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Jump the couch with a spokesweasel

Published January 4, 2006

It's one of those weird, in-between times of the year - ads with Santa still on TV, stores selling Valentine's Day cards on New Year's Day - so here's a weird, in-between selection of buzz.

FURTHER PROOF THAT OUR CULTURE WOULD ROT WITHOUT OPRAH AND TOM CRUISE: The editors of the Historical Dictionary of American Slang have picked "jump the couch" as 2005's slang of the year. The definition is "to exhibit strange or frenetic behavior," a news release says.

If Cruise had never assaulted the couch on Winfrey's talk show to convey joy about his partnership with Katie Holmes, the winner could have been Floodweiser, referring to the canned water the Anheuser-Busch brewing company gave to hurricane victims; or spokesweasel, as in "Cruise's spokesweasel had no comment"; or girlfriend experience, a term for a prostitute acting like her client's girlfriend.

WOW. THOSE WERE OUR PREDICTIONS, TOO!!!!! John Cohan, who calls himself the Psychic to the Stars, tells the New York Post that this year, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban will get married, Britney Spears' marriage will collapse and Jessica Simpson will couple with an Italian man.

He did mention two things that Sideshow, Psychic to You, didn't come up with: Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU will play her mother, late Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield, in a bio movie, and Colin Farrell will gain weight and become a character actor (presumably after fulfilling a stud-looking contract clause for the summer premiere of his Miami Vice movie).

WAS THAT A SWAN SONG BLARING OVER MARIAH CAREY IN TIMES SQUARE? No announcement has been made that Dick Clark, having returned from a stroke for one more New Year's Eve TV appearance, has officially relinquished his role as pop culture's biggest mover and shaker to Ryan Seacrest. But consider it done anyway.

Seacrest, who has gone from American Idol host to Clark essentially anointing him as his successor, has signed a $21-million deal with the E! network to develop, produce and host programs, People magazine reports.

And this isn't for Gastineau Girls-type stuff. Seacrest, 31, will executive produce and be "master of ceremonies" of the network's live red carpet shows before the major awards, beginning with the Jan. 16 Golden Globes, the Associated Press reported. He also will be the managing editor and lead anchor of E! News beginning in March, and produce and host celebrity interview specials.

He will do all this while continuing to host Idol, which starts Jan. 17; host his Los Angeles morning radio show; host radio's syndicated American Top 40; fill in for Larry King on CNN's Larry King Live; and prepare to take over Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve franchise when Clark exits the show.

SHE REALLY WANTS TO STAR IN A REMAKE OF "SPLASH": Gwyneth Paltrow will give birth to her second child, due this year, underwater, the British tabloid Daily Mirror says. She and husband Chris Martin of Coldplay have bought birth pools for their London and New York homes, it says, because Paltrow thinks an underwater birth would be special and spiritual.

Sharon Fink can be reached at 727 893-8525 and

[Last modified January 4, 2006, 01:06:11]

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