Sideshow: Rob Lowe eyes politics - maybe

Posted: August 23, 2011

First, Donald Trump bid for the White House. Then Alec Baldwin said he wasn't yet running for mayor of New York, but might. Martin Sheen fans urged him to run for president of Ireland. (He isn't.) Now it's Rob Lowe.

Sheen's The West Wing costar tells Fox News' Fox & Friends he won't/might enter national politics. He won't because it's nasty: "When I see the [political] discourse, I definitely think it's better to play politicians [on TV] than actually be them," Lowe says. He wouldn't fit in today's polarized scene: "I'm a true centrist," Lowe says.

Yet, he yearns to do good for his country. "I love public service, I really do," says Lowe. "At a certain point in my life, when I'm sort of done with acting . . . I'd like to serve in some way, but I don't know if it'll be politics." Lowe says he may do more good in the private sector. He's joined a new Habitat for Humanity initiative to raise money "to build 50,000 homes for people who are still suffering in Haiti."

Lil Wayne: I'm hurt but OK

Lil Wayne, 28, on Monday said via Twitter that he was recovering nicely after busting open his head at a skateboard park in suburban St. Louis. Lil (born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.), in St. Lou on Sunday to perform at the outdoor Verizon Amphitheater, was rushed to DePaul Health Center's ER (reportedly accompanied by a rather large retinue) after gashing his head in a skateboarding accident.

"I busted my . . . head at the sk8park! 9stitches! Gnarly gash over my left eye! Luv the people," Lil tweeted.

Mariah Carey to join 'X Factor'?

Megastar diva and new mum Mariah Carey is reportedly in final negotiations to join Simon Cowell's latest singin' talent show, The X Factor, created by Cowell to crush, grind, and spit out his former show, American Idol. Carey, mom to twins Roc and Roe, made gossip rags over the weekend when she was snapped walking her pack of Jack Russell dogs, Jill E. Beans, Cha Cha, Squeak E. Beans, JJ, and Jackie Lambchops.

Hot moves at 'DWTS'

ABC is making big upgrades to its popular talent show, Dancing With the Stars. One of the show's dance pros, Louis Van Amstel, has tweeted that the show is adding a whole new segment called Ballroom Battle, while fan blog PureDWTS.com has un-verified news that the latest gaggle of celeb contestants will include soccer star Hope Solo and Chaz Bono.

What about rumors Jersey Shore's resident elocution coach, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, will be a-dancin'? "I have never been asked to go on Dancing With the Stars!" the postmodern Emily Post told Extra during a weekend getaway in Las Vegas. "I've never been asked. I think I would win!"

Bono: I'm not sick, boneheads!

Another famous Bono, U2 front man and noted humanitarian Bono, 51, denies, most vociferously, reports that he has suffered from a serious health scare. The Irish Independent reported Sunday that Bono had an unknown health emergency and "spent a number of hours at the Princess Grace Memorial Hospital in Monaco."

"Reports of [Bono] being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment are untrue," a Bono rep says. "Bono is in good health and enjoying a family holiday in the south of France."

The rep adds that Bono did visit the hospital, but for "a routine checkup."

David Letterman back on air

Late-night talk-show divo David Letterman resumed his show Monday after taking a two-week vacation, during which an online threat was issued on his life. One Umar al-Basrawi wrote last week on a popular Muslim Jihadist website that Muslims ought to consider it their duty to "cut the tongue" of Letterman after various jokes the comic has made about al-Qaeda and its leaders. During his monologue Monday, Letterman played the situation for laughs, beginning by thanking his studio audience: "Tonight," he said, "you people are more, to me, honestly, than an audience - you're more like a human shield."

Octomom's hidden talents . . .

She's good at more than merely procreation! Nadya "Octomom" Suleman, who is blessed with 14 children, including a set of octuplets, defeated strip-club bartender Cassandra Andersen in a - no doubt historical - celebrity boxing match Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says the Miami Herald.

Who'll win 'Survivor: South Pacific'?

Our money's on Denver's Jim Rice, 35, one of the 16 survivalists CBS on Monday announced would star on Survivor: South Pacific, which premieres Sept. 14. (The final two will be announced anon.) Why Rice? Dude, he's a medical marijuana dispenser. Who'd dare vote him off?

He may have stiff competition from fellow contestant Mikayla Wingle, 22, of Tampa, Fla., whose job CBS describes as "lingerie football player." She'll be popular. Other contestants include Dallas mortician Stacey Powell, 44, Utah rancher Rick Nelson, 51, and Albert Destrade, 26, of Plantation, Fla., who is apparently a baseball coach and a dating coach.

Valerie Bertinelli in your kitchen . . .

Hot in Cleveland star Valerie Bertinelli, 51, who won headlines (and a Jenny Craig contract) by losing 40 pounds in '08, will release her first cookbook in fall 2012: One Dish at a Time, which will have recipes for healthy fare. Its title is a play on Valerie's popular late-'70s show, One Day at a Time.

Nation honors Marilyn Monroe . . .

. . . indirectly. The U.S. Postal Service has announced that Billy Wilder will be honored with his own stamp next year as part of the USPS's Great Film Directors stamp series. Wilder was born a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian empire and went on to direct some of Hollywood's greatest films, including Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, and Some Like It Hot. He died in Beverly Hills in '02 at 95.

The colorful stamp, which looks like a pastel drawing, shows Billy's face in profile. A small figure who looks like Marilyn Monroe strums a tiny guitar next to him. Preview it at www.facebook.com/USPSStamps.

Kate Winslet escapes fire

British businessman Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways fame says a fire destroyed his modest Caribbean manse but failed to harm about 20 houseguests, including Oscar-winning Titanic thesp Kate Winslet, Branson's 90-year-old mother, and his daughter Holly, 29. Branson's eight-bedroom Great House, located on the magnate's private isle of Necker, in the British Virgin Islands, caught fire during a tropical storm Monday. Branson, his wife Joan, and son Sam, 25, were visiting friends down the road at the time.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services and websites. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/INQSideshow.

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