Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Three "Idol" Winners Top Billboard Charts; Celeb Prenups Revealed; Actor`s Grandfather Helped Nab Top Nazi; "King Kong" Director Plays Major Role in Video Game

Aired December 22, 2005 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, CO-HOST: And I`m Sibila Vargas. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Idol" worship. Why "American Idol" is breaking records, and rules. We take you behind the chart-topping albums, the soaring ratings and the new reality that`s forcing the music industry to change its tune. It`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report.

Eye of the beholder. The shocking real-life "Nip/Tuck" that some Asian women are craving. They say lid surgery will make them look more western. Critics say they`ve got "Eyes Wide Shut" and are denying their heritage. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes under the knife to expose this controversial procedure.

And "March of the Penguin" thieves. Penguin popularity shows its "fowl" side as a baby penguin is plucked from a British zoo. The brash abduction is sparking a worldwide alarm. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you across the pond as we uncover the penguin panic.


PHIL COLLINS, MUSICIAN: I`m Phil Collins. And if it happened today.



VARGAS: Hello, I`m Sibila Vargas.

HAMMER: And I`m A.J. Hammer. We are live in New York.

Well, tonight, the power of "American Idol." Right now, three former "American Idol" contestants sit near the top of the Billboard 200 album chart: veteran "idol" Kelly Clarkson and two newcomers, Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice.

The rules of the music industry have certainly changed. So what is it about "American Idol" that resonates so deeply with Americans? Let`s go straight to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer live in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom. He`s got the story.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s the key question, A.J.: why does America love "American Idol" so much? "Billboard" magazine says it`s because they chose them to be the next big thing and stood by them as they rose to the top. And if record sales are any indication, Americans are worshipping their contestants to the top of the charts.



HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): Remember so long ago when Kelly Clarkson won the first "American Idol" back in 2002? No one realized just how huge the show would become or Kelly Clarkson, for that matter.

And it turns out the girl`s got staying power.

MICHAEL PAOLETTA, "BILLBOARD" MAGAZINE: This really is Kelly`s year. She`s the No. 2 artist of 2005 in "Billboard`s" yearend issue. She`s the top female artist of 2005. If you look on the Billboards 200 for the yearend chart, her album, "Breakaway," is No. 5.

HAFFENREFFER: She tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT being on "American Idol" was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

KELLY CLARKSON, SINGER: People dream of that exposure even people that are already in the artists, in the industry, you know. So take it and ride with it, and, you know, if you`ve got enough drive and if you`re persistent enough, you can make a career out of it.

HAFFENREFFER: She`s not the only one riding high on this week`s Billboard 200 chart.

Last season`s "Idol" winner, Carrie Underwood, made No. 2 on the chart with her debut album, "Some Hearts," and No. 1 on the country album charts. It`s made her very famous, and Underwood tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she struggles with how people perceive her.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, SINGER: I certainly don`t want people to view me as just a contest winner. I want people to see me and see what I do and like what I do. So I always hope I strive to prove myself.

HAFFENREFFER: But even being seen as a contest winner isn`t a bad thing when you`re this famous.

Bo Bice may have been runner-up on "Idol," but his debut album, "The Real Thing," hit No. 4 this week on the Billboard 200. That makes three "idol" contestants who made it to the top of the Billboard 200 charts this week.

PAOLETTA: With Bo, you have somebody who, I think, injected the show with a very raw rock element that it did not always have in the past.

HAFFENREFFER: Bo tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT all this newfound fame is a little surreal.

BO BICE, SINGER: It`s weird because six months ago I`m playing in bars and clubs all over the southeast, and now I`m in Los Angeles signing autographs at the airport and I`m like, what is up here?

HAFFENREFFER: What`s up here is it looks like Bo and Carrie and Kelly have some hit albums on their hands. And so does another "Idol" winner, Fantasia, who just nabbed four Grammy nominations, including Best R&B Album. Sales for "Free Yourself" have spiked as a result. This woman is on top of the world.

And "American Idol" has also hit the Christian and gospel music charts.

"Idol" winner Ruben Studdard took the No. 1 spot on the gospel album chart.

And Clay Aiken`s new Christmas album took the top spot on the Christian album chart.

Last season some nearly 30 million people tuned in every week to watch Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood duke it out.

Season five premieres January 17. Fans will be lucky enough this time around to watch "Idol" three nights a week, aggressively going head to head with NBC on Thursdays.

