Although Levi Johnston irked Sarah Palin’s family by stripping down for Playgirl, Mario Lopez avoided the same fate by turning down an offer from the skin publication, which is now available only online.

“I was flattered that they asked, but I politely declined,” the energetic former Saved By The Bell star/current Extra host, 36, tells me during Charmin Restrooms opening held this week in NYC’s Times Square. “I don’t think my mom would be too happy about that, and I have no interest to be honest.”

But that’s not the only present the muscley mama’s boy has in store for his loved ones. Despite a denial that they were a couple several weeks ago, he’s committing to “someone special” in Courtney Mazza.

“Everything’s good,” he tells me. “She has her own passions and interests, and I have my own passions and interests. I think that’s what keeps things healthy. We both like to exercise, dance and that sort of thing, but she’s her own person.”

This holiday season, lucky Courtney will be lavished with luxuries by the actor, whose book Mud Tacos is out now.

“I’ve gotta keep it a surprise, but I’m a good gift giver,” he says. “I pride myself as a good gift giver, so my family always does well. I don’t care so much about gifts for me. I like to see the reactions. I’ve got lots of nieces and nephews, so I’m going to spoil them.”

Hm, what can she get him?

“I feel pretty set. Even when I was a kid, I never really asked for too much. I don’t have too many crazy requests. I want to get an iPod with a bunch of whole new music. That’s about it. Maybe a cool new laptop, but other than that … I always like getting the same thing every year. I like getting cologne and aftershave, new scarves, I like getting movies, CDs and books.”

But we won’t catch him waking up early for sales trumpeted by retailers this Black Friday.

“I avoid the stores, to tell you the truth,” he says. “It’s crowded, everything seems like it’s a mess. I always think I can get the same stuff on Saturday as I could get on Friday. The whole weekend’s pretty crazy. I just stay out of it.”

Tah-dah! Here are our pix from the Charmin Restrooms opening:


Mario is so fun.

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