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Friday, August 16, 2002

'Ben Stein's Money' no longer good enough

NEW YORK -- You can't win Ben Stein's money anymore.

Comedy Central has canceled the game show "Win Ben Stein's Money" after six seasons.

New episodes, which already have been taped, are scheduled to begin airing weeknights starting Oct. 28, with repeats running through 2003, Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albani said Thursday.

"The series was a mainstay for Comedy Central. It came in the year after 'The Daily Show' and the same year as 'South Park,"' Albani said. "Unfortunately, ratings for 'Win Ben Stein's Money' have slipped over the course of the last year or so."

Each show, Stein bets his own money that he can outwit contestants on trivia questions tinged with comedy. The bespectacled, monotone Stein played straight man to raunchy standup comic Jimmy Kimmel for the first four seasons. Kimmel left two years ago to launch Comedy Central's "The Man Show," and Nancy Pimental replaced him during the fifth season. Kimmel's cousin, Sal Iacono, serves as Stein's sidekick now.

Stein, a 57-year-old former columnist and speech writer for President Nixon, has appeared in such movies as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Singer offers sneak peek at new songs

NEW YORK -- India.Arie gave thousands of fans a preview of her new songs at a free concert in the city's Bryant Park.

About 10,000 people crammed into the midtown park Wednesday night to see the 27-year-old singer, whose sophomore album will be released next month. She performed to kickoff Trio's coverage of this year's Jazzfest in New Orleans, airing on the cable network this month.

About the only glitch of the evening was India.Arie's malfunctioning acoustic guitar.

"My guitar is messing up again!" the singer told the crowd before ditching the instrument and dancing along to the beat of her band.

India.Arie's debut album, "Acoustic Soul," received seven Grammy nominations earlier this year.

The follow-up, "Voyage to India," is set for release in September.

Governor's salary too low for Ventura's liking

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Gov. Jesse Ventura said the governor's low annual salary -- $120,000 -- was one reason he decided not to seek a second term.

"It entered into it," Ventura said Wednesday night in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio. He said the job should pay more and not include retirement benefits, so it wouldn't attract career politicians.

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