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Born to Sing

After the second music set at the Stone Pony, a rock ‘n’ roll club in Asbury Park, N.J., they hold a Sunday-night joke contest with a $25 prize for the best knee slapper. Nobody offered to get the jokes rolling the other evening, so that consummate New Jerseyite, Bruce Springsteen, suddenly appeared onstage to add a little Bruce Juice to the proceedings. Though Springsteen visits the club regularly to crank up golden oldies with a band called Cats on a Smooth Surface, he had never entered the contest before. The part-Italian rocker began (and maybe ended) his comic career with an Italian joke that “didn’t go over too well,” according to one fan. But Pony manager Butch Pielka had an explanation: “A lot of people thought he was booed, but the audience was just saying, ‘Bruce.’ ” In any case, someone else got the $25, so Bruce will have to keep singing for his supper.

Chanel No. 2?

All kinds of bad vibes are coming out of the fashion world. The House of Chanel in Paris insists that one of Nancy Reagan’s favorite dressmakers, Adolfo, stole a bunch of its ideas. Comparing photos of this month’s Adolfo collection and last fall Chanel styles, Chanel president Michel Pietrini wailed, “He’s even stolen the accessories and used the very same mannequin. And look at the pockets—identical to ours.” Adolfo, in New York, chose to keep silent on the subject. But, according to Women’s Wear Daily, Chanel’s head designer, Karl Lagerfeld, had one more thing to say. “I admire Adolfo for his accuracy,” snapped Karl. “But maybe this season I’ll send over the patterns so he can get it exactly right.”

Meet the Prez

When the ritzy Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Md. assigned an eighth-grade class to interview adults in the Washington area, the kids came back with the kind of newsbreaks only youth—and connections—can get. One quizzed Sugar Ray Leonard, another spoke with Presidential aide Mike Deaver, and Deaver’s daughter, Amanda, 13, outdid them all. She landed a videotaped half-hour talk with that guy who lives in the big white house with all the pillars. “I’m free Thursday at 3:30,” Amanda told Dad after he arranged her meeting. “That’s not the way it works,” he replied. “The President will be free at 5:30 Friday.” Worried about an unflattering camera angle on the wraparound skirt she borrowed from Mom, Amanda still handled the interview like a pro. “If you had six months to live and $10 million dollars, how would you spend the rest of your life?” she asked Reagan. He replied that he would use the time and money to promote world peace. Says Amanda’s mom, Carolyn, “He answered her questions with the same concern and attention he would give to a White House reporter like Helen Thomas.” Thank you, Mr. President.

Life Story

Joan Rivers didn’t want to forget a single zinger during a performance at L.A.’s Studio One Disco. So she made up a series of cue cards listing subjects for discussion and had them taped together on the stage floor. They read: “Having your period. Housework. Not a good housekeeper. Cheap airlines. No sex appeal. Having a baby. Natural childbirth. Carrying low. Mean nurses. Christina Onassis. Gloria Vanderbilt. My sex life. Wedding night. Guys I dated. Stewardesses. Facts of life. Bo Derek.” Such a pithy summation of Joan’s life and loves probably belongs in the Smithsonian archives, but no go. A fanatical fan took off with the cards right after the show.


Evangelist Billy Graham expressed his dismay to the British press about explicit sex in movies. But he didn’t come across as a total prude. “I am not against sex,” he explained. “I am here as a result of sex.”