endings located there.)

·         The mons pubis. The pain of getting a tattoo down under runs a close second to the lips. There are a lot of nerves, which provide pleasure (as opposed to pain) under different circumstances. If you try this in a tattoo parlor, ask for a cream.

·         The top of the foot or ankle. Lots of women opt for tattoos in this area so the eye-catching designs will be visible when they’re barefoot or wearing sandals during the summer months. But it’s also ouch-inducing because of the absence of fat.

·         Behind the ear. A tattoo here can be endearingly sexy. Just remember ladies, there’s nothing in this spot but skin and bone — and nerves (though not as many as on your lip surface).

·         The chest (above your rib cage). If you’re thin, this might be one time you’d be grateful for a layer of fat around your middle. The absence of padding makes this one of the most painful places for men to get a traditional tattoo.

When you refer someone to live in your apartments, often there is a bonus (cash, gift certificate). Does the person who moved into the apartments deserve some of the reward? You never would have received the reward if they did not move in. We had great phones on this one.

Bad office smells. I figured too much perfume or cologne would be the worst, but my co-host had an article that claimed burnt micro-wave popcorn is. That produced some funny calls from people describing the odors they have to put up with.

39 percent of Americans would give up one year of their life if they could always remain at their ideal weight. Phoner: Is this remotely true?

According to U.S. government figures, English is the second language for approximately 5.5 million students in the United States, nearly one-tenth of the total U.S. student body. By 2025, one of every four students in this country’s public school system is expected to initially be limited in their English. Should English be the official language of the US? Where are you noticing more Spanish? Our local Walmart is running TVs in the store in Espanol. Should businesses cater to other languages?

Ladies, do you prefer to be called hot, pretty, beautiful, sexy or cute? Our host calls his wife cute and she likes it, but many women said they don’t liked to be called cute. Our female co-host said she wants to be referred to as hot. Most women said they preferred to be called beautiful.

·  Remember how people have fun trying to figure out how old their dog was in human years? But now there’s a new fad. Figuring out how old your car is, in “people-years”. We had fun calculating our listeners “car age”. Here’s the formula:

·         Take the mileage on the car’s odometer and divide by the model year.

·         The result is your car’s age if it were a person.

·         Example: a 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier with 131,824 miles on it.

·         Do the math: 131824/1994 = 66.1.

·         That car would be a 66 year old person

Does this formula we found on the web work for everyone’s car?

So what’s the dumbest thing you did early in the morning while you were half awake? Something stupid in the kitchen or even driving on the way to work?

Did you ever have a fling at work? I have, and it was great! Of course til we broke up and I had to see her everyday. But researchers are now finding that the thrill of a fling “raised energy levels and led to better professional capacity.” So will this mean bosses will probably encourage these office romances. I don’t think so. According to a recent poll, one in five people admitted to an affair at work, nearly twice as many women as men admitted to having a fling in the workplace, and one in three owned up to having a relationship with a boss to move up in their career.

I work with a 22-year-old guy that was sick the other day. But instead of him calling my boss. His dad called to tell the boss that his son couldn’t come into work. Isn’t there something wrong with that? Do you know parents that still coddle their adult kids? What are they still doing for them?

Saw one of my friends at a wedding this past weekend and she was with the same guy she was with when I saw her 8 years ago. I found it interesting that though they are both in their 30′s they have never married. So we asked for the listener who has the longest relationship… dating, but no commitment. 23 years was the longest we found and the calls kept going on this one.

We talked about guys looking through a woman’s purse. My mother had pounded into my young brain that a man never goes into a woman’s purse and to this day, I’m uncomfortable even if I’m asked to. Turns out a lot of guys feel that way. One listener said her husband of 20 years still refuses to do it. Another caller said he refuses to only because it’s nearly impossible to locate what you’ve been asked to find in there.