And with four strong seasons under their belt, there`s no doubt that "American Idol" has taken a permanent and beloved spot in American culture.


HAFFENREFFER: And "American Idol" is going to spice things up a bit differently for season five. Twenty-four semifinalists will be announced. And they`ll be split right down the line, 12 men and 12 women. All this of course leads up to the finals. The next "American Idol" will be chosen on March 15 -- A.J.

HAMMER: And they`ll continue to wield so much power, David. Thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer, joining us live in New York.

And now we want to hear from you, the music-buying public. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. "American Idol": is it good for music? Sound off tonight by voting at Got more to say? We`ve got an e-mail address just for that: We`re going to read some of your thoughts later in the show.

VARGAS: Tonight, the memory of Johnny Cash will live on, behind bars. "Walk the Line," the biography of the legendary country singer, will be screened at Folsom State Prison in California next month. Cash played a famous concert at the California prison in 1968. That performance is an important part of the "Walk the Line" movie. The movie will play there on January 3.

HAMMER: Tonight, a revealing look at celebrity prenups. With 2005 truly being the year of the star split, it is looking more and more like these before-marriage agreements are a must-have. Only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can accurately tell you that nothing is off-limits when it comes to signing on the dotted line.

Here`s CNN`s Randi Kaye for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JESSICA SIMPSON, SINGER (singing): One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jessica Simpson`s boots are walking all right, right out the door. So the 25-year-old famous for her barely there Daisy Dukes has filed for divorce from husband Nick Lachey after just three years of marriage.

That`s not a shock to anybody who reads the tabs. But what is surprising in the celebrity world of love them, leave them and milk them dry, this newlywed who earned $30 million last year didn`t sign a prenup, and celebrity attorney Scott Weston says she`ll pay for that.

SCOTT WESTON, CELEBRITY ATTORNEY: She`s going to get burned along the way. She`s going to end up having to pay part of that money in property, probably future royalties on that money, and in addition, some spousal support on that money.

KAYE: It`s no secret when celebrities split it can be a real kick in the assets. Roseanne and Tom Arnold didn`t have a prenup. The divorce cost her half of her fortune.

Celebrity attorneys estimate some 50-70 percent of Hollywood celebs do sign prenuptial agreements. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas had one. The Donald, prenup, prenup, prenup. Even Britney Spears reluctantly signed a prenup.

But these days the celebrity prenup is about a lot more than protecting your cash.

WESTON: We end up with people that are basically setting up their road map for how -- what`s important to them in the marriage. If you commit adultery, it`s going to cost you $1 million. This is a strong one, one that goes in a lot of celebrity agreements.

KAYE: Making a spouse pay to stray isn`t the only quirky clause found in recent confidential celebrity prenups.

Some of the most outrageous, the weight clause. One prenup stipulates if the wife`s weight goes over 120, she loses $100,000.

Some mates mandate a drug clause. One prenup requires random drug tests. There`s even an in-laws clause. One husband is fined whenever he`s rude to his wife`s parents. Another forbids vacationing with a mother-in- law, ever.

You`re asking, will this really hold up in court?

WESTON: Likely not, but better to have it in, better to have a statement about what`s important to you in these agreements.

KAYE: Celebrity lawyers say what it`s really about is control, and all newlyweds, even Jess and Nick, would benefit from letting their partner know where they stand up-front.

SIMPSON: That`s stupid.

KAYE: Just in case they don`t quite make it to "until death do us part."


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Randi Kaye for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: Coming up, why some Asian women are lashing out against their natural features and making a date with the eye surgeon. We blow the lid off the controversy in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report.

HAMMER: Also, we`ve got an eye-opening trip to Munich. One of the starts of Steven Spielberg`s controversial new film shares a surprising secret that he discovered while he was on location. It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: And your chance for combat with Kong. "King Kong" comes out swinging in a new video game, with a surprising twist. The story coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Tonight, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, director Steven Spielberg`s hotly anticipated film "Munich" and the story about the controversial movie, which is hitting theaters tomorrow. Now, the movie chronicles the kidnappings and the murders of Israeli athletes by Palestinian militants back at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games.

And tonight, only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`ve got a startling connection between one of the movie`s co-stars and the real-life capture of one of the world`s most notorious Nazis.

Joining us for a "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview, Ossie Beck.

Thank you for being here with us.


HAMMER: This is a crazy story.

BECK: Yes, it`s mind-blowing, really.

