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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Palin-Biden Debate: The Best and the Biggest Reality Show Ever?; The Tina Fey Factor; Hollywood`s Teflon Kings; Casting "The Carrie Diaries"

Aired September 30, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST: Now on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the great Palin debate. Move over, "American Idol." So long, Super Bowl. Tonight, why the Sarah Palin-Joe Biden debate is shaping up to be the best and biggest reality show ever.
Plus, the Tina Fey factor. Will Tina`s dead-on Palin impersonation help or hurt Palin?

Tonight, "Hollywood`s Teflon Scandal Kings." They take a licking and keep on ticking. From Charlie Sheen to Alec Baldwin, the remarkable story behind how these stars manage to stay on top after major scandals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN WIDDICOMBE, "STAR" MAGAZINE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their careers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Tonight, it`s an explosive SHOWBIZ special report, "Hollywood`s Teflon Scandal Kings."

Plus, "Cyrus and the City." Is Miley Cyrus really going to be playing a younger Carrie Bradshaw? It`s a "Sex and the City" casting call.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

(MUSIC)

Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. And tonight, what is shaping up to be the biggest, best reality show ever - Sarah Palin`s debate with Joe Biden. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now reveal that Palin`s showdown with Biden on Thursday could turn into the TV event of the decade, bigger than a season finale of "American Idol," even bigger than the Super Bowl.

And the big question tonight - will Palin be haunted by Tina Fey`s devastating impersonation of her on "Saturday Night Live"? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the latest developments making news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): The day is Thursday, October 2nd, 2008. Movie theaters will be empty, the streets will be cold and abandoned as people will be huddling around their televisions for one of the biggest events of our time - the 2008 vice presidential debate.

OK, we may be overstating things just a bit. But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you people are feverish with anticipation over Thursday`s vice presidential debate between John McCain`s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama`s running mate, Delaware Senator, Joe Biden - he debate everyone is waiting for. The attack dog versus the pit bull.

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": I think this is turning into an event, an event like people watching the Super Bowl.

ANDERSON: And whereas Super Bowls have wardrobe malfunctions, people watching the presidential debate are looking for speaking malfunctions.

SERAFIN: You have this match-up of two very different people and two people who, in the past, have said things that maybe people have continued talking about after they`ve said it.

ANDERSON: That`s being kind. From Sarah Palin`s oops-ready interview -

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia.

ANDERSON: To Joe Biden sometimes cringe-inducing observations -

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You cannot go to a 7- Eleven or Dunkin` Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you with apologies to the two men running for president, the vice presidential debate promises to be this season`s must-see TV.

SERAFIN: I think everyone is waiting for this debate.

ANDERSON: Sarah Palin has been getting some less-than-flattering attention for her recent interviews, including her chat with Katie Couric.

PALIN: The healthcare reform that is needed to help shore-up our economy, helping - it`s got to be all about job creation, too.

TINA FEY, ACTRESS: The healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy to help - it`s got to be all about job creations, too.

ANDERSON: Tina Fey`s dead-on impersonation of Sarah Palin using some of Palin`s own words on "Saturday Night Live" has only increased interest in the debate -

FEY: Alaska and Russia are only separated by a narrow maritime border. You`ve got Alaska here and this right here`s water and that up there is Russia.

ANDERSON: And has some people wondering, will viewers be able to look at Palin without thinking of Tina Fey?

And like "American Idol," where millions of people tune in to see what Paula Abdul will say next, millions of people will tune in to Thursday`s debate to see what Palin will say.

SERAFIN: There are a lot of people who are just waiting to pounce to see if she says something that is not correct. There are people on the other side, I think, who support her who are waiting to see, "Hey, look, she can really do this. This is the woman that we saw at the Republican convention. This is the person we thought she was."

ANDERSON: Sure, all eyes are on Palin. But this match-up wouldn`t be the car wreck waiting to happen it is without Joe Biden. Remember him?

SERAFIN: I think a lot of people may have forgotten that he`s actually in this race.

ANDERSON: Biden raised eyebrows at a campaign rally with his sort of compliment to the woman he`ll be debating Thursday.

BIDEN: There`s a gigantic difference between John McCain and Barack Obama and between me and, I suspect, my vice presidential opponent. She`s good- looking.

ANDERSON: So don`t sell Biden short. He, like Palin, can potentially provide some reality-show level drama to Thursday`s debate.

SERAFIN: He also has a long history of gaffes. He sometimes makes little mistakes here and there.

