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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

July 15, 1996

In the news: Tom Hanks faces a "Raging Bull"-type challenge before he can portray the president of the United States on screen, says Michael X. Ferraro. "Robert De Niro gained 70 pounds to play the boxer, and Hanks is going to have to drop 40 points in the popularity polls to play the president."

Bob Dole said the head of the NAACP "tried to set him up" by inviting him to address the group. Says Alex Pearlstein, "Probably not the most prudent thing to say in an election year. Sort of makes you wonder who's at the Helms of his campaign. . . ."

President Clinton proposed spending millions to fix up aging schools. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "For example, the liberal school of thought is completely dilapidated."

* Adds Argus Hamilton, "Sure, schools have bullet holes and crumbling walls. But when the teacher is describing the battle of the Alamo, you feel like you're right there."

The Surgeon General's Office says Americans' lack of exercise is a nationwide problem. Says Alan Ray, "They didn't name the cause--but they're planning a 12-hour TV marathon to discuss the issue."

A report shows a record 27% of college students drop out after their first year:

* "It's easy to spot the potential dropouts. They're the ones who turn in their class assignments on an Etch-A-Sketch." (Bob Mills)

* "Not attending class is tough on a 19-year-old. He keeps being mistaken for a football player." (Ray)

* "The government's trying to think of a way to do something about this. Duh! How about bringing back the draft? I spent nine years in college." (Jay Leno)

The L.A. City Council agreed to legalize home-based businesses. Says Art Montag, "The decision was hailed by Heidi Fleiss."

New York City is considering a 10 p.m. curfew for teenagers. Says Rudolph Cecera, "It seems the muggers are afraid to go out at night."

Says Dick Tyler, "Wouldn't you know that when the Olga lingerie factories laid off 200 workers it gave them pink slips?"

Mickey Rooney has filed for bankruptcy. Says Charlie Reinke, "Not too surprising, since he's been a little short for years."


Star-struck: Actor Harry Morgan, 81, was charged with spousal abuse in Brentwood. Says Hy Faber, "This time the arthritis defense may hold up."

* Adds Premiere Morning Sickness, "Asked what he thought of the incident, the former 'Dragnet' star said it was dumb-de-dumb-dumb."


Reader Ellen Calcaterra of Brentwood says her worldly brother, Tim, was visiting their older brother and his children in a very small town in Idaho. As a special treat, Tim had brought along a fine bottle of 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon to share. When 8-year-old Brian saw the bottle on the dinner table, he yelled out:

"Hey! Who bought this wine? It's way past the expiration date!"

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