Newsmakers

Some Seins of Life

Jerry Seinfeld believes in nothing like nobody's business: he devoted his sitcom to it, not to mention the past few years of his life. These days, however, he is clearly up to something. The funny, revealing new documentary "Comedian" follows Seinfeld--as well as a promising and tightly wound comic named Orny Adams--as he heads back to the clubs with the agonizing, electrifying task of creating a new stand-up routine from scratch. Seinfeld is one of the most unflappable celebrities in history. Still, there are moments in the film--when he forgets his train of thought in the middle of a bit, or groans offstage about lousy audiences--when he looks very nearly flapped. Just hearing him use the F word is a revelation of sorts.

Not for a second, of course, do you believe somebody as brilliant as Seinfeld could fail. The comedian is doing his new act in theaters around the country now--he'll hit Minneapolis, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, Tampa and St. Louis before Thanksgiving. On a recent night in Pittsburgh, Seinfeld sidled up to the mike and intoned, "So we meet again." He riffed about fatherhood, the Taliban, SUVs, barbed-wire tattoos and those news tickers that crawl along the TV. ("Don't these network idiots understand we don't want to read?! We're watching television!") The audience gave him a boisterous standing O. A new routine isn't a new sitcom--but it ain't nothing.

Mary Hart

Mary Hart just celebrated her 20th anniversary tossing softballs at Hollywood stars on "Entertainment Tonight." NEWSWEEK's John Horn asked the former Miss South Dakota about surviving on television's mostfawning show:

Is it fair to say you don't like asking tough questions?

Am I afraid to ask Lorenzo Lamas about his terrible divorce? Or Samuel Jackson about doing drugs? Not at all. There's a nice way of doing an interview, or you can look like an attack dog. I'm not an attack dog. But it doesn't mean I can't ask tough questions.

What's tougher: pretending you like a celebrity's terrible new movie or listening to John Tesh's double CD "Live at Red Rocks"?

I like John's music! I take great pride in John's career. What people really question is whether he can stand people making fun of him. Nobody has a better sense of humor about it than John.

A doctor wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that your voice triggered seizures in an epileptic woman. Was that true?

I don't know if that was fact or fiction, but I was afraid to call the woman because I was afraid she would drop dead.

You once tried to headline a Las Vegas lounge act. What happened?

I prefer to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning, not stay up until 6 o'clock in the morning.

Your son A.J. is 10 years old. Does he get to go to PG-13 movies?

He is looking forward to the new James Bond movie, "Die Another Day." He loves the old James Bond movies, and I let him go back and see those.

Has he asked you what Pussy Galore means?

He hasn't, and that's a good thing.

You had your legs insured for $1 million in the 1980s. What body part would you get a policy for today?

My brain.

OK, pop quiz: what was No. 1 at the box office last weekend?

[Long pause] "Red Dragon."

Danny's Angels

Even a short guy from Jersey gets lucky sometimes. At last week's Hollywood Film Festival, Danny DeVito found himself nose to--well, you know--with "Charlie's Angels" beauties Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore. No word on the whereabouts of Mrs. DeVito, a.k.a. Rhea Perlman.