Carson will likely skip Emmys

GOOD MORNING: Looking at last Friday’s full-page ad here (by NBC) urging Emmy consideration for “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” I wondered if Johnny would attend the Aug. 30 ceremony. “I don’t think so,” he said. That’s not a “definite no,” I countered. “I really feel uncomfortable at award shows,” he explained, reminding he had emceed a couple of Emmys long ago (and many Oscars). “But I appreciate the nominations.” He was especially thankful the TV Acad recognized director Bobby Quinn –“who never wins,” claimed Carson, “after doing five shows a week for 25 years.” He was also pleased to see Bette Midler’s nomination for her classic guesting on his next-to-last show. Johnny joined the plea for a shorter Emmy show. “They should be able to do it in a two-hour period.” As for himself, Carson assured, “There is life after the ‘Tonight Show.’ ” What’s his opinion of the show under Jay Leno’s hosting? “I don’t really stay up to watch it. Or the others. I’m not going to get embroiled in that schoolyard discussion,” he said seriously. “I never mentioned the other shows when I was on–I think you should just do your own show the best you can. Somehow it (the Jay Leno-Arsenio Hall brouhaha) seems premeditated to me.” As for his future TV plans, Carson said, “After 40 years in TV, I don’t really know what I’d want to do. But I do know I don’t particularly like what I see on it today. TV seems to be following the lead of the tabloid. There’s not much quality there,” and he enumerated many shows, including “Studs.” I gave Carson a perfect tag line by asking if he’s ever watched the “Civil Wars” series. “I did that LIVE!” Carson laughed. … In his road tour of “A Christmas Carol,” Rich Little plays the characters as celebs–the Ghost of Christmas as Johnny Carson.

BACK FROM BARCELONA yesterday, Magic Johnson guests with Arsenio Hall tonight. … Michael Douglas and Eric Douglas voiceovers have run back-to-back during the Olympics, Michael for Infiniti and Eric for the Plus Card. … Mary Lou Retton is back today from her Barcelona duties and now heads to the GOP convention as “American Spirit Youth Program” honorary chairperson. She addresses the convention youth rally on the 15th. … Rapper TRQ (Steve Gooden) joins Retton for GOP doings on the 15th with his rap tune “We Are Americans.” Gooden was bounced from his part-time law-clerking job last week because media attention (to his rap tune) was taking away too much of his office time. … KK and Tha D, known as the rap group 2nd II None, make their film bow in New Line’s “Menace to Society,” directed by 21-year-old twins Albert and Allen Hughes, whom KK and Tha D had previously pursued to direct their video. … “Married With Children’s” David Faustino performs with rappers from the Balistix at the Aug. 28 Rock the Vote bash at the Mayan. The group’s first single will be Faustino’s “I Told Ya” (Ode Sounds & Visuals 3 from Lou Adler). … Just call her the daredevil of “Melrose Place”: Courtney Thorne-Smith wings with the Navy’s Blue Angels Wednesday at Miramar in an F-A/18 Hornet. Duke Vincent, vice chairman of Spelling TV and an ex-Blue Angel, assures me Courtney “will have more fun from this than anything she will have done in her entire life.” Courtney may be getting in training today –“Melrose Place” locations on Magic Mountain’s Colossus.

THOSE SCREAMS in Westwood last Thursday night were from the National, where Columbia screened “Single White Female,” Barbet Schroeder’s thriller with reactions reminiscent of “Fatal Attraction” and “Misery” moments. In the movie, Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh (both excellent) are redheads, but at the preview both showed up as blondes–in almost identical navy blue pantsuits. The coiffures are for their current, respective pix, “Bodies, Rest and Motion” and “Short Cuts.” Fonda winged in from the Tucson night-shooting location of “Bodies” to attend, returned for further after-dark scenes. Schroeder was on hand, plus Columbia’s toppers, led by Peter Guber and Mark Canton Today at Tse Yang, Ann Miller and Debbie Reynolds host the first “MGM Girls Reunion” with this group: Cyd Charisse, Esther Williams, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Rutherford, June Allyson, Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh. (And Rip Taylor as the Cowardly Lion.) Last week at the bow of Vegas’ giant mall, the Boulevard, Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse and Jane Russell were mobbed for autographs when 3,500 fans showed up–only 400 had been expected. … Today at the BevHills Hotel Rotary Club meeting, Dan Tana tells the behind-the-scenes story of today’s Yugoslav tragedy. Tana, an American citizen, has homes and friends in both battle-torn parts of his homeland. … Bob Balaban was lunching Friday with Mace Neufeld at the Columbia Bar & Grill and talking his “Omen”-like script. Mace admits, “I’m dying to do another one.” … “Law and Order’s” Dick Wolf receives the American Bar Assn. Silver Gavel tomorrow at SanFran’s Hilton. … John Kluge hosted a supper aboard his yacht Virginian, docked in Monte Carlo harbor as part of the three-day 10th-anni celebration of the Princess Grace Foundation, with guests on board including Prince Rainier, Prince Albert, Princess Caroline, Barbara and Frank Sinatra, Luisa and Roger Moore, Veronique and Gregory Peck and Samantha Kluge, John’s 22-year-old daughter, who acted as hostess.

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