HAMMER: You`re shooting the film "Munich," which is essentially about the tracking and killing of terrorists involved in the 1972 Olympics, as I said. While you were filming the movie you learned that your grandfather was involved with the secret police in tracking down one of the most notorious Nazis of all time. Tell us about this.

BECK: Two days before we wrap, I didn`t even find out at the beginning, you know, and just when you think you know everything about your family. My father called my two days before wrap and said, "I want you to know that your grandfather was not only in the Holocaust, but he was also involved in the intelligence agency that caught Adolph Eichmann. And, you know, threw me for a loop, because you think you know.

And essentially, what happened was my grandfather was in the Holocaust, and he was able to, you know, sight him and know what he looked like, and he became very good in languages and proficient languages, and from the intelligence in the military, he moved into the intelligence agency. And it`s just amazing.

HAMMER: Because he was a Holocaust survivor, he had actually visually seen Adolph Eichmann and therefore...

BECK: He could visually identify him. He was able, with scriptures, to visualize handwritings and see the hand writing. And I appreciate so much, you know, what he went through.

HAMMER: How did you react when you found this? You said it was mind- blowing.

BECK: Yes. You know, you`re reliving history as an actor making the film, and then you discover your own history in the process of it, and it`s just -- it`s numbing and it`s exciting, and it`s -- you just appreciate your grandfather so much more for what he went through.

HAMMER: And it certainly has to have resonated with the themes of the movie that you were filming. And I`m certain that it also resonated that you know, you`re dealing with a terrorist situation. Did you guys back on the set, behind the scenes, were you discussing the comparisons with the modern war on terror that`s going on? Was that coming up a lot?

BECK: We had the -- the international cast was the best cast of professional actors. And we were all together so much, discussing everything from where to go out to eat to everything that was going on in the film. And it was wonderful to spend that time together collaborating as an ensemble. And it was just really a brilliant experience and wonderful. And Steven Spielberg is just amazing, you know. Amazing person to work with.

HAMMER: I have less than 30 seconds. But in your opinion, from being behind the scenes, why was the movie so shrouded in secrecy as it was while it was being filmed?

BECK: As an actor, I can say that I think I would like people to come out and have open discussions about the film and what it`s about, and come to their own conclusions about what they feel. And I think it`s important to communicate and to think and to discuss.

HAMMER: So perhaps because of the controversy, though, that he knew would ensue, he kept it under wraps. It is a powerful film, and thank you for coming on to talk about it and your very powerful story.

BECK: Thanks for having me.

HAMMER: Appreciate you joining us.

And "Munich" will open in limited release tomorrow.

VARGAS: In tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showcase," we`ve got a look a Natalie Portman`s new do in her new movie, "V for Vendetta." It tells a story of a mild-mannered young woman who is rescued by a masked man known only as "V." Together, they have a plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society filled with cruelty and corruption.

Let`s take a look.


NATALIE PORTMAN, ACTRESS: I wish I wasn`t afraid all the time, but I am.

HUGO WEAVING, ACTOR: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those caught in violation of curfew will be prosecuted without leniency or exception.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s past curfew, you know?

PORTMAN: Help me!


WEAVING: Oh, not tonight.

PORTMAN: Who are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, I want this terrorist found. And I want him to understand what terror really means.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re working on several leads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her parents were detained when she was 12.

PORTMAN: Those like those Black backs (ph) erased them from the face of the earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have one chance. You must tell us the whereabouts of code name "V."

WEAVING: If our own government was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people, would you really want to know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those who are responsible will be held accountable.

WEAVING: The time has come for you to live without fear.

PORTMAN: I`m ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This country stands on the edge of oblivion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want everyone to remember why they need us.


WEAVING: My turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I somehow have this feeling that everything was connected. We`re all part of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we ready for it?

WEAVING: The only fair thing (ph) is vengeance.


VARGAS: Wow, that looks compelling. "V for Vendetta" arrives in theaters March 17, 2006.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, "King Kong" is king of the box office. He may also be king of the Xbox, as well. The critically acclaimed blockbuster is also a critically acclaimed video game. It looks so cool.

David Haffenreffer joins us once again. He`s live in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom with more on that -- David.

HAFFENREFFER: You know, A.J., right around the time that he was picking up multiple Oscars for "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," Peter Jackson was hard at work both on his "King Kong" movie and the "King Kong" video game.

The game is now out and drawing rave reviews. And Jackson talked to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about his high-tech sci project.