ANDERSON: So right now, the upcoming Palin-Biden drama has the undivided attention of TV audiences. John and Barack, don`t worry, we`ll get back to you guys next week.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And it really is remarkable how this is turning into what could be the best reality show ever.

Joining me tonight from Hollywood, Michael Yo. He`s the host "Yo on E!" which can be heard on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. Also tonight in New York, Ashleigh Banfield. She is the anchor of "In Session." Welcome, Ashleigh. Welcome, Michael.

And Michael, I want to begin with you. This is really going to be like a reality Super Bowl, isn`t it?

MICHAEL YO, HOST, "YO ON E!": Oh, absolutely. This is bigger than "American Idol." I mean, if Joe Biden is David Cook, Sarah Palin is William Hung. I mean, it`s going that way where people hate to watch two educated people debate.

You know, this is the first time - this is going to be the largest watched debate. This is going to be amazing to watch. Sarah Palin on stage. There`s going to be tons of drinking games. I`ll tell you about them in a second. Maybe we can hang out and do that.

(CROSS TALK)

YO: Yes, right. This is going to be a great debate and this is going to be huge.

ANDERSON: I cannot believe you brought William Hung into the conversation. You are something else. Well, you know, Sarah Palin has become such a celebrity that even those who are not interested in politics are going to be watching like it`s the Super Bowl, cheering for either team Palin or team Biden.

Ashleigh, even people who aren`t into football watch the Super Bowl. So is it kind of the same thing here?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": I think that people who aren`t into football watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. And in the same respect, I think a lot of non-policy wonks are going to be watching this for the gaffes. They`re going to expect gaffes on both sides, probably more so from Palin because they`ve seen more spoofs on "SNL," et cetera.

But yes, in the end, someone is going to get voted off. So it`s like a contest. I think it`s just un-missable.

ANDERSON: Well, in addition to the gaffes, as Sarah Palin is speaking, you know that some people, at least those who watch "Saturday Night Live," are going to be commenting that she looks like just like Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin on "SNL."

And on Saturday, Fey did another dead-on impersonation using some of Palin`s own words from an interview with Katie Couric. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: Ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Helping - it`s got to be all about job creations, too.

FEY: Ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Helping - it`s got to be all about job creations, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: All right, credit where credit is due. The "Today" show was actually the first to put those pieces of video together like that.

Michael, is that what`s making people want to watch this debate maybe that much more to see if Sarah Palin gives Tina Fey more material?

YO: Oh, I mean, yes. That`s why I`m watching it. I mean, really, who says, "I`ll get back to you," in an interview. And that`s what Sarah Palin did. The funniest line from "Saturday Night Live" is when Tina Fey said, "Can I get a lifeline? Can I make a phone call?" you know, when she was impersonating Sarah Palin.

I mean, the drinking game is, every time Sarah Palin says something dumb or she says "maverick," you take a drink and everybody plans to be wasted by the end of the night. So -

ANDERSON: Oh, every time she says "maverick." Well, you know, she needs to learn how to control an interview, all suave politicians do it. When they don`t know an answer, they steer the discussion to something they feel more comfortable with. Maybe she`s working on that this week.

And Democrats, Republicans, the media and more have slammed Sarah Palin`s answers in her interview with Katie Couric.

Ashleigh, will her appearance Thursday be under the same scrutiny as - I don`t know, Michael makes this comparison - maybe the first time Britney got on to that MTV Video Music Award stage for the comeback?

YO: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: I just never thought I`d get a question with Sarah Palin and Britney Spears in the same sentence. That does it. So I think that tells you the answer. You`ve got people who are interested in the Britney phenomenon who will be tuning in for the Sarah phenomenon.

I think it`s all a really great thing because it`s introducing a lot of people to the democratic process. And maybe, just maybe, it will introduce them to the ballot box, too. But, yes, I think a lot of people are going to be watching for a train wreck. And I don`t know if they`re going to get that delivered.

ANDERSON: And you know, I just want to apologize. We do have to end it there. But I do want to apologize for making that comparison in the first place.

(LAUGHTER)

YO: No. That`s a great comparison.

ANDERSON: At least I made us all laugh.

YO: That`s a great comparison.

ANDERSON: OK. Michael Yo, Ashleigh Banfield, thank you both.

And now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Sarah Palin-Joe Biden Debate: Are you more excited to watch it than the Super Bowl?" Vote CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us, showbiztonight@cnn.com.

Well, some people feel it`s hard for them to look at Sarah Palin these days without thinking about Tina Fey. Her impersonation, so dead-on, so hilarious. But we asked you, will it actually affect the election? We got lots of calls from you about this. And that`s coming up.

