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Country Sensation Miranda Lambert Shares Secrets to Success, Jason Alexander Writes Children`s Book
Aired May 30, 2005 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KARYN BRYANT, CO-HOST: Your complete guide to summer movies and entertainment.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: And Costanza a kid`s author?
I`m A.J. Hammer.
BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER (voice-over): Tonight, a summer sizzler. We`ve got your look at the season`s hottest entertainment from TV...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to introduce you to my friend, Kevin.
HAMMER: ... to Broadway...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s go!
HAMMER: ... to movies...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t give me excuses. Give me results.
HAMMER: ... and music.
BRYANT: Also, U2`s two missions: rocking the world...
BRYANT: ... and shaking it up.
BONO, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: The job of rock `n` roll is to change the world.
BRYANT: They`ll tell us how they`re going to do it.
HAMMER: And this Charlie`s Angel is really teed off. Cheryl Ladd is playing golf with the lads, and she wants you to swing by and join her.
CHERYL LADD, ACTRESS: HI, I`m Cheryl Ladd. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BRYANT: Hello, I`m Karyn Bryant. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and you are at the top of the show.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. You`re watching TV`s only nightly one hour entertainment news program.
BRYANT: While you`re enjoying your holiday weekend, taking it easy, and we have got something special for you.
HAMMER: We not only have your guide to this summer`s best in the movie theaters but also what you can expect this summer on TV.
BRYANT: We also have what will be the beach read this summer. But first, beaches all across America are packed, but nothing is going to be busier than the box office.
HAMMER: With dozens of films coming out, there`s something for everyone, and we`ve got your ticket.
HAMMER: It`s a time of good versus evil, when books come to life. And when potential blockbusters are born. It`s summertime, with films for every kind of movie-goer.
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: You still alive, baby?
DAVE KARGER, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" definitely has one of the best premises of the summer.
JOLIE: You`ve got to be kidding.
KARGER: A married couple, both who are assassins, who don`t know that their spouse is an assassin until they get their next assignment, which is to kill each other.
HAMMER: Action, adventure and "a" list. The three a`s of summer are back with popcorn picks like comic book adaptation "The Fantastic Four," the story of Bruce Wayne`s early days in "Batman Begins," and Jamie Foxx`s high velocity aviation flick, "Stealth." Oh, and then there`s this.
KARGER: I think one of the most exciting sounding movies of the summer is "War of the Worlds."
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Lightning doesn`t strike twice.
KARGER: While it has a very straightforward concept -- aliens invading the earth -- Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, that`s going to be one that`s really cool.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t give me excuses. Give me results.
KARGER: There definitely are a couple of movies that will definitely play for everybody. I think the most promising of those is "Madagascar."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is he, a guinea pig?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a squirrel.
HAMMER: Kids can also kick it with "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Plus, Lindsay Lohan`s adventures at NASCAR in "Herbie Fully Loaded." And two family friendly remakes, the baseball classic "The Bad News Bears" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
KARGER: The fact that it`s Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is going to look really great.
HAMMER: Did someone say remakes, rehashed, redone, recycled? You can say that again.
From old movies to even older TV shows, wannabe summer hits not only borrow from the past, they co-opt them.
Nicole Kidman casts her spell in "Bewitched." Cedric the Entertainment stars in a new version of "The Honeymooners." Steve Martin because Inspector Clouseau, and Jessica Simpson hangs with an all new gang in "The Dukes of Hazzard."
JESSICA SIMPSON, MUSICIAN/ACTRESS: I think something bounced up into my undercarriage.
HAMMER: Now, don`t worry, sports fans. Summer has got your game. Football fans can go long, way long, for Adam Sandler`s "The Longest Yard." One original sporting flick of the summer is Russell Crowe`s boxing drama, "Cinderella Man," which might just be fishing for an Oscar.
Got an appetite for fear? Because summer is here with a whole plate of scary. Rachel McAdams experiences terror in the sky in Wes Craven`s "Red Eye," while Michael bay`s "The Island" reminds folks about the downside of human cloning. And Kate Hudson hates for the bayou in the voodoo thriller "Skeleton Key."
From popcorn picks to sports flicks to family fare, all in all, this summer`s movies can be summed up in one word.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yee-haw!
HAMMER: "War of the Worlds" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" definitely getting my money. And you`ll be shelling out some clams, not just picking up some clams this summer. Here in New York City where we`re living, ticket prices, 11 bucks each. That`s $11.
BRYANT: Boy, oh boy.
