Tim Allen’s Santa doesn’t wear a tool belt, but he does wear “a disgusting, horrible suit” that gave the Home Improvement star a heat rash while making his movie debut in The Santa Clause. “But when you put on the suit, you become a kinder man,” says Allen, 41, who misses the kinder, gentler days before he had a hit show. “My wife and I would have a satisfying day when she would garden and I would putz around,” says Allen, who is still adjusting to fame. “Sometimes we both feel lost, like we don’t have any real friends. I could retire at 45, and we could go back to Michigan. Of course, you can’t go backwards.” So what can he—and we—look forward to? “At this stage you either abuse substances, yourself or your family,” says Allen, who picks on himself. “I’m constantly having dialogues with myself. It saves me countless hours in a therapist’s chair.”


Yo-yo dieting is hard work, even when you get paid for it. Kurt Russell dropped 22 pounds to play the wiry Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, but three weeks after the western wrapped, he was due to begin shooting the futuristic thriller Stargate. “I play a Special Forces man who is really strong,” says Russell, 43, “so I bulked up quickly, working out with weights and eating a lot, which was the fun part. I gained back 15 pounds.” This time, keeping the weight on was the hard part, since much of Star-gate was filmed in the desert of Yuma, Ariz. “I think I ran a marathon in that sand. I ran at least a thousand miles. Plus, sometimes we filmed in over 100-degree heat during the day. I could put out the Kurt Russell Sand Workout Tape. All you do is find a desert and some big sand dunes and run till you drop. What would Richard Simmons think?”


“First of all, we have to slap the police around a little bit,” Zsa Zsa Gabor tells the boys and girls who elect her mayor on the new kids’ adventure series Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills (USA Network, Nov. 24). “Oh, I adored it,” says Gabor, 76, of her cameo appearance parodying the infamous 1989 traffic incident in which she slapped a Beverly Hills cop. “They gave me hats with ‘Zsa Zsa for Mayor’ on the front, and after the taping I went to Cafe Roma, where I go every day for luncheon, and there was Arnold Schwarzenegger. I said, ‘Arnold, I just became mayor of Beverly Hills!’ And he said, ‘Is that part of your community service?’ ”


Just when Maggie and Joel finally get engaged—bam!—TV’s sexiest twosome split up. “It’s been very emotional for Maggie and for me,” says Janine Turner, 31, who will miss her exiting Northern Exposure costar Rob Morrow: “When we filmed the scene where Maggie kicks him out of the house, it felt like a real breakup. I became so overwhelmed that we had to shut down production for a bit.” But Maggie will bounce back as Cicely’s new mayor—with a new romance. “Chris in the Morning [John Corbett] becomes attracted to Maggie once she has a gavel in her hand,” Turner says. Will Corbett be more fun to kiss than, say, her Cliffhanger costar Sylvester Stallone? “Ooooh! Did I kiss Stallone? I, don’t remember. Hopefully, I’ll get a lot of chances to kiss Corbett. I think he’s a cutie.”

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