Also, "Cyrus in the City?" There`s word that Miley Cyrus may play a young Carrie Bradshaw in a "Sex and the City" prequel. Is Miley the right choice? We`ve got some other ideas, coming up.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their careers. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen - both have enjoyed this public forgiveness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

They are the Teflon Kings of Hollywood. Remember Alec Baldwin`s awful voice mail to his daughter? How about all the trouble Charlie Sheen has gotten into? And still their careers, rock solid. I want to know, how do they do that? A powerful SHOWBIZ special report is straight ahead. You don`t want to miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: I really did not think about teenage Carrie a lot. We really, on purpose, kind of didn`t ever talk about her past, parents, siblings. So I`m very curious and excited to see what she can write.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Sarah Jessica Parker talking to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about a possible prequel to "Sex and the City" called "The Carrie Diaries. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Miley Cyrus could be stepping up to the plate.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Could it be a case of "Cyrus in the City?" Miley Cyrus says she really wants to play the role of young Carrie Bradshaw. It`s new right now.

"Sex and the City" creator Candace Bushnell is writing a series of books. Those will be the prequel to "Sex and the City" called "The Carrie Diaries." And she has just told "E!" that she would consider Miley as the young Carrie when the movie is made.

And Miley Cyrus has said she wants to be cast as the young Carrie Bradshaw doing a younger, cleaner version of "Sex and the City." So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know, who would play the perfect younger versions, not only of Carrie, but Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte?

Tonight in New York, Michael Musto who is the entertainment columnist for "The Village Voice." Also tonight in New York, Dawn Yanek, who is the editor-at-large for "Life and Style" magazine.

OK, you two. Miley Cyrus, we know, is a great, squeaky-clean option to play Carrie Bradshaw or we were thinking maybe Ashley Olsen, maybe "Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere. Michael Musto, cast your vote.

MICHAEL MUSTO, ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": I think Miley Cyrus is perfection. I think the other people you mentioned are a little to old. Imagine being old in the Olsen-Twin days.

But do you want me to say who I want for the other parts, Brooke?

ANDERSON: Not yet. Not yet. We`re focusing on Carrie now.

MUSTO: OK. I think Miley is perfect. Now, Miley recently had that scandal with the "Vanity Fair" shooting. I didn`t think that was all that racy. I didn`t see the problem in that. But now is the time for her to graduate into being a young lady and becoming a young Carrie Bradshaw. Like she said, it`s not the later-years Carrie where she`s reveling in all kinds of debauchery. This is a writer in the making.

ANDERSON: You think she`d be the perfect pick. Dawn, what do you think for the role of the young Carrie?

DAWN YANEK, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "LIFE AND STYLE" MAGAZINE: I have to say I`m a big fan of the Miley Cyrus pick as well. But if she, for some reason, drops out of the running and we were to make this tomorrow, I would be a fan of Blake Lively in the role of Carrie. She is, of course, the star of "Gossip Girl" and she`s just kind of sexy and edgy. She`s very fashion- forward and she`s very beautiful in a quirky sort of way ala Sarah Jessica Parker. So I think she might be a good option.

ANDERSON: I think that`s a brilliant choice, Dawn.

YANEK: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You`re welcome. And now, I want to move on to Kim Cattrall`s character, Samantha. Michael Musto, I`m almost scared to ask but, who do you cast as the perfect younger version of this sex kitten character?

MUSTO: Well, this has to be a cougar in the making and I think Vanessa Hudgens has the appeal.

ANDERSON: Vanessa Hudgens from "High School Musical?"

MUSTO: Yes. Well, look into her biography. She has some racy things going on there. And I think she`s perfect to play the future Samantha. I think she has sex appeal and she has charisma to burn.

ANDERSON: I try not to think about those racy things about her. Dawn, do you agree or do you have someone else picked here?

YANEK: Well, I had in mind Amanda Seyfried, who is the star of "Mamma Mia!" She just kind of has a lust for life. She`s seems like she`s a bit of wild side. She`s also pretty gorgeous and I think she has the acting chops to pull it off as well.

ANDERSON: You really put some thought into this. You dug deep for that.

All right. I want to cast the role of the uptight, lawyer character Miranda played by Cynthia Nixon. Michael Musto, what say you?