Well, most of us consider today the official start date of the summer movie season as well as the beach season, and 30 years ago one movie changed the landscape or, rather, the seascape forever.
Sibila Vargas is in Hollywood with more.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Karyn. It is one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, the one that made us afraid of the water. Remember "Jaws"? Who could forget?
The director, a young Steven Spielberg. The villain, one predatory beast.
VARGAS (voice-over): The music...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Da da da da.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Da da da da da da.
VARGAS: ... and the mayhem. For 30 years now, people have been jolted by "Jaws."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That scared the bejesus out of me.
VARGAS: Hard to believe now that before the movie opened in 1975, Universal Studios was worried.
TOM SHONE, AUTHOR, "BLOCKBUSTER": The producers were convinced they had made the biggest turkey because the shooting of the movie had been so troubled and it had gone so over budget.
VARGAS: Over budget mainly because the mechanical shark playing the lead role kept breaking down.
CARL GOTTLIEB, CO-WRITER & CO-STAR, "JAWS": The world was collapsing around us and the shark wasn`t working. And the actors were fractious and the crew was muttering.
VARGAS: Carl Gottlieb, author of "The Jaws Log," co-wrote and co- starred in the film. He still marvels at how a young director named Steven Spielberg kept his cool.
GOTTLIEB: He held it all together and he improvised in ways that nobody was aware.
VARGAS: Spielberg made a virtue of the shark`s failure to perform.
STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: I resorted to the Hitchcockian rule, which is basically shooting the water to suggest the shark without showing it, having the pier go out and turn around by itself and come back again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t look back. Just swim, Charlie! Swim!
VARGAS: That increased the suspense, which became evident during the early test screenings.
GOTTLIEB: The people screamed and then they screamed again and then they jumped in their seats.
VARGAS: Then the film opened to the public and a movie industry legend was born.
SHONE: "Jaws"-mania kind of swept the country in an extraordinary kind of grassroots way.
GOTTLIEB: There was a shark on the cover of "TIME" magazine. And it just grew in the public consciousness.
SHONE: It really became like this cultural event.
GOTTLIEB: It played and played and played and people just kept coming.
SHONE: The amount of money that "Jaws" made just completely changed the course of Hollywood movie making immediately. The first response, "Can we do it again? And how many times can we do it? And what about next summer?"
And so it was the beginning of kind of Hollywood`s sort of endless summer.
VARGAS: "Jaws" went on to earn an astonishing $470 million worldwide in 1975, and that`s not even adjusted for inflation. Now, those earnings will only increase when a 30th anniversary edition of the movie comes out on DVD in June.
Karyn, I think I`m going to miss that one. Enough damage.
BRYANT: Thanks very much. Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
HAMMER: Well, if you love music, this summer is going to rock your world, because from U2 to the Stones, some of the industry`s biggest acts are heading out onto the road.
HAMMER: On stage this summer, there will be "Idols" and there will be idols.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m most looking forward to seeing Bruce Springsteen this summer. My No. 1 concert pick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bruce Springsteen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celine Dion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U2. I want to see the U2 tour so bad that I will cancel one of my own shows if they`re somewhere that I am. Sorry, fans.
HAMMER: From rap to rock, festivals and perennials, concert tours promise to hit the summer on a high note.
MELINDA NEWMAN, "BILLBOARD" MAGAZINE: There are really acts this summer that will appeal to every taste, you know, every age bracket, every genre of music.
HAMMER: Insert senior citizen joke here, but there`s nothing funny about the ka-ching of cash registers as the rolling stones kick of their year long summer tour.
MICK JAGGER, MUSICIAN: It`s going to be a wonderful summer of rock `n` roll, and we`re going to be right in there, so we`re really looking forward to it.
HAMMER: Bruce Springsteen takes his acoustic solo act overseas, and Bono and company continue their quest for global domination.
BONO: U2 crowd is an incredible roar. It really is deafening, like a 747 taking off or something.
HAMMER: Neil Diamond holds it down for the polyester crowd. But if your crowd is more into leather, there`s the original lineup of Motley Crue.
SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: Coming to a hood near you.
HAMMER: Snoop Dogg and The Gang wrap up their double bill as Eminem and 50 Cent head out on their own joint "Anger Management Tour."
NEWMAN: What concert presenters are trying to do is provide you more bang for your buck.
HAMMER: Meanwhile, dual headliners Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson continue their trek across America. Only now Chesney`s new bride, Renee Zellweger, has a bag aboard his bus.
