Here's what the cast of ''Friends'' is up to this week. Matt LeBlanc goes motocross racing against professionals, and Lisa Kudrow doesn't like her own looks -- or clown paintings

By Gary Susman
December 05, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Friends: Danny Feld for NBC
  • TV Show

‘CROSS FIRE While most of us spent Thanksgiving weekend in a tryptophan coma, Matt LeBlanc went motocross racing. According to Cycle News, he participated in A Day in the Dirt, a bike rally at the Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, Calif., that aimed to unite the champions of motocross with other extreme athletes and Hollywood stars. It’s not clear how many other Hollywood names showed up (”NYPD Blue”’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar may have been the only other star of note present) or how well LeBlanc raced, but he couldn’t have embarrassed himself any more than he did by, say, starring in ”All the Queen’s Men.”

IF LOOKS COULD THRILL Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe may be a head-turner on ”Friends,” but in real life, the actress is ambivalent about her looks. So, apparently, are her fans. While promoting her costarring role in the movie ”Analyze That,” which opens Friday, she told New York’s Newsday that she recently shared an elevator with some tourists, ”and they kept saying, ‘Oh, you’re so much prettier in person than on TV.’ So I was like, should I not be on TV ever again?” Her own opinion: ”Oh, I don’t think the looks are that great. So usually I think it’s a good thing I do comedy.” Not that she tries too hard to maintain her looks. She said, ”I do have a fitness thing that I have to do, but I don’t do it.” In fact, she joked, she may look her best when she’s most irritated. Posing for photos for the article, she apparently grew impatient and said, ”We’re done now, right? No? Oh, I’m lovely when I’m mad.”

ATTACK OF THE CLOWNS If you think clowns and clown paintings are kind of creepy, you’re not alone. The Washington Post reports that kitsch-minded Diane Keaton has collaborated with art dealer Robert Berman to present an exhibition of clown portraits at Berman’s Santa Monica gallery and to publish a coffee-table book called ”Clown Paintings.” In the book, Keaton solicits comments about such artworks from several of her funny friends, including Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Don Knotts, Dick Van Dyke, Candice Bergen, Roseanne, Ben Stiller, John Waters, Jerry Lewis, and Larry David, as well as her ”Hanging Up” costar Kudrow. Like most of the other comics, Kudrow had little but contempt for clown art, writing, ”I have pretty strong feelings of disdain for clowns. This is interesting because many argue that all performers are ultimately clowns in some form. And as a performer, I’m mostly associated with ‘witless’ characters. Maybe the disdain is for myself. Maybe it’s a monotonous loop of self-loathing channeled into performing for love and attention.”