HAFFENREFFER (voice-over): King Kong may be tops at the box office, but when you think of the top gorilla of the video game world, you probably think of another Kong.

Well, move over Donkey Kong. A video game based on the blockbuster film "King Kong" is winning raves from gamers as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT saw at the game`s official unveiling in New York City`s Times Square.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was amazing. And the game is amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you get scared when you play the game?

KAREN CONROE, UBISOFT COMPUTER GAMES: No, but I`ve been looking at it for awhile. I view King Kong as my good friend.

HAFFENREFFER: Well, Kong does have a thing for blonds.

Like the movie, the Kong game is guided by director Peter Jackson.

PETER JACKSON, DIRECTOR: I wanted our game to be cool and fun.

HAFFENREFFER: Jackson talked to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about his involvement in the "King Kong" game, when he started developing with game maker Ubisoft last year at roughly the same time he started making the movie. He told us he wanted to make sure the game was done right.

JACKSON: Well, I`m a video game fan. And I wanted this to be more than just a quick knockoff.

HAFFENREFFER: The stars of the "King Kong" movie, including Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody, did voice work for the game. Naomi Watts tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the game wasn`t exactly a passion project for her.

NAOMI WATTS, ACTRESS: No, I`m not a video game person. In fact, I don`t know that I approve.

HAFFENREFFER: The "Kong" game may have the same A-list talent and a big budget, but there`s one thing the game has that the movie doesn`t.

JACKSON: What I really wanted in the video game, which I couldn`t give in the movie, is an alternative ending.

HAFFENREFFER: We`ll stop Mr. Jackson right there for a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT spoiler alert. Those of you who haven`t seen the new "Kong" movie or the 1933 original may not know how they end. Let`s just say it`s unlikely Kong will show up for a sequel, but Jackson tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that the game gives players the chance for a newer, happier ending.

JACKSON: I just thought the game would be so cool if there was a way that he could survive. And I said, OK, let`s listen, let`s just design the game so maybe he gets shoved off the top of the Empire State Building, but maybe if you play really well and score enough points, you can actually save him and go of back to the island. And so I wanted the game to have that happy ending option as well.

HAFFENREFFER: That means King Kong could survive for future video game sequels or maybe he can take on a partner.


HAFFENREFFER: The other Kong.

The "Kong" game may be, as Peter Jackson said, a knockoff, but it is an expensive one. Its production budget was -- get this -- $20 million, but like a hit movie, a hit videogame can make hundreds of millions of dollars -- A.J.

HAMMER: It is going to make so much money. Thanks so much, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s David Haffenreffer.

VARGAS: Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Steve Martin weathers "A Mighty Wind." That`s next in "The Talk of the Day."

HAMMER: Also coming up, the red scare. Why Father Christmas has some kids screaming for mommy. It`s a "Fear Factor" you`ll only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

VARGAS: And a case of animal magnetism gone awry. Amid a jump in penguin popularity, a baby penguin is pilfered. The parents are in a panic, and animal lovers are crying "fowl." The story coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


VARGAS: Time now for "Talk of the Day," the best from today`s talk show circuit. On "The View," Steve Martin tells a story about an embarrassing experience he had while working with 12 kids in his new movie, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2."


STEVE MARTIN, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: I don`t think I can tell this story. We`re live.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": Yes. They`ll bleep it out.

MARTIN: Once we were in a -- we were shooting a scene in a van, and there were a dozen children and me and Bonnie Hunt. And one of the little kids passes gas. And we`re all, you know -- and you know, we`re in a locked car.

And one of the kids, Kevin, he`s a very charming guy. He`s about 15. He says, "Hey, we`re a movie family, not a real family."


VARGAS: Don`t you hate it when that happens? But it`s never me.

Tomorrow on "The View," actor Jamie Foxx shows off his musical chops in a live performance.

HAMMER: Coming up, a British tabloid says it has shown a secret video of Kate Moss to the police. We`ve got the details in our "Hot Headlines."

VARGAS: And an eye-opening look at the controversial trend of Asian women going under the knife to look more western. And despite a backlash, many say the surgery suits their vision of beauty.

HAMMER: And a winged migration that`s also a crime. The caper of a kidnapped penguin. The baby`s abduction is ruffling the feathers of animal lovers worldwide and raising fears there just may not be a happy ending. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas. We`re in New York, and you`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

Well, tonight, we have a special report. Did you know that plastic surgery in some Asian communities is very big right now?


