"Truman Show" honors fancy dogs, and NFL players join singers in the recording studio

WAG THE DOG In The Truman Show, Laura Linney is often heard extolling the virtues of phony products—like Mococoa hot chocolate and the Chef’s Pal kitchen utensil. Then how is it that a real product managed to score some free advertising? Director Peter Weir specifically requested that Dog Fancy magazine (a sister publication of Cat Fancy, natch) appear prominently at the newsstand Jim Carrey visits every morning. “I think [the name] just tickled his fancy,” says Truman‘s production designer, Dennis Gassner. “It could be one of those Australian things.” Nevertheless, the Fancy publishers were more than happy to cooperate. “My only concern was that there be no anti-dog message in the movie,” says editor Betty Liddick. “But they assured me it was all positive.” And while Fancy has yet to see a boost in subscription sales from the big-screen exposure, Liddick is pleased with the magazine’s first foray into feature films—almost. “I enjoyed the movie immensely,” she says. “But I thought Truman needed a dog.”—Kristen Baldwin

TACKLING A TUNE Imagine a room full of people, half of whom can’t sing, wailing away at a ballad so sappy it’d make you long for the edginess of the Super Bowl halftime show. That was the scene at New York’s Manhattan Center Studios on June 25, when a squad of the NFL’s brightest—including San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jeff Blake—teamed up with a slew of musical all-stars—including Faith Evans, 98 degrees, and Jo Dee Messina—to record “We’re All in This Together,” a pigskin-flavored “We Are the World” commemorating the 25th anniversary of the NFL’s relationship with the United Way. Expect to hear the treacly anthem next season in stadiums and during pregame telecasts. Not surprisingly, many of the players proved less than adept at getting down. “Singing’s something I’m not very good at,” admits Rice. “I know my limitations.” Then again, the singers weren’t very sports savvy either. ”I never liked football, to tell you the truth,” says R&B crooner Evans, who agreed to participate for the charity work. The song will be available as a bonus track on NFL Jams and NFL Country, upcoming duet albums that pair up musicians like DJ Hurricane and the Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock with rappin’ quarterbacks Kerry Collins and Danny Kanell. “I’ve been getting some pretty good reviews,” says Kanell, “but most of those people are friends and they wouldn’t want to talk bad about me.”—Ron Brunner