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Laugh Lines

Punch lines

May 20, 1997

Our Government: A House committee approved a plan to balance the budget by 2002. "But a few things have to break the right way. For instance, an asteroid has to hit the Earth before all the baby boomers reach retirement age." (Argus Hamilton)

The Treasury has issued a new gun purchase permit that requires residency for at least 90 days, says Bob Mills. "An exemption will be granted only if the purchaser can produce a note from Charlton Heston."

According to a tape obtained by ABC, a Whitewater deputy prosecutor said Hillary Clinton could be indicted. "We don't know what is more shocking--that ABC got hold of a secret tape or that Kenneth Starr didn't hold a press conference." (Cutler Daily Scoop)

The Air Force's first woman B-52 pilot, Lt. Kelly Flinn, is asking for an honorable discharge instead of a court-martial for adultery. "Why do you have to be of impeccable sexual character to drop bombs on people?" (Daily Scoop)

"Washington insiders are saying the sexual harassment charges against Sonny Bono are just a ploy to gain credibility among his colleagues on Capitol Hill." (Craig Kilborn)

*

New in Show Biz: "A baby was finally born to Paul and Jamie on 'Mad About You,' " says Alex Pearlstein. "The couple has a name picked out--Sweeps Week Buchman."

ABC's "Ellen" has been renewed for next year. "Now I see how this works. Before you can come back, first you have to come out." (Pearlstein)

Sylvester Stallone has reportedly wed his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Flavin. "Saying 'I do' was tough. Too many lines." (Alan Ray)

NBC has aired its $40-million miniseries based on "The Odyssey." "The film was so exciting that TV execs were heard yelling, 'Get me that Homer guy and sign him to a three-picture deal.' " (Premiere Morning Sickness)

* "In an all-too obvious attempt to cut costs, instead of Greece, Odysseus returned to Ithaca, N.Y." (Mills)

*

Annals of Paleontology: "Scientists said they have uncovered the largest dinosaur of all time and they're calling it gigantosaurus," says Jay Leno. "That's the name they came up with? Gigantosaurus? These are the best minds in science? What, was the name bigosaurus already taken?"

*

Tobacco Road: Under terms of a settlement with 23 states, Chesterfield, Lark, Eve and L&M cigarette packages will contain a printed warning that "smoking is addictive." "In tiny print just below the warning--'We didn't bother to tell our CEO before he testified to Congress.' " (Mills)

The FDA has approved the antidepressant Zyban as the first nicotine-free drug to help people quit smoking. "The way things are going, it's the tobacco executives who will need the antidepressants." (Johnny Robish)

Reader Joanne Hess of Arcadia was in the car with her 7-year-old son, Keven, who made a loud belch. She turned to him and asked, "What do you say when you burp?"

Kevin replied, "Ahhhhh."

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