WEIRD NEWS

A Man Who Got His Dying Wish
In Danbury, Connecticut, you might say Donald Peters got his dying wish. He bought two $10M Connecticut Lottery tickets at a 7-11 convenience store on what would sadly turn out to be his last day on earth. Mr. Peters died later that same day after suffering a heart attack while working in his yard. Amazingly, one of his tickets won the lottery. Even more amazingly, his widow, 78-year-old Charlotte Peters, almost discarded the tickets but when she passed by a grocery store and checked the numbers, she was told that she won. She said she couldn’t believe that the very last tickets his husband bought won the lottery because he usually bought tickets for 10 weeks at a stretch. At least now she won’t have to worry about money for the rest of her life. (AHN News)

Your Freedom of Religion Does Have Limits
Yes this is America and yes, we have freedom of religion. But you still can’t use your religion to break the law. Mamie Manneh of Brooklyn found that out the hard way after U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie ruled her religious reasons for smuggling endangered monkey meat into the country weren’t good enough. Manneh was charged with smuggling the meat three years ago after customs agents seized a shipment of primate parts as it passed through Kennedy Airport on the way to her home in Staten Island. Her lawyers tried to play the First Amendment rights card, arguing that some Liberian Christians eat monkey meat for spiritual reasons. She faces up to five years in prison and deportation if convicted. (myway.com)

The New Oldest Woman on Earth Lives in L.A.
After Maria De Jesus of Portugal died on Friday, 114-year-old Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles, California has been named the oldest woman living on Earth. She was born in 1894 in a small town in south Atlanta and now lives at the Western Convalescent Hospital west of USC in Los Angeles. Ms. Baines made national headlines two months ago when she cast her vote for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, saying she is for the colored person and she is glad that U.S. is having a colored man in the White House. Clearly she hasn’t updated any of her social terminology in quite a few years. But she’s the oldest woman on the planet — give her a break. (AHN News)

Will the U.S. Invade Mexico?
Antonio Vazquez is Mexico’s self-proclaimed “Grand Warlock” and is famous for making predictions regarding his homeland. And Vazquez’s latest prophesy is raising a few eyebrows. He claims the United States will pull troops out of Iraq in 2009 and send them to the border of Mexico in an attempt to expand its territory. We should point out that Mr. Vazquez doesn’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to predicting the future. He erroneously predicted last year that oil prices would be stable and that Cuba’s Fidel Castro and singer Britney Spears would both die. That makes him 0 for 3 there. Vazquez has been making predictions since 1980 on events ranging from international events to the private lives of celebrities, based on his reading of tarot cards. Oh and by the way, this year, he says Britney Spears will continue to triumph. (myway.com)

22-months of Hiccups!
Christian Sands is a British singer and says his career is being ruined by a 22-month bout of hiccups. 25-year-old Sands hiccups constantly– as often as every two seconds– which has left him struggling to talk, eat, sleep and even to breathe. He told reporters, “Last night I passed out on the floor because I can’t breathe properly when my throat locks up with the hiccups. All my friends have noticed how skinny I have been looking recently because I can’t hold my food down.” He’s tried all the traditional remedies, but to no avail. Even more unconventional treatments such as hypnotherapy, yoga and sitting in an oxygen chamber have not helped. Doctors have been unable to diagnose his condition, and say that there is no physical reason why he keeps hiccupping. They now plan to do surgery to stop him bringing up his food– a side-effect of the affliction– but he has been warned not to expect the operation on a damaged stomach valve to cure his hiccups. For what it’s worth, American Charles Osborne holds the record for the longest bout of hiccups, which lasted for 68 years from 1922 until 1990. (Ananova)

See You At the Stonehenge Rave!
Scholars and historians have debated for years on exactly what the famous Stonehenge monument is all about. Dr. Rupert Till, a sound technology professor at Huddersfield University in the UK, has a new idea. He carried out experiments which he says show the 5,000-year-old stone circle is ideal for listening to trance music and that the stones have perfect acoustics for repetitive rhythms. In other words, he thinks that ancient Britons built the structure 5,000 years ago to hold raves. And who’s to say no? (Ananova)

Just Pay Your Bills
Here’s proof you should just pay your bills. In Conway, Arkansas, a 33-year-old man recently electrocuted himself to death after trying to outwit the power company. His power had in fact been cut off due to nonpayment of overdue bills. So he tried — quite in vain — to hook his house back up to the power main using jumper cables. Didn’t work out so well. (Fox News)

THIS OR THAT

Two choices: you gotta pick one and tell us why!

