WELL, THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD...
The man who first taught us the importance of changing shoes whenever we go indoors is stepping away from the spotlight. FRED MCFEELY ROGERS, 72, master puppeteer and champion of the cardigan-and-tie look since well before most Prada models were born, has announced he will film the last original episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood next month. For close to 1,000 episodes (three times as many as M*A*S*H), he invited children to explore the depths of their psyches as well as the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, introducing them to the inimitable Prince Tuesday and Henrietta Pussycat and reminding them that some of us are fancy on the outside, some on the inside. Rogers says he isn't retiring; he plans to work on museum and website projects. And of course, with so many episodes in the can, many of his audience may not notice the difference. Just promise us one thing, Mister R.: no movie spin-offs.
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, known for his political activism, has taken up a new cause, the Douglas fund. For their wedding last weekend, Douglas and bride CATHERINE ZETA-JONES asked friends to make donations to a fund they're setting up for their son Dylan. The money will go to a "charitable foundation established for Dylan to learn about giving," a spokesman told reporters. "When he comes of age, he can choose what organizations he'd like to give the money to. It's not a trust fund." Douglas could be trying to give Dylan attention he couldn't give his first son Cameron, who has had a few minor scrapes with the law. "When Cameron was growing up, I had so much work," he has said. "We all make mistakes as parents, and I haven't been there as much as I would have liked over the years." Douglas' and Zeta-Jones' friends weren't the only ones paying out at the wedding. It's rumored that the happy occasion was sponsored by a magazine in return for exclusive photographic access.
NOW LET'S SEE ED BRADLEY DANCE
Most of contemporary music's great sex symbols lodge themselves in our hearts via steamy videos on MTV, not hard-hitting reportage on CBS. But The Girl (She's Mine), a single featuring the vocals of octogenarian 60 Minutes anchorman MIKE WALLACE, seems likely to earn a place beside Sisqo's Thong Song as one of our age's erotic masterpieces. The song was written by Pat Harris, an unsigned recording artist who goes by the name "Pat. [Patperiod]." Harris, fortuitously enough, is also a researcher on CBS's still-ticking Sunday-night newsmagazine. After overhearing Wallace singing around the office one day, he hatched the idea of their doing a duet. In the tradition of My Way, the song features lyrics only a true softie like Wallace could carry off: "Imagination--/What a sensation!/For yours, I give you a standin' ovation." It's just a damn shame the Rat Pack has broken up.
QUITE A SUIT, ELTON