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Reuben has a cow . . .

Matt Groening, creator of America's favorite animated family, "The Simpsons," was named Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year at the 2003 Reuben Awards.

Darby Conley won best newspaper comic for his strip "Get Fuzzy," which details the adventures of Rob Wilco, a single ad executive, and his temperamental cat, Buckeye, and gentle dog, Satchel.

The 57th annual award ceremony was held Saturday in the Palace Hotel, San Francisco. It featured presenters and past Reuben winners such as "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams, "Doonesbury" creator Gary Trudeau and Cathy Guisewite, creator of "Cathy."

The National Cartoonists Society was founded in 1946 and has its headquarters in New York City. Today it includes more than 600 members.

Advice from Streep . . .

As usual, Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep played her role flawlessly.

Speaking to graduates Saturday at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Streep made them laugh, offered inspiration, even sang a bit and challenged them to change the world.

To the female graduates, she presented her own example of helping break the gender barriers in education: Streep attended a drama class at Dartmouth College after graduating from Vassar College.

"We were 60 intrepid girls on a campus of approximately 6,000 men. We tried to lead them, gently, toward a difficult idea, the idea that women are valuable to a university," she said. Both schools have since become co-ed.

She then urged male graduates, who included her nephew, to help shatter the glass ceiling that holds many women back from top positions in business and politics and urged all the graduates to maintain optimism as they forge ahead.

"Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head," she said. "Guard your good mood. Listen to music every day, joke and love and read more for fun, especially poetry."

Folkie conspiracy . . .

The faux folkies from the film "A Mighty Wind" came to life off-screen for a free concert at the Getty Center museum in Los Angeles.

The fictional groups -- the divorced romantic duo of Mitch & Mickey, the corny traditionalist Folksmen and the ultra-perky New Main Street Singers -- were created by director Christopher Guest and co-writer Eugene Levy.

The actors had such fun singing and playing the music in the movie they wanted to do it again at a live show, said Guest, whose other parody films include "Waiting For Guffman" and "Best In Show."

Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean make up the Folksmen, whose songs include "Blood on the Coal," which combines the folk-music cliches of a train wreck and a coal mine disaster. The three have also appeared on film and in concert as the metal-rock parody group Spinal Tap from the 1984 film "This Is Spinal Tap."

Other performers at Friday's Getty concert included Levy and Catherine O'Hara, as Mitch & Mickey, and John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch and Parker Posey, as young members of the nine-person New Main Street Singers.

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