HAMMER: Alicia, Alanis, Green Day and Coldplay, all coming to a town near you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think we`re the greatest thing since sliced bread, even better. Since the performance last week (ph). It`s not for us to make everyone else think that.
HAMMER: But if you just can`t wait here`s a sneak peek at what the Dave Matthews band will add to this summer`s set list.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your favorite part when you`re on stage?
DAVE MATTHEWS, MUSICIAN: Thank you very much, good night.
HAMMER: Even though they say that, fewer bands give you a better bang for your buck in the summertime than the Dave Matthews Band.
Even better than the real thing, U2 says their job is to change the world through rock `n` roll and activism. The band tells us how their beautiful day is just dawning.
BRYANT: Leave it to an "Angel" to find heaven on earth. Cheryl Ladd hits the links in her new book, "Token Chick." She joins us for a "Showbiz Sitdown."
HAMMER: Tooth fairy, smooth-fairy. Yes, I just said smooth-fairy. First time in my life. Jason Alexander teaches us life`s little lessons. We chat with him in just a bit.
BRYANT: Now it is time for tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz."
What was Chuck Berry`s last day job? Was it, A, a bouncer; B, a hairdresser; C, a cab driver; or, D, a boxer? Think about it. We will be right back with the answer.
BRYANT: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz": What was Chuck Berry`s last day job? Was it, A, bouncer; B, a hairdresser; C, a cab driver; or, D, a boxer? The answer is, B, hairdresser.
HAMMER: Our summer preview continues. Some big titles are coming to book stores just in time for all that beach reading you`re going to be doing. And one of the biggest is sure to be the one from J.K. Rowling or Jo Rowling, as she`s known to her friends and family.
She`s releasing the sixth book in the Harry Potter series in July and, of course, her fans can`t wait.
HAMMER (voice-over): We`ve gone straight to the top to uncover the secrets of the next Harry Potter book. Here at the publishing company`s own bookstore, we tracked down the publisher of installment number six, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
The magic trick we try to perform is to get even a hint of what`s in the story.
(on camera) Have you read the book?
BARBARA MARCUS, SCHOLASTIC: I`m not at liberty to tell.
HAMMER: You`re not at liberty to tell me if you`ve read the book?
MARCUS: No, I`m not at liberty to tell.
HAMMER: It`s getting pretty tight around here.
(voice-over) The editor wasn`t much help either.
(on camera) Does anyone die in the next Harry Potter book?
ARTHUR LEVINE, EDITOR: I can`t tell you that.
HAMMER: OK. I can see where this is going to go. Do Ron and Hermione actually get together finally? There`s been sort of this, you know, little tension between them. Are they...
LEVINE: It`s interesting that you should ask that, because I can`t tell you that.
HAMMER: OK. Well, here`s one for sure you can tell me. Who`s the new minister of magic?
LEVINE: I can`t tell you that.
HAMMER (voice-over): There are some facts outs there. The sixth book in the series releases July 16th worldwide, and preorders for the book have already put it at the top of BarnesAndNoble.com and Amazon.com`s best seller lists.
It has been two years since the fifth book, which has sold more than 16 million copies in this country alone. And just like the last time, book stores are planning parties and events to handle the crowds.
MARCUS: Last time, book sellers sold five million books over the first weekend. We right now have 10.8 million copies that are going to be coming off the press and being sent to bookstores, because we know that there are millions and millions of families and children waiting to read the next Harry Potter.
HAMMER: But as for what`s in that book...
LEVINE: Well, I can tell you that there`s a new character named McLegin (ph).
HAMMER (on camera): Oh, we got a little something.
LEVINE: We got a little something something.
HAMMER: And McLegin (ph) is...
LEVINE: I`m not going to tell you that.
HAMMER (voice-over): In this case, fans of the story will just have to read all about it.
HAMMER: Just in case the book is not enough for you, the movie of book No. 4, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," will come out in November.
BRYANT: Time for a "Showbiz Sitdown" with Cheryl Ladd. Now, of course, you`ve seen her all over the small screen, including "Hope and Faith" and "Las Vegas" and, of course, who could forget "Charlie`s Angels"?
But even though acting is still a passion, it doesn`t compare to her love of golf. Yes, golf. In fact, she loves the sport so much she`s written a book. It`s right here, called "Token Chick: A Woman`s Guide to Golfing with the Boys."
Cheryl, thanks for joining us here.
First and foremost, I bought my husband a set of golf legs for our anniversary, because it was that reverse golf widow thing. I wanted him to play with me. How did you first get into the game?
