The 15 hottest topics for the week of July 9, 1999

By Jim Mullen
July 09, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

1 Summer of Sam
Based on the true story of something that terrorized all of New York City in 1977. Disco.

2 Robert Downey Jr.
Cool Hand Bob is back in mandatory rehab for probation violation. The worst part is that his agent takes 15 percent of his cigarettes.

3 Elton John
If his bill drops to less than $400,000 a week, he knows one of his credit cards has been stolen.

4 The Godfather, Part IV
Leo DiCaprio may play a young mafioso out for revenge. He’s going to whack everyone involved in making The Godfather, Part III.

5 Einstein’s brain
Scientists say his brain was different from the average person’s. But when someone left MTV on in the lab, it shrank to normal size.

6 Stephen King
He got hit by a van near his Maine home. He wrote a 1,200-page book about it en route to the hospital.

7 Passions
NBC’s new soap with more sex and violence than usual. Or, as they call it, an Afterschool Special.

8 Michael Jackson
He slipped and fell during a recent performance. He begged, but doctors said he wasn’t hurt enough to need plastic surgery.

9 Doggyland
Snoop Doggy Dog wants to open a theme park. Except when he says ”It’s fun for the whole gang,” he means the Crips and the Bloods.

10 A hole in one
A blind golfer in Milwaukee hit one. ”What’s the big deal?” he asked. ”My sighted friends tell me they get them all the time.”

11 Red Meet
A study backed by a cattlemen’s group says eating beef is good for you. And that cows like being killed.

12 The Ten Commandments
Congress has voted to post them in classrooms around the country. But first they want to write loopholes in them for big campaign donors.

13 Mia Hamm
She gets a lot of press for someone who combines two things sportswriters hate. Women and soccer.

14 Wayne Newton
Now he’s countersuing Tony Orlando over their Branson theater. It’s Has-Been Celebrity Death Match.

15 Dead man on subway
It took several hours for someone to notice him. The bad news is the someone was a mugger.