Fast Food: Morgan Freeman Helps Out Expeditiously

morgan freeman
The "Bucket List" star, bagging it at the food bank. (Molly Riley - Reuters)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The holidays are a good time to enlist a VIP to your cause -- but you have to make it quick. Such was the case with Morgan Freeman, who made a 20-minute stop at the Capital Area Food Bank for a photo op before last night's screening of "The Bucket List" at the Ronald Reagan Building.

After touring the warehouse, the stately actor -- camel-colored blazer, black pants, black polo shirt -- helped volunteers stuff and hand out grocery bags filled with pasta, cereal and tomato sauce. It was part of a larger celeb campaign for America's Second Harvest (Adrian Grenier and Teri Hatcher doing the honors in other cities) to call attention to food bank shortages nationwide.

"I'm here to see and hear, learn," the Oscar winner said to a group of senior citizens from the food bank's brown-bag program. "I had no idea so many people in our nation's capital" -- he made air-quotes on that word -- "were having such a hard time."

A gracious Freeman took a few minutes to hug the seniors and chat with volunteers, but was then whisked away for a TV interview in the time it takes to heat up a TV dinner.

From Hitchens, Christmas Sneer

You know that Christmas is working its magic when everybody's favorite hard-living atheist contrarian dons a Santa hat: Christopher Hitchens brought the secular holiday spirit to Reason magazine's Monday night party. Prevailed upon by his hipster libertarian hosts to entertain, the writer put down his Scotch, climbed up on a chair -- and led the room in a dramatic reading of Tom Lehrer's satirical 1959 song "A Christmas Carol."

Christmas time is here, by golly
Disapproval would be folly
Deck the halls with hunks of holly
Fill the cup and don't say when.
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens
Even though the prospect sickens
Brother, here we go again.

The Hitch also compared the holiday season to living in North Korea, all that Christmas music oppressing you from every corner, harrumph harrumph. God bless us every one! Or, you know, um, whoever.


"I love doing it for Hillary. She worked for me from 1974 until I left the White House in January 2001. So the way I calculate it, I still owe her about 19 years until we're even."

-- Bill Clinton, doing the matrimonial math on campaigning for his wife yesterday morning in Des Moines.

This Just in . . .

Jamie Lynn Spears -- Britney's 16-year-old sister, and the star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101" -- says she is pregnant, OK! mag reported last night. The father is longtime boyfriend Casey Aldridge. Unclear what this means for her popular show. Her message for pre-teen fans? "It's better to wait. But I can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in."

Amy Winehouse was arrested and released on bail in London yesterday -- something to do with her husband's obstruction-of-justice charges. The 24-year-old British singer voluntarily surrendered to police and was questioned about her role in the case of Blake Fielder-Civil's alleged assault of a bartender and alleged attempt to bribe a trial witness.

Looks like Ben Affleck will replace Ed Norton as the ambitious congressman in the Washington thriller "State of Play" -- the delayed shooting schedule caused Norton to give up the role, reports Variety. This is the second major cast change: Russell Crowe took over for Brad Pitt as a reporter investigating the murder of a young Hill staffer.

Hey Isn't That . . . ?

Michael Chertoff leaving the Aimee Mann Christmas variety show at the Birchmere just before the encore Monday night. Was the homeland security secretary offended by the pot-smoking jokes or the "Hanukkah Fairy's" raunchy rap? Eh, probably not; he went to college in the '70s.

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