VARGAS: And they`re starting to try to westernize their eyes. I found that so incredibly compelling, and I cannot wait to hear this report to see why they`re doing that, because I happen to think Asian women are beautiful.

HAMMER: As do I. Quite controversial, though, it`s really...

VARGAS: It is. It is.

HAMMER: It`s a fascinating report. That`s coming up.

Also, have you heard about Toga, the baby penguin?

VARGAS: Of course I`ve heard. Everybody`s talking about this thing.

HAMMER: Toga the penguin has gone missing from its parents from a London zoo. The world has gone nuts. We`re actually going to check in with London and see what the latest is with Toga the missing penguin and find out exactly how crazy they`re going on about this story in the U.K.

VARGAS: It`s huge.

But first, let`s go to tonight`s "Hot Headlines."

Tonight, Kate Moss could be in a lot of trouble. The British tabloid that printed pictures of the supermodel allegedly snorting cocaine has turned over a videotape to police in London. A "Daily Mirror" staffer says the tape shows Moss doing drugs with her boyfriend at the time.

Also, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has obtained this exclusive video of Ashlee Simpson performing during an MTV in Japan earlier this month right before she collapsed. This is her singing just moments before shocking the crowd and stopping mid-song. Simpson headed backstage, and then came back to apologize for losing her voice. But Ashlee Simpson later collapsed in exhaustion and was taken to a hospital. Her publicist tells us tonight she`s back home with her family.

And finally tonight, Gwen Stefani is pregnant. According to, the singer announced that she is expecting her first child at a concert in Florida. She is married to Gavin Rossdale, the former front-man of rock band Bush. The baby is reportedly due in June.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Congratulations.

As we reported earlier this week, three former "American Idol" contestants are hovering near the top of the Billboard 200 Album chart, first season winner, Kelly Clarkson, and fourth season "Idol" and runner-up Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice. So we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day. "American Idol": Is it good for music?

Keep voting at and write us at Your e-mails are coming up at 55 past the hour.

HAMMER: Right, we move now from "American Idol" to idolizing a look. Today, many young Asian women around the world are turning to plastic surgery to change a feature that is uniquely Asian. CNN`s Alina Cho is here in New York for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with more -- Alina?

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J., in parts of Asia, this surgery is as common as braces are in the United States. And it`s no surprise. In the Asian community, women with big eyes are considered the most beautiful. So we followed a young woman right into the operating room to see what eyelid surgery is all about and why people get it.


CHO (voice-over): Annie Cheng is 22 and beautiful. She doesn`t think so, yet.

(on-screen): Do you think you`re pretty?

ANNIE CHENG, PLASTIC SURGERY PATIENT: Not bad-looking. I wouldn`t say, like, really pretty, because my standard of pretty should be having big eyes.

CHO (voice-over): Annie`s features are typically Asian. Her eyelids are very small, almost nonexistent. That makes her eyes look small. But all of that is about to change.

DR. CHARLES LEE, PLASTIC SURGEON: And that`s very unique to Asians.

CHO: Soon, she`ll undergo surgery to make the folds, or creases, in her eyes bigger, to create what`s known in the Asian community as double eyelids.

CHENG: In general, I think double eyelids makes you look prettier and makes your eyes look bigger.

CHO: The man who will perform the surgery is Dr. Charles Lee. Lee is an expert in plastic surgery for Asians.

LEE: Well, this surgery is to Asians what breast augmentations are to mainland Americans.

CHO: To better understand it, we had Dr. Lee take a look at my face.

(on-screen): First of all, I guess, tell me how my features differ from Caucasian features.

LEE: Sure. The most common or most obvious thing is the upper eyelids.

CHO (voice-over): Lee says my folds, or eyelids, are small.

LEE: And some Asians have larger folds, which, if you open your eyes, you know, might be set something like that. And this would be an Asian appearing -- this would be an Asian with a larger fold than you have currently.

Caucasians have a fold maybe way up here. What I would recommend for your eyes is bury some stitches and set your crease slightly higher, and then relax your brow now, set your creases a little by higher, so that you look -- your eyes look brighter.

CHO: By "brighter," he means bigger, which is exactly what Annie wants. She wants to look a little like the Asian actresses she sees on TV and on the Internet.

(on-screen): You notice the big eyes?

CHENG: Yes. I actually really pay attention to that part, because whenever I see a big-eyed woman, I just feel, "Oh, she`s really pretty."