LADD: Purely by accident. One day my husband walks into the kitchen and says, "Honey, it`s a beautiful day. Let`s go play golf."
And I looked and him, and I said, "You don`t play golf."
He said, "I know, but I`m Scottish. I think I should. I`d be good at it."
I said, "All right. OK. Fine." You know, sometimes your husband says these things, you just jump and you give it a try.
And we went out. We went to Rancho Park and teed it up, and we played nine holes. And I hit enough good shots on that first day that I went, "You know, I really like this."
So I bought clubs within a few weeks. We bought a condo on a golf course.
BRYANT: You jumped right in.
BRYANT: What will women get from your book, though, that they wouldn`t get from Tiger Woods` book or Jack Nicholson`s book?
LADD: I think that my approach to it is really, you know, you`re never going to be any of those people. You`re never going to be Annika Sorenstam. You`re never going to probably go on the tour, especially if you start as late as I did. I started in 1984. But that doesn`t mean you can`t love the game.
It`s been such a gift to me on a million levels. And one of my favorite things about it is my husband and I are buddies.
BRYANT: And I`ve certainly told any of my single girlfriends go to the driving range, man. There is nothing but guys there, looking to talk to lovely ladies, too. I`m sure you would get picked up on the golf course all the time, right?
LADD: Well, usually I`m with my husband or a bunch of guys. So there are a lot of big brothers that look after me.
No, but it -- I say that, too, to women -- and especially on the golf course. If you`re dating someone, you really get to see what their character is made of. Do they cheat? Are they helpful? Are they too helpful? Do they swear? Do they throw their clubs? Do they have a bad temper?
It`s a really interesting process, golf, because you get to really see what someone`s character is all about.
BRYANT: Why is it that when we mentioned that you were coming here, the whole place went crazy? Everybody still loves the shows from the early `80s: "Charlie`s Angels," such a big hit, turned into a movie. We`ve got "The Dukes of Hazzard" coming back into a movie.
What is about shows from your -- that era that people still love today?
LADD: I think it`s comfort food. I really do. I think it`s just so much about those things that we grew up with that were solid and that we sort of pinned our hearts on and that entertained us and just -- we`re just so attached to them.
I love that people feel so attached to me and the show and that era of time.
And when you look back at it, it was such an innocent time. "Charlie`s Angels," we were like three big girl scouts, you know? You know, it was a pretty tame thing. And now it`s on TV Land, of course, and all over the place.
But you know, it`s something that children can still watch. You can`t say that about too many things on TV these days. And it`s a shame.
BRYANT: No. It was family entertainment certainly. Did you ever see the -- "Chasing Farrah" at all?
LADD: I saw one episode of it, and she looks like she`s having a ball. And she can swing a golf club, too.
BRYANT: Do you play together?
LADD: I have never played with her. Actually, I haven`t seen Farrah in four years.
BRYANT: Well, it would be fun if you could. Well, what about the fact that your daughter is acting? Are you a stage mom? Are you nervous at all for her? Are you happy for her?
LADD: I think anyone in show business would say that they would hope that their children would love to do anything else. It`s just a really tough business. And you have to be pretty resilient, I think, and you have to really love the craft.
BRYANT: OK, well, if you ever do make a film about ladies golfing, give me a call.
LADD: I will. I hope we get to tee it up together sometime. That would be so fun.
BRYANT: That would be fun. Well, thank you for joining us, Cheryl Ladd, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
And you can find Cheryl`s book, "Token Chick: A Woman`s Guide to Golfing with the Boys," in bookstores now.
HAMMER: I`ve never been much of a golfer. I might make some time to hit the links this summer.
And it is a summer of the stars right in their very own homes. From Britney and Kevin to Venus and Serena, the summer TV schedule all about celebrity reality. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will take a peek.
BRYANT: A little kerosene and Miranda Lambert lights a fire on the country music charts. The breakout star joins us in a "Showbiz Sitdown."
BRYANT: It is time for another "Showbiz Sitdown," this time with country music sensation Miranda Lambert. Her debut album, "Kerosene," took the No. 1 spot on the country charts the very first week it came out.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson caught up with the 21-year-old singer in Los Angeles. And you`ll be surprised to see how this young Texas woman made her Hollywood dreams come true.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the No. 1 country album from a young country girl from Lindale, Texas. This small town girl has a big time hit, and 21-year-old Miranda Lambert told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she`s shocked to be at the top so fast.
MIRANDA LAMBERT, SINGER: Absolutely did not think I would be here, at least not this early. First week was No. 1. It kind of freaks me out.
