Second sniffer

John Cusack is named as the mystery armpit smeller, exonerating George Clooney by a nose; James Brolin reveals his wounded-bird strategy for loving Babs. Plus: Dick Van Dyke steps down and Pee-wee returns.

Topics: Celebrity,

John Cusack can sniff my armpits anytime.

New York Daily News columnist Mitchell Fink contends Cusack was the “Thin Red Line” star who allegedly buried his nose in Elle writer Deanna Kizis’ pit, “took a deep whiff and, coming up for air, said, ‘You smell soooo good.’”

Kizis and Elle have declined to identify the scent-centric actor whose burrowing nose Kizis fingered in a story for the magazine, although Elle has apologized for mistakenly implicating George Clooney in a photo that ran with the piece. But Fink says Kizis has in the past pegged Cusack as the sneaky sniffer.

Cusack and his rep, however, have refused to comment. But if they’re at all upset by these allegations, I would simply advise them to take a deeeeep breath.

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Lizzy continues to share

“Unless I make an effort I don’t sit like a proper lady. My mother is always telling me to sit with my legs closer together.”

Elizabeth Hurley on her mom’s plea for her to snap them legs shut, in the U.K. Sun.

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A relationship like buttah

Perhaps you’ve been wondering what James Brolin sees in Barbra Streisand?

The actor tells Us Weekly he first tumbled for Babs when “she reached over and said, ‘Who f—ed up your hair?’”

“I fell in love with her,” he says, “because nobody else would have said that, and I was like, ‘God, at least somebody tells the truth in this world.’”

Then again, Brolin says his wife can also be the tenderest of creatures. “You wouldn’t believe how tender this woman is,” he says. “Nobody believes it, because it doesn’t fit in with what they’ve invented.”

In fact, Brolin reveals, his secret formula for a successful relationship is to treat his woman “like a bird that’s hurt.”

No beak jokes, please.

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Yuk Finn?

“I think Carl Reiner is funnier than Mark Twain. [Twain's] funny, don’t get me wrong. But what was his best bit?”

Jerry Seinfeld, presenting Reiner with the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain prize for American humor on Tuesday night.

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Juicy bits

Pee-wee’s playing around again. Paul Reubens has been tapped to host ABC’s TV version of “You Don’t Know Jack.” The show’s executive producer, Robert Morton, told the Hollywood Reporter, “We are thrilled that we have found a way for Paul to do ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ as well as his other projects.” Reubens is also working on a feature film based on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” I suppose you think he got off easy?

Reality bites NBC: Although the network contends that its plans for “Destination Mir” are full speed ahead, it has decided to back away from its planned reality dating series, “Chains of Love.” The show was to have shackled one man or woman to four people of the opposite sex, from which he/she would select a dream date. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deal came unhitched after NBC ran into “creative differences” with producer Endemol, the geniuses who brought you “Big Brother.” I suspect things went bad when Julie Chen asked for a raise and demanded to write her own patter.

Guess this rules out any hope of a “Beach Blanket Bingo” Thanksgiving Day parade float. Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are suing Macy’s and the Federated Department Stores for using their photos in a brochure without permission, the Associated Press reports. In a lawsuit filed Monday, Avalon and Funicello are seeking $250,000 apiece in damages. They claim the unauthorized use of their photos has embarrassed and humiliated them. If they didn’t want to be embarrassed and humiliated, what were they doing in “Beach Blanket Bingo” in the first place?

Wheep boom! Dick Van Dyke may have tripped over his last TV ottoman. The sitcom veteran and “Diagnosis Murder” star says he’s planning to retire from television. “It’s time for me to go to pasture,” Van Dyke told AP Radio Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center. “Tastes have changed. Television’s going, as far as I’m concerned, downhill, and I’m an anachronism.” Blame it on double beds.

It’s cold-shower time for Joey. Lisa Kudrow is backing away from her recent hints that her “Friends” character and Matt LeBlanc’s character may one day take their friendship to the next level. “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Kudrow now tells TV Guide. “I know that the writers feel, ‘Jesus, God. We’ve had Ross and Rachel, and now we have Monica and Chandler. No. No!’ We can’t be that show where it’s just these six people that hook up in different couples.” NBC is saving that one for next season.

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Miss something? Read yesterday’s Nothing Personal.

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