MUSTO: Don`t laugh at me. I think Dakota Fanning, OK. First of all, I think she`s a much more sophisticated actress than people give her credit for. She`s like an adult in a pint-sized body. And she can play anything. She recently had that controversial movie, "Hound Dog." She has some racy parts to her credit. And I think she could play a sophisticated, yet uptight lawyer. I think she can play anything.

ANDERSON: I agree. I agree. She`s very, very versatile. Dawn, how would you cast this character?

YANEK: Well, I like that idea. Dakota seems like a Miranda in the making. But I actually had in mind Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame. She`s kind of a thinking man`s sexy girl and she`s very serious and straitlaced. And I think she could definitely pull that off.

ANDERSON: I think she could as well. Now on to Charlotte, you guys, played by Kristin Davis. She`s sweet, innocent, the debutante-type. Michael Musto, anybody you can think of here?

MUSTO: My answer to that is who cares? She was always the fourth one. She was always like the cowardly lion. There`s also Charlotte. But if we have to get somebody and we do, I would say anybody else from "Gossip Girl" like maybe Leighton Meester? I mean, "Gossip Girl" has a treasure trove of young talents so we can just pluck any other women there.

ANDERSON: And Dawn, I know you`ve got a pick. Who do you pluck for this?

YANEK: I do. I would love to pluck Selena Gomez. Now, Selena is hot on Miley Cyrus` heels. She`s a second generation of Disney stars. She`s very sweet and she has a big rivalry with Miley, professionally, as well as personally because she is reportedly dating Nick Jonas who is Miley`s reported ex. So I think she can pull off a show in a wonderful way. She`s just very sweet, beautiful and feminine. I`d say Selena.

ANDERSON: Interesting picks from both of you. We will leave it there. Michael Musto, Dawn Yanek, I can`t wait for those books or that movie. Talk to you later.

YANEK: Thanks.

ANDERSON: And we`ve been getting a ton of calls on the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines. Lots of touching tributes to Paul Newman who died on Friday. Viewers are calling in with their memories about a great actor and a great man. Here`s one call from Cynthia.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CYNTHIA, CALLER: He was just truly, truly the best. Can`t be replaced. I just can`t tell you how much I`ll miss him.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And remember the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines, always open. Call us, 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. Leave a voicemail and we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And we`ve also been getting a lot of calls to the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines about the Tina Fey factor. Her impersonation of Sarah Palin is hilarious. But we wanted to know, will it actually affect the election? I`ve got your calls and a fired-up debate coming up.

And also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their career. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen - both have enjoyed this public forgiveness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They are the Teflon Kings of Hollywood, the stars who go through a major scandal but it just doesn`t stick. How in the world do stars like Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen pull that off? That is straight ahead.

And bill Maher rails on religion on "The View." Wait until you hear what he said about the Bible, Noah`s Ark and how Sherri and Elisabeth reacted. It is really priceless. You don`t want to miss that, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Keep it here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson and here are some more stories new right now.

Janet Jackson was rushed to a hospital right before she was supposed to play a concert in Montreal. Her reps say she suddenly got sick during sound check and was at the hospital for a few hours before she was released. They aren`t giving any specifics about what was wrong with her.

Britney Spears` attorney is asking a judge to delay her upcoming trial, that on a misdemeanor charge for driving without a valid California license. The attorney tried unsuccessfully to get the case thrown out, saying Britney should be allowed to pay a $10 fine and not face a criminal trial.

And it seems Ed McMahon just can`t catch a break. First, he faces foreclosure on his house. Now, he`s being sued by one of Merv Griffin`s companies. A company that Griffin founded is suing McMahon for not paying a $100,000 loan, that`s from 2005. The lawsuit seeks repayment of the loan with interest and attorney fees. McMahon is facing a number of other lawsuits from creditors - hard economic times even in Hollywood.

Well, these days, a lot of people think about Tina Fey when they look at Sarah Palin. Fey`s impersonation is dead-on. But here`s the question - will it actually affect the election? I`m investigating the Tina Fey factor, coming up.

Also this -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their career. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen both have enjoyed this public forgiveness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They are the Teflon Kings of Hollywood. These stars have gotten into all sorts of scandalous trouble and still, their careers, rock solid. I want to know, how do they do that? The surprising answers in a SHOWBIZ special report you have got to see.

