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Blue Collar Comedy Reunion Tour a Maybe, Says Engvall/Arnold and Maria's Election Night

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Attention, Blue Collar Comedy fans. Bill Engvall tells us there's a possibility of a Blue Collar Comedy reunion tour.

"Would I love to do a reunion tour? Yeah. Maybe do 10 or 12 cities in one year. I don't think I see it going any further than that, though," claims the comedian, who is the creator and star of "The Bill Engvall Show" on TBS.

"If there is a 'Blue Collar' thing, it will be a lot easier to go back and do that now that I've done my own thing." Referring to the successes of cohorts Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, he adds candidly, "Everybody else had done stuff. I had done stuff but nothing on my own. Being a part of 'Blue Collar' was like being married to a rich girl. It's great for a while, but then you want to be able to make your own living. This was the first project that I had done outside of the guys, so I'm thrilled that it's going into its third season."

We caught up with Engvall and his co-star Nancy Travis, who are anticipating the Nov. 15 finale of their second season, when they will debut two new episodes.

"I think the first year we were searching for the target, and this year we hit it. We located what the show is, and that kind of took off," says Travis, who plays Bill's wife Susan. "The thing with cable is you only get to do a dozen episodes. By the time you finish those you're ready to do another 12."

One of the episodes has a Christmas theme. "We shot it in June, when it was like 105 degrees," recalls Travis. "We're like, 'How do we get into the spirit of that?'"

"You ain't kidding!" adds Bill with a laugh.

TWO PARTIES, TWO PARTIES: California's First Couple continues to bewilder friends and fans. Staunch Democrat Maria Shriver was by her hubby, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's side for his election night party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel this week. But not the whole party. Via sources there, we hear she "left early and went to an Irish party. And when she came back, she was very happy."

ALSO: We get word that the crew for Julie Taymor's "The Tempest" came up with a new word Tuesday night. They are on location in Hawaii, President-elect Obama's home state, filming the Shakespeare redux under Taymore's innovative hand, (starring Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina and Geoffrey Rush).

The Hawaiian word for thank you, in a deeply spiritual way, meaning a divine blessing, is Mahalo. Their new word: Mahalobama!

LOOK OUT BELOW: Jason Gedrick is just back to the States after a month in Romania for the international production of "Sand Serpents," a Sci Fi Channel movie in which soldiers in Afghanistan encounter carnivorous subterranean creatures awakened by the fighting above ground. Director Jeff Renfroe's recent comment that the scenario "demands that we tread cautiously and responsibly through the thematic elements of the U.S. presence and actions in the Middle East" hints that the movie has a real-life political overlay. Not to the actors, to hear Gedrick tell it.

"That was definitely a question I asked from the get-go," he says. "I wanted to know how much metaphor plays into a show like this. The answer was, none. This is a fantastical situation. It's more about survival. Whatever conclusions people want to make about surreptitious events happening in the world — whether it be violence or acts of vengeance — whatever conclusions they draw, it's just coincidental."

As far as working on the movie, says Gedrick, "So much of it is just glorified childhood, really. You dress up in Army gear and play army games. You shoot real weapons with blank charges — but they're real weapons. One of the reasons you do it is, you're going to have fun." He adds, "We had an incredible English and Canadian cast, and a terrific international crew. The talent overfloweth on this project, and because of that, a couple million dollar budget will look like double that, if not more."

WOMAN OF ACTION: "Chuck" leading lady Yvonne Strahovski reports, "I'm getting to do physical stuff in every episode" of late — and she couldn't be happier about all that action. "We've been doing more of the wire stunts, which is really fun," says the Maroubra, Australia-born 26-year-old who loves rock climbing and hiking when she's not working. Her dance training helps in the fight scenes and other choreographed action, she says. "From age 5 to 18 I was in dance, but that kind of stopped when I went into drama school."

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



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