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Entertainment Today: Show-biz news

By United Press International   |   Oct. 19, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

'THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY'

Madison Square Garden will be the place to be Saturday evening as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, The Who and the Backstreet Boys take the stage for "The Concert for New York City."

The five-hour-long show --- which will air live on VH1 (beginning at 7 p.m. ET) -- is a one-night-only fundraising event to benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund supporting victims of the Sept. 11th attack and to honor the heroic rescue workers.

Other artists scheduled to perform include Bon Jovi, Bono and his U2 bandmate the Edge, David Bowie, Elton John, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson (live via satellite), James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Macy Gray, Goo Goo Dolls, Melissa Etheridge, Marc Anthony and Five For Fighting.

Other celebrities slated to appear include Harrison Ford, Selma Hayek, Will Farrell, Jim Carrey, Meg Ryan, Michael J. Fox, Susan Sarandon, David Spade, Julia Stiles, Denis Leary, John Cusack, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe.

Paul Shaffer of "The Late Show with David Letterman" will serve as musical director.

Five thousand members of the New York Fire, Police and Rescue crews and their families will be in attendance as guests of honor.

(Web site: vh1.com)


ROBERT DE NIRO

Robert De Niro has reportedly dropped out of a movie project about a severely neurotic therapist in order to do a sequel to "Analyze This," in which he played a mob boss given to fits of high anxiety.

Daily Variety reports the two-time Oscar-winning actor has canceled plans to produce and star in "Scared Guys," as a therapist who also happens to be an obsessive-compulsive agoraphobic who hasn't left his apartment in six years.

He gets around that problem by giving therapy over the Internet, but he falls in love with a patient -- who turns out to be a police dispatcher working right across the street from his home. When the therapist learns his cyber-love is about to be murdered, he and his agoraphobic roommate have to summon all their strength to leave the apartment, go across the street and save her.

The project is being directed by Dean Parisot, best known for the 1999 Tim Allen-Sigourney Weaver sci-fi comedy "Galaxy Quest."

De Niro is expected to start filming in February on "Analyze That," the sequel to his 1999 comedy with Billy Crystal as the psychiatrist who helps De Niro's mob boss deal with his melancholy. Crystal is reportedly still in talks to join the new project.

Variety reports De Niro will collect close to $20 million for the movie -- his best payday ever. De Niro has long been one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, but he didn't start collecting super-sized fees until he connected with comedies such as "Analyze This" and "Meet the Parents."

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


DARRELL HAMMOND

Officials at American University in Washington, D.C., say comedian Darrell Hammond -- best known for his hilarious celebrity impressions of Bill Clinton, Al Gore and others on "Saturday Night Live" -- has been tapped to perform at the school's upcoming gala.

Hammond will appear at the school's annual Homecoming and Reunion, scheduled for this coming weekend. The events will take place off campus at the Washington's Union Station, near Capitol Hill.

Several other alums of the school are scheduled to appear, including Bob Edwards of "Morning Edition" fame on NPR. Edwards will be the master of ceremonies. Also appearing will be Adrian Cronaeur, the inspiration for the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam." Technically he's not an official alumnus of the school: he was drafted just 11 credits shy of graduating.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


KEVIN NEALON

"Saturday Night Live" alum Kevin Nealon has been tapped to host a new series on TNN.

"TNN's Conspiracy Zone With Kevin Nealon" will take a light-hearted yet open-eyed look into the world of the unexplained. The weekly half-hour series will be taped before a live audience at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood beginning next Monday, and is scheduled to premiere in January.

The show will explore popular conspiracies such as Alien Abduction, Is Elvis Still Alive, Roswell, Are Secret Societies Controlling Our Lives, and Rock Star Deaths. Scheduled panelists include acclaimed actor/comedian Eric Idle, award-winning recording artist Clint Black, actress Linda Blair, Adam Corolla (Comedy Central's "Man Show"), Bob Odenkirk (HBO's "Mr. Show with Bob & Dave"), Ray Manzarek ("The Doors"), John Fugelsang (ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos"), Rock critic Alex Constantine, and Harry Shearer ("Spinal Tap," "The Simpsons").

(Web site: tnnonline.com)

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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