Item! Megasuperduperstar Michael Jackson and his wife are calling it quits after five years of wedded bliss. No official word yet on the cause of the divorce, but rumor has it, the wife was frustrated over Jackson's refusal to let her appear in one of his music videos. Sounds like the same thing that tragically drove the Ricardos apart. Let's just hope there's no bitter custody battle over the animals. In times of divorce, the first priority should be to do what is best for the capybaras.
Item! Talk-show host/actress/author/fitness guru/book recommender Oprah Winfrey is now wearing yet another hat: college-football coach! Yes, the ever-versatile Oprah is the new head coach at Western Kentucky University, whose team lost its last 22 games before making the switch. If anyone can motivate people, whether to lose those last 20 pounds or get that ball into the end zone, it's our Oprah. Make that Coach Oprah!
A lot of people have been asking me what I think about the controversial painting of the Virgin Mary that's covered in elephant dung. Elephant dung? I'm sure it stinks!
Item! A pair of celebrity glamour couples were seen double-dating in Miami this weekend. Actor-lovebirds Kirk Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and red-hot musicmakers Jennifer Lopez and Puffy Daddy were seen swing-dancing together at a Miami dance club Saturday night, partying like it's 1999. No word on whether the couples did any date-swapping, but with those four in a room together, one thing's for sure: A sexy time was had by all!
There's another star in heaven. Academy Award-winning actor George C. Peppard has passed away, leaving a gaping void in the field of thespianism. Peppard was famous for breathing life into two legendary military men, noble American General George Patton and Hannibal Lecter from The A-Team. Whether he was giving a speech in front of a huge American flag or slipping knock-out drops into B.A.'s milk, this great actor was never less than riveting. A 21-gun salute is in order to mark his passing.
Have you seen this new alternative singer Chris Gaines? If you ask me, he looks suspiciously like another music superstar. Could Mr. Gaines actually be none other than Trent Reznor in disguise? I'll keep you posted!
Item! Actor Pee-Wee Herman is proving that there is life after controversy. Following his arrest in a disreputable theater in the 1980s, Herman dropped out of the limelight for about 10 years. Now, using the moniker Paul Reubens, he is making another go at the Hollywood dream. He began his comeback by playing a superhero in the recent action comedy Superhero Squad. While I have not yet seen this film, all accounts would indicate that he is back on track for generating laughter. I say kudos! One of the things that makes this nation great is the virtue of forgiveness, and I think it's high time we let the past rest. Whatever he did is just water under the bridge, and in these troubled times at the dawn of a new millennium, we could all use a hearty laugh.
You know, I am just sick to death of voicemail. "Press one for X, press two for Y, press three for Z." How about I just press the disconnect button until you get me a real person to talk to!
Item! Get ready for more talk shows! SNL (show-biz shorthand for Saturday Night Live, FYI (For Your Information)) alum Martin Short now has one and so does Full House star Queen Latifah. Some people say there are too many celebrity talk shows on TV, but that's like complaining that there are too many chocolate chips in a bag of Chips Ahoy!
Speaking of a lot, there sure do seem to be a lot of judge shows on TV right now. I just might put on the old judicial robes myself to cash in on some of this action. Call me Judge Jackie!
Just so you know, I am fully aware that the dawning of a new TV season is upon us. But I've decided to wait a bit before I throw my two cents in. I mean, a lot of money, time and effort go into these new shows, so I want to give them a fair shake before I start putting my journalistic weight behind them or pushing them off the air with a sharp barb. Right now, all I'll say about the new season is this: Becker is back, and he's as sassy as ever!
Have any of you taken the time recently to stroke a cat as they watch the sun go down? There's nothing better for knocking the old heart rate down a few pegs.
Speaking of getting knocked down a few pegs, that's just what my trusty intern Ian did to me recently. In my last column, I brought you some news about Claire Danes being cast as Bosley in the new Charlie's Angels movie. Well, Ian pointed out that she was actually cast as Cheryl Ladd. I have only one thing to say: You're fired, Ian! Just kidding! Actually, I apologize to you, the reader, for any conversational faux-pas this may have caused you. And to Ian, I'd like to say thank you. I don't mind the criticism. It just helps me be more careful and do a better job.
When I go outside and smell more burning leaves than citronella candles, it can only mean fall is here, and that winter and spring aren't too far behind.
Item! Even Washington has Hollywood fever! The latest rumor out of the nation's Beltway is that the 2000 Democratic presidential ticket will be Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, reuniting the old bosom buddies for a serious run at the Big House. Good luck, fellas!
Well, that's it for this week. So until next time, remember: If life is getting you down, take comfort in the fact that there's a whole world of celebrities out there, all working toward one thing, and that is churning out more entertainment magic to keep you in the pink! Keep an eye out for me soon!