June 17, 1985 12:00 PM

TURN ON, TUNE IN, DROP OUT: Geraldine Ferraro was plugging her autobiography, Ferraro: My Story, due out in October, at the American Booksellers Association meeting in San Francisco. Looking back at her historic candidacy, she said, “If God had sat me down in front of the VCR and given me an advance look at the campaign, I would have said, ‘God, could you do me a favor? Pick [San Francisco Mayor] Dianne [Feinstein].’ ” Ferraro was not worried that her Diet Pepsi ad, in conjunction with her book, makes her look mercenary. “Men have been making commercials for years,” she said, specifically mentioning Howard Baker’s commercial for USA Today. (Baker, who received no money for the ad, sits on the board of Gannett Co., which publishes the newspaper.) That advertisement, Ferraro argued, raises the specter of whether USA Today would endorse Baker if he runs for a major political office. “I don’t think,” she said with a smile, “Pepsi is going to endorse me if I run.”

GOING FOR THE JOCK-ULAR: Sports announcer Howard Cosell says he’s always being asked for advice, especially by college students, on how to break into the business. “I tell them to become gutteral illiterates and athletes who can throw, catch or run,” he says. “The worst thing in the world is to be properly trained in journalism and communications. Then there’s no room for them. It’s a sad commentary, but it’s true.”

ACTING HER AGE: “I’d rather be called an old lady than a senior citizen.” Thus spake Helen Hayes, who was in Chicago to hand out awards for film and TV shows with positive portrayals of old people. “Senior citizen, it’s such a cosmetic word,” she said, adding, “I’ll be 85 in October. That’s old! It’s aged! Why not just say so? We should stop complaining about our age. It’s like a thoughtless hiccup.”

A BRIEF VACATION: After completing last season’s episodes of Crazy Like a Fox, John Rubinstein caught the end of the cross-country ski season in Switzerland. When he returned he had some explaining to do to U.S. Customs officers. “I buy all of my underwear in Europe,” Rubinstein says. “I always come back with suitcases full of briefs. It’s not that they are more fashionable or stylish. They are just more…well, anatomically correct. I’ve never found a comfortable pair of American-made shorts.” Tell that to Jim Palmer.

CAR-NAL KNOWLEDGE: Ah, yes, here we have veteran actor James Stewart recalling Hollywood’s golden era. “Those were great days with real stars,” he told London’s Daily Express. “There was more charisma and much more romance. We didn’t go in for showing a lady’s, um, breasts, and all this naked stuff—rolling in and out of bed and everything. But we could get a lot of romance out of just kissing a girl in the back of a car. I remember being in a film with Jean Harlow, and although Clark Gable got her, I got to kiss her goodbye in the back of his car. And when Jean Harlow kissed, I tell you, you knew you’d been kissed!”

WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME: Dom DeLuise—in Washington to attend a benefit for Ford’s Theatre—was bubbling with excitement, having just had his star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “I’m right next to Marlon Brando,” he said. “I’m very big, Marlon Brando’s very big, but they compromised because they didn’t want the cars to go smashing into the buildings. So they put Orson Welles and Shelley Winters on the other side, to balance out the street.”

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