CHO (voice-over): Back at Dr. Lee`s office, Annie is now getting prepped for surgery. First, she`s sedated. Next, Dr. Lee measures her eyelids.

The top line, eight millimeters above her natural fold, is where Annie wants her new crease to be.

LEE: I`m just making sure that her markings and everything are appropriate.

CHO: The surgery takes about 30 minutes. Basically, Dr. Lee is using stitches to force the skin to fold, creating a new, bigger eyelid and, in turn, a bigger eye.

LEE: When I get the stitch buried in there, you`ll see that I`m just attaching the internal structures a little higher up.

CHO (on-screen): Creating the crease.

LEE: Yes. When you finish this operation, she`s still going to look Asian, and she`ll be grateful that I kept her looking Asian.

CHO (voice-over): Eyelid surgery was introduced in the 1950s after the Korean War, when women wanted to look more Caucasian to impress American GIs. Critics of the surgery say Asian women who alter their eyelids are turning their back on their ethnic identity. Dr. Lee says that`s impossible.

LEE: No one`s going to mistake them for being Caucasian or African- American. They look Asian. So what we`re trying to do is preserve ethnicity.

And the bigger question is whether the standard of beauty is changing, but that`s a little bit different question than, are you trying to change your race?

CHO: Two weeks after the surgery, we`re back to see Annie again. The first thing we notice, beside her appearance, is that she`s happy and confident. Her eyelids are clearly bigger. And with her new eyes, she`s doing things she couldn`t before, like experiment with makeup.

CHENG: But now you can see two colors. I can even put three colors, if I want.


CHO: Though she feels sexier and more feminine, Annie says she`s still the same person she was before the surgery.

CHENG: I do still look Asian, but with the eyes now, the bigger eyes now, I just feel I look better. It`s kind of like conceited to say that, but then I just feel that way.


CHO: The doctor we spoke to tells me that eyelid surgery is especially popular around the holidays. Now, that`s because many of his patients are college students who come to him while they`re on vacation. And many receive the surgery as a holiday gift from their parents.

And if you think the surgery is just for women, think again. It`s so popular the president of South Korea has done it, and it`s been widely reported that actors like Jackie Chan have, too -- A.J.?

HAMMER: Wow. Thank you, Alina. That`s CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I had no idea before I knew we were doing this report. Absolutely amazing to me this is going on.

VARGAS: Yes, it sure is. And with men, too.

HAMMER: With men, too, apparently.

And now, from amazing to heart-wrenching. It`s the story of a penguin, pilfered from its parents. If it`s not found soon, unfortunately the penguin`s going to die. It`s the desperate worldwide search going on. We`ve got that, coming up next.

VARGAS: Also, see what happens when a "Producers" star produces a Broadway version of "Brokeback Mountain." That`s right. That`s coming up in tonight`s "Laughter Dark."

HAMMER: Plus, this guy`s always smiling. He brings people presents. So why are so many kids so damn scared of Santa? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT heads to the North Pole to investigate. So stick around.

VARGAS: But first, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What is the name of the professional wrestler whom Peter Parker defeats in 2000`s Spiderman, Bonecruncher, Bonesaw, Bonebreaker, or the Killer? We`ll be right back with the answer.


VARGAS: So, again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz." What is the name of the professional wrestler who Peter Parker defeats in 2000`s "Spiderman," Bonecruncher, Bonesaw, Bonebreaker, or the Killer?

The answer is "B," Bonesaw.

HAMMER: Well tonight, something has gone afoul with a fowl. And this is making news all over the world. There`s a global search under way for a missing baby penguin. There`s no doubt that the unexpected success of the film "March of the Penguins" made us all fall in love with penguins all over again.

The film has made penguins incredibly popular. And now, news that a penguin has gone missing from a zoo in England quite a frenzy. CNN correspondent Becky Anderson joins us with the story from London for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

What`s going on here, Becky?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J., have the U.K. media latched on to this story? (INAUDIBLE) It`s been all over the press and all over the 24-hour news channels.

Let me just give you a sense of what`s going on. This is page 5 of one of the main broadsheets in the U.K., and this is day 5 of this story. "The world waits anxiously for news of baby penguin Toga." It`s all over the press. Let me tell you another one. "Please bring our baby boy home." And they are breaking into broadcasts to give us updates on exactly what is going on.

Let me tell you what happened. The little penguin, Toga, was taken on Saturday evening by intruders who scaled a six-foot wall and eight-foot fence in order to get into a zoom on the Isle of Wight, which is an island just off the south coast of England.

