Tim Bucks Too
They’re so “into security” over at CBS studios, says Tim Conway, “they won’t let anybody in without a card.” Even when easily recognizable Tim forgot his card while working on The Carol Burnett Show, he had to “call up Joe Hamilton [Carol’s producer husband] and say, ‘Please tell them I’m okay!’ ” Those occasions griped him all the more because when he did carry the card, he says, “I’d show it and they’d say, ‘Okay,’ although the picture on it was of Adolf Hitler.” Now, reluctantly conforming to the system, Tim carries an ID with his own picture—but cross-eyed.
That sure wasn’t very nice the way comedienne Joan Rivers made fun of mop-topped Annie star Andrea McArdle during an L.A. nightclub shot. Andrea’s agent griped to the press that Rivers’ barbs were particularly unfair because his 15-year-old client didn’t have a nightclub act in which to respond. Andrea managed in her own way, however. “I’m really flattered Joan Rivers knows who I am,” cooed the brass-lunged moppet, “because I never heard of her.” “Arf,” said Sandy.
While filming their biblical spoof, The Life of Brian, in Tunisia, the Monty Python troupe was almost undone, not by artistic differences or temper tantrums but by a far less glamorous problem: dysentery. Pythoner Graham Chapman luckily was able to help out by dispensing medicine, since he was a doctor before turning to comedy in the ’60s. “Dysentery is not really a grand thing to have when you’re dressed in complicated costumes,” observes Dr. Chapman, who likes to point out that St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where he studied for a while, was founded in 1123 by a court jester, “so it has a long history of foolishness and medicine.”
Broadway veteran Elaine Stritch (Bus Stop, Pal Joey) says that a wrap party two years ago for the film Providence (featuring Sir John Gielgud and Dirk Bogarde) caused her to give up alcohol cold turkey. “I had a wonderful party—the lid came off,” recalls Stritch, 53. “I had quite a bit of champagne and moved on to stingers. But I woke up in the night nervous like I had never been nervous in my life. I’ve never been able to explain it, but I didn’t want a drink, or coffee or my mother or my husband. I figured I had to learn how to quiet myself, so I sat down and wrote myself a letter, had a sip of brandy for medicinal purposes and have not touched a drop since.” Adds Stritch wistfully, “Don’t think it wasn’t a sacrifice. I dig booze. I love the taste, the ice bucket, the glass, the olive. God, I loved it all.”
An elderly man approached the counter at the Southeast Bank of Venice, Fla. and handed the teller a withdrawal slip. She turned it over, found a note demanding money, and hit the silent alarm. Police nabbed the culprit, who nervously jabbered that he was innocent—which, as it turns out, was true. What had happened, police decided, was that a practical joker had caught a recent routine by comedian David Brenner on local cable TV. Brenner, despite pro forma warnings to the audience not to try it, suggested it would be great fun to write a threatening note on the back of a bank slip, reinsert it in the stack and then wait for the laughs. Southeast’s bankers are still not laughing.
•Despite the snow drifts that buried the Midwest last week, a near capacity crowd trudged, sneezed and skidded their way to Chicago’s Arie Crown theater one night to catch Yul Brynner as the forbidding monarch of Siam in The King and I. Asked by one of his small regiment of royal offspring if there really is such a thing as snow, Brynner ad-libbed, “Ah! I seem to remember having seen it in the distant province of Illinois!”
•Rock Hudson, 53, jokes that he’s ready to team up again with his ever bubbly early-’60s co-star Doris Day, 54. His suggested project? “Love Among the Ruins.”