And Bill Maher rants about religion on "The View." Just wait until you hear what he said about the Bible and about Noah`s Ark and how Sherri and Elisabeth reacted. It is priceless. You don`t want to miss this, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

But first, stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news. You can do it with our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Head over to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Click on "sign up for newsletter." The link is at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the Tina Fey factor. Her impersonation of Sarah Palin is hysterical. But we wanted to know, will it actually affect the election? Your calls and a fired-up debate, straight ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their career. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen both have enjoyed this public forgiveness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Tonight, "The Teflon Kings of Hollywood." The stars who go through a major scandal, but it just doesn`t stick. How in the world do stars like Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen pull that off? A powerful SHOWBIZ special report as TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.

(MUSIC)

Hi, and welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood. A.J. has the night off.

Tonight, the Tina Fey factor. Could Tina Fey`s impersonation of Sarah Palin affect the election? Fey`s dead-on impression has everybody talking. People are talking so much that Palin`s debate with Joe Biden Thursday has become must-see TV. People are planning to stay home, even have parties like it`s the Super Bowl or "American Idol." It`s what we`re talking about and it`s what you`re talking about, flooding our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines. And tonight, we`re letting you sound off.

With me tonight here in Hollywood is Michael Yo. He`s the host of "Yo on E!" which you can hear on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. And in New York tonight is Ashleigh Banfield. She is the anchor of "In Session."

Michael, Ashleigh, Tina Fey`s second impersonation of Sarah Palin on "SNL" was based on Palin`s interview with Katie Couric and we`re going to start with the real interview and then the send-up with both Sarah Palin`s answering the big foreign policy question. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia. And on our other side, the land boundary that we have with Canada. It`s funny that a comment like that was kind of made to - I don`t know. You know, reporters -

KATIE COURIC, HOST, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Mock?

PALIN: Yes. I guess that`s the word. Yes.

FEY: Well, Alaska and Russia are only separated by a narrow maritime border. You`ve got Alaska here. And this right here is water and that up there is Russia. So we keep an eye on them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Oh, boy. Michael, is there any doubt that Tina Fey will be on some people`s minds as they watch the Sarah Palin debate?

YO: First of all, Tina Fey, I love you. Will she be on the minds? I don`t think so. I compare Tina Fey - I mean, Sarah Palin - what she`s going through is what Britney Spears went through about a year ago. Everybody just tunes in to see what crazy thing she`s going to do or say today. And that`s the same as Sarah Palin right now.

People - every time she does an interview, which has only been three times - but every time she does one, she doesn`t disappoint. She says something that`s totally out of the box and Tina Fey goes to "Saturday Night Live" and makes fun of it. If she didn`t say stupid things, Tina Fey would have nothing to make fun of. So I can`t wait for the debate. I mean, I`ll be there with my popcorn, definitely.

ANDERSON: Ashleigh, what do you think? I mean, those people who watch "SNL" may be thinking about Tina Fey. But some people haven`t seen the sketches so it may not even cross their minds, huh?

BANFIELD: Well, I`d like to start by saying since I grew up in Canada 100 miles from the border of a superpower, I could qualify for secretary of state. But with that out the way - or something else, you know, one of those other secretary things, as long as it isn`t typing.

But honestly, what I think is the - there`s going to be a huge new audience that`s going to tune into what is essentially a policy wonk debate that would never have tuned in otherwise, so this is a really great thing. And as long as Sarah Palin says, "I`m for freedom and the United States of America," as many times as she can, people will be wowed by her.

ANDERSON: Well, you know, "Saturday Night Live" has given us, for better or for worse, lasting impressions of our presidents, going back to Chevy Chase`s impersonation of Gerald Ford. And we were reminded of that on our "Showbiz On Call" phone line by Linda in Florida who says, bring it on, "SNL."

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

LINDA, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: I don`t think that doing negative parodies about Sarah Palin is going to hurt her. Remember, they did very funny parodies about Ronald Reagan in the `80s, Clinton in the `90s, even George Bush and it didn`t hurt him. I think, if anything, people are becoming more protective of Sarah Palin and it`s making them love her even more.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Ashleigh, Linda makes an interesting point. Do you agree with her, the Tina Fey factor could actually become the best thing ever for Sarah Palin? They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

BANFIELD: Usually it is. But women are held to a different standard and the scrutiny of women is far more severe. I mean, Hillary Clinton gets attacked for the size of her ankles. It`s really unfair, the kinds of jokes that are leveled against women that aren`t leveled against men in politics. And I don`t think you come out on the winning end of that as a woman.

ANDERSON: Michael, what do you think? Do you think it could benefit Sarah Palin or do you agree with Ashleigh that there`s no way this could be seen in any positive light?