ANDERSON: Miranda wrote 11 of the 12 songs on her debut album, and the album was made on her terms. Check out what Miranda told us with the ultimatum she gave to the Sony suits in Nashville: her way or the highway.
LAMBERT: I learned what time of music and what type of image worked for me and I didn`t want to sign with a label and them to change it, because then I would have been unhappy.
And I told them, I said, "If you`re not going to let me do songs I believe in, how am I supposed to make other people believe in them? If you`re going to try to make me a puppet, I`d rather just not do it at all."
ANDERSON: Gutsy, huh? But she did it and did it well. Miranda is now only one of only five other country artists who have gone No. 1 on their very first release. For her it`s a dream come true.
LAMBERT: This is a dream of mine. I mean, I had never been really good at anything. I had done stuff but always the last one in cheerleading to learn the dance and always bad at sports, really bad. Nothing came naturally to me until I started music.
BRYANT: Miranda describes herself as a cross between Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow. She told us that being a hit still doesn`t feel real.
HAMMER: Achtung, baby. U2 has lasted longer than, well, most marriages. And now they`re stuck in the moment and loving it. The band looks to its past for the wave of the future.
First, the Soup Nazi. Now the tooth fairy. Jason Alexander tackles life`s little problems with kid gloves. He`s going to join us in another "Showbiz Sitdown." Yada, yada, yada.
BRYANT: Tonight, summer, summer, summertime! We`ll help you sit back and unwind with a super hot TV preview.
HAMMER: And does the tooth fairy really exist? "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander has the answer. It`s a "Showbiz Sitdown."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRACY MORGAN, COMEDIAN: Hi, I`m Tracy Morgan. And if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Check it out!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer.
BRYANT: I`m Karyn Bryant. Do you want to know what to do this summer? We are bringing you the only guide you need to know what`s hot.
HAMMER: While most of TV`s season finales have already come and gone, it doesn`t mean it`s an empty wasteland of repeats this summer.
BRYANT: In fact, as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson tells us, the summer schedule is packed.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britney, Venus and Serena, Paris Hilton`s mom, Tommy Lee. This summer celebrities are inviting viewers into their private lives.
VENUS WILLIAMS, "VENUS & SERENA FOR REAL": I think people will find it interesting to see we`re just ordinary people more than anything else.
ANDERSON: From practicing yoga to taking golf cart joy rides, these tennis superstars are serving up their so-called ordinary lives in a new reality series on ABC Family.
(on camera) Why do you feel more and more celebrities are getting into reality television?
WILLIAMS: The reason Serena and I wanted to do a show was because we felt there are a lot of shows out there that didn`t show reality. And our show will show reality.
BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: Hi. I want to introduce you guys to my friend, Kevin.
ANDERSON (voice-over): She`s married, she`s pregnant and she`s sharing her private home movies with fans. In her UPN show, Britney Spears takes us through her courtship with Kevin Federline, their engagement and wedding through never before seen home videos.
SPEARS: It`s controversy. That`s what they all want. That`s what they want to see.
ANDERSON: If you want to see singer Bobby Brown attempt to get his personal life back in order and resurrect what was once a successful music career, Bravo`s reality series takes you behind the scenes of his tumultuous life.
Expect to see appearances by Brown`s wife Whitney Houston and their daughter.
KATHY HILTON, SOCIALITE: We`ve got a lot of hard work to do.
ANDERSON: Shoulders back, chin up. It`s time to step out like a Hilton. Paris Hilton`s mother, Kathy, is educating 14 men and women on the dos and dont`s of the Manhattan elite in the new NBC series. The contestants battle it out for...
HILTON: A trust fund. A fabulous address in New York City, my Rolodex. And you know, clothing and Jewelry and special prizes.
ANDERSON: This summer`s Motley Crue of reality stars includes Tommy Lee. This 42-year-old drummer is joining the undergrads of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for his first semester of college.
TOMMY LEE, MUSICIAN: People were tripping out. They`re like, "Dude, that`s Tommy" -- like, basically bum rushed the university.
ANDERSON: The camera followed this fish out of water rocker as he auditions for the marching band and crams for finals.
ANDERSON: The band INXS is looking for a new lead singer to replace Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997. Reality guru Mark Burnett produces the rock star search.
No stars in the "Big Brother" house, but it`s back on CBS with season number six. And back to big sister Venus and little sister Rena. The emphasis here is family.
WILLIAMS: Definitely, a message of togetherness and sisterhood and having fun and getting through the tough times, all those kind of things, because it`s for real.
