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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

This Proves Timing Is Everything in Comedy

June 18, 2004|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

There was an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on HBO in February in which Larry David, the show's star, creator and executive producer, took a lady of the evening to a Dodger game so he could use the carpool lane on the freeway.

Footage shot at Dodger Stadium for that show, The Times and other media outlets reported recently, exonerated Juan Catalan, who had been charged with murder.

Outtakes, viewed by Catalan's attorney, showed that Catalan, as he had maintained, was at the Dodger game last May at the time he was accused of committing the murder of a 16-year-old girl in Sun Valley.

As a result, a judge set Catalan free.

Said David: "I'm quitting the show to devote the rest of my life to freeing those unjustly incarcerated."

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Truth copies fiction: The plot of a 2002 novel by Susan Shelly, titled "The 37th Amendment" and set in the year 2056, is similar to what happened to Catalan.

In the book, a man is convicted of murder, despite testimony that he was at a Laker game.

But because due process has been done away with, the man in the book is not as fortunate as Catalan. He is executed before being cleared.

Does this mean it is better to be seen at a Dodger game than at a Laker game?

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Trivia time: Larry Brown, besides coaching in the ABA and at UCLA and Kansas, has coached seven NBA teams. Which ones?

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He never lets up: Among pitchmen, George Foreman is a heavyweight champion. Look what he did for the George Foreman grill.

In a Father's Day promotion, he has teamed with timepiece manufacturer Elgin to raise money for the George Foreman Youth and Community Center.

So how good is Foreman at hawking products? Consider this:

After his last fight, a controversial loss to Shannon Briggs in 1997 televised by HBO, commentator Larry Merchant asked Foreman for his reaction to the decision.

His response caught everyone off guard.

"Well, Larry, I want you to see something," said Foreman, grabbing his trunks and showing his waistline. "That's about eight weeks I spent on that George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine. I grill right in the bedroom, and I was able to lose a lot of weight."

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Trivia answer: The Denver Nuggets, 1976-79; the New Jersey Nets, 1981-83; the San Antonio Spurs, 1988-92; the Clippers, 1992-93; the Indiana Pacers, 1993-97; the Philadelphia 76ers, 1997-2003, and the Detroit Pistons, 2003-present.

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And finally: The Clippers never get any recognition. At least not the good kind.

ESPN, celebrating its 25th anniversary, listed its 25 greatest teams of the last 25 years in its "Who's No. 1?" series this week.

The Clippers of course didn't make that list, but they make next week's list of the 25 worst teams of the last 25 years. In fact, the Clippers make it twice.

The 1999-2000 Clippers come in at No. 12, and the 1986-87 Clippers at No. 4.

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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