STAND UP, ROUTINE: Actress and comedienne Sandra Bernhard has always perched herself on the precipice of comedy, which is where she’d like to see more of her colleagues, especially the women. “None of them are saying anything. They’re all macho, there’s no romance or sophistication in their acts,” says Sandra, now starring off-Broadway in Without You I’m Nothing, a one-woman show. “Yeah, they say funny things, but who are they? They just want to go out there and be funny the way guys are funny. They’re not interested in making any statements. The reason I like Prince is because he’s not afraid to expose himself and take risks, and I think I’m like that too.” It’s lonely out there, Under the Cherry Moon.
HAIR LOSS, HIS GAIN: John Malkovich, who’s likely to pick up a Tony nomination for his fervid performance in Broadway’s Burn This, may be one of the few men in the world who is happy to be going bald. “For a long time I played brooding James Dean types,” the star of Making Mr. Right told the London Observer’s magazine. “I was kind of relieved when my hair fell out and I didn’t have to do that anymore.”
OPEN DOOR POLICY: Country singer Waylon Jennings and buddy-in-black Johnny Cash had a very literal way of getting their kicks in 1966 when they shared an apartment in Madison, Tenn. “In the early days we were known to raise a little hell together,” recalled Waylon at the opening of a Johnny Cash exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. “We were always changing the door on the apartment because we kicked it down so many times. But I guess we weren’t too bad,” he says, adding, “What we were doing sure gave us something to write songs about—kickin’ doors and climbing walls.”
PLESHETTE TO THE LIMIT: During her frequent appearances on The Tonight Show, actress Suzanne Pleshette can be as amusingly snappish as she was when she was playing Bob Newhart’s wife on his 1972-78 TV series, The Bob Newhart Show. “Every moment I open my mouth, one can expect that I will embarrass myself,” she says. “But every time I was on the show, Johnny [Carson] came to my rescue. With Johnny I can be myself, which is right there on the edge, and he’ll find a way to show me to my best advantage with a minimum of embarrassment.” And just when does she know she’s exceeding the limit? “I just have to look into Johnny’s eyes,” she says, “to see how I’m doing. If they’re rolling around in his sockets, I know it’s time to tone it down a bit.”
REGAL TENDER: Prince Charles, whose forays into organic gardening have often been mocked, defended his passion for environmental causes at an awards ceremony for the European Year of the Environment in London recently. “There is still a prejudiced misconception in certain circles that people concerned about the environment and what happens to this earth are bearded, be-sandaled, shaven-headed mystics who retreat every now and then to the Hebrides or the Kalahari desert to examine their navels and commune with the natives,” said Charles, who has himself retreated to islands and deserts and communed with natives. “But this is simply not true. When we read that over the next 60 years, if we go on as we are doing, a third of all the forms of life living on this planet may be extinct, can we feel anything but a kind of cosmic horror?”
BAD BABY MAKES GOOD: Cover mother Christie Brinkley admits that husband Billy Joel isn’t the biggest rock star in the family—at least when their 2-year-old daughter, Alexa Ray, is dishing out the reviews. “She idolizes Michael Jackson,” says Christie. “Thanks to Michael, she no longer sucks her thumb. We say ‘Michael wouldn’t like it if you suck your thumb,’ and she takes it right out of her mouth. We do the same thing to get her to bed sometimes too.” Look out, Michael. Toilet training can’t be far away.