·         Being late or being early to a party

·         Going to a baseball double-header or a Movie Triple Feature

·         Sore feet or Stiff neck

·         Being 7-foot 5-inches or 4-foot 5-inches

·         Kidnapped by aliens or Attacked by zombies

·         Mac or PC

·         Trampoline or Jump Rope

·         Playing Bingo or Shuffleboard

·         Chocolate Ice Cream or Chocolate Cake

·         Turning 40 or Turning 30

TAKE A FLAKE TO WORK DAY

Have people call, fax or e-mail what job they would like you come help them with during your shift. Multiple person teams can do two or three different locations. Then have a parttimer run the board and go to you one per location after or before the stop sets. For instance one of us will report in at the :10, another at the :20, etc. Also one of you may want to go out and do the van guy or gal’s job.

CATCH US SNORING

We’re asking listeners to catch someone snoring and send us the audio. Daily qualifiers will win an anti-snoring package, including Breathe Right strips, ear plugs, etc. The top three snores will be voted on by listeners. The best (or worst) will win a brand new king size bed! Great audio and tons of fun.

TOP FIVE THINGS PRESIDENT BUSH WANTS TO DO BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE

1.      It’s an old gag, but the whoopie-cushion trick always gets a laugh

2.      Get his approval rating in the positive numbers again

3.      Do just one thing where he doesn’t have to ask Dick Cheney first

4.      Paint the outside to more of an off-white

5.      Find that elusive corner in the Oval Office

HUNTER’S HUMOR by Tim Hunter

Well, so much for this year’s Gaza vacation.

President Bush’s dad, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, says he’d like to see his other son, Jeb, become president some day. OK, that’s one vote.

On my list of what this country needs, you wouldn’t believe how far down the list that one is.

President-elect Obama’s choice for Secretary of Commerce, Bill Richardson, has withdrawn his nomination. He’s now going to be a special envoy to pending investigations.

Tom Cruise says that the Church of Scientology helped him get over his dyslexia and become a better rotca.

President-elect Barack Obama dropped off his two kids at their new school yesterday for the first time, so they could work on their spelling, their phonics, their handwriting… oh, wait, no… that was President Bush’s day.

FILL IN THE BLANK

·         95% of people in Finland own a ________. (Cell phone)

·         In Connecticut, Donald Peters went out and bought a winning lottery ticket and then ___________ the next day! (died)

·         ______ are such a problem in Cincinnati, that they’ve formed a ______ task force. (bed bugs)

SECRET SOUND

The Secret Sound contest is embarrassingly easy. We’ve had to put the answers to all of the past ones on the web site because people miss the answer and it drives them crazy. We also put the sound up on the web site to download and check out. The latest one was removing the bag from my vacuum. We’ve also done an electric toothbrush and opening a carton of orange juice (or milk).

PRINCE CHARMING

If you want to be the person whom everyone else adores, you just have to be a charmer. Ladies Home Journal writer Margaret Renkl identified the five traits of charming people:

1.      A Sense of Humor — More important than poise or social ease, being funny attracts people like magnets. Make someone laugh, and you’ll have an admirer. “Humor offers immense physiological and psychological benefits,” Dr. Steven M. Sultanoff, a California psychologist who is the past president of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor, explained to LHJ. “It reduces stress hormones, dulls physical pain and promotes social bonding.” Not all funny people are charming, but they are original and originality is a primary element of charm.

2.      Insight and Passion — A charming person has a unique ability to be fully engaged in the moment. They tend to be highly intelligent, curious and creative. They are able to see disparate connections. They are filled with energy, life and exuberance–and these qualities are contagious. “People are attracted to Oprah partly because they trust her, but partly because they think some of her energy is going to rub off on them,” Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told LHJ. “Charming people make other people feel more alive.”

3.      Effortless Social Grace — Your mother called it poise. A poised person knows exactly what to do and what to say in every social situation, no matter how awkward or strange. Such a person projects self-confidence, which makes others feel comfortable. It’s all about putting people at ease. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a master at this, whether she was enjoying a day on the beach or hosting a formal state dinner at the White House.

