GOOD MORNING: “We’re shameless,” admitted “Hot Shots 2” director and co-writer (with Pat Proft) Jim Abrahams yesterday on 20th’s Stage 9. He was directing Charlie Sheen and Valeria Golino in a scene duplicating one from–“Lady and the Tramp.” Sheen pushes spaghetti’d meatballs across a plate–with his nose. While viewing the scene with his two live actors, Abrahams also checked a monitor running “Tramp’s” similar scene with the cartooned pups. Also, the restaurant in the scene duplicated the “Godfather” set in which Al Pacino bumped off Sterling Hayden. And the thesps doubling for Pacino and Hayden were dead ringers, you should pardon the expression. Wait–there’s more–a bedroom set on the same giant stage boasts a diving board. Sheen is to leap onto a waiting Brenda Bakke wearing a mini white dress like you-know-who in “Basic Instinct.””Hot Shots 2” is a takeoff of the “Rambo” epix with Sheen sent on rescue missions between the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq and Ahardplace. Get it? “This movie is definitely better than the first