September 12, 1977 12:00 PM

Mother Discourage

“I can’t be more spoilder than I am now,” quoth daughter. “That’s the key word—’spoilder,’ ” rebounded Pop, adding, “Her other phrase is, ‘Dad has got a case of the emotionals again,’ when I’m upset about something.” Tatum and Ryan O’Neal, of course, chatting it up in England, where the younger is filming the sequel to National Velvet—and in her best 13-year-old mothering fashion making sure Dad, 36, didn’t get a case of the emotionals over his woman du jour. “I don’t want him to marry again—ever,” said Tatum. “Who needs to have anyone anyway? Besides,” she noted, brushing away her rhetorical cloud, “I don’t think there is anyone in the world who would take us.”

Long Live

Since his death Aug. 16, an RCA plant in Indianapolis has been working 24-hour, seven-day weeks manufacturing Elvis Presley LPs, tapes and singles to meet a demand that retailers estimate at 30 times supply. Elvis’ recent LP, Moody Blue, and single, Way Down, suddenly raced up the charts, and an estimated 20 million mostly oldie recordings are being shipped to stores weekly. Even before this resurgence and all the renewed radio-play royalties, Variety estimated the King’s career gross—including movies and concerts—at $4.3 billion.


With the fifth and likely farewell David Frost meeting with former President Nixon due on the tube this week, noted trial lawyer Louis Nizer observes he saw three Nixons in the earlier interviews: “The first was a cripple who tried to evade the questions. The second was far more sympathetic—the tears in his eyes and the choked speech. He used what we lawyers call ‘confession and avoidance’—he confessed but hoped to avoid the consequences. The third gave us psychiatric insights into the man.” But did you or did you not like the series, counselor Nizer? “I would have been more impressed had Nixon given the money to charity.”

Short Circuited

After his third headlining TV series (out of three) was dropped, bumbling Carol Burnett Show banana Tim Conway decided it was time to boycott his notices. “Even in a good review,” Conway explains, “there’s always one line that spoils it: ‘He’s great, terrific—’course he’s very short.’ ” That doesn’t mean that the 5’8″ comic has canceled his subscriptions. “I do like to read bad reviews of other performers’ acts, though,” he snickers. “I know how mad they’re going to be.”


Surely TV’s all-time champion misnomer is CBS’s Good Times. John Amos left the show fatherless in a huff last fall. Then just before this season, Esther Rolle, jangled by clashing egos on the set, also defected, orphaning the show’s ghetto brood. Now the sitcom’s Kid Dyn-O-Mite, Jimmie Walker, threatens to go blooey. “Being at Good Times is like staying in a bad marriage,” moans the 30ish “J.J.,” who says he’s “outgrown” it. “I tried to leave, but Norman Lear sent federal marshals after me. I’m here,” he cracks, “because of the law.”

Belly Oop

Comic Marty Allen has a Belli-Button. So do other Angelenos with the stomach for it, notably including the pregnant Marisa Berenson. It’s Hollywood’s bauble of the week, a unisex navel ornament for beach, bare midriffs or appendectomy scar flashers, and it bears a happy face and graffiti that can be changed with the wearer’s mood. One slogan, apparently for the reckless tummy, is “Evel K. Navel.” TGIF, as the kids say. Only make that Friday almost Fall—and the silly season’s about over.


•It was Alan Ladd Jr. at previously troubled Twentieth Century-Fox who put his tail on the line for Star Wars. And now the Force is obviously with him. Fox stock has doubled and, at 39, Laddie’s been anointed a member of the board of directors—joining a pantheon of distinguished pooh-bahs, mostly from the outside, like Princess Grace of Monaco and former Secretary of State William Rogers.

•It has nothing to do with his upbringing, says George Burns of his love for pickles. “It’s just they crunch when you eat them. At my age, when I hear crunching, I think somebody is applauding,” reports the dilly 81-year-old. “So I have another pickle.”

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