4.      An Interest in Others — A charming person is a sparkling conversationalist. When a charming person asks another, “How are you?” she really wants to know the answer. “Fine” isn’t enough of a response. She asks about the other person’s life. How are the children doing? Is your sick mother getting better? There is sincere, not feigned, interest. A charming person listens intently to the answers, giving her full attention. She makes her acquaintance feel treasured.

5.      Curiosity About the World — Being deeply curious about all things is a trait of charming people–from trying new foods to reading books to meeting people. They always want to know more, and that attitude is contagious in that it inspires in others a sensation of energy, deeper engagement and greater curiosity, Dr. Jamison explained to LHJ.

INTERVIEWS/GUESTS

Interviews are available with Forbes Riley — the Julia Roberts of infomercials. Yes, Riley is best known, for numerous appearances in infomercials such as Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer, Aerobed, Microgrill, Maxiglide Hair Straightener, and Mor furniture stores. Currently she can be seen with Montel Williams in a project called Living Well with Montel Williams. To schedule an interview, please contact Shannon Rose at info@mediaproductions.tv or call 813-960-8412.

What’s the recession doing to your face? Are we on the way to becoming the ugliest nation in the world? Is money stress stealing the youth and looks of America? Just like U.S. presidents age dramatically while in office, almost everybody is now showing the effects of the financial crisis on their face. Don’t let it rob you of your money and your looks. This medical expert can tell you how to stop it. Dr. Ken Nedd will give your audience quick and simple tips to counteract the face destroying effects of the current financial crises. To set up an interview, contact Garis PR at 760-471-4807, ext. 2 or e-mail publicists@garis-agency.com.

GREAT RADIO GARAGE SALE

We do this a few times a year. We take all of the free promotional items that we get and just give them away for free on the air. T-shirts, posters, music, movies, games, books, etc. It’s amazing how much people love this, and they always go nuts for it. If we get really nice items, sometimes we’ll trade those, but everything else is free to the first person that asks for it.

HAIR OR NO HAIR

Offer cash for the first person to come down and get a Howie Mandell or a “Mr. Clean” makeover. In other words, shave their head.

BUFF HOTEL

When men travel, 20% of men sleep nude while staying at hotels, according to Hilton Garden Inn, which the sleep survey. Want more?

·         93% of road warriors say they get a decent night’s sleep in hotels.

·         65% say they sleep on their side, while only 15% sleep on their stomach. Men prefer the right side, and women prefer the left.

·         48% sleep in something other than pajamas when they are in a hotel, and one in five men sleep in the buff. Men prefer their boxers and a t-shirt over pajamas.

·         More than 85% of men watch TV to relax and more than 40% of women read before going to bed in their hotel room. One out of 10 men will surf the Internet before hitting the hay.

·         More than 80% of travelers have no trouble setting their in-room alarm clock; however one-third of travelers instead opt for a wake-up call, whereas one out of 10 travelers don’t need to use an alarm clock/call to wake-up.

VOICE OF REASON

We asked listener to call in and do their best impressions and voices, and it paid off. Not only did we have a fun time on-air, now we’ve got a bunch of contacts of talented callers who can do voices.

SENSITIVE MAN CONTEST

This is pretty funny if you get the right guys. Get 3 and conference them. Then read them a touching birth or baby story. The guy who cries first wins. In more then one instance none of the guys cried so I then read them a second story about a guy who had just purchased 5 thousand dollar golf clubs, got in a wreck on the way home, was okay but the clubs didn’t make it. 2 guys were balling like babies and the third was happy the guy wasn’t hurt and said that the clubs could be replaced. Both crying guys turned on him immediately and accused him of having no feelings or heart.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

For Men:

·         Approximately four thousand women begin this every day. Menopause ***, a Diary, or a diet.

·         True or false: It’s important to peel away or shed your dead and damaged tissue on a regular basis. (True)

·         When watering your garden, it’s best to do when? Early Morning and Early Evening ***, Afternoons, or Overnight.

·         While a woman is pregnant at week 6, the heart beat of her baby can be as high as how many BPM? 100, 160 ***, or 200.

For Women:

·         Which is not a maker of laptop computers? Acer, Toshiba, or Randy ***.

·