“A bright, sophisticated show” is how NBC’s been touting Fay, Lee Grant’s new fall sitcom about the impact of divorce on a middle-aged woman. It was, in fact, conceived by one of TV’s leading female writers, Susan Harris, a divorcée herself and author of the contentious Maude two-parter on abortion. Indeed, in the series pilot, Grant, 46, is seen with a beau in her apartment one evening, then breakfasting with him next morning. But a change in time slots—Fay was recently rescheduled into the early evening “family viewing” hour—seems to have repressed the heroine’s sophisticated instincts. NBC has reedited the one-night stand and rebuked Grant for complaining out loud about the censorship. “Divorcées,” sniffed the network, “are involved with more than sex.”
The bobbing, berobed apostles who drone Hare Krishna from urban street corners comprise and recruit youth of both sexes—perhaps ignorant that Krishna Consciousness founder Swami Bhaktivedanta doesn’t personally believe that all his disciples were created equal. “Women are meant to assist men and that is all,” declares the 79-year-old native of Calcutta. “It is just a fact that woman is not equal in intelligence to man. Man’s brain weighs 64 ounces. Woman’s weighs 36 ounces.” Since adult human brains are roughly proportional to body weight and average between 45 and 50 ounces, the swami seems either over or out of his own head.
If it makes any difference to summer visitors to L.A., the Hollywood element’s hot new restaurant du jour is the Posh Bagel, a Back East deli spiffed up with art nouveau decor and waiters sporting T-shirts stenciled to look like tuxedos. Celeb noshers range from Jimmie (J.J.) Walker to Vidal Sassoon, Roman Polanski to Monty Hall. The fare is not unfamiliarly ethnic—most popular are omelettes from $2.50 per—but, of course, what does founding partner Burt Reynolds know from kosher?
With his Bunny empire dragging its tail financially, Hugh Hefner, the philosopher-founder, is suddenly deferring to senior veep Vic Lownes, the corporate “ass-kicker.” Recalled from London, Lownes staged the Bunnies’ recent protest march demanding the “right” to date the clientele and, to further bail out ailing clubs and hotels, he plans to admit non-key holders. “But the finest thing I can do is fire as many people as possible,” says the 47-year-old bachelor. So far, he’s booted out 30 (none of them his lady, Playmate of 1973 Marilyn Cole), and even Hef may be feeling the heat. To continue his belt-tightening, Lownes is advising that Big Bunny, the boss’s black, customized DC-9 jet, be liquidated, as well as the Chicago mother hutch, the Playboy mansion.
As a Democrat turned independent (and, as ever, a presidential candidate), why had Eugene McCarthy been chosen to read excerpts from a Republican’s speeches while composer Aaron Copland conducted the Minnesota Orchestra through his own opus, Lincoln Portrait? Answered the former senator: “Most Republicans don’t read very well—their fingers get sore from following such a long text.” But a Minneapolis reporter had a snappier explanation: this would be Gene McCarthy’s only opportunity, he quipped, to deliver a presidential address.
•Women’s lib has crossed just about the last threshold—the home of actor Charles Bronson. Regardless of whether his consciousness riz on its own or was raised for him, Bronson is passing the word that he’ll meet the media only if they give equal time to his frequent co-star and wife of seven years, Jill Ireland.
•The impersonator who took the name Richard M. Dixon—and whose act collapsed when his lookalike left the White House —has not quite given up the ghost. He is starring in an X-rated porno flick titled The Presidential Peepers.
•Actor Charlton Heston has often given the impression of an actor with lockjaw. An explanation may be at hand. His private vice is peanut butter. He eats it insatiably all day, slathered on his breakfast toast, with mayonnaise at lunch and by the fingerful out of the jar as a nightcap. Skippy brand, super chunk style.