By Mitchell Fink
Updated March 11, 1996 12:00 PM


It’s hard to picture the imperious teen queen played by Alicia Silverstone in Clueless swooning over the moronic characters Adam Sandler has portrayed in Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but I have it on good authority that the two have secretly begun dating in real life. Silver stone’s rep refuses to discuss her 19-year-old client’s personal life. Sandler, however, acknowledges through his rep that he and Silverstone have been in each other’s company several times, but the 29-year-old Saturday Night Live alum admits only that they are “acquaintances.”….

Now I know why Richard Dreyfuss, 48, looked uncomfortable when Joan Rivers suggested to him during her Golden Globes coverage on the E! Entertainment Network that he give his girlfriend, fledgling actress Laura Cayouette, 31, an engagement ring. I hear the star of Mr. Holland’s Opus just broke up with Cayouette after two years of togetherness. His rep says only that the Oscar-nominee “will be taking his kids [Emily, 12, Benjamin, 9, and Harry Spencer, 5] to the Oscars as his date.”…

Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen may have just found a TV sitcom in which to costar. Although the deal isn’t done yet, the Dan-sons and former Mad About You executive producer Jeffrey Lane are about to team with DreamWorks to create a half-hour show. It will be set at a newspaper, with Ted and Mary playing ex-lovers—and she’s his boss….

And in other Mad About You news, the show’s star Paul Reiser cut the William Morris Agency out of the action when he signed for a reported $5 million to write Parenthood, a followup to his 1994 bestseller Couplehood. Sources tell me that after William Morris nixed the request of Reiser’s manager Arthur Spivak for the agency to reduce its standard 10 percent commission to 5, Spivak made the book deal with Rob Weisbach Books himself, saving Reiser $500,000. This was especially galling to William Morris because the agency had first suggested to Reiser that he write Couplehood, which has sold over 2.4 million copies. Spivak declined to comment….

Finally, in the predawn hours of Feb. 20, all members of the rock band R.E.M. were spotted sitting on the lobby floor of Manhattan’s Royal-ton Hotel playing spin the bottle with singer Natalie Merchant, model Helena Christensen and others. An eye witness tells me that Merchant’s almost-five-year, on-again-off-again relationship with R.E.M.’s lead singer, the self-proclaimed sexually ambiguous Michael Stipe, looked to be very much on again, at least during the game.