In the news . . . Comic Jenny Church, on one GOP strategist's analysis of the Republican presidential field: "He suggests that The Newt may be able to 'fill a vacuum.' Why? Because he sucks as Speaker of the House?"
* Adds Cutler Comedy Rock Network: "Newt won't run. He realizes it's a lot easier to run your mouth than run the country."
Comic Argus Hamilton, on the GOP sermons taking on a familiar two-day pattern: "On Day One, Bob Dole, Phil Gramm and Gingrich lecture us on family values. On Day Two, they back off after hearing from their ex-wives."
Church, on the upcoming West Coast economic conference: "Chiefs of big firms such as Boeing and Rockwell, CAA head Michael Ovitz and the President will be there. Everyone will crowd around the youthful and powerful leader. And after they meet Ovitz, they might wave to Clinton."
Jay Leno, on woodpeckers damaging the insulation of the space shuttle at Cape Canaveral: "Today NASA brought in a huge wooden decoy--Al Gore."
Comedy writer Jerry Perisho, on the new leadership in the California Assembly: "Speaker Emeritus Willie Brown will occupy the office directly above new Speaker Doris Allen. Otherwise, the strings would get all tangled."
Cutler, on Philip Morris agreeing to remove cigarette advertising from easily televised locations at baseball stadiums: "You know baseball is in trouble when even tobacco companies are ashamed to be associated with it."
Comedy writer Kevin S. Healey, on Hurricane Allison: "The storm is now just a lingering depression, so its clouds will be seeded only with Prozac."
Comedy writer Paul Ryan, on Rodney King's latest troubles: "One more point on his license and he'll pass Michael Jordan as the all-time leading scorer."
Cirque du O.J.: "Those jurors are dropping faster than Faye Resnick's appearance fee." (Alex Kaseberg)
* "Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran. His name has more letters than an entire season of 'Sesame Street.' " (Kenny Noble)
* "With all the errors he's made, Dr. Golden could play shortstop for the Dodgers." (Perisho)
* "The coroner made some inexcusable mistakes--such as not taking advantage of Foto-Mat's offer for a free extra set of prints." (Bob Mills)
* "O.J. appeared upset when the coroner described how the knife wounds were inflicted. Sometimes, actors are their own worse critics." (Cutler)
* "So Christopher Darden is ashamed to be part of a case where lawyers look and act like celebrities? Johnnie Cochran is ashamed he's involved in a case where some lawyers refuse to color coordinate their ties and socks." (Healey)
* "Kato was booed at a game in Baltimore. He said he loves baseball, and is mad because he didn't get to stay long enough to see a touchdown." (Healey)
Port Hueneme reader Mary Evans told her son, 8, that his aunt was pregnant with her third child. He replied:
"Gee, that'll be funny . Statistics show that every third child is Chinese."
* SEND US A LINE: Got a joke or funny story? Send it to Laugh Lines, a syndicated feature, by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053.