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by Jim Mullen
Entertainment Weekly
November 29, 2002

What the country is talking about this week

1. J. Lo and Ben overkill: According to the gossips, this is the most important event every to happen in the history of the planet. How quickly we forget Madonna and that other guy.

2. Joni Mitchell: The quixotic singer says she’s quitting the music business. The decision is retroactive to 1982.

3. Harry Potter 2: The wizard in waiting made $88 million disappear from American wallets on opening weekend. He’s like the legal version of Enron.

4. Sally Jessy Raphael: She’s suing a tabloid for saying she had a mental breakdown. Are they crazy? What’s to break?

5. The Brady Bunch in the White House: It’s like the West Wing without all the snappy dialogue and good acting.

6. Michael Jackson’s nose: Why would the human cartoon do that to himself? Because now his surgical masks fit like a glove.

7. Thanksgiving: Thanks for the day off…so I can cook and clean for 17 extra people. Dear Lord, please force me to stay at work on this day next year.

8. Die Another Day: Sounds like even James Bond has trouble with his HMO.

9. Russell Crowe: He says he’s under “a massive level of stress.” It’s gotten so bad that sometimes he doesn’t know whether to start the brawl or just jump in.

10. Miss Cleo: The feds forced the psychic to forgive $500 million in bills. Fulfilling her prediction that customers’ money problems would go away.

11. Lisa Ling: She’s leaving The View to host National Geographic Explorer. Instead of being surrounded by old geezers, she’ll be searching for old geysers.

12. Buy Nothing Day: A group wants the day after Thanksgiving to be a protest against the crass consumerism of the holiday season. I bought them a hair shirt.

13. Jesse Ventura: MSNBC may give the outgoing governor his own political talk show. It’ll be called The Federal Smackdown.

14. The Emperor’s Club: At a private school, Kevin Kline teaches children of privilege how to rule the world. But first they have to pass Lying and Cheating 101.

15. Are you Hot? ABC is developing an American Idol-style beauty-contest series. All viewers will also get a chance to appear on Are You an Airhead?

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Added to Library on December 24, 2002. (1717)

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