What the country is talking about this week...

By Jim Mullen
Updated January 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

1 LORD OF THE RINGS Frodo and Sam try to find a way to move around without being seen. Easy, book them on Donahue.

2 RUSSELL CROWE He’s announced that he plans to marry girlfriend Danielle Spencer. Ms. Spencer has announced plans to become difficult and moody.

3 SEAN PENN He went to Iraq to advocate peace. That makes the Iraqis the first people he’s ever tried to make peace with.

4 GUNS N’ ROSES The tour has been canceled. Which means four fifths of the original band won’t have to change their plans.

5 GANGS OF NEW YORK Martin Scorsese’s film is set in the slums of New York City in the 1860s. People were so poor back then that Manhattan only had one Starbucks.

6 AL GORE He scored big on Saturday Night Live and opted out of the presidential race the same week. He’s decided to be a stand-up tragedian.

7 MAD MAX IV Of course he’s mad. He’s sick of having to make the same movie over and over and over again.

8 JACK NICHOLSON He says that despite his reputation, he prefers to go to bed alone. When did he get married?

9 KWANZAA The seven-day celebration of African culture is gaining in popularity. Suddenly, Trent Lott is suggesting we make it 10 days long.

10 ELTON JOHN He plans to lose the glasses and have laser eye surgery. If it weren’t for the hair, the clothes, and the accent, how would we recognize him?

11 TWO WEEKS NOTICE It’s what they should give the studio exec who thought opening a romantic comedy against Lord of the Rings was a good idea.

12 SUZY WHALEY She’ll be the first woman to play against men in a PGA tournament. Augusta’s bylaws say that any guy she beats can’t become a member.

13 LAST-MINUTE SHOPPING Sure, Grandma will love Grand Theft Auto. Do you think Uncle Bob already has thong underwear?

14 MOBY The peace-loving techno-music star got beaten up after playing a Boston nightclub. Some say it was Eminem fans, others say it was sleep-deprived neighbors.

15 RAWHIDE KID Marvel is reintroducing the duded-up comic-book gunslinger as a gay man. Hmmm, is that a Prada holster?

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