The 15 hottest topics from the week of Oct. 17

1 ‘Beloved’ Will white audiences go for a movie about the effects of slavery? Sure, if it has a lot of high-speed car chases.

2 Christmas Some stores have decorated early for the holidays — the 1999 holidays.

3 ‘Bride of Chucky’ The evil, sadistic doll takes a wife. With any luck it’s Barbie.

4 ‘Practical Magic’ Witches are upset because their boyfriends keep dying. Seems there’s some bad eye of newt going around.

5 Standard Time Daylight saving comes to an end Oct. 25. Remember — spring forward, fall in the dark.

6 Groucho Marx It turns out the FBI kept a file on him. We’ll never know how close our country came to being taken over by comedians.

7 ‘Ally McBeal’ Her skirts will be going up another inch this year. Actually, when it’s that short it’s not a skirt — it’s a long choker.

8 Champagne A researcher claims the British invented it first. To go with all their fine food, no doubt.

9 Welcome Wagon After 70 years they’ll no longer visit neighbors. Even if they could get past the guard at the gate.

10 Homing Pigeons After a recent race, 2,000 birds were missing. The same week Boston Chicken filed for bankruptcy.

11 Joe Pesci The tough talker takes the mike as a lounge singer with his CD, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You. Including his big hit, ”You Gotta Problem Wit’ Dat?”

12 ‘Holy Man’ It sank so fast Disney plans to rerelease it as Titanic II.

13 Mike Tyson A panel of psychiatrists has found him mentally fit to box. And to fire Don King.

14 Barbara Walters She denies the rumors she’s going to marry Sen. John Warner. But not the ones about her and Sammo Hung.

15 ‘Costello’ The first television series canceled this year. It’s the North Dakota of TV shows — you’ll never meet anyone who’s seen it.

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