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If Cordelia Plays Light, Then ‘Lear’ Takes Flight

Paris Review publisher George Plimpton recently hosted a conference on humor, and the event attracted such literary wits as Mordecai Richler, Roy Blount Jr. and Calvin Trillin.

But the humor took a classical turn when Blount recalled a conversation he once had with British actor John Gielgud.

As recalled by Plimpton, Blount said that Gielgud offered some interesting advice on how to stage “King Lear.” The mood of the play, he said, depended on the weight of the actress playing Cordelia.

If Lear weighed 150 pounds, said Gielgud, and Cordelia 149 pounds 15 ounces, the play would be a tragedy. If Lear weighed 150 pounds and Cordelia 150 pounds 1 ounce, the play would be a comedy.

Loose talk

Jay Leno on high school uniforms: “Seventy percent of high school principals think uniforms would cut down on school violence. Especially if the kids wore Mets uniforms. They wouldn’t have to worry about anybody hittin’ anything.”

His brother in spirit, Robin Leach, sends his regards

Rupert Murdoch turns 65 today.

She reminded him of Gennifer Flowers in a wig

Seems some readers get irritated by the “liberal media bias” of this column. Hmmmmmm. For fairness sake, then, let’s pass on a Jay Leno joke: “Have you seen Hillary Clinton? Sportin’ a new hairdo, kind of a Jennifer Aniston thing. Kind of doing the ‘Friends’ thing. You know she looks great. In fact today, by accident, Bill hit on her.”

Perhaps she should go ahead and get a ‘Friends’ hairstyle

Then again, following up on the above item, some people personally feel the sting of a perceived bias. Jordan’s Queen Noor, for example. Born American (her pre-marital name was Lisa Najeeb Halaby), she married King Hussein in 1978 and yet has never felt accepted. “From the outset,” she says, “the Western media seemed to decide that their audiences were only interested in what I wear, what I eat and what I do in my leisure time.”

So, on ‘Friends,’ would he be like Ross - or Chandler?

Speaking of hairstyles (see above item), Greg Kinnear (“Sabrina”) has this to say about his ‘do: “It never falls right. It’s in my face. It falls down. It’s sticking up. It’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. It never behaves the way hair should behave.”

We know who wrote it, folks, and the author’s name is…

The “Anonymous” author of best-selling “Primary Colors” has even publishing insiders feeling jealous. “This was the work of someone with considerable experience in editing and writing, or else a loathsomely talented beginner,” says Random House editor Daniel Menaker. “If this person has never written a novel before, I’ll be deeply ticked off.”

But would he give a man a foot massage?

So why did Michelle Pfeiffer do the film “Up Close and Personal”? “Not a bad perk,” she says, “Robert Redford massaging my feet.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Dan Webster

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