What do you expect from a country that reveres Jerry Lewis?
France bestowed one of its highest artistic awards on Sylvester Stallone yesterday, anointing him an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters and saluting him as a "man of sensitivity and culture."
Culture Minister Jack Lang pinned a green and gold medal on Mr. Stallone, calling him "a living legend."
But how can you tell them apart?
Fresh from a disastrous tour of Africa, Michael Jackson yesterday visited his likeness at Madame Tussaud's famous waxworks museum in London.
The mysterious singer arrived Wednesday, causing about 500 fans to besiege the plush Dorchester Hotel in the hopes of catching a glimpse. But he remained in seclusion until he and a 10-year-old cousin left a $2,000-a-night suite to spend an hour at the museum.
No one is saying why he's in London, but speculation was he might visit Benny Hill, hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack. Mr. Jackson is a big fan of the British comedian.
Put in a call to Milli Vanilli
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Despite the periodic lip-syncing scandals that have rocked the rock world, MTV will begin airing a regular show today devoted entirely to this sort of faux singing.
"Lip Service" features two teams of viewers competing in lip-syncing contests, such as one in which the audience sees one minute of a popular video but hears the contestants singing the song.
The show will premiere at 5 p.m. today; repeats at 9:30 p.m. today, and noon and 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Asked if viewers really want this kind of programming or would rather see wall-to-wall videos, MTV's senior vice president of programming, Doug Herzog, said: "Music videos are the hamburger; programming is just the french fries."
Whatever that means.
L.A. Law: court date for Williams
A Los Angeles woman who alleges actor Robin Williams gave her herpes will get her day in court. The California Supreme Court last week refused to intervene in the legal battle, clearing the way for Michelle Tish Carter's $6.2 million lawsuit to go to trial in August.
Ms. Carter contends she contracted the disease in late 1985, more than a year after she and Mr. Williams started dating.
Actor Robert Young is 85; producer-actor Sheldon Leonard i85; Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. is 60; ex-basketball star Julius Erving is 42.