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Johnny’s new pot

Citing him as “America’s favorite bedroom companion,” Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals named Johnny Carson its Man of the Year. TV’s highest-paid talk show host (reportedly over $3 million) found the cheers as he accepted his Hasty Pudding pot especially warming. “It’s very gratifying,” said the 51-year-old Carson, who will soon do his show live to combat slipping ratings, “to hear so much applause without someone holding up cards.”

Dr. Owen’s in

With a little bit of help from younger son Gareth, 4, Cambridge-educated neurologist David Anthony Llewelyn Owen set out recently, not on humdrum medical rounds, but for Britain’s Foreign Office. Dr. Owen is the Labour party’s new foreign secretary, at 38 the youngest since 1935 when Anthony Eden (two months younger) was named. Why did Dr. Owen opt for politics? “I thought it would save me from becoming a medical vegetable.”

Royal backslide

On her Silver Jubilee tour in the South Pacific, Queen Elizabeth stopped in Tonga to meet the island’s king-sized King Tupou IV and make him a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. The king obviously deserves a reward. Prior to the royal visit he had dropped 70 pounds (to a solid 392), thanks to a crash diet. So elated was the king that he backslid for the occasion and joined Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in a banquet of watermelon, lobster, prawns, baby pigs, turkey and fruit. So much for Weight Watchers.

Sam says it again

He concedes that some women consider him a “male chauvinist pig,” but that did not stop former North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, now 80, from key-noting a rally in Raleigh against the Equal Rights Amendment. As Sam once put it: “Some people say women don’t need any protection. But it’s been my observation after many years of law practice that many women marry sorry husbands and do need protection from ornery men.”

Forever Amber Jim

The T-shirt reads Amber Jim, but the junior 60-pounder with a wicked right cross is really Amber Edwina Hunt, 11, a female Junior Golden Gloves boxer and the pen pal of executed murderer Gary Gilmore. Amber easily outpointed her male opponent in an exhibition match. Her goal is to win an Olympic gold medal in 1984 and then turn pro. “I’ll be tough like a boy but act like a girl,” says Amber, “but not with lipstick and stuff like that.”

Ashley’s wig lash

The accident took place as actress Elizabeth Ashley donned her wig for a rehearsal of Caesar and Cleopatra—and scratched the cornea of her left eye. Nonetheless, tradition held. “You couldn’t stop me or any other actress from going on with Rex Harrison,” said Liz. “I had eyedroppers stashed all over the stage; the big drama was not Caesar and Cleopatra but me going from eyedrop to eyedrop.” Apparently Ashley was on to something. The play was overwhelmingly panned.