April 27, 2005 08:55 AM

PREPARED: By the end of the year – just in time for Christmas – Martha Stewart and Warner Home Video will have ready a DVD collection containing “how-to” advice that is Stewart’s strong suit, says the Hollywood Reporter. Among the subjects will be cooking, crafts, party planning and other staples of homemaking as culled from 1,500 hours of programming on such shows as Martha Stewart Living, Petkeeping With Marc Morrone and Everyday Food. The DVD launch is the latest high-profile project to involve the domestic diva, 63, since her prison release. She’s also due to host a TV spinoff of NBC’s The Apprentice and create a Sirius Satellite Radio channel that will appeal to women.

HIRED: Joining the AFLAC duck in the supplemental health insurance company’s new TV ads will be Mrs. Donald Trump, Melania, reports the New York Post, noting that this will mark Mrs. Trump’s commercial debut. Their ad, to debut May 2, will be a spoof of The Bride of Frankenstein, says the paper. A mad scientist will reportedly transplant the voice of the model into the duck so he can more than just quack. “We believe viewers will enjoy seeing the AFLAC duck talk,” says company CEO Dan Amos.

APPEALED: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to elicit a promise from Conan O’Brien on Tuesday’s Late Night to bring the Tonight Show back to New York once Conan takes over from Jay Leno in 2009. “It’s not up to me, I work for the man. If he says, ‘Yeah,’ we’re fine. So we’ll talk,” O’Brien replied on air. (Former host Johnny Carson moved the Tonight Show from New York to beautiful downtown Burbank in 1972.) Bloomberg promised to give Conan a park permit for the Late Night softball team, as Conan requested – before the host also asked for the Holland Tunnel to be renamed “The Cone Zone.”

DIED: Richard "Rick" Lewis, 71, the last surviving member of the doo-wop group the Silhouettes (the 1958 hit “Get A Job”), died of multiple organ failure on Tuesday at Philadelphia’s Albert Einstein Medical Center, reports the Associated Press. Lewis wrote “Get a Job,” which sold nearly 2 million copies and led to tours and appearances on Philadelphia’s American Bandstand. Years later, the group Sha Na Na took its name from the spirited refrain of the Silhouettes’ signature song. His wife, Elaine, and eight children from his three marriages survive Lewis. He also is survived by 10 grandchildren, a brother and four sisters.

TRASHED: Val Kilmer, who starred in a Los Angeles musical production of The Ten Commandments that critics practically laughed off the stage, has declared that British theater audiences “smarter” than American ones, reports the French Press Agency. Kilmer, 45, is due to make his London stage debut in June in an adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice (he’ll play the killer drifter immortalized by John Garfield in the 1946 movie, then played again onscreen by Jack Nicholson in 1981). Asked to compare American and British audiences, Kilmer told reporters: “They’re smarter. They read books. … It does seem that the standard simply keeps deteriorating on Broadway. The shows have become more Vegas-like. Theatre here just has higher standards.”

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