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Laugh Lines

Punch lines

May 06, 1996

Goodbye, Phil: Donahue taped his last show Thursday, ending more than 28 years on TV:

* "The show was appropriately themed, 'Middle-Aged Men Who've Lost Their Touch.' " (Paul Ecker)

* "Look at the bright side, Phil. You've got money, your health . . . and you can still fit into that dress you wore." (Cutler Daily Scoop)

* "It looks like he finally got to televise an execution." (Argus Hamilton)

* "Rival Sally Jessy Raphael gave Phil a western shirt and cowboy hat to go with the boot NBC gave him." (Ecker)

* "To honor the solemn occasion, cross-dressers across the country hung their bras at half-staff." (Charlie Reinke)

*

Also in the news: Jenny Church, on the vigorous growth of the U.S. economy this spring despite the winter blizzard: "Economists attribute it to rich fertilizer--campaign B.S."

Bob Mills, on Yasser Arafat's U.S. visit: "The trip got off on the wrong foot when his security detail suspected an assassination attempt. Arafat had been assigned a Ford limo."

Alan Ray, on O.J. Simpson's visit to England: "He dreads the long overnight flight. The last time he took a red eye, it was murder."

Jay Leno, on the federal government giving the German air force land in New Mexico to train its pilots: "The Germans said they didn't have enough room in Germany. Didn't they use that argument a couple of times before?"

Paul Ryan, on Holiday Inn opening a line of no-frills hotels: "The only way you'll see a chocolate on the pillow is if the last guest was eating M&Ms in bed."

Ray, on Elizabeth Taylor touring to promote her perfume Black Pearls: "She applies it generously in five places. She dabs some on under each chin."

*

Sports: Alex Pearlstein, on Saturday's Kentucky Derby: "The exciting race had spectators glued to their seats. Unfortunately, they were glued by the losers of last year's derby."

Leno, on injuries plaguing the NBA playoffs: "Michael Jordan was playing with a strained lower back and Dennis Rodman had to play with a deeply infected nose ring."

Cutler, on the flood of undergraduates and high schoolers opting for the NBA draft: "If the players get any younger, Kathie Lee Gifford might have to buy a team."

*

Reader Lu Petitjean of Gardena went camping recently with son Jon and granddaughter Renee, almost 4, at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. As they explored a self-guided trail, Renee loved spotting the numbers marking each point of interest. Suddenly, they encountered a family of big-horned sheep and spent time admiring them, barely 10 feet from the trail. When they returned home, Grandma whispered to Renee to tell her mother the wonderful thing they had seen on the trail. Excitedly, she said:

"Mom, we saw numbers!"

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