Lauer agrees to sit in hot seat
New York - Matt Lauer must have really thick skin.
The "Today" show co-anchor will be the center of attention - and the target of insults and general humiliation - at a Friars Club celebrity roast Oct. 24. Things could get ugly: The Roastmaster is Lauer's longtime colleague and friend Al Roker, who knows him as well as anyone.
"I fully plan to, like, bring an iPod in my sport jacket and run the headsets up to where they can't see it into my ears so I won't even hear half of it," Lauer told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I will tell you right now: I'm not going to invite my mom or anything like that. I have a feeling it's gonna be way over the edge for someone like that to be there."
Lauer, 50, joked: "From what I understand, you basically go in, you pad yourself, you take medication and you sit there and you just kind of brace for the worst."
He's well aware of "how raunchy and filthy" a Friars Club roast can get.
"That's the whole reason I agreed," he said. "I figured, what the heck? Everybody in their career at least on one occasion has got to go out there and just kinda lay themselves bare. ... It's for a great cause. They're a wonderful organization, they've done great work over the years, and if you can't poke a little fun at yourself or have others do it at your expense, then, you know, you should be in a different business."
Clooney movie to open in Kentucky
Louisville, Ky. - For one night, Maysville will be Hollywood along the Ohio River, thanks to George Clooney.
The 46-year-old actor-director will visit the northern Kentucky town Monday night for a special screening of his new movie, "Leatherheads," his father, Nick Clooney, said Tuesday.
"The whole town is abuzz," said Maysville Mayor David Cartmell.
Clooney, who won an Oscar for his role in "Syriana," grew up in the town of Augusta, about 16 miles west of Maysville.
The setting has special significance for the Clooney family. In 1953, "The Stars Are Singing," starring Rosemary Clooney, George Clooney's aunt, premiered in Maysville.
Nick and Rosemary Clooney were born in Maysville. George Clooney was born in Lexington, and the family moved several times before settling in Augusta.
"Leatherheads," which also stars Renee Zellweger, is a romantic comedy set in the world of 1920s professional football. The film will be in theaters April 4.
Cancerous mole taken off Cooper
New York - CNN's Anderson Cooper was back at work Wednesday after minor surgery two days earlier to remove a cancerous mole from underneath his left eye.
There was no indication the skin cancer had spread, spokeswoman Shimrit Sheetrit said.
He blogged about his procedure Wednesday, when he was following Barack Obama, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, for a special edition of Cooper's nightly news show.
"I hadn't planned on mentioning this," said Cooper, 40. "But I still have stitches and you'll no doubt notice them. ... Don't want you to think I got into a fistfight with Charlie Rose."
Andy Williams picked to receive Ella Award
Los Angeles - The Society of Singers has picked "Moon River" singer Andy Williams to receive its 17th Ella Award for singers whose musical accomplishments are equaled by their humanitarian efforts.
The Ella Award, named after its first recipient Ella Fitzgerald, has gone previously to Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Placido Domingo, Elton John and others.
The 80-year-old Williams, who earned 18 gold and three platinum albums in his career and hosted a popular TV variety series in the 1960s, will be given the award during a May 19 gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
"I'm tremendously honored to have my name placed alongside the previous winners," Williams said.
The Society of Singers was founded in 1984. With help from sponsors, it offers emergency financial help for singers and awards scholarships.
Robin Williams visits 'Law & Order'
Los Angeles - Robin Williams will guest star on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," but don't expect him to bring laughs to the NBC crime drama.
Williams is playing an "engineer whose life has gone terribly wrong" and who faces serious repercussions, series spokeswoman Pam Golum said Tuesday. The episode, which films later this month, is scheduled to air April 29.
TVGuide.com describes Williams' character as "a Svengali-like figure that tests detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) like never before."
After his breakthrough role on the 1980s sitcom "Mork & Mindy," Williams' career has mostly centered on a mix of movies, including "Good Morning, Vietnam," "Dead Poets Society" and "Patch Adams." He won an Academy Award for 1997's "Good Will Hunting."
The "Special Victims Unit" episode with Williams, titled "Authority," is the show's 200th, Golum said.