Chatter

updated 12/23/1991 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/23/1991 01:00AM

WAKE-UP CALL
NBC re-signed Bryant Gumbel two weeks ago to another three-year contract for the Today show. That finally ended speculation that Bob Costas, the popular sports personality and host of Later, the late-night one-on-one conversation show, might become the network's morning mouth. "I enjoy filling in on the Today show," says Costas, 39, "but the notion of waking up at 4 o'clock in the morning on a permanent basis is equal in appeal to me as the notion of facing a firing squad."

SAFE SEX
When the covers came off during The Last Boy Scout, actress Halle Berry, who plays an exotic dancer in the new action-adventure movie, made sure she stayed covered. "It was really tough," says Berry, 23, of her steamy romantic scene with costar Damon Wayans, "but Damon and I were close right away, and we could be really honest. We sat down and talked about the love scene—'If you touch me here, that would make me uncomfortable'—so we knew the boundaries of how far we could go. I didn't want my breasts to show, and I he didn't want his butt to show, so I came up with a plan: 'Whatever you do, cover my breasts, and I'll cover your butt. I don't care how you do it.' Of course," adds Berry, "the fact that Damon has a wife and four kids helped. We both knew there was no way we could do the scene for real."

HEAD GAMES
When blue-eyed British soul singer Lisa Stansfield hit the charts last year with her debut album, Affection, her trademark boyish locks and spit curl got almost as much attention as her voice. So how come they're nowhere to be seen on the cover of her new album, Real Love? "Basically, I was bored," says Stansfield, 25, who lives in England. "I got sick of that spit curl. So about three months ago we were doing a photo session, and I told the hairdresser to put curlers in my hair and see how it looked." Her wild waves were a hit with her pals, but she's not crazy about their reaction. "Everyone in my local pub said, the first time I walked in with it, 'I don't know you. You're so pretty.' I thought, 'Great, what did you think of me before?' "

MAKING A BAND STAND
Woody Harrelson, who plays bartender Woody on NBC's long-running sitcom Cheers, has been moonlighting as lead singer with Manly Moondog and the Three Kool Kats, a "blues-a-billy" band. Harrelson and his group have lately been playing to packed crowds in New York City and San Francisco, as well as other major cities. "I've been shocked at how well it has gone with the band. Crowds have been loving it," says Harrelson, 30. "I'm into performing. In high school I was with the choir, and we would travel around and perform, like, Bee Gees' songs. Then, in college, I got in this group, Woody and the Off-keys. About a year and a half ago I decided I had to get a band together. I guess I was feeling pretty manly when I came up with the name. Manly was the funniest word I could think of."

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