YO: Tina Fey doesn`t hurt Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin hurts Sarah Palin. That`s the true fact of it. That`s why everybody is going to watch the debate, to see what this woman is going to say. To see what - not the positive things she`s going to say, the things that are just so out of the box where people can make fun of. And that`s why people are going to watch this debate.

Joe Biden`s going to be there doing his normal thing he always does. But everybody`s watching for Sarah Palin, not because of the positive things like I said. It`s more of the negative.

ANDERSON: And you know, Biden, as we mentioned earlier in this show, can provide some comedy as well. So some may be watching for that, too.

And in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, we asked, "Tina Fey`s Palin Impersonation: Will it affect the election?" Twenty-nine percent voted yes; 71 percent said no. And that really goes to the heart of what Jennifer from North Carolina told us when she called in to "Showbiz On Call." Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JENNIFER, CALLER OF NORTH CAROLINA: I`m a fan of Sarah Palin, and I also enjoyed the Tina Fey impersonation. I don`t think Sarah Palin should be embarrassed or humiliated about anything. It was a skit. It was funny. Now, let`s move on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Michael, do you think even Sarah`s biggest fans will still be laughing because at a certain point, sometimes the jokes can become hurtful, even if somebody does have a thick skin?

YO: You know what? Here`s what it comes down to. Republicans are going to be mad. Democrats that don`t like Sarah Palin - it`s a reinforcement that this woman doesn`t know what she`s doing.

Does it affect - is it going to affect the election, absolutely not. Tina Fey can have fun. Sarah Palin can do what she wants. It comes down to the issues. And that`s what`s good about America right now. Once we got concentrated - once we got away from the hockey moms and the lip stick. Now, it`s about the economy and the issues and that`s what`s going to decide this election.

ANDERSON: Ashleigh, do you think it will impact the election or influence Sarah Palin`s fan base?

BANFIELD: Well, in a way I do only because the news cycle right now is drowning in an economic crisis. And then there`s that whole war thing, too. So the comedy gets these issues actually into the forefront whereas - you know, Katie Couric`s interview kind of got buried by the whole economic meltdown. And yet, everybody seems to know about it because of the comedy.

ANDERSON: You know, people do pay attention. And it seems everybody I talked to is looking forward to Thursday`s debate. You know, people are setting their DVRs, canceling plans. Michael, I`ve got to imagine that people are tuning in for what will be a historic event. But then, there are some people who are hoping for a train wreck. What do you think?

YO: Oh, yes. It`s all about the train wreck factor. I mean, it`s like an accident waiting to happen. This will be the most-watched debate in history, guaranteed because people - forget about Joe Biden. He wouldn`t even have to show up. This is all about what Sarah Palin is going to say, and that`s why people are going to tune in.

ANDERSON: Ashleigh, do you agree? Forget about Joe Biden, the attention, the spotlight is going to be on Sarah Palin from the beginning to the end and that a lot of people are watching to see her fail. You know, half are going to watch hoping to see her succeed. But then, there will be those who want to see her fail, too.

BANFIELD: Well, the nonpartisan in me would say, I`m looking for gaffes from both of them because it`s fun to replay the clips. But the truth is those demos being delivered, as we like to say on TV, will all be coming in because of Sarah Palin.

ANDERSON: OK. Well, we will be watching. And personally, I sincerely hope that, you know, comedy spoofs and talk shows don`t, you know, prevent people from educating themselves on the candidates. We`ll be watching.

Michael Yo, Ashleigh Banfield, thank you both. Good to see you.

And we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Sarah Palin-Joe Biden Debate: Are you more excited to watch it than the Super Bowl?" Keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us, the address, showbiztonight@cnn.com.

And hey, now you can also give us a buzz and let us know what you think about Tina Fey or anything else that`s on your mind. We want to hear it. Give us a ring at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ. That number again - 1-888-728-2899. All you have to do is simple - leave us a voicemail and we promise we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, Sarah Palin may have a tough time shaking the Tina Fey image. But there are definitely worse things. I have practically lost count of all the Hollywood stars who have survived big scandals. How do controversial celebrities keep coming back? And is there a double standard?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their career. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen both have enjoyed this public forgiveness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Tonight, "Hollywood`s Teflon Scandal Kings." From Charlie Sheen to Alec Baldwin, the remarkable story behind how these stars managed to stay on top even after their major scandals. How do they do that? Straight ahead, we`ve got a SHOWBIZ special report, "Teflon Kings."

ANDERSON: Plus, this guy, Bill Maher, takes his war on religion to "The View" with breaking news about Noah`s Ark. We know that sounds pretty ridiculous, but you`ve got to hear what he says. Stay tuned for that.

