The 15 hottest topics the week of July 25, 1997

1 CONTACT The film uses clips of President Clinton without his permission. It’s worse than sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom without donating.

2 CNN Their reporters may no longer be allowed to appear in movies because people won’t take them seriously. Movie stars say the same thing about appearing on TV.

3 NEW TV RATINGS Parents will now be able to tell the content of shows. So they can call home from the singles bar and tell their kids to change the channel.

4 MIKE TYSON It’s too weird. You bite off someone’s ear and what do you get? A hearing.

5 NEANDERTHALS DNA tests prove humans aren’t descended from them after all. Have they tested Sly Stallone yet?

6 BRAD PITT Message to movie stars and royalty: Normal people don’t walk around their vacation houses naked.

7 ”FASTER, CHEAPER, BETTER” It’s NASA’s new motto. It only took them 20 years and $18 billion to come up with it.

8 ROAR A young, good-looking fifth-century Celt named Conor fights invading Romans. It’s what happens when Xena and Hercules mate.

9 FOX HUNTS Animal-rights activists are trying to get them banned in Britain. Then they’ll work on poverty, racism, unemployment, and crime.

10 PARKING Some stores are reserving space near the door for pregnant women. It’s an idea they got from high schools.

11 TOUR DE FRANCE A 21-day endurance race where bikers go over 100 miles a day. Here we use cars and call it ”commuting.”

12 FEN/PHEN New reports say the diet drugs are very dangerous. Guess we should have listened to the old reports that said they were very dangerous.

13 JEWEL The Alaskan singer has become the biggest story in music. The Squirrel Nut Zippers must be on vacation.

14 CHICAGO HOPE One of next season’s episodes may be a musical. Let’s hope the surgeons don’t get opening-night jitters.

15 MTV They’re building a new glass studio in Times Square a la the Today show. Finally, something to attract people to that part of town.

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