In spite of the raging flood of rumor that former President Bill Clinton is trying to get his own talk show, Clinton now tells NPR that it's not likely he will get a daily slot, as many have speculated. Appearing on "The Tavis Smiley Show," Clinton said he would be "surprised" if he did end up hosting a show on a regular basis. He told the interviewer on the broadcast that neither NBC executives -- with whom he met last week -- nor he were pushing for the broadcast series. He said that he was approached by a group of investors and simply followed through on some discussions to see what might be done. Meanwhile, the speculation continues with "Clinton lovers" and "Clinton haters" voicing strong opinions about a possible show.
A M*A*S*H REUNION OF SORTS
It may be the first wave of a M*A*S*H invasion of a posh New York City condominium. Both Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland, stars of the original Korean War medic movie, have decided to move into the same building. And, according to the New York Post, the joint moves are purely coincidental. Gould has taken out a contract on a three-bedroom place that is currently going for about $3.2 million. Sutherland's digs are a bit more expensive, $4 million. Both are in the Park Imperial residences, in the 1700 block of Broadway.
MAFIA'S 'JOE BANANAS' DIES IN TUCSON
Even though he repeatedly told reporters that he was "the most misunderstood guy in the world and not really a criminal," court records of Joseph Bonanno would seem to prove otherwise. In deteriorating health in recent years, "Joe Bananas," as he was usually called, outlived most of his peers. He died over the weekend in Tucson, Ariz. CNN says that he was at the top of his form in the Mafia in the 1950s and '60s. Early in his career he was an "employee" of Al Capone. By the way, as you might guess, he never liked his nickname. Bonanno was 97.
PAVAROTTI OPTS OUT OF FINAL MET SHOW
Opera fans who had paid big bucks didn't know until the last minute Saturday if opera star Luciano Pavarotti was going to perform in the final show of the Metropolitan Opera season in Manhattan or not. He was ill with the flu but was determined to perform. But, at the last minute, he opted out, saying that it would be impossible for him to sing. The Met's press division says that a rising young tenor, Salvatore Licitra, was flown over from Europe -- on the Concorde, no less -- to fill in, stepping into some pretty sizable shoes. And so "Tosca" went on as scheduled, but without Pavarotti. Interestingly, one of the New York City newspapers, the Post, paraphrased an old axiom in announcing the tenor's non-appearance: "Fat Man Won't Sing."
QUINTESSENTIAL POLITICIAN'S WIFE DIES
She was the wife of one governor of California and the mother of another. And now, Bernice Brown has died. Mrs. Brown had been first lady of California during the tenure of her late husband Edmund G. "Pat" Brown in the state capital in Sacramento. Later she saw her son Jerry become the state's governor. Recently he has been serving as mayor of Oakland. According to the younger Brown's press aide, Mrs. Brown died of natural causes over the weekend. She is remembered as the Golden State first lady responsible for doing much of the redecoration of the old governor's mansion. It's now a museum. A daughter, Kathleen Brown, once served as California's treasurer and failed in a bid to become governor. Bernice Brown was 93.
COUNTRY MORE AND MORE RETURNING TO ROOTS
In recent years many major country stars have put out immensely popular albums of what can be best described as "traditional" country music. Alan Jackson, according to CMT, did so in 1999. His "Under the Influence" CD paid homage to the pioneers of country music and became a huge success. Now Daryle Singletary is debuting a compilation called "That's Why I Sing This Way." Only one song in the collection, the title track, is new. All the others are remakes of country favorites. And, to make the album even more interesting, Singletary enlisted the help of a cadre of country stars, including Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Jon Wesley Ryles and Rhonda Vincent, to send backup or harmony on the cuts. Early reviews indicate that while carrying through much of the original flavor of the earlier hits, Singletary cannot escape using his own unique style of singing. He's not imitating the past, as reviewer Edward Morris puts it, he makes the songs sound as though he is "mulling over the sentiments (of the lyrics) for the first time."
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 331
As many of my regular readers know, I loathe the smell of cigarette smoke. I'm cursed with a bloodhound's nose. I often am irritated by odors that other people only smell later. So, today's question: "Are you plagued with being overly sensitive to odors? Can you remember any time that someone's cologne or perfume nearly knocked you out? What about other (non-smoking) smells?" Put SMELLS in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 326 (STOLEN)
One of last week's questions was forged in the wake of the weekend theft of my car, which I eventually got back. Here are some of your car theft stories, taken at random: Ruth B reports have not one but two cars stolen in a 6-month period. She reports that the first one was filled with items purchased to replace things ruined by Hurricane Andrew. The second car stolen was the replacement for the first. Wow! Btrflybabe lived her whole life in NYC before moving here to Las Vegas and never was robbed. But, you guess it, someone took her car at gunpoint, along with her purse. It happened near the Las Vegas Strip. Police caught the car thieves when they were speeding in the car. loubabe says the family Lincoln was stolen from the garage as she and her husband were eating lunch on the floor above it. Patricia O says my timing is "impeccable." She had a minivan stolen and recovered completely "trashed." Her replacement, purchased within days, was then stolen. She got it back in rather OK shape. On the bright side, Peggy once had a car stolen that was going to be repossessed anyway. With the insurance she was able to pay off the loan and have some pocket change left.
TOMORROW: A complaint about our "dull" questions, such as the number of doors in your home. GBA.