1996 Was The Year Of The Celebrity!

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Vol 31 Issue 01

Poor Kwanzaa Sales Disappoint Retailers

WASHINGTON, DC—Kwanzaa officials received sobering news Monday, as the Department of Commerce announced that Kwanzaa holiday sales for the U.S. totalled $178. The figure represents the lowest total since 1992, the year the holiday was invented. At Abe's Kwanzaa Emporium in Los Angeles, rows of unsold Kwanzaa trees were thrown out, while rolls of Kwanzaa-themed wrapping paper gathered dust in giant bins. Even A&M Records' much-hyped holiday CD, A Bryan Adams Kwanzaa, fared poorly, selling just three copies.

Area Pie Hole Shut

TEMPE, AZ—A local pie hole was definitively shut Saturday. After droning on incessantly about matters witnesses say were trivial and "more than just a little" annoying, the pie hole was forcefully instructed by a loud-mouthed neighbor to be shut. Plans to re-open the pie hole are being withheld until it needs more pie.

Oakland Teacher Mistakenly Teaches 'Economics'

OAKLAND, CA—In an effort to abide by the Oakland Public Schools' new "ebonics" instruction regulations, one area teacher mistakenly began teaching the subject of "economics" to her 11th-grade class Monday. Suzanne Byrne, a 13-year teaching veteran, badly confused students when she attempted to explain to them such complex economic principles as stagflation, Keynesian incrementalism, and the invisible hand of laissez-faire capitalism. School superintendent Melvin Washington was outraged upon learning of Byrne's actions, saying: "The voodoo she was teaching involved numbers and complex calculations, which no high-school student can reasonably be expected to understand." Washington insisted that instruction be limited to the study of ebonics, or—in the school's new higher-level Sanford and Son-themed curriculum—the study of "Lamontics," which helps young people better understand Lamont Sanford.

Budget Talks Dreadlocked

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton cited "a profound lack of irie vibrations" as the main reason budget talks became dreadlocked this week. Congress and the President had been in negotiations since last October, but according to House officials, a common ground could not be reached due to "a lack of positive riddims." "If only Ras Tafari were still with us," Rep. Glen Browder (D-AL) said. "He would have given us the wisdom to cut back on porkbarrel legislation and get the budget passed." Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY) added: "Hopefully, we can reach some sort of bipartisan compromise and get this natty dreadlock resolved. Praise Jah." After talks stalled again Monday, legislators tabled negotiations until next week, using the recess to get high.

Unambitious Terrorists Overturn Trash Can

JERUSALEM—The Bedouin Free Army, described by State Department officials as an unambitious offshoot of the PLO, is claiming responsibility for Sunday's overturning of a garbage can near the Western Wall. According to reports, the group intended to bring attention to what they called a "serious lack of pens" in Bedouin Army encampments near the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials had ignored the group's most serious act prior to Sunday, the 1995 slamming down of a phone receiver "really hard," according to State Department files. No one was hurt in the trash can incident, though several pieces of crumpled paper, three falafel balls and a shoe were badly scattered.

Our Street Gangs Are Probably Using Bad Language

While recently wandering the rotting underbelly of my favorite local urban wasteland at 3 a.m., I was accosted by a roughneck gang of thugs who demanded my wallet. With a grandfatherly sense of duty I handed it over to them; then they clonked me over the noggin and ran off.

Murder Down In The Big Apple

Murder rates dropped in New York City for the third straight year in 1996, with total homicides in the city under 1,000 for the first time since the mid-1960s. What do you think of the surprising statistics?
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TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Good Times

Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

MEQUON, WI—Seeking to convey his endorsement of his acquaintance's selection at local bar Coney's Draft House this evening, area man Thomas Dodge told reporters that he was considering nodding approvingly at his friend’s alcoholic beverage pur...

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1996 Was The Year Of The Celebrity!

What a crazy year it was! So many big names made news in 1996, it will certainly go down as The Year Of The Celebrity. With that in mind, let's look back into Jackie Harvey's crystal ball...

D-I-V-O-R-C-E spells divorce. Again! This time I'm talking about Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Is that guy weird or what? First, the Gloved One unties the knot, then he goes and gets some other woman pregnant. Cripes! Certainly no way for a pop mega-star to behave.

In 1996, they finally stepped in to clean up television. Now, I'm a pretty "with-it" guy, but some of the stuff they were showing was just plain indecent! There were bare bottoms, killings with guns, and a lot of S-E-X. One more minute and I was going to have to step in to use the power of the press to fight some of that stuff myself.

Speaking of clean TV, Rosie O'Donnell was the Queen of Nice this year, proving that you don't have to be filthy to make it on TV. You go, girl!

For all of you rock and roll fans (I know I'm one!), Van Halen gave Sam "Sammy" Hagar the boot and brought back "Diamond" David Lee Roth. Then, they kicked Roth back out and brought in some guy from Winger! Hey guys, can I use my press credentials to get front-row seats on your next tour? It can't hurt to ask!

And how about that Tom Cruise! Is he the greatest, or what? Rumor is, he may even appear on a magazine cover soon! Nicole, you're one lucky lady.

Hunk-tor George Clooney from ER went on a rampage against photographers and video people trying to catch him in the buff. Apparently, Mr. Clooney was scrubbing down in the shower and was surprised by a photographer. Well, Mr. Clooney was firm but polite, and he escorted that rascal out, then vowed not to take a picture until people stopped invading his privacy. I'm with him 110 percent.

Everybody did the Macarena in '96! Except me. I have two left feet when it comes to doing dance moves. Anyone up for the chicken dance?

Gorgeous Brooke Shields got back in the limelight again with her terrific new TV comedy, Suddenly Susan. She co-stars with Emilio Estevez as a magazine writer who is coming into her own in the big city, and she exchanges japes with a man from another country as well. With plenty of laughs and plenty of fun, the only thing I wish there was more of is Brooke!

This was also the year strange alien lifeforms descended from the sky. Forget Independence Day--I'm talking about 3rd Rock From The Sun!

Kathie Lee Gifford took a beating when it was revealed that her clothes were made by children in foreign sweat shops. Oh, please! As if we all don't employ youngsters now and then. I pay the kid down the street $2 to shovel my walk, and his mother thinks it builds character. We all know that mothers know best, so just lay off of Kathie, okay? She has enough to worry about with her show and being a good mother and a good wife to Dan Dierdorf.

Is she gay, or isn't she? That was the big question on the minds of Ellen fans (count me in) in '96. And she still hasn't decided. Ellen, you're killing us!

Every time I turned the channel, it seemed like there was another story about the computer intern net. My own intern says that I should try it, but all I saw were a bunch of ads for computer stuff. What's the hoo-hah, guys?

Whew! Well, that about wraps up 1996, folks. It should be a tough one to beat. But whatever happens this coming year, you can be sure of one thing: Jackie Harvey will be there to bring you plenty of juicy gossip! Happy 1997!

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