We got a chance to speak to Derek Curtis, who is the owner of the Amazon Zoo, and asked him why he thinks this little 3-month-old penguin was stolen.


DEREK CURTIS, OWNER, AMAZON WORLD: Oh, I think this has been stolen not for money. I think this has been stolen because someone`s seen this cuddly little baby animal that looks lovely and some thought, "This is going to be great for my girlfriend. This is the kind of present you don`t get for Christmas."


ANDERSON: Now, A.J., unbelievably...

HAMMER: Becky, little Toga has been missing for about a week, as we know. And anybody who saw "March of the Penguins" knows there`s quite a bond created between the parent penguins and the baby penguins. How have the parents reacted to the sudden loss of their child?

ANDERSON: Oh, I mean, they really are having a terrible time. And I mean, you can only really feel compassionate towards the parents of the penguin. I mean, they have been searching the nest. They`ve been going back to the nest all the time. Their father is looking into the nest all the time.

And to be really serious about this, what the zookeepers and the staff at the zoo are telling us is this, is that if the penguin isn`t returned at any point soon, effectively they will believe the parents of this penguin will believe that this penguin is gone and they really wouldn`t accept it, if indeed he was brought back. And there`s very little hope that this penguin can survive. He`s living off regurgitated food from his mother at the moment. Nobody can even feed him, whoever`s got it. So people are just saying, "Just return him for Christmas" -- A.J.?

HAMMER: Well, please just know that, here in the states, we, too, are pulling for little baby Toga. CNN`s Becky Anderson joining us from London tonight. Thanks very much.

VARGAS: There`s a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding the movie "Brokeback Mountain." And now "Producers" star Nathan Lane wants to piggy-back on "Brokeback`s" success. In tonight`s "Laughter Dark," the controversial cowboy romance gets a Broadway makeover on "The Late Show."


NATHAN LANE, ACTOR (singing): There`s a couple of guys in the meadow, (INAUDIBLE) supple thighs in the meadow. Don`t ask and don`t tell, or the sheriff, of course, will round up those boys and hang them like a horse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hung like a horse?

LANE (singing): It`s risky to be a gay cowpoke. There`s no comin` out around here. Men never got frisky on "Gunsmoke." Please keep in mind I am queer.


VARGAS: Hey, that was quite a production. You know, I can see that, "Brokeback Mountain: The Musical."

HAMMER: We`re all laughing about it now, but "Brokeback" to Broadway in two years, mark my words.

VARGAS: I believe you.


HAMMER: All right. Well, this guy that I`m going to tell you about, of course, we all know him, this time of year particularly, because he`s big and his "ho ho ho" can make a kid go "no no no." Wait, are we talking about the same person? Yes, we are.

Believe it or not, some children are actually scared of Santa. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigating this crying that`s going on over Kris Kringle.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, sure, `tis the season to be jolly.


MOOS: But it`s hard to be jolly when confronted by a bearded guy with a gut dressed all in red.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can we both sit with Santa Claus?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, c`mon, sweetie, sweetie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of rejection in this job.

MOOS: Hey, kids...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): He knows if you`ve been bad or good...

MOOS: No lying.

(on-screen): Were you ever scared to sit on Santa`s lap?


MOOS: Not at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, this year was the first year they sat on Santa`s lap without screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would not go near Santa. She walked as far away as she could.

MOOS: But you avoided Santa why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I was tired. They made you get on his lap? Yes.

(voice-over): Newspapers, like the "Chicago Tribune," ask readers to send in "Scared of Santa" photos, with captions like "Category 5 Scream" or "Unhand Us, You Fiend." One woman sent in, "Like Father Like Son," showing her husband when he was 2 next to her son at about the same ages.

Some kids, like Ethan here, even cry when it`s their own dad dressed up like Santa. But Dr. Joyce Brothers says no wonder Santa scares kids.

DR. JOYCE BROTHERS, PSYCHOLOGIST: He is abnormal to a child.

MOOS: He`s even more abnormal this year. Consider Bloody Santa, wielding a knife and holding a doll`s head. A New Yorker put up the display to protest Christmas commercialism, but the display was itself vandalized by those upset over it.

And then there was Hanging Santa in Miami Beach, bound and blindfolded. His owner took down Jolly Old St. Lynched after much uproar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It frightens me, and it disgusts me.

