Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Comic relief

Jon Stewart, David Javerbaum and Ben Karlin won the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor for their book, “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction.”

The award is named for James Thurber, an author, humorist and New Yorker magazine cartoonist who delighted readers for decades with his sharp wit and literary flair before his death in 1961.

Mr. Stewart is the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” which has earned seven Emmys and a George Foster Peabody Award.

The Thurber Prize, started in 1996, is considered the nation’s top award for humor writing.

According to Associated Press, the trio received the award Monday night at the Algonquin Hotel, the legendary spot where New Yorker writers, including Mr. Thurber, once gathered frequently to hold court.

Just no stopping him

The man who murdered John Lennon 25 years ago says “nothing could have stopped” his twisted quest to track down and assassinate the ex-Beatle.

“I was under total compulsion,” jailed killer Mark David Chapman says in a segment airing Friday evening at 8 on “Dateline NBC.”

Chapman fatally shot Mr. Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, as the musician and his wife, Yoko Ono, returned home from a night in a Manhattan recording studio. Chapman’s comments came from audiotapes made in 1991-92 and first used as part of a British documentary, AP reports.

Chapman recalled that his desire to kill Mr. Lennon began one day in his apartment in Hawaii, where he was sitting on the floor and looking at the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

“There was a successful man who kind of had the world on a chain, so to speak, and there I was, not even a link of that chain, just a person who had no personality,” Chapman says, “and something in me just broke.”

Chapman, 50, will be eligible for parole again next year. Miss Ono has argued repeatedly against his release, and his bids for freedom have been rejected three times by the New York state parole board.

Rekindled love

Are Sienna Miller and Jude Law a twosome again?

The pair recently spent a weekend together in Los Angeles and also were spotted at the premiere of her new film, “Casanova,” the Miami Herald reports. Although they arrived separately at the premiere, it was the couple’s first public appearance since Mr. Law admitted that he had slept with his children’s nanny — a dalliance that prompted Miss Miller to end their engagement.

Asked by the syndicated TV show “Extra” about the current state of affairs, Miss Miller said: “We’re working things out, and he … remains my closest friend in the whole world.”

About face

Actress Sharon Stone has settled a lawsuit against the plastic surgeon she accused of jeopardizing her career by falsely claiming he had given her a facelift, says Agence France-Presse.

Miss Stone, 47, filed suit against Beverly Hills surgeon Renato Calabria 11 months ago, stating that he told Us Weekly and In Touch Weekly magazines that he had done work on her face.

Sound of dubbing

Entertainment Weekly magazine ends the mystery of why actor Christopher Plummer didn’t sing in “The Sound of Music” as the Oscar-winning 1965 film returns this week in a special 40th-anniversary edition on DVD.

In a question-and-answer session, EW noted it was common at the time to use someone else’s singing voice. The magazine also asked how Mr. Plummer expected to warble with the likes of co-star and songbird Julie Andrews, the Detroit Free Press notes.

“Our balance didn’t work at all. Julie has that irritating sense of absolute perfect pitch,” EW quotes Mr. Plummer as saying. “And her endurance on those long notes … I didn’t have that technique.”

Bill Lee, who earlier had performed the theme song for the “Zorro” TV series (1957-1959), dubbed Mr. Plummer’s singing voice as Capt. Georg von Trapp.

50’s hooked on books

Rapper 50 Cent, who portrays a character based on his life in the new film “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” will again turn his reality into fiction with a new line of hip-hop novellas and graphic novels featuring his former G-Unit rap crew buddies, AP reports.

Pocket/MTV Books promised the venture would showcase “gritty” stories and cover much of the same terrain as 50’s (real name Curtis Jackson) rap lyrics.

Nikki Turner, author of “The Glamorous Life” and “A Hustler’s Wife,” will write the line’s first novella, scheduled for release in 2007.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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