If Reagan can do it ...

Will Smith for president? Natalie Merchant pulls a Schwimmer; Marilyn Manson records aphrodisiac! Plus: Trouble in Pee-wee's playhouse.

Published November 29, 2001 5:32PM (EST)

God wants you to vote for Will Smith?

Smith apparently thinks so. The rapper-actor says he feels destined to be U.S. prez. And he doesn't care how randomly ambitious that might sound to you.

"People say that's arrogant, and when you see it in print, it is arrogant," Smith told Oprah Winfrey recently. "So I'll sit here before you and say what I truly believe. I think that I have a wonderful delusional quality. You know, that I honestly believe. As I sit here, you know I'm silly and I joke, but I honestly believe if I set my mind to it, I could be the president of the United States."

One person's delusion, he says, is another's destiny. "I don't believe that God has blessed me with the gifts that he's blessed me with just to be an actor or just to be a rapper," Smith insists. "I think the connection that I have with people I want to use for more than making money."

Now where have we heard that before?

- - - - - - - - - - - -

In case you wondered ...

"I'm very much a people person."

-- Brad Pitt on his love of the human race, in the Calgary Sun.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Merchant's missionary zeal

Celebritus humanititis strikes again.

Like David Schwimmer and Will Smith before her, former 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant has been felled with the dread disease that causes the rich and famous to pledge their readiness to give it all up for the good of humanity.

Displaying a sure symptom, Merchant tells the Associated Press she's been thinking about casting aside her meaninglessly lucrative career as a singer to work with disadvantaged children.

"I'm surprised that I ever earned a living this way. I just joined a band to get out of my hometown and see other places," she informs the AP.

And while she plans to put out at least two more albums, Merchant figures she'll hang up her touring shoes within the next few years. "I don't see myself at 45 living on a tour bus and leaping up and down on stage," she says.

So what will she do instead? "I've thought of starting a nonprofit theatre group or some type of travelling arts group," Merchant muses. "I feel like the experience with theatre and dance is not available to many kids who are economically unable or isolated."

Hey, what's the matter here?

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Manson's Marquis cut

"I think it will make people want to have sex."

-- Marilyn Manson on his upcoming album, which includes "very groove-oriented beats" inspired by the Marquis de Sade, in the Alternative Press.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Juicy bits

Pee-wee porn or poor Pee-wee? That is the question now that former "Playhouse" denizen Paul Reubens has found himself back in the headlines. It seems Reubens, who only recently appeared to have put that notorious public masturbation episode behind him, has landed back on the wrong side of the vice squad. According to the New York Post, the L.A.P.D. recently searched Reubens' home for child pornography and carted off thousands of videotapes and scads of racy photos, magazines and books -- along with three computers containing what the National Enquirer has called "lewd material." Reubens' spokesman insists the comedian is innocent of child porn charges and says the seized goods were the quirky comedian's "vintage kitsch and erotic art and photography collections which Paul has collected for over 30 years." The L.A.P.D. is said to be "cataloguing" its finds. A dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

Flashback. "Hogan's Heroes" is headed back to the big screen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Russell Crowe is set to star in a film version of the 1960s TV show about the wacky hijinks of the American colonel Hogan and his hapless German captors. This is not to be confused with the upcoming biopic of "Hogan" star Bob Crane, starring Greg Kinnear. I see nossink.

In more family-oriented revival news, a live-action movie of "The Jetsons" is reportedly headed your way. Based on the classic '60s cartoon about a family of the future, the film will be directed by Rob Minkoff, the man behind "Stuart Little" and "Stuart Little 2." Jane, stop this crazy thing!

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Miss something? Read last Tuesday's Nothing Personal.

By Amy Reiter

MORE FROM Amy Reiter

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Celebrity Marilyn Manson