And later, actress Christina Applegate`s emotional decision to have a double mastectomy. Applegate shares the story of her dramatic breast cancer battle with Oprah and we have her powerful words, still ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Heather Locklear arrested. It is the mug shot everybody is talking about. Locklear arrested Saturday on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

And it`s not the first time we`ve seen a celebrity caught up in a scandal. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you Heather Locklear can definitely learn a few things from stars who have been there, done that and bounced back. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report, "Hollywood`s Teflon Kings."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): They seem invincible. After scandal, embarrassment or just plain being a jerk, it seems some men in Hollywood not only overcome the scandal, but come back bigger than ever.

From Alec Baldwin to Charlie Sheen to Robert Downey, Jr., scandal bounces off these guys like Teflon. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wants to know, why?

Take Alec Baldwin for example. He scooped up a coveted Emmy for best comedy actor for his role on "30 Rock."

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: It was a total shock to me. I`m really glad the show won and me winning it was a total miracle.

ANDERSON: Yes. You can say that again. A miracle because not long ago, Baldwin`s name was dragged through the mud in the heat of a bitter divorce with actress Kim Basinger. A shocking, incriminating voice mail surfaced where Baldwin called his young daughter a, quote, "thought less little pig."

SERAFIN: People knew there was so much nastiness and anger in this divorce that it came out unfortunately in a voicemail that he left his daughter.

ANDERSON: But "Star" magazine`s Ben Widdicombe tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it goes much deeper than the nasty divorce.

WIDDICOMBE: That voicemail was leaked on the Internet, but it did not destroy his career. People don`t judge fathers the same way they judge mothers.

ANDERSON: But somehow, some way, Baldwin`s heard it all around.

BALDWIN: Well, as you know, I`ve been studying comedy. I`m watching "Friends" right now.

ANDERSON: But how? Was it his charm, his verve, his sheer nerve? Explain it to me, Kim.

SERAFIN: I think because he has such ties in the Hollywood community, people know at the end of the day, he is a good person and was kind of just pushed to the limit.

ANDERSON: Yes, that`s one theory. Or -

WIDDICOMBE: The reality is that in the entertainment industry, money talks. Alec Baldwin is still a very bankable star. So as long as he is raking in the bucks, they`re happy to have him.

ANDERSON: Baldwin is not the only Teflon, tough bankable star. Bring in Charlie Sheen.

WIDDICOMBE: One of the most bitter Hollywood divorces in recent history has been the Denise Richards-Charlie Sheen divorce. The allegations that flew back and forth in that whole (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was phenomenal.

ANDERSON: Man, oh, man, did it get ugly.

SERAFIN: The divorce got really, really nasty and there were lots of exchanges and charges between the two of them. Denise saying that Charlie was looking at porn, Charlie saying things about Denise`s mother.

ANDERSON: Denise Richards didn`t mince words when she told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT what she thought of her ex.

DENISE RICHARDS, ACTRESS: The fact of the matter is, my ex-husband has chosen to do anything he can to discredit me. Anytime he can take me down, he tries to.

ANDERSON: Despite his rep as a raging ex, he`s also a raging success. Sheen was nominated for his role on ABC`s "Two and a Half Men" which has consistently been one of the top-rated comedy shows on television.

SERAFIN: It`s interesting because Charlie has seemed to come out of this, emerged from this horrible divorce without any bruises at all. Yet, Denise who even did a reality show trying to repair her image, seems to really still be trying to repair her image.

WIDDICOMBE: It`s much easier for men to have second acts in their career. Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen both have enjoyed this public forgiveness which I don`t think people are prepared to extend to women.

ANDERSON: If Baldwin and Sheen are the Teflon twins, then Robert Downey, Jr. is pure iron. "Iron Man," that is.

SERAFIN: I think Robert Downey, Jr. is the ultimate comeback story.

ANDERSON: From the lows of drug abuse to the amazing heights of success with his most recent blockbuster, "Iron Man," Robert Downey, Jr. has probably experienced the biggest comeback of them all. Heck, he was even successful while he was in the thick of it.

SERAFIN: Even while he was going through all of this, he was appearing on "Ally McBeal."

ANDERSON: He even won a Golden Globe. There`s now way to slice it. Bad boy Robert Downey, Jr. must have the magic touch.

WIDDICOMBE: And he`s come back a more seasoned and mature actor. And now, he`s getting all Hollywood`s top plaudits because of his comeback.

