Fiona Apple, George Clooney, and more made a couple less-than-bright moves

Stupid is as stupid does” was the mantra on everyone’s lips just a few years ago. It surely applies to this collection of 1997’s most boneheaded showbiz moments.

JAN-MICHAEL VINCENT GETS VOCAL: After allegedly crashing his car while driving drunk, the ex-Airwolf star sued two Orange County, Calif., paramedics for damaging his vocal cords with a breathing tube, claiming the injury keeps him from getting roles. (He dropped the suit in September and denies being drunk or even driving.)

HOW WILL I KNOW? Whitney Houston agreed to sing at the World Culture and Sports Festival for a reported $1 million, then said she didn’t know it was a mass ”Moonie” blessing. She canceled at the 11th hour, citing ”illness.”

ON THE LAM AND ON LETTERMAN: Renee Nelson and her son Gaston chatted with the Late Show host during a roving camera segment. What’s so dumb about that? They were spotted by her ex-partner, the boy’s father, Niel Peterson — who claims Nelson moved away with the boy 4 1/2 years ago and is currently on the run.

GEORGE CLOONEY’S PLEA: To berate the paparazzi after Princess Diana’s death, the actor staged a press conference: ”Do your job. Inform responsibly.” Wow, so he’s a doctor and a journalism professor.

PURPLE DINOSAUR SEES RED: Lyons Partnership, the producers of Barney, filed suit against The Famous San Diego Chicken (a.k.a. Ted Giannoulas) for beating up a Barney look-alike in his sports-arena performances. (The case is pending.)

FIONA X: Accepting the MTV Video Music award for Best New Artist, 19-year-old Fiona Apple gave the year’s most memorable — and unintentionally entertaining — speech. ”I’m not going to do this like everybody else does it,” declared the singer, who then launched into a hypocritical anti-fame tirade, from ”This world is bulls—” to ”It’s just stupid that I’m in this world, but you’re all very cool to me.” Embarrassed presenter Elton John even slunk off stage during Apple’s harangue, while the audience snickered.