Issue 3805

Vanquished Foe's Skull Makes Surprisingly Bad Wine Goblet

DEATH MOUNTAIN— The skull of Wynric Lance, failed claimant to the throne of Eirea, does not make as good a wine goblet as Lord Shryke had imagined, the despot revealed Monday. "This damn thing is practically impossible to drink out of," said Shryke at a banquet celebrating the defeat of the Army Of Light. "You have to hold it just right to keep the wine from spilling over the parietal bones where they connect with the occipital. And there's a leak in the left temple. As much as I love the idea of using it, it's just stupid and impractical." Shryke concluded that while he might end up drinking from Lance's skull "occasionally, for show," he plans to retain his set of brass flutes for everyday use.

Valentine's Day Coming A Little Early In Relationship

MONROE, MI— Area resident Todd Munde, who has been dating Lisa Watros for the past three weeks, lamented Monday that Valentine's Day is coming a little early in the couple's relationship. "It's kind of weird to be doing the whole romantic flowers-and-candy Valentine's Day thing with somebody you just started seeing," said Munde, 30. "Ideally, we would have started dating last October. That way, Valentine's Day would have fallen somewhere around the four-month mark. Oh, well."

Moviegoer Can Already See Where Commercials Will Go

MILTON, MA— Twenty minutes into a screening of Disney's Snow Dogs Monday, moviegoer Ryan Friesen announced that he can already tell where the commercial breaks will be inserted when the film is aired on ABC sometime in 2003. "Right there... commercial," Friesen said to himself as Cuba Gooding Jr., who stars as a Miami dentist who inherits an dogsled team, heads off to Alaska. "That'll be the first break, right around 8:20 p.m., assuming they start it at 8." Friesen has previously called the commercial breaks for the films Jumanji, Home Alone 2, and Twister with 80 percent accuracy.

Smiling Willie Nelson Reflects On A Lifetime Of Weed And Women

LUCK , TX— Taking a long, slow drag off a joint, country-music legend Willie Nelson reflected on a lifetime of weed and women Monday. "I've had some pretty fine times," said a smiling Nelson between hits at his West Texas ranch. "And some pretty fine ladies. Some of the names have escaped me, but the memories never will." Nelson then retired to his backyard, where he drank beer and strummed his favorite guitar while watching the sun go down.

Incurable Romantic? Guilty As Charged!

Next to Christmas, my favorite holiday has to be Valentine's Day. In fact, I just got done decorating the windows of our apartment with teeny hearts cut out of red tissue paper, an annual ritual of mine. And, without fail, my efforts always get the same reaction from hubby Rick: "Geez, Jean, did they rezone the red-light district right through our place? Where's the whores?"

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Actors Decide To Go On With Sitcom Despite Cancellation

BURBANK, CA—Showing the heart and determination that was their show's hallmark throughout its 13-week run, the stars of NBC's Stop The Presses have decided to go on with the series despite its Feb. 5 cancellation.

The cast of the recently cancelled <i>Stop The Presses</i>.

"I think all the pieces were in place to make this show a big hit," said Troy Drake, who played Stan "Big Sticks" Hatch, a former pro-hockey player who moves back to his hometown of Petaluma, CA, to write a sports column for The Petaluma Gazette. "It just needed more time to jell than the network was willing to give. Well, now we have all the time we need."

Though cancellation ordinarily marks the end of a series, the actors agreed there was still work to be done.

"Every show gets shelved eventually," said Drake, speaking from the show's new set in the parking lot of a local Ralphs food store. "But we couldn't bear the thought of abruptly cutting off all those storylines mid-stream. I think I speak for the entire cast when I say we all want to see if Bill and Andrea will eventually give in to the long-simmering sexual tension between them. And, next episode, Jessie's kooky parents swing by for a visit and wreak all kinds of chaos in her life. And that's pretty scary considering how chaotic Jessie's life already is."

The news of the cancellation was a shock to the cast and crew. No one, however, was more upset than Eddie Whyte, who played Lance Roberts, a cocky, hotshot account executive at The Petaluma Gazette with a weakness for the ladies. Just one week before NBC announced the cancellation, Whyte passed up a sizable part in an upcoming Rob Schneider movie to do Stop The Presses.

"When I found out [about the cancellation], I was devastated, because this was a project I truly believed in," said Whyte, rummaging through the cardboard box that is now the wardrobe department. "Our first 13 episodes really showed progress. We started coming together as an ensemble, and the writing got steadily tighter."

Despite losing their writing staff, directors, producers, camera operators, technical crew, set, props, and wardrobe, as well as a network on which to air the show, the Stop The Presses actors remain optimistic they will succeed.

"We have a remarkable cast with tremendous chemistry," said Christine Jagerveldt, who plays Dianne Clarke, the gruff, hard-nosed, secretly lonely publisher of the Gazette. "That's half the battle right there. And we were always ad-libbing and improvising, so scripts aren't a problem, either."

Added Jagerveldt: "We don't even think of ourselves as the cast of a weekly sitcom anymore: We're a family. This whole ordeal has brought us closer together than we ever imagined possible."

Drake said he was genuinely surprised when ABC, CBS, Fox, UPN, WB, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, MTV, VH-1, Comedy Central, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, The Sci-Fi Channel, Bravo, A&E, Home Shopping Network, TV Land, The Discovery Channel, The Food Network, CNN, Oxygen, Noggin, The Cartoon Network, ESPN, and ESPN2 passed on Stop The Presses as a midseason replacement.

"I really thought Telemundo was going to bite," Drake said. "Or [local cable-access channel] 97. But if nobody wants the weekly dose of livin', learnin', and laughin' that Stop The Presses provides, that's fine by us. This is going to be a breakthrough year for Stop The Presses—mark my words. If the networks and their hundreds of syndicated affiliates don't want to be a part of it, screw 'em."

Asked why the cast plans to continue with a show that had neither viewer nor network support, Drake cited a few of his favorite moments from Stop The Presses.

"Remember the episode where tart-tongued copy editor Patti got her hand stuck in the photocopier?" Drake said. "Or the one where Bill and Andrea got stuck together in the elevator? There have been a million moments like that, and from what I've seen of this new season, there are going to be a million more."

Bloodied but unbowed, the Stop The Presses cast is certain that the show will have a long and successful run.

"We're all excited and optimistic about what lies ahead," Drake said. "Barring a rash of heavy rain showers, we just might have an Emmy-winning season on our hands."

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