Equal opportunity laughs

Billy Crystal wanted to break the ice right away.

"I would love to say, women are funny," Crystal said before accepting the American Film Institute's Star Award during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival this weekend in Aspen, Colo.

His quip was in reference to comments made last year by festival honoree Jerry Lewis, who said he didn't like female comedians.

"A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me but sets me back a bit," Lewis said at the time. "I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world."

Lewis later issued a statement offering his "humble apology" for his comments.

Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo, who hosted the "All-Star Winter Comedy Pageant" at the seventh annual festival, said women now are on equal footing with men in stand-up comedy and are better off than women in the movies, where "there's such a hard line against aging and looks."

Watch those low-cut dresses

Jennifer Lopez: singer, actress ... fashion designer?

Lopez has signed a deal with Andy Hilfiger, younger brother of designer Tommy Hilfiger, to create her own clothing line, Women's Wear Daily reported Friday.

The deal is with Andy Hilfiger's new company, Music Entertainment Fashion Inc., the newspaper said, citing a source close to the deal.

Hilfiger was not available for comment.

Lopez' ex-beau, rap impresario Sean "Puffy" Combs, has his own menswear line called Sean John.

'Goode' enough for rock 'n' roll

Johnnie "B. Goode" Johnson, who recorded such hits as "Roll Over Beethoven" with Chuck Berry, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 19.

Berry wrote the hit song "Johnny B. Goode" as a tribute to Johnson, who grew up in Fairmont, W.Va.

Berry was a fledgling guitarist who had been playing professionally for about six months in 1952 when Johnson hired him to fill in for a sick saxophonist in his band, The Johnnie Johnson Trio, in St. Louis.

Johnson kept Berry on and eventually let him take over the band.

In addition to "Roll Over Beethoven," they collaborated on "School Days," "Back in the U.S.A.," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Too Much Monkey Business."

Favorite son

The city that "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz called home is paying tribute to the late cartoonist.

A bronze "Peanuts" sculpture of a smiling Charlie Brown with his arm around Snoopy was unveiled over the weekend in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The 4-foot sculpture was a $270,000 project commissioned by the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Schulz had drawn the comic strip for 50 years.

Schulz died at his Santa Rosa home of complications of cancer on Feb. 12, 2000, the day before his farewell "Peanuts" cartoon was published. He was 77.v


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