LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After a 12-year hiatus, Joe Isuzu is back.
Many people in Isuzu's target market might not remember Joe, whose lying, smarmy mug catapulted the brand name for three years until his disappearance. But the Japanese automaker is hoping Joe helps revive sagging sales and its name recognition.
David Leisure, who plays Joe, said the character has evolved beyond the "bad car salesman."
"He is going to be more corporate," Leisure said Monday as the second in a series of new commercials aired with him reprising his role.
Even after his long hiatus, Joe is still considered one the most recognized commercial characters ever. Joe's success was so big that a similar character, also played by Leisure, was used in a campaign for Peco Energy in 1997.
In the first new Isuzu ad, which debuted a few weeks ago, a bitter, paunchy Joe throws his remote at his TV, snapping that Isuzu hasn't "done a decent commercial since they cut me loose."
Leisure, now 50, said he waited several weeks before committing to Joe again, partially out of worry that he would be typecast.
"I didn't tell anyone. I didn't tell my wife. I wanted to make sure they were serious," he said.
'Friends' star back in rehab
Los Angeles Times
HOLLYWOOD -- Actor Matthew Perry, co-star of the NBC sitcom "Friends," has re-entered an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center, marking another in a recent spate of health problems for the actor.
"Following the advice of his doctors, Matthew Perry has entered an undisclosed rehabilitation hospital," Perry's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, said in a statement. "He appreciates everyone's concern and thanks them for respecting his privacy."
The statement, released Monday, apparently caught both NBC and Warner Bros. Television, which produces the hit sitcom, off guard. The show is in production this week, but officials would not comment on what disruption if any Perry's absence would cause. If Perry is unavailable for an extended period of time, "Friends" would have to shoot around his absence.
Perry is an integral part of the show's direction this season, in which his character, Chandler Bing, is engaged to Monica Geller, played by Courteney Cox.
Don't call her a diva
NEW YORK (AP) -- Yes, she's the lead singer, but don't call her a diva.
When people compare her to The Supremes' Diana Ross, they "don't mean it in the nice way," says Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child.
"They called me that because I'm the lead singer, so they think I'm a diva and go around kicking people out of the group," Knowles, 19, tells CosmoGIRL! in its April issue.
Once a foursome, Destiny's Child is now a trio. Members have come and gone and accused each other of breach of contract.
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