Vikings coach Brad Childress gets top billing while Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith gets "a very special guest appearance" credit in KOOL 108's adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." What's up with that?

"Only because Will Smith was a last-minute and complete surprise addition to the cast," said program director Derek Moran. Smith read the part of Fezziwig when he was at Clear Channel, the company that owns a group of radio stations, promoting his movie "Seven Pounds" last week. "We really didn't think we'd get him to read the lines. We thought his people would stop us. They do a great job of keeping you and us away from him and making sure that everything is filtered, but Will is a super guy. He'd do anything you asked him to do."

Smith was such an unexpected addition that the Hollywood star is not even in some of the promos for the radio play that airs on KOOL 108 at noon today, at 10 a.m. Monday, at 2 p.m. Tuesday and at 5 p.m. Christmas Eve.

KOOL 108's version is about afternoon disc jockey Dan Donovan, whose nickname around the FM station is Ebegeezer. Is further explanation really required here?

Childress is the narrator; KARE-TV's Mike Pomeranz is Bob Cratchit; WCCO-TV's Chris Schaffer is Scrooge's nephew Fred, WCCO-TV's Mark Rosen is Jacob Marley; WCCO-TV's Amelia Santaniello is Mrs. Cratchit; former North Stars exec Lou Nanne is the Ghost of Christmas Past; Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway is the Ghost of Christmas Present; Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is Tiny Tim; Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is Passerby No. 1; Fox 9's and FM107's Jason Matheson is Passerby No. 2; Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love is the Boy Outside the Window, and a certain gossip columnist is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Moran and Dan Riggs, production director for the station, wrote the script and edited the video. There is also a making-of-the-video shot by Assumpta Mbele, promotions coordinator for KOOL 108.

Riggs and Mbele went to Winter Park to record the narration of Childress, who has incredible pipes. So whose voice was deeper, coach's or mine? "It was a toss-up," Riggs said. "I'd have to go with yours, though."

YES! Former KARE-TV anchor Paul Magers once said that after he went to work on TV in L.A., I would have the deepest on-air voice in the Twin Cities.


Rough couple of weeks for former Miss Minnesota Gretchen Carlson, who kept getting into trouble with other media outlets for things she said on "Fox & Friends," the morning show she co-hosts.

Carlson and co-host Steven Doocy were engaged in a ridiculous discussion of "Festivus," the fictional holiday created on "Seinfeld." Doocy told Carlson that Christmas is a time to be tolerant of people of all religions. And Carlson, who takes herself even more seriously than she takes just about everything, remarked: "I am tolerant. I am all for free speech and free rights. Just not on December 25th."

A host of an MSNBC show named Carlson one of the "World's Worst" people for this tolerance gaffe, and then a few days later named her the "World's Worst" for misstating the agreement between U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and President-elect Barack Obama about when the latter should release details of Obama staffers' contacts with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

This same MSNBC show has been having some fun with a graphic of a tiara slipping on a Carlson head shot. Carlson, who has said a lot of dumb things given how smart she must be by virtue of her mastery of the violin, did not respond to a request for comment sent via e-mail.

Still reunited

Attorney Bucky Zimmerman's famous wife did not seem on the top of his mind when he was spied in the skyway near the Gittelson Jewelers store.

After a quick hug and inquiry about what he was doing in town, he was only deep into complaining about the weather. "It's so cold," Zimmerman said. Ah, do we really care to hear this from a guy with, last I heard, law offices and homes in Minnesota and Arizona?

As his weather whining went on, I interrupted to ask, Are you still married to Pat? To those who may have forgotten, that's Pat Miles, former broadcasting darling of WCCO-TV, KARE-TV and WCCO-AM. Yeah, Zimmerman said, they were slogging along. They married each other in 2006 after a 30-year interruption -- which involved marriages to others -- to their initial romance. Zimmerman said Miles was in the metro for a Christmas party with girlfriends.

Changes at Channel 5?

There was a confusing goodbye from host Anne Hutchinson on Friday night when she signed off the high school sports wrapup show. It wasn't clear whether she was saying goodbye or the show was ending. There's speculation around the station that her contract might not be renewed.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.