The 15 Hottest Topics of the Week of September 25, 1998

1 THE STARR REPORT Also known as ”Everything You Didn’t Want to Know About Sex but Were Afraid They’d Tell You.”

2 FOUL-LANGUAGE FILTER It’s a device that can replace offensive words on your TV with darn and shoot. ”Jerry Springer” comes out ”Oprah Winfrey.”

3 ROSH HASHANAH Marking the Jewish New Year 5661. Celebrants are concerned about the upcoming Y6K bug.

4 PERMANENT MIDNIGHT Ben Stiller plays a heroin-addicted sitcom writer. He’d get help but he’s ashamed to tell people he works in television.

5 MADONNA She offended Hindus by wearing sacred markings with a see-through top. It was a big mistake — she meant to offend Buddhists.

6 BOY OR GIRL? Scientists now have a way of selecting the sex of your child. Call me when they can select the age.

7 L.A. DOCTORS The problems of four young, handsome physicians who start their own practice. Like where to park their BMWs.

8 ONE TRUE THING Renee Zellweger reconciles with dying mom Meryl Streep. If your date sits through this, marry him.

9 MARTHA STEWART She nixed a season opener with President Clinton. He was asking advice on how to remove spots.

10 ENCORE! ENCORE! Nathan Lane is an opera star whose career is cut short. He broke into ”Hakuna Matata” during Aida.

11 COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS The fans say they like songs about real people with real problems. Then Bill Clinton should have a No. 1 record.

12 MISS AMERICA PAGEANT You can’t win on looks alone. You have to answer tough questions like ”Where would you put icky nuclear waste?”

13 TILT! A 3,700-room casino under construction in Las Vegas is sinking. Burying the architect under it should help.

14 DONNY AND MARIE The brother-sister act from the ’70s is back with a talk show. It’s Regis and Kathie Lee lite.

15 COSTELLO A comedy set in a tough Boston bar where everybody knows your name. Because they took your wallet.