What the country is talking about this week...

1 BEN AFFLECK People magazine named him this year’s Sexiest Man Alive. First prize is a trophy wife.

2 MICHAEL JACKSON He’s apologized for dangling his infant son from a fourth-story hotel balcony. He forgot that he was on Earth and that it has gravity.

3 MICHAEL CAINE There’s Oscar talk for his performance in The Quiet American. Which could put him up against the loud American, Eminem.

4 DAVID LETTERMAN You know you’ve arrived when Muncie, Ind., names a dingy back alley after you. That calls for a Mad Dog toast.

5 WILL & GRACE Will’s best friend up and married a straight man. Doesn’t she know most heterosexual relationships never last?

6 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE The ‘N Syncer-turned-solo star’s brok’n foot caused him to cancel some appearances. Because singing on one foot might strain his voice.

7 MISS WORLD Contestants had to flee Nigeria when violence broke out between Muslims and Christians. They thought it was the Miss World War pageant.

8 THE OSBOURNES Let’s see, 17-year-old Jack has dropped out of school and had been taking Zoloft. Maybe he’s hanging around with bad influences. Like Ozzy.

9 CRUISE SHIPS A Norwalk-like virus has been making passengers sick. That and watching hundreds of newlyweds make out in public.

10 DON HEWITT The 80-year-old creator and executive producer of 60 Minutes is being eased out by CBS. They want some young, edgy 60-year-old in there.

11 SOLARIS George Clooney finds his dead wife alive and well and living in orbit. Now, there’s a woman who needs her space.

12 PREY In Michael Crichton’s latest thriller, greedy corporate science goes bad and starts killing people. Which pretty much describes all his books.

13 THE BACHELOR As he chose his bride-to-be in the finale, 26 million people watched…26 million single women without dates.

14 THEY A woman realizes that the things that scared her silly as a child might be real. She’s right. They are your relatives.

15 FIDO Scientists have traced all dogs to just three canines in East Asia some 15,000 years ago. And they are still vacuuming up hair from those three today.

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