June 20, 1988 12:00 PM

TAKING THE RAP: Although First Lady Nancy Reagan has taught a nation of children to Just Say No, 20-year-old rap wizard LL Cool J wants her to just say thanks. After all, he and his group performed at a Radio City Music Hall benefit concert last month for her antidrug program. “She never thanked us,” complains LL. “I didn’t even want a verbal thanks, but I didn’t get a letter either. I even wore a tuxedo for the first time in my life out of respect for the First Lady, and she didn’t show up. You ever hear of the Bob Hope benefit and Bob ain’t there?” So, look out Nancy/ Even after that/ LL won’t take/ Your dis and that. “She had us come out, but she played us like a poker chip in Vegas,” he continues. Rest easy, LL. Just Say No promises its thanks will soon be in the mail.

READY FOR TAKEOFFS: Through Sept. 15, New York’s Museum of Broadcasting will honor comedienne Carol Burnett with an exhibition tracing her 29-year TV career as queen of spoofs. Would the same things that got laughs in the ’60s and ’70s be funny today? “I think that what’s funny is funny,” Burnett said at an opening seminar. “There are certain changes in society, but you can still do a takeoff on Gone with the Wind. If I were on today, I’d be doing takeoffs on all this stuff that’s happened with Fawn Hall and Jessica Hahn. I would also be doing [New York hotel mogul] Leona Helmsley, definitely.” And what’s wrong with TV today? “Money is the bottom line now. The networks are being run by these kids in suits and ties. They want to show everything in the black and are afraid to take chances.”

COURTING DISASTER: Alan Rachins and Joanna Frank, the husband-and-wife acting team who play office ogre Douglas Brackman and his sniping spouse, Sheila, on NBC’s L.A Law, often rehearse, with great conviction, their TV problems at home. “We aren’t worried about what the neighbors think,” says Alan. “But we are worried about our 6-year-old son [Robbie]. He walked in on us when we were rehearsing one of our first scenes—we were saying these horrible things to each other—and his face dropped.” And is it hard to fight for the cameras by day and return to happy married life by night? “No,” he says. “It’s just acting and it’s fun. The hardest thing is when two actors are unemployed together.”

MOTOR TRENDS: Cristina Ford’s 1980 divorce agreement with the late Henry Ford II prevents her from revealing the intimate details of their 20-year relationship. But the reports in Peter Collier and David Horowitz’s 1987 book, The Fords—An American Epic, that Henry suspected she had an affair with Imelda Marcos have got Cristina fuming. “One person started the rumor that Imelda took me away from Henry,” Cristina, 62, told the Detroit Free Press. “My God! Henry pushed me to travel to the Philippines because he wanted a factory there. You’re lucky if you have one, two or a few good friends. Imelda is one of those because they [the Marcoses] stuck by me then and now.” About her ex, she says, “If some astrologer could have revealed to me what troubles I would have to go through, I would not have married Henry.”

HOOP AND GLORY: When the L.A. Lakers, currently defending their NBA championship against the Detroit Pistons, play at the hometown Forum, regular courtside fans include such celebs as Jack Nicholson, Rob Lowe and Whoopi Goldberg. Laker great Magic Johnson says, “When I was growing up, I only got to see these people on TV or on the movie screen, not talking to them face to face like I do now. You know, I never thought they really talked. That’s the perception I had coming from my hometown in Lansing, Mich. There, the star is the mayor or the guy who has the Cadillac.” Even now, Magic’s celebrity doesn’t impress some folks. “My family doesn’t treat me any different,” he says. “When I go home, they still call me Junior, and I still have to take the trash out.”

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