By Michael Small
October 31, 1983 12:00 PM

Troubled Rivers

Wasn’t that Margaret Thatcher passing through the L.A. airport on her way to Reagan’s ranch last summer? And you’ll never believe who was in the VIP area too: the queen of dump-on-the-royals jokes, Joan Rivers. Well, the two ladies got into a heart-to-heart chat that left Joan feeling a little down at the mouth. It seemed Britannia’s very own Prime Minister felt Joan should jolly well stop all those mean jokes about the royal family, and Joan, after some hesitation, shamefacedly agreed to do so. Surprise! When the conversation ended, “Maggie” handed over a note that read: “Joan…you’ve been had! Johnny.” Looking up, Rivers realized her partner was an imposter sent by buddy Johnny Carson to trick the comedienne. Joan laughed harder than anyone at the ruse, but Johnny will have the last laugh. Hidden cameras taped the episode, which is to air next month for all to see on a TV special called The World’s Greatest Practical Jokes.

Caught with Their Pants Down

On a sold-out tour of Japan, pop star Rick Springfield satisfied the yen of at least one local lady. Asked a female reporter at a press conference, “Is it true that you don’t wear any underwear?” Slightly surprised but unabashed, Rick replied, “Well, we’ll see about that,” and obligingly dropped trou. The answer: He does. Would you believe purple jockey shorts? Meanwhile, back in L.A., actor-director Rob Reiner underwent a similar unexpected exposure when an electrical fire forced him to flee his home in the middle of the night. Says Rob, “I made the classic mistake—I wore torn underwear to bed. My mother always told me never to do that in case a fire breaks out.”

Made-for-TV Marriage

She may be a real person like the rest of us, but Sarah Purcell of NBC’s Real People planned a superhuman wedding for herself and Beverly Hills dentist Robert McClintock. The ceremony, which will be shown as part of a Real People program next week, took place before an audience of some 800 dearly beloved on the SS Constitution, which was docked off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii for the ceremony. Every detail was attended to: They even got air-traffic controllers to stop jets from flying overhead during the wedding. But like most such affairs, this one had its share of the unexpected. Though you won’t see many foul-ups in the TV version, Sarah’s travails included a cake too big to fit through the galley door, a ring too small for her husband’s finger and a shower of orchids, dropped from a helicopter, that missed the boat. Cutting into her cake—which had been taken apart and reassembled on the upper deck—brought a new trauma. Sarah dropped the top layer, orange frosting and all, on her off-white wedding dress. “Okay, okay,” yelled executive producer George Schlatter, “take two.” No way, George. In real weddings, you go around only once.

Love It or Liv It

After 91 weeks on the best-seller lists, Jane Fonda’s Workout Book obviously makes some women feel terrific. But not Liv Ullmann. Charging that there’s an unhealthy emphasis on youth and physical beauty in the U.S. compared to her own Norway, Liv puts at least some of the onus on unplain Jane. “I’m so upset about her,” says Liv. “She shortchanged her enormous possibilities to help women feel proud about themselves. Now she’s left them in agony because they don’t look like her.”


•And yet another installment of the secret dreams of royalty. On an Australian talk show, Princess Anne came up with this unlikely confession: “I’d like to be a truck driver. I think you could run your life that way. It wouldn’t be such a bad way of doing it. It would offer a chance to be alone.”