BRYANT: Venus and Serena not only have a TV show to think about. But there, of course, is tennis, too. They are expected to compete later this summer at Wimbledon.
HAMMER: It`s time now for a "Showbiz Sitdown," this time with Jason Alexander. Of course, you knew him as the paranoid, annoying schlub George Costanza from the massive hit sit-com "Seinfeld." That role got him seven Emmy nominations, but one role you can`t win an award for is dad.
Jason Alexander is out with a new children`s book called "Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?" Joining me now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Jason Alexander.
It`s nice to see you.
JASON ALEXANDER, ACTOR: Thanks.
HAMMER: I don`t know if this is an accurate visual representation of Gaby, but I`m looking at the picture representing the father here. I`m not exactly seeing it. I don`t know what it is. It`s almost a little Ray Romano, actually.
ALEXANDER: I thought Dick Van Dyke with a bad color job.
There was no attempt made to imitate myself or my children. In fact, even the dog doesn`t look like our dog.
ALEXANDER: And as I said on another show today, you see, this is a shot of me under the car. And, really, I`m a Jew, so the only time you see me under a car is if I`ve been run over.
ALEXANDER: That never -- never happened.
The thing about this book that I always try to tell people is it looks and feels and sounds like a children`s book. I wrote it as a parenting book. I only wrote it because I thought the conversation -- it`s based on an actual conversation I had with my son.
ALEXANDER: And what my friends said about it is, "My gosh, that -- I wish I had thought of that when my children asked me this kind of a pivotal question about one ever the great childhood beliefs."
And so I really wrote it as a helpful idea to parents. And my fear of it is -- and I even said this to the Scholastic people. If a child hasn`t asked the question that`s on the cover...
ALEXANDER: ... don`t read them the book.
ALEXANDER: Not necessarily the right choice.
ALEXANDER: Because I never want to take away the wonderful relationship that children have with -- with the tooth fairy until they begin to question it themselves. And then this is an attempt to keep a magical element to it alive.
HAMMER: Well, you do it in a really sweet way. And also in stores this week, not only the book, season four of the "Seinfeld" series.
ALEXANDER: How about that for synchronicity?
HAMMER: And it`s really one of those seasons, among all of the epic seasons, that had such standout episodes like the virgin and the smelly car and the bubble boy and "The Contest." At the time was it a standout season to you?
ALEXANDER: Yes. Yes.
HAMMER: You did "The Contest" and were you thinking, how in the heck are we going to top that?
ALEXANDER: No, I didn`t think how to top it. Because we always thought we were moment away from cancellation anyway with that show.
HAMMER: Not during that season, though, I can`t imagine.
ALEXANDER: Well, that was the season where "Seinfeld" became "Seinfeld."
Up until that time, our first season was four episodes. Our second was 13. We had a group of people that clearly were watching. But critically, no one knew what to make of us, and certainly the network didn`t know what to make of us. So we were not a done deal in anybody`s book.
And, you know, it was a very critical season. We kept hearing about the contest episode, and you know, what it was about and going, how are they going to do this?
HAMMER: How are we putting that on the air?
ALEXANDER: Read the script at the table and everybody just went, this is brilliant. This was really brilliant.
And that was the episode that kind of -- they talked about us being a water cooler show where people would gather in offices the next day. That was the one that did that.
I think there were so many reports the next day of people going, "Can you believe what they got away with on that show?" And that`s...
HAMMER: That was the point.
ALEXANDER: ... that`s was where we started to get a lot of attention and people really started writing about us.
HAMMER: Was it at that time, did you say, "This is lightning in a bottle. We`ve really got something" and perhaps something that will never be recreated?
ALEXANDER: No. No. I always had a very, very healthy respect for the show. It was always a show that I loved, from the get-go.
My problem -- my belief, not my problem -- I remember saying to Jerry early on, we`ll never make it as a successful show because the audience for this show is that big. It`s really me, and I don`t watch TV, so I don`t know who is going to be watching this.
HAMMER: You`ve clearly been proven wrong.
ALEXANDER: I`ve been clearly wrong and it`s also clear that, you know, I don`t know what I`m doing with other shows.
But the phenomena of how that show branched out to the kind of audience it has no one`s been able to understand. We just knew it was a good, funny, funny show.
HAMMER: And you knew at the time that it ended, "For better worse this is going to stick with me for the rest of my life." I`m going to show up at every interview, and I`m going to be asked about it.
Now that you`re seven years away from it having ended, do you have a different perspective on that aspect of it?