MOOS: That`s pretty much how some kids feel about the real thing. There`s even research on the subject. Professor John Trinkaus observed several hundred kids in malls waiting to meet Santa. He rated their facial expressions, exhilarated, happy, indifferent, hesitant, saddened, terrified.

Indifferent won by a landslide, though the faces of the grownups accompanying the kids were overwhelmingly happy.


MOOS (on-screen): Yes, I know, but why were you scared? What about Santa was a little scary?


MOOS (voice-over): It makes you wonder if kids who are scared of Santa will progress to being scared of clowns. The two older kids in this photo had to hold on to the coat of the girl in the hood so she wouldn`t run away.

(on-screen): Are you scared of Santa or are you cool with Santa?


MOOS (voice-over): That`s not what mom says.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he wouldn`t go in the room with Santa. He was terrified.

MOOS (on-screen): What was it that so scared you about Santa?


MOOS (voice-over): Hey, at least he wasn`t terrified of a plastic Santa.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I happen to know that there`s actually -- and this is true -- there`s a fear of beards called pogonophobia. So I`m thinking that kid may have been right, the one who was scared of the beards, and there might be a logical explanation for all of this.

Well, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we`ve got an inside investigation of what you`ll find inside a "CSI" star`s home. How his real-life job influences his real life. And also, he`s got a bad case of Pacman fever. That`s coming up in tonight`s Thursday "InStyle," which is next.



Time now for Thursday "InStyle." We`re at home with "CSI" star Eric Szmanda. He plays Greg Sanders on the show. They call his home the fun house, because he likes to entertain. And tonight, we`ve got a virtual tour of Eric`s digs.


SUBIRA SHAW, "INSTYLE" MAGAZINE: We chose Eric`s house to be featured in our January issue because he`s very into home design. Eric`s house is very similar to a science lab, in that there are a lot of wide-open spaces, a lot of white, glossy surfaces, very clean structural lines. And he admits that he does get a lot of influence from working on "CSI."

Eric adores the view from his pool. On his patio, he`s got a palatial view of San Fernando Valley. But when he`s actually in the pool, he says, when you look up, all you can see is sky. And to him it`s like traveling through space.

Eric has some really interesting choices in his living room. He actual has a cluster of white couches which were property of the previous owners which he purchased. He also has a Pacman pillow and a replica of a `60s-era double-egg chair (ph) with built-in speakers.

The master bedroom has a lot of nice color, very subdued and muted, and then there`s a painting of Sid Vicious, which is one of Eric`s favorite rock icons.

Eric`s dining room is really great. There are some (INAUDIBLE) chairs by Felipe Stark (ph). There`s also a white, glossy table by BND Italia (ph). As well, there`s a matchstick lamp in the corner.

Eric really likes to entertain. We chose the title "Welcome to the Funhouse" because Eric is all about having a great time.


VARGAS: I love that spa. To read more about Eric Szmanda`s house, pick up a copy of "InStyle" magazine. It`s on newsstands now.

HAMMER: Well, throughout the program tonight, we`ve been asking you to vote online on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Tonight, we`re asking: "American Idol," is it good for music?

And the vote so far has been going like this: 39 percent of you say it is, which means 61 percent of you say "Idol," not ideal for music.

Among the e-mails we`ve received, one from Mary in Ohio who writes, "American Idol is positive in that it gives opportunities to awesome singers who might not even pass amateur status."

But Mark from North Carolina disagrees saying "American Idol is just another way to exploit average talent and force-feed the general public with the next big thing."

And if you`d like, you may continue to vote by going to

VARGAS: Well, it`s time now to see what`s playing on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. Let`s take a look at the "Showbiz Marquee." Marquee Guy, take it away.

MARQUEE GUY: Tomorrow, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report on controversy at the movies. It`s "Reel Controversy," from movie theater madness. What bugs you about going to the movies? Oh, don`t get me started. To the battles brewing over Steven Spielberg`s new movie and the religious rumblings over "The Da Vinci Code," it`s a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. So be there. When? Tomorrow.

This is the Marquee Guy, always feeling special, and today especially feeling the love.

HAMMER: The question is: Will he be feeling special tomorrow?

VARGAS: Ah, that`s right.

HAMMER: That`s what I want to know. All right, Sibila, let`s wrap it up.

VARGAS: All right, let`s do that.

HAMMER: For our Thursday night, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am A.J. Hammer.

VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News. Thanks for joining us.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines