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updated 09/25/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/25/2000 01:00AM

Block Party
Now that boy bands are back in vogue, could the time be right for the New Kids on the Block to reunite? Actually, the fab five of the '80s have come close to hangin' tough again. "They tried to get us together last year for the MTV Video Music Awards," says former New Kid Joe Mclntyre, 27. "We tried to work something out, but there wasn't enough time. I think it would be fun. Maybe in the next year or something, who knows?" While Mclntyre, who stars in a film version of the longest-running Off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks, opening Sept. 22, has fond memories of being a New Kid, he's no fan of the group's glut of merchandising. "Having a doll was cool, but unfortunately that was just the tip of the iceberg," he says. "The marbles were a little much. When you see your head rolling down the hall, it's not a good feeling."

Dennis the Menace
Former San Diego Charger quarterback Dan Fouts has been fielding plenty of unsolicited advice about his gig as an analyst on Monday Night Football, although much of it is about the other new guy in the booth: Dennis Miller. "It's still coming in. You know, Throw a bag over Dennis's head,' and 'Unplug his microphone!' " says Fouts, 49, who shares face time with Miller and Monday Night stalwart Al Michaels. Fouts has been brushing up on his lexical acumen to keep pace with Miller's linguistic zingers. "I'm doing a lot more crossword puzzles, I tell you that," he says. "I'd love to say, 'Oh, I get every joke,' but I'm running about 50-50 right now. I take my cues from Al, who's a lot smarter than I am."

French Kiss
When she was promoting her film Nurse Betty on a live French TV show during the Cannes Film Festival, Renée Zellweger found herself stuck between Chris Rock and a hard place. "You put the earpiece in, and they feed you the English interpretation of the questions, but the sound was muffled," recalls Zellweger, 31, who costars with Rock, Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear in the dark comedy. "So I'm doomed. I can't understand a word. Chris is laughing at me because I've been destroyed on live TV. Now it's his turn, and I'm looking at him like, 'Okay, smart boy.' They come up with a question, and Chris looks at the audience and says, 'I just want to say, this is the best country I've ever been to in my whole life.' Everybody stood up applauding him."

Keepin' It Real
His 1999 film EDtv was a harbinger of this summer's reality television craze, but Matthew McConaughey isn't crowing about that. "We love to watch someone else make a fool of themselves, because it takes some of the responsibility off us for having made fools of ourselves," says McConaughey, 30, who last year was charged with violating a noise ordinance after Austin, Texas, police responded to a complaint and discovered him playing the bongos nekkid at home. Not surprisingly, appearing on a Big Brother or Survivor strikes him as a bad idea. "I wouldn't want a camera on me 24 hours a day," he says. "Some days there's 15 seconds when I make a fool out of myself. Other days it's 12 hours."

It's Not Money, Baby
It's a kill-or-be-killed world on The Sopranos, and Jon Favreau wants to be in the latter category. "I called [executive producer] David Chase and told him I want to come back and get whacked," says Favreau, 33, who guest-starred as himself last season. "How bizarre would it be to play yourself and get offed?" One return appearance Favreau is ruling out: a sequel to his and Vince Vaughn's 1996 indie comedy Swingers. "I loved Rocky, but that film is not regarded as highly anymore because we're on Rocky VI," he says. "And I have more money than I need right now."

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