By Michael Small
January 09, 1984 12:00 PM

Draft Dodger

A Florida humorist and unemployed English teacher, Richard Grayson, 32, decided to join the 1984 Presidential race for a unique reason. As he told the Wall Street Journal, “When I go to the unemployment office, I have to prove that I’m looking for work, and I figure the Presidency is a good job.” As a running mate, Grayson wants to draft Jane Wyman “because she has experience dumping Reagan.” But apparently Ronald’s first wife isn’t looking for work outside Falcon Crest. “Why, it’s absolutely incongruous,” sputtered Wyman when she heard of Grayson’s proposal. “The only thing I can say to that is a big laugh.” Would Jane ever run for any office? “Never!” she replied in no uncertain four-year terms.

Sour Loser

The 43rd Annual Golden Apple Awards, given by the Hollywood Women’s Press Club at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, was a letdown of sorts for Lynn Redgrave, who hosted the ceremony. Her theory, she told the crowd, is that you haven’t made it in life till you end up on Mr. Blackwell’s Worst-Dressed List or receive a Sour Apple Award, given to the entertainer with the worst rep among the women of the press. In past years Lynn climbed only to No. 2 on Mr. B’s list and lost out to Ryan O’Neal for a Sour Apple. This year Joan Rivers won the Sour Apple. Whined Lynn, “I did everything possible. I dressed as badly as I could and insulted every member of the press. So what do they do? Make me mistress of ceremonies!”

A Winkle Wrinkle

Rest in peace, Martin Branner. The team that draws Winnie Winkle, the comic strip you started in 1920, nearly gave your pal Winnie a bit of a jolt, but some newspaper heroes stepped in to spare her. You see, Winnie’s son, Billy Wright, came home with his good buddy Russ Miller this Christmas to deliver some shocking news. He was about to tell Winnie that he was gay and living as more than just friends with Russ. Well, the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune didn’t like that idea at all. They threatened to drop the strip if Billy dropped the bomb. So, in a quick switch, Billy told Mom that he had met the girl of his dreams and planned to marry her. Even that news got a rise out of Winnie. Her reaction? “Gasp!!!” She’ll never know how many exclamation points she barely missed.

Speed Crazy

Those champions of mushy rock, REO Speedwagon, write more songs about the thrill of victory than the agony of defeat. That may be why they put their money where their lyrics are—and became sponsors of Erik Henricksen, 24, the champion speed skater who hopes to go for the Olympic Gold in Yugoslavia. After watching Erik on a TV sports show and hearing that he came from the band’s hometown of Champaign, Ill., they threw a benefit concert for him last year and raised enough to tide him over till the big competition. Since then, Erik has visited the group at a few more concerts. Says lead singer Kevin Cronin, 32, “I remember asking Erik to come out and sing the last song with us. But he was a little bit timid about that. Maybe when he comes back from Yugoslavia with a Gold Medal around his neck, he’ll walk out onstage.”


•”Oh, God, don’t start on my hair,” Jack Nicholson told a Dallas Morning News reporter who noted the actor’s ever-expanding forehead. “You can read articles that mention my thinning hair that were written back in 1964,” added Jack. “The people who wrote them are now completely bald.”

•You might say I.B. Singer maintains a guarded attitude toward Barbra Streisand’s ambitious adaptation of his short story Yentl the Yeshiva Boy. At their first meeting he listened quietly as she enthused and complained at length about the difficulties of filmmaking. Then, suggested Singer to singer, “Maybe you’d rather just sing a song.”