Kazaam and Steel might not have done much for Shaquille O'Neal's acting career, but his recent turn in the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm could be just the spark Shaq needs. In the episode, star Larry David—cocreator of Seinfeld—trips and injures O'Neal while stretching his legs in a courtside seat. David then visits Shaq in the hospital for a hilarious scene in which the two end up concurring that peanut butter is a dairy product. Most impressive was that Shaq's performance, like most scenes in the series, was done without a script. "It was all improvisation," says Shaq. "Good actor that I am, it was easy." Did he get any tips from David? "No," says O'Neal. "Actually, he was kind of surprised at how funny I was."
... Danny Wuerffel is the latest athlete to cut a CD, but unlike other jocks, he's not flowing about the grittiness of the mean streets. On the 14-song Heaven and Nature Sings—Christmas with Danny Wuerffel, Family and Friends, the Bears' quarterback (right) lends his vocal stylings to such chestnuts as Silent Night and Joy to the World and also plays piano, harmonica and trumpet. Proceeds will go to New Orleans's Desire Street Ministries. "Like a lot of athletes, I'm kind of a wannabe musician," said Wuerffel. "I'm not real talented, but I enjoyed doing it."
...Not only is skateboarder Tony Hawk set to star in a yet-to-be-titled action adventure, but Disney has also acquired the movie rights to his autobiography, Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder. The story, which follows Hawk's rise from gawky outcast to alt-sport icon, reportedly will be a cross between Rocky and Fast Times at Ridgemont High....
Mark McGwire's retirement is shaping up as a blissful one. Big Mac, 38, got engaged last month to Stephanie Slemer, 24, a sales rep for a St. Louis pharmaceutical firm. The two met through a mutual friend. "My parents weren't big sports fans, so they weren't as gaga over him as some parents might be," Slemer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But now that they've met him, she said, "They absolutely love him." No date has been set.