In the news: Jay Leno, on the upcoming trial of alleged Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss: "It's one of the few cases where the defendant charges more per hour than the attorney. Which is unusual, because essentially they are doing the same thing."
Leno, on the start of jury selection in the O.J. trial: "The defense is going to be looking for younger males, because they traditionally distrust authority. But the prosecution is going to be looking for really unhappy Hertz customers."
Comedy writer Tony Peyser, on accusations that the LAPD went too far in gathering evidence with a limited search warrant in the Simpson case: "A recent revelation is that they also searched the offices of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist."
Comedy writer Bob Mills, on the recent study showing that doctors who listen to their favorite songs during surgery are more efficient: "That's just as long as the music doesn't drown out the sound of the cash register."
Comedy writer Alan Ray, on the slow change of leadership in Haiti: "Between leaders, a transition team always comes in--Junta Temps."
Comedy writer Mark Miller, on finding fossils from the oldest known human ancestor--4.4 million years old--in Ethiopia: "Remains included teeth, skull fragments, arm bones, and tickets to an early George Burns concert. . . . Scientists said the species is a mosaic of primitive and advanced features, 'not unlike the bass player for Aerosmith.' "
Words to live by . . .
* If you go to a costume party dressed as a toilet, keep your mouth shut.
* Never buy a TV from a man who's out of breath.
* Variety is the spice of life, but it takes monotony to finance it.
* If you look for love in all the wrong places, you'll have a great time.
* Time is a great healer, but plastic surgery is quicker.
September marks the anniversary of Francis Scott Key's inspiration to write "The Star Spangled Banner." On this day 180 years ago, Key took the song to his publisher and said, "Manny, I don't know why, but it sounds better if you sing it standing up."
--Gags Gang/Funny Stuff newsletter
What has blond hair, a big ego, no personality and $10 million? \o7 Macaulay Culkin, after taxes.\f7
--Huston Huddleston, Sherman Oaks
When his daughter, Claire, was 4, reader John E. Bolen of Huntington Beach bought her a videotape of "Beauty and the Beast." Among the scenes in the movie that caught her attention was when the Beast allows Belle to go anywhere in the castle, except the west wing: He roars, "It is forbidden."
\o7 After viewing the movie several times, a puzzled Claire came to me and said there was something she couldn't understand.
"Who is this Bidden guy?" she asked. "And why can he go into the west wing and Belle can't?" \f7