ANDERSON: And that is why SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is about to make a very important proclamation - cue the music.

(MUSIC)

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now crowns Robert Downey, Jr. the toughest Teflon King of them all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And I bet Bill Maher would have a thing or two to say about The Teflon Kings of politics. These days, he`s got a lot of material to play with, doesn`t he? But it`s the subject of religion that`s got his attention right now. Maher visited the ladies of "The View" to talk about his new documentary film, "Religulous." The movie challenges the validity of religion.

Let`s see, Bill Maher, the ladies of "The View" and religion? Sounds like a recipe for daytime drama. As always, Maher didn`t hold back and the ladies seemed happy to play along. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, HOST OF "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": Sixty percent of the American people believe the Noah`s Ark story literally. They believed a man lived to 900 years old and collected - you`re nodding. You believe that.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": I absolutely do.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": And did not collect social security.

And he collected two of every animal. Now, this includes over a million species of insects. So a 900-year-old man collected two of every mite and tick and got them to have sex on a boat.

BEHAR: The love boat.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST OF "THE VIEW": The love boat!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: At least they were able to laugh this one off. "Religulous" in theaters Friday.

Tonight, people are still reeling over the passing of legendary actor, Paul Newman. Our "Showbiz On Call" lines have been filled with heartfelt tributes from fans all over the country. It is so clear that Newman`s impact went well beyond his work in film.

First, let`s hear from Debata in Texas.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DEBATA, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Paul Newman has charisma, compassion, charitable - the three Cs, meaning part of his love for life seemed to me that he really focused toward a lot of people who had less, who were less fortunate. He had the power to channel it towards the greater good. I applaud him, bravo, bravo, bravo.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And Bernie in Louisiana also dialed into the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines to pay his respects to Newman.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BERNIE, CALLER FROM LOUISIANA: Not only have we lost one of greatest actors in the history of American cinema, even more importantly, we lost a man who gave his whole life to helping others. His charitable work and his philanthropic endeavors supersede his acting career which, by itself, was monumental. Bless you, Paul Newman. We`ll miss you.

ANDERSON: Yes. Debata, Bernie, thank you both.

And remember, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are always open. Give us a ring - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; that`s 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Hey, Christina Applegate has really struck a chord, sharing her dramatic breast cancer story. Tonight, new details about her emotional decision to have a double mastectomy. What she told Oprah, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

Tonight, new details about Christina Applegate`s dramatic cancer treatment. Applegate went on Oprah`s show to talk about her breast cancer battle. She described what it was like to get the news. Then she shared the reasons behind her radical decision to have a double mastectomy. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": So when did you make this radical decision?

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, ACTRESS: It was - it came on really fast. It`s one of those things that I woke up and it felt so right because - the thing about radiation was just it never felt right to me. And that is not to say that radiation is not a great treatment plan for people. It just seemed like I don`t want next year to have to deal with this again.

WINFREY: So, you just made the decision that you were going to let both go?

APPLEGATE: Yes. I was just going to let them go.

WINFREY: Then did you cry?

APPLEGATE: You know, at first I didn`t. And then when I met with my doctor and told him that was my decision and he brought the surgeon in. And that was like it was the floodgates just opened up. And I lost it.

You know, the only thing that I had ever seen was my mom`s and that was in the `70s. And they didn`t do a very good job back then. So in my own mind I`m thinking, "Oh, my god. I am going to be butchered and it is going to be horrible. And I`m never going to love, you know, that part of me again." It just - that`s what I thought. But I did a lot of research. They can make some pretty boobies. Very pretty boobies.

(LAUGHTER)

WINFREY: Before we take a look - take a break. I want you to hear this -

(LAUGHTER)

APPLEGATE: I was going to say -

WINFREY: Sorry.

APPLEGATE: Later.

WINFREY: Because really, I was thinking, "Really? They can make pretty boobies. I wonder what they look like."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: A moment of levity in a very emotional story. Applegate told Oprah she cries about the loss of her breasts every day. But she`s got no regrets. Applegate is now cancer-free.

Monday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Tina Fey`s Palin Impersonation: Will it affect the election? 29 percent of you say yes; 71 percent, no.

Here are some of the E-mails. Ed from Pennsylvania writes, "No. Tina Fey`s impression of Sarah Palin won`t affect the election. It is only a comedy sketch."

And Eva from Washington says, "All this attention, negative or positive, has people knowing more about Palin and her family and her policies than Obama`s running mate. What was his name again?"

And that`s a wrap for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Don`t forget, you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, and in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is next.

END