The GOP's Comic Relief

Is this what's called a laugh riot?

For tomorrow night's Hotline Comedy Show at the Republican National Convention in New York, producer Tim Howe has lined up the funniest Republicans in a 100-block radius of the New School University's Tishman Auditorium. Fox News's Tony Snow is slated to host, introducing a slew of comics (or wannabes): Grover Norquist, Bob Barr, Joe Piscopo, Matt Cooper, Armstrong Williams and Reps. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Mike Pence (Ind.) and Jack Kingston (Ga.), among others. Yes, it's free.

Since when are Republicans funny, you ask? "If you think Republicans aren't funny, you haven't been watching the cable shows very closely," says Howe. Hey, he said it, not us.

A Sweet Win for Kerry

A new Krispy Kreme outlet just opened its doors in Dupont Circle on Tuesday and already it's got the political bug. (Make it stop! Make it stop!)

John Kerry's blue-sprinkled chocolate glazed doughnuts beat President Bush's red-sprinkled chocolate glazed doughnuts, 620-137, in a cash register survey revealed yesterday. Yowza! (Then again, it is fair to note that many Bushies are currently traveling to N-Why-Cee and could not "represent" for the Gee-Oh-Pea. However, we heard that a group of cops did their share when they stopped by -- shocking, we know -- and all bought red ones.)

Quipped one insider: "The first poll to come out of Washington that Kerry sweeps absolutely -- and probably the last."

Kiss of Reality for 'Queer Eye'?

Ooh, no doubt tongues will be wagging if Gene Simmons appears on Bravo's reality cult fave, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." (We can just see Carson Kressley rummaging through Simmons's closet: "Platform shoes? Went out with Kiss! Black and white makeup? Not with your complexion!")

Though the makeover is unconfirmed, the make-upped rocker told fans on his Web site that producers for the Fab Five have called and inquired about his interest. "I'm a fan of the show," blurbs Simmons. "We may shoot on the 28th of Sept." Stay tuned.

No Rock-and-Roll Politics

And then we have that mascaraed shock rocker Alice Cooper. (No, he's not going on "Queer Eye," though that would be a sight.) Earlier this week the steadfast GOP backer made headlines when he denounced rockers banding together for John Kerry -- describing their actions as "treason." Seems some took that to mean any rockers who weren't for Bush were treasonous. Cooper elaborated on what he said last week: "Rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics." No one, he says, should base his vote on what some guitar thumper says, "and that's true whether it's Bruce Springsteen or Alice Cooper."

Noted . . .

They're rarin' to go and ready to get fired! The second season of "The Apprentice" is set to dole out extreme business scenarios to 18 lads and lassies, all of them eager to become the next Donald Trump. Though no surnames were given by NBC, two of the female participants are from these parts: A 31-year-old marketer, Maria, is from Virginia Beach, while Sandy, 28, has made a name for herself in Rockville as a bridal shop owner. Also, though listed as a law student from Chicago, we hear that 29-year-old Kevin grew up in Silver Spring, where his family still lives . . . If you think Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) has been around Capitol Hill forever, well, that's because he has. On Thursday he locked in his place in history as the fourth-longest-serving member of the House of Representatives -- surpassing Sam Rayburn's 48 years 8 months and 25 days.

. . . and Quoted

"It hasn't hurt."

-- Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, when asked if his gold medals have helped his sex life, as reported by the New York Daily News.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

Gene Simmons can't hold his tongue when it comes to his possible appearance on Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."