ALEXANDER: No. You know, the nice thing about it is, a lot of -- a lot of actors who come off really big successful TV shows, especially younger -- I think I was -- I was still under 40 when we went off the air - - have some regrets about it or some bitterness about it, because they feel they`re relatively young and they`ve got a lot left to do. And they`re measured and defined by this thing.
ALEXANDER: My feeling about it is it`s really rarefied air. You know, I have to believe that this particular character will outlive me. And that it has meant so much to so many people for so long that I can`t -- I can`t but adore that.
You know, I do not -- people say all the time, do you get tired of people asking you about it or saying how much they like it? And I go, you know, what I do for a living is totally unimportant until you get a letter that says, "Hey, man, you got me through chemotherapy" or "you got me through the loss of my child."
Wow. OK. Then I love this show, and I will love it forever.
HAMMER: It`s nice to hear how much you appreciate that. And best of luck to you in your new role as author.
ALEXANDER: Thank you very much.
HAMMER: It really is a touching book. And Jason Alexander, we appreciate you stopping by.
ALEXANDER: Thank you.
HAMMER: And of course, the new book "Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?" is out in stores now.
BRYANT: Coming up, U2 has finally found what they`re looking for, and so have their fans. U2`s secret for success on and off the stage.
HAMMER: Are dirty rotten scoundrels casting doubt on your summer plans? Why not take "A Streetcar Named Desire" to "Golden Pond"? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your ticket to the best of Broadway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOLLY SIMS, ACTRESS: Hey, I`m Molly Sims and I have been addicted to "Days of Our Lives" for the last 20 years and to wrestling, because of my brother, the WWF. Because I`m a Hulkmaniac.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Happy Memorial Day.
U2, of course, one of the biggest rock bands of all time. And they`re hitting the road this summer, going around the world and back again.
BRYANT: But as CNN`s Paula Zahn tells us in "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS," U2 has got more than music on their minds.
PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW" (voice-over): In 2001, U2 went back on tour with a mission. It was reapplying for the title of the biggest band in the world.
The over the top spectacle of his "Pop Mart" tour was gone. In its place, a stripped down, back to basics approach. U2 had changed yet again, turning to the past to find new direction.
THE EDGE, U2 GUITARIST: We were looking to ourselves a lot more than normal. And maybe along the way taking lessons from previous records.
ZAHN: The gamble paid off. Its 2000 album, "All That You Can`t Leave Behind," was a critical and commercial success that put U2 back on top.
BONO, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: What "You Can`t Leave Behind" is really just about getting to the heart and the soul of what our band is about, which is four of us playing in a room together.
ZAHN: However, getting U2 in the same room isn`t always easy, especially with a lead singer who has a second job, activist.
BONO: We want the rich countries to drop the debts that are owed to them by the poorest countries.
My political life has come out of my artistic life. And the band has always believed that the job of rock `n` roll is to change the world.
ZAHN: At times, it seems like Bono is everywhere but in U2. Speeches, meetings, and photo op after photo op, hoping to change the world one politician at a time.
BONO: Am I being used? Probably. Am I a cheap date? No.
LARRY MULLEN JR., U2 GUITARIST: It is another job. And he spends as much time on Africa as he does on U2 now.
PAUL MCGUINNESS, U2 MANAGER: I worry about him because he over schedules himself, and he takes too much on at times. But he has more energy than 10 normal people.
BONO: I have no choice about this. I don`t want to do this. I would much rather be in the studio, in a rehearsal room and singing songs. I wake up in the morning with melodies in my head. It`s the easiest thing for me.
ZAHN: Instead, he`s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. It focuses on eliminating debt for third world nations, fair trade issues and helping to fight AIDS in Africa.
BONO: For seven cents out of $10, you can change millions of lives.
I want to be part of the generation that says no to extreme poverty, says no to the idea that children can die for the lack of a cheap immunization or food in his belly. And I want to be generation that puts an end to that. I want to be part of that.
And I think the band feel proud to be a part of that generation. They just wish it didn`t take up so much of the singer`s time.
ZAHN: All four members of U2 are in one place again right now, touring the world behind their latest album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb."
THE EDGE: This record, I believe, is our best, most accomplished record. And I think we can make a better record.
MULLEN: It`s always wanting more, it`s wanting the cherry on the cake with extra jam. And it`s always about that. I think that`s why, you know -- that`s why we`ve stuck it out.
ZAHN: They`ve been together for nearly 30 years, four friends from high school. Once again, the biggest band in the world.
STEVE LILLYWHITE, U2 PRODUCER: They still have the same spirit and the same feeling that they had in the early days. Which is they think they`re the worst band in the world.
MULLEN: We didn`t know how to play and we don`t play proficiently. We don`t play particularly well.
THE EDGE: And that`s our secret, in a sense.
ADAM CLAYTON, U2 BASSIST: Individually, we can`t really go very far without the help of the other three.
MULLEN: We play together well. It`s what happens in U2 that makes it special.
BONO: Relationships don`t last. Marriages break up. So when you see four people who have stood together and with each other through so much, I think it`s a very powerful thing.
HAMMER: Catch "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" on CNN Saturdays at 5 p.m. And the latest issue of "People" magazine is on newsstands now.
BRYANT: We came, we saw, we conquered. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a look at the best of Broadway this summer, from "Julius Caesar" to "Spamalot." All the world is a stage at the crossroads of the world. That`s coming up.
BRYANT: Now a look at what`s happening on the stage. A lot of big time Hollywood stars are spending their summer right here in New York, and the spotlight is on them on Broadway.
BRYANT (voice-over): The sweet, the rotten, "Little Women," "Angry Men." New York`s theater district, three dozen shows crammed into 11 city blocks. Broadway, baby.
You like plays, you say? Let`s start with some classics. Denzel is doing "Julius Caesar." Yes, Shakespeare is here. So is Tennessee Williams, times two.
CHRISTIAN SLATER, ACTOR: The audience seems to be laughing. I think they`re quite relieved to discover that this is, you know, not like that this heavy, heavy, heavy classic thing.
BRYANT: Christian Slater fronts "The Glass Menagerie" with Jessica Lange, and "A Streetcar Named Desire`s" got Natasha Richardson this go round.
NATASHA RICHARDSON, ACTRESS: It`s an extraordinary play, one of the great plays ever written.
BRYANT: "Glen Garry Glen Ross" is back. So is "Who`s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" with Kathleen Turner.
Need new drama in your life? Theater critic Adam Feldman has some picks.
ADAM FELDMAN, THEATER CRITIC: I would say two plays: "Doubt" and "The Pillowman." Very different shows, both about child abuse but in a very different way.
BRYANT: Familiar stories which began on Broadway are being reinvented. "On Golden Pond" is one.
FELDMAN: The twist is that it has an old black cast.
BRYANT: "Steel Magnolias" is another.
With eight live shows a week, Christine Ebersole is clocking a lot of time at the crossroads of the world.
We want to talk musicals now, big shows. The choices overwhelming. We need guidance.
(on camera) Help, Christine. There are some great, long-running shows like "Chicago."
CHRISTINE EBERSOLE, ACTRESS: Yes.
BRYANT: You can`t go wrong with that, right?
EBERSOLE: You can`t go wrong with that show. It`s been running for a long time.
BRYANT: Yes, that`s right.
And "La Cage." "La Cage," too. Right?
EBERSOLE: That`s a fantastic show and now Robert Goulet is in it.
BRYANT: Robert Goulet?
EBERSOLE: Robert Goulet. Younger than springtime.
FELDMAN: We had 11 new book musicals open on Broadway this year. That`s more than we`ve had, actually, in almost 20 years.
BRYANT (voice-over): And a few of those, some spun from films, are already summer must-sees.
There`s "Sweet Charity," starring Christina Applegate, or "Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang."
Along with the hands down, hottest show in town.
FELDMAN: "Spamalot" is new this year. It`s been a huge success and it`s sold out. So if you can get tickets for it, good luck.
BRYANT (on camera): When you have a night off, what show do you want to see?
FELDMAN: From the new crop of musicals, "Spamalot" or "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" are both old-fashioned good Broadway musicals.
BRYANT: And those two plays, "Spamalot" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," are nominated for a number of Tony awards. "Spamalot" got 14 total nods, including best musical. The Tonys will be handed out Sunday.
HAMMER: As we wind up the holiday weekend, time to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow.
BRYANT: Let`s take a look at the marquee. Marquee guy, take it away.
ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow, we`re getting some hindsight with Cheryl Hines. We just can`t curb our enthusiasm for this star. She`s taking us home. It`s Tuesday in style with Cheryl Hines tomorrow.
And should you boogie over to the store to buy "Bogeyman"? It`s "The Showbiz Guide to DVDs" with Mr. Moviefone.
Before you turn out the lights, watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. This is the marquee guy. And I like to get down, boogie, oogy, oogy.
BRYANT: That guy scares me sometimes.
That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Karyn Bryant.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.