IT'S NOT JUST THE CLUES THAT ARE BLUE
Parents have managed to develop a mysterious immunity to the virulent cheer of their kids' entertainment. Childless STEVE BURNS, 27, was not so lucky. As host of Nickelodeon's relentlessly upbeat Blue's Clues for five years, Burns put up with all manner of manic happiness, but last week he bitterly announced his departure from the show. "I didn't really want to become Krusty the Klown in front of the nation," said Burns, who, along with animated dog pal Blue, helped teach kids deductive reasoning while prodding them into spending $1 billion on Blue's Clues merchandise. Burns will be replaced by his "brother" Joe, to be played by Donovan Patton. "The new guy is funnier and better than me," said Burns, who added that if he were a kid, he would have hated, "with all my heart," the character he played. Look, it's Krusty the Klown!
DON'T CRY FOR ME, SCOTLAND
They opted against the Michael Douglas--Catherine Zeta-Jones pimp-your-wedding-pictures thing, but details of the nuptials of MADONNA and director GUY RITCHIE at Skibo, a 13th century Scottish castle, have nevertheless made their inexorable entrance into the public conversation. The bride, 42, wore a dress designed by maid of honor Stella McCartney, an antique veil and a 37-carat diamond-cross necklace on loan from Harry Winston; the groom, 32, sported a kilt, as did the couple's four-month-old son ROCCO. Among the 60 or so invitees were some famous people (Gwyneth Paltrow, Sting) and some people famous for knowing famous people (Debi Mazar, Trudie Styler). After dinner, an imported Miami deejay spun records in the castle basement until the early-morning hours. By that point, Madonna had changed into a pantsuit, while the groom remained in his skirt. Just in case you wondered who wears the pants in the family.
GIVE HIM A RAISE
Until they enlarge the puck and get skating cheerleaders, hockey will remain the Ringo Starr of American sports. Still, Ringo had his Octopus's Garden, and hockey had its equivalent last week with the triumphant return of former Pittsburgh Penguin star--and current Penguin owner--MARIO LEMIEUX. Retired for 3 1/2 years, Lemieux promised he wouldn't come back unless his skills were still sharp; in his first game he proved they were, notching a goal and two assists. "It was a great moment, the kind of moment I will cherish for a long time," said Lemieux, who speaks sports cliche in French and English. His teammates/employees welcomed him back with enthusiasm, and were heard openly contemplating the advantages of a co-worker boss. Said defenseman Bob Boughner: "I'm going to take him out on the first road trip, get him drunk and talk contract."
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES