BAD TASTE MTV has decided to edit out the grimace-inducing Columbine joke that ”There’s Something About Mary” cocreator Bobby Farrelly made at its Movie Awards taped Saturday night before the ceremony is broadcast on Thursday night. When accepting his and his brother Peter’s Best Picture trophy, Farrelly said that he hopes that ”next time some high school kid breaks up with his girlfriend…(and) wipes out half his classmates, maybe he’ll think of us.” Not even the applause-happy MTV audience laughed. Bobby Farrelly later told the Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to apologize for the remark, saying he meant it to be sarcastic and ironic, but that ”it came out moronic.”
LOOKING FOR WORK Dennis Rodman apparently wants to be productive with his free time, so he’s signed on for at least five matches with World Championship Wrestling. His first bout — which will air on TNT — will take place on July 5.
UNDER ARREST Those kooky boys in Rammstein were arrested after Saturday night’s concert in Worcester, Mass., for performing obscene acts. The obscenity in question was a staple of the band’s show, when two members simulate anal sex (clothed, mind you, if that’s any consolation), with a fake penis. The band was released on Sunday morning, and a spokesperson told MTV News that ”they strongly deny any criminal wrongdoing, (but) they have retained local counsel and intend to respect the laws of the city in question by seeing this matter through to its logical conclusion.”
CASTING David Hyde Pierce (”Frasier”) has joined Jeff Goldblum and Salma Hayek in the comedic heist film ”Shiny New Enemies,” playing an obsequious personal assistant who cuckolds his boss.
SHOWSTOPPER A Tim McGraw concert in Pontiac, Mich., ended early and nastily Friday night when a female audience member used pepper spray on someone she said grabbed her, and the potent spray spread throughout the crowd. More than 400 attendees were evacuated with burning eyes, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and McGraw fell to the ground in pain in the middle of a song when it hit him.
TONY TROUBLES When Rosie O’Donnell started hosting the Tonys two years ago, the ratings soared. But when she took this year off, the ratings went right back down again. Sunday night’s broadcast pulled in a 7.9 overnight rating (which only counts the audiences in major cities), which is a 5 percent drop from the show’s previous low record, the 8.3 overnight in 1996. Last year’s show with O’Donnell at the podium pulled in a 10.3…. That’s not the only bad news for the Tonys. The producers of the nominated ”It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues” were enraged when their production number was cut at the last minute when the ceremony’s producers realized the show — which CBS had demanded be off the air by 11 p.m. — was running long. ”Blues,” which is struggling on Broadway, was the only best-musical nominee not to get a showcase, and this national exposure is considered imperative to keeping a show alive. According to the New York Times, the musical’s producers have hired powerful entertainment lawyer Bert Fields (who is currently representing Jeffrey Katzenberg against Disney) to make demands against the Tonys, which include reimbursement for the fee they spent to get on the awards show (an accepted fee that all musicals pay). Tony Award Productions released a statement which said that ”Blues” wasn’t the only thing cut when the show ran long, and that ”We share in the disappointment of our community that (these segments) fell prey to one of the inherent perils of live television.”
PHILANDERING, NEWSMAN-STYLE The late Charles Kuralt was apparently keeping busy while on the road. The married newsman, whose wife stayed in New York while he traveled around the country for his CBS segments, kept a mistress for 29 years, right up until his death at age 62 in 1997, according to the Associated Press. The affair came to light when his lover, Patricia Shannon, successfully filed suit last month to claim the Montana retreat that he allegedly built for her. Judging from court documents and letters from Kuralt, over the years he had reportedly sent her money, subsidized her business, bought her homes, and paid for her children’s schooling. Kuralt’s wife had no comment.
REEL DEALS Director Ron Underwood (”Mighty Joe Young”) has backed out of the Vince Vaughn comedy ”Guam Goes to the Moon,” reportedly tired of Paramount’s stalling. Vaughn’s ”Swingers” buddy, Jon Favreau had handed in a hilarious rewrite of the comedy about a U.S. astronaut recruited by the third-world country to start a space program, according to Variety, but Paramount still waffled on giving it a greenlight. The producers are now hunting for a new director…. Actress Joan Chen will make her American directing debut with ”Autumn in New York,” a tearjerker about a playboy (Richard Gere) who falls in love with a younger woman (Winona Ryder) who — and here come the waterworks — is dying…. Baseball stars like Sammy Sosa and Cal Ripken Jr. are joining the entertainment game. The Major League Baseball Players Association is developing a new animated show with ”Rugrats” producer Mitchell Kriegman that will center around a group of young baseball fanatics, and will feature regular voice cameos by the league’s biggest heroes. The untitled show (which is still in negotiations for a network home) would premiere next fall to coincide with the start of the sport’s season.