Ben Affleck's turkey choice, "Conan" controversy and a decapitation trend in the movies

By Joe Dziemianowicz and Allyssa Lee
Updated November 26, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

TALKING TURKEY It’s one of the great dilemmas of modern life—or at least Thanksgiving dinner: White meat or dark? To help guide you through this crucial holiday decision, we asked celebs their preferences:

”White, plus all the trimmings.” —MELISSA JOAN HART

”Dark meat. Juicy. And I eat all the skin, too.” —RODNEY DANGERFIELD

”A little bit of both, please. But no chestnuts because I’m allergic.” —LAURENCE FISHBURNE

”White meat, because I understand dark has more fat.” —Filmmaker KEVIN SMITH (Dogma)

”That’s a very delicate question for me, because right now I’m really questioning all eating of meat.” —REBECCA DE MORNAY (ER)

”Drumstick. I want the whole drumstick in one piece. I want to do the Henry VIII thing.” —JERI RYAN (Star Trek: Voyager)

”I prefer the dessert.” —HALEY JOEL OSMENT (The Sixth Sense)

”Definitely white, because brown’s all like, uh, runny.” —TREY PARKER (South Park cocreator)

”White meat. The breast. Though, actually I’m more of an ass man, so I should probably like dark meat better.” —BEN AFFLECK

STAND-UP AND FIGHT It’s not exactly Letterman versus Leno, but another talk-show war recently erupted. The battle began when stand-up comic Todd Barry appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien earlier this year, then checked a Conan newsgroup on the Internet to see how he had done. Big mistake. Turns out he’d been blasted as the worst guest of the week and described by one viewer as ”icky.” A nasty cyberwar of words ensued between Barry and a fierce band of Conan devotees. Then, last month, the enterprising comedian turned his pain into a one-man Off Broadway show called, appropriately enough, Icky. Says Barry, ”The show gives me a chance to clear my name in front of people who had no idea I was criticized until I told them.” In any case, it all worked out: On Nov. 5, Jean Westley, the fan who posted the original anti-Barry message, attended Icky—and became a convert. Her conclusion: ”Not icky.”

HACK WORK Here’s a trend the whole family can enjoy: decapitation! Severed heads have popped up in a bizarre number of recent movies and TV shows, including The 13th Warrior, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Crazy in Alabama (which featured a chopped top in a hat box), South Park, Princess Mononoke, The Practice, and, of course, Sleepy Hollow (in which Johnny Depp tries to track down the Headless Horseman). Why the passion for dislodged noggins? Well, perhaps we should blame it on that old standby, Y2K. Says Adam Schroeder, coproducer of Hollow, ”We’re coming closer to the millennium, and everybody’s losing their head about that.” Ouch.