The Baltimore Sun

Live from 'SNL,' Tina Fey is 2008's top entertainer

Tina Fey was voted the Associated Press' Entertainer of the Year, an honor given annually to the performer who had the greatest impact on culture and entertainment for the year.

Robert Downey Jr., whose comeback was capped with the blockbuster Iron Man, finished second, and Heath Ledger, who posthumously wowed audiences as the Joker in The Dark Knight, was third.

But it was Fey, 38, who most impressed voters (newspaper editors and broadcast producers across the country) largely with her indelible impression of Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. Her cameos helped drive the show to record ratings and drew an appearance from Palin herself.

A hand on history

President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office using the same bible upon which Abraham Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration, according to Obama will be the first to use the bible since 1861.

Obama "is deeply honored that the Library of Congress has made the Lincoln Bible available for use during his swearing-in," said Presidential Inaugural Committee Executive Director Emmett Beliveau.

The 1,280-page bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press. It was purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, for use during the March 4, 1861, swearing-in, because the Lincolns' family Bible was still en route from Illinois.

No strike vote yet

Citing division among its membership, the Screen Actors Guild delayed a vote that would authorize the union to call a strike and bring the entertainment business to a halt.

SAG announced Monday that it would delay sending out the ballots until Jan. 14 at the earliest, after the union's national board holds an emergency meeting. The union initially planned to send strike authorization ballots to more than 100,000 union members on Jan. 2, a date that would have put Oscar night within reach of a potential boycott.

Doug Allen, SAG's national executive director, said 2,524 members endorse the vote and 1,373 members are opposed, including A-list actors Pierce Brosnan and Cameron Diaz.

Those opposed called it "irresponsible" to threaten a strike while the industry was in an economic downturn. The SAG contract expired June 30.

Santa's sleigh unavailable

Police in South Salt Lake, Utah, have arrested a man they say tried to steal a fire truck so he could drive home - to Washington - for Christmas.

Detective Gary Keller says firefighters on a medical call heard the truck's horn blaring Monday and ran outside. After a struggle, firefighters subdued a 25-year-old man who told police he wanted to go to Washington to see his mother for Christmas.


Author Mary Higgins Clark, 81.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, 51.

Designer Kate Spade, 46.

Singer Ricky Martin, 37.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, 34.

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