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PUNCHLINES

Goodbye, 1995! How can you take seriously any year that makes Kato Kaelin a celebrity and swears in Sonny Bono as a congressman?

-- Cutler Daily Scoop

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Go Big Red: Alan Ray, on college football’s national championship Tuesday: “Nebraska doesn’t have as many weapons as last year. The team probation officer took them away.”

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* Adds Ray: “Lawrence Phillips will start at tailback against Florida. After the game, his number will be retired--Lincoln County Inmate No. 834762.”

Bob Mills’ armchair guide to the bowl games:

* Rose (Law Firm) Bowl: Clinton staffers take on Reagan’s fastest Iran-Contra document shredders.

* Polyester Bowl: The Cotton Bowl with cheaper tickets.

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* Siesta Bowl: Republicans gather in RFK Stadium for speeches from Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes and Richard Lugar.

* Saccharin Bowl: The Sugar Bowl for diabetics.

* (Clockwork) Orange Bowl: Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino discuss the surrealistic aspects of the coin toss.

* Liberty Bowl: Sailors from the 7th fleet reenact Tailhook Convention before shipping out to Bosnia.

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In the news: Mark Russell, on Kermit the Frog as grand marshal of this morning’s Rose Parade: “He was chosen over Gov. Pete Wilson--as would have also been the case in the California primary.”

Argus Hamilton, on U.S. troops being called in to rescue French NATO troops assigned to Sarajevo: “It gave everyone a warm glow inside. It just isn’t a war unless we’re bailing out the French.”

Jay Leno, on a magazine report that the more sex you have, the longer you will live: “Boy, that sounds like the real Clinton health care plan.”

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Brian Matthews, on the former Tammy Faye Bakker’s new talk show: “One thing’s for sure--that show has the hardest-working makeup person in Hollywood.”

Leno, on skater Tonya Harding’s second marriage: “There was kind of an embarrassing moment for the groom. I guess at the bachelor party, the stag film they showed was a video of her last honeymoon.”

* Adds Paul Ecker: “The happy couple is honeymooning at the Wounded Knee Reservation in South Dakota.”

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A hotel guest went to the front desk with a bouquet of roses, and told the desk clerk that the flowers were for the telephone operator.

The clerk was taken aback and asked the guest, “Really? Was she that good an operator?”

“No,” he said, “I thought she died.”

-- Carolyn Radoff, Culver City

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Palm Springs reader Eleanor Jackson recalls that many years ago, her husband was flying a kite with son Arthur, then 2, when a large gust of wind broke the string. As the kite was fast disappearing into the sky, an excited Arthur yelled to his father:

“Daddy, Daddy, get the ladder.”


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