LAUGH LINES : Punchlines

In the news: Cutler Daily Scoop, on Gen. Colin Powell's book tour: "Twenty-five cities. And once again, he's not going to Baghdad."

* Adds comic Steve Tatham: "Powell says Democrats have suffered an 'intellectual death.' Of course, you have to consider that this is from a guy who believes in the concept of 'military intelligence.' "

Comic Argus Hamilton, on President Clinton agreeing with Sen. Bob Dole that there's way too much sex in Hollywood: "The difference is that Dole wants it to stop, while Clinton wants to move it to Washington."

Comedy writer Paul Steinberg, on Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos being cleared for leaving the scene of an "accident": "He said what he did was 'stupid but not criminal.' Kind of sums up the Clinton Administration, doesn't it?"

Comic Bill Maher, on the discovery of a Chinese herb that curbs alcohol consumption in hamsters: "Hamsters have a huge booze problem. In fact, every year, thousands of 'em die behind the wheel."

Cutler, on a new study that shows exercise relieves depression: "It shows that the more you exercise, the easier it is to climb out of a rut."

Comedy writer Alex Pearlstein, on Monday's official opening of Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills: "Typical Beverly Hills. A rich, unmarried movie producer barely escaped with his life after realizing he was the Catch of the Day."

* Adds comedy writer Bob Mills: "First-nighters confirmed that like the movies of its owners--Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger--most of the entrees were overdone."

Comedy writer Alan Ray, on Bob Hope firing his butler for not shaving his beard: "Hope's servants spend their days cleaning antique pieces in the house. Twice a day, they dust off his monologues."

Comedy writer Gary Easley, on LAPD Chief Willie L. Williams: "They're making a movie about the complimentary amenities he received from a Las Vegas casino. It'll be called, 'Freebie Willie.' "

*

Cirque du O.J.: "The Simpson estate has been tagged by graffiti that says, 'Don't Squeeze the Juice.' Police suspect it is a warning to the Dream Team, put there by O.J.'s accountant." (Mills)

* "The California appeals court has come up with a compromise. The defense cannot mention anything specific about Mark Fuhrman's racism. But they can say he's having lunch with Marge Schott at Denny's." (Maher)

* "Dream Team attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld are developing a TV series based on their law practice. It'll be called 'Fiends.' " (Alex Kaseberg)

*

Hemet reader Marjorie Johnson recalls one of the first times that her son Philip, then 4 1/2, ordered for himself at a restaurant. When the waitress asked him how he wanted the steak he had ordered, he didn't understand what she meant. Looking at her very seriously, Philip finally replied:

"Tender. "

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