On Line 1, It's Mad Mel

The passion of Mel.

Hollywooder Mel Gibson is a phone-talker. No, not that kind of phone-talker, but the movie star is dialing up everyone from Gov. Ahnuld Schwarzenegger to radio-talkstress Laura Ingraham to opine about his "ethical problem" with stem cell research. (This is all in reaction to California Proposition 71, a measure Schwarzenegger just backed that would sell $3 billion in state bonds to finance such research.)

"I called Governor Schwarzenegger last night to talk about this very issue," he vented yesterday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Apparently the Golden State's leader had to run and got off the phone, but said he'd ring Gibson back.

"I'm still waiting for your call," Gibson sneered on ABC.

And it seems he killed the time waiting for the Guv's call by making a surprise call to Ingraham's radio show: "Hey, Laura, I wasn't in a petri dish, but I too was once just a bunch of cells, and so were you."

Noted . . .

Last week we told you that Ann Coulter got creamed in the shoulder by a custard pie while giving a speech in Arizona. Never one to let anything slip by without a retort, she has since declared it "an act of terrorism" . . .

It's not Nov. 2 yet, but President Bush has already won one election: In the U.K., Total Film magazine's poll of 10,000 people has dubbed Dubya the top screen villain, in reference to his appearance in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," beating out the bad guys in "Spider-Man 2," "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Lord of the Rings" . . .

Meanwhile, if the conservatives' favorite Democrat, Zell Miller, seems irritable and filled with rage to you, well, that's because he is. Before introducing Bush to a crowd gathered Wednesday in Youngstown, Ohio, Give 'Em Hell Zell snapped: "The political pundits and talking heads said I looked mad and sounded angry. How very perceptive of them." At least he's comfortable in his own skin . . .

Yes! The world's oldest man, Fred Hale Sr., got his wish Wednesday night. He has been a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, so, unlike most, the 113-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., man has already seen the Sox win the World Series. (Showoff? Nah.) Understandably, he wanted to see one more win -- and got one, too, just in time for his 114th birthday, on Dec. 1 . . .

Those wags at Nathans in G-town certainly have a sense of humor. The menu for its community lunch yesterday with "Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace was . . . meatloaf! You may recall that Wallace's famous "60 Minutes" pop, Mike, was involved in a minor incident earlier this year when a stop by his favorite Manhattan restaurant to pick up dinner (meatloaf) somehow led to his arrest. It seems Chris can handle his meatloaf a bit better than Daddy Wallace -- no arrests were made yesterday, from what we understand . . .

Even Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is getting in his knocks on Ashlee "I Lip Sync" Simpson. Speaking about Bill Clinton on Wednesday to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Huckabee opined: "Quite frankly, he's a great salesman, but he's going to have a harder time selling John Kerry to Arkansas voters than Ashlee Simpson would have selling a live album these days."

. . . and Quoted

"Stand up, Jack. Oh, you are standing up."

-- NBC Universal chairman Robert Wright, ribbing audience member Jack Valenti, the diminutive former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, at a Media Institute awards dinner Wednesday night, according to the Post's Frank Ahrens.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

Mel Gibson is working the phones to rally opposition to a California stem cell research measure.Ann Coulter, a victim of "terrorism"?Zell Miller to critics: Grim and bear it.Mike Huckabee: Read my lips, Bill Clinton.