The Baltimore Sun

The governor of New York was not amused

A Saturday Night Live skit portraying New York's blind governor as a bumbling leader didn't get a laugh from the man himself, Gov. David A. Paterson.

Paterson's office said the skit ridiculed people with physical disabilities and implied that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities.

"The governor is sure that Saturday Night Live, with all of its talent, can find a way to be funny without being offensive," Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield said in a statement. "Knowing the governor, he might even have some suggestions himself."

The skit that aired Saturday featured SNL cast member Fred Armisen as Paterson and involved his criteria for the person he would appoint to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton should she be confirmed as the next secretary of state.

No one from NBC, which produces SNL, was available for comment early yesterday.

Freedom's $$$ price tag

Madonna has settled her divorce with ex-husband Guy Ritchie by also parting with at least $75 million, the singer's spokeswoman said yesterday.

Liz Rosenberg told the Associated Press that the settlement was in the range of $76 million to $92 million as part of their divorce agreement, a figure she said included the value of the couple's country home, Ashcombe House in western England, which Ritchie will keep.

Rosenberg said the couple's west London pub - the Punchbowl - would also remain with Ritchie.

A representative for the British filmmaker declined to comment.

Barney and friends

Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin guest star in the final holiday doggie video from the White House.

In the "Barney Cam" Christmas greeting, the first family's Scottish terrier scampers amid the White House's holiday decorations before retiring for a nap and imagining himself as an athlete.

Barney is shown in cutout animation as an Olympic vaulter, swimmer and synchronized diver with fellow terrier Miss Beazley, both in red swimsuits. The Barney Cam was an instant holiday hit when it was introduced in 2002 and got 24 million Web visitors on its first day.

The videos aren't Barney's only star turn, though. He was an inadvertent hit on YouTube recently when he was taped biting a reporter who tried to get his attention.

The spot that was introduced yesterday begins with President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush and their daughters, Jenna and Barbara, reminiscing about their times together in the White House and then sending Barney off to decorate and nap.

Toward the end, Phelps tells Barney: "I'm glad ... you're using my favorite color, gold."

Sheen's daughters OK

A spokesman for Charlie Sheen says the actor's two young daughters were involved in a crash Friday on a highway in Malibu, Calif., but were not injured.

Authorities say 4-year-old Sam and 3-year-old Lola were in car driven by their nanny when it was struck by a Honda Civic making a turn on the Pacific Coast Highway.

The Honda driver was taken to a hospital, but the extent of her injuries was not released.

Sheen's spokesman says the girls were in car seats.

Baby talk

It's another boy for Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber.

A representative for Watts told People magazine that the couple welcomed their second son Saturday.

The Australian actress and her actor boyfriend are also parents to Alexander Pete Schreiber, born in July 2007.

The couple's representatives did not immediately return messages for further details.

today's birthdays

Civil rights attorney Morris Dees, 72.

Actress Liv Ullmann, 70.

CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl, 67.

TV producer Steven Bochco, 65.

Actor Benjamin Bratt, 45.

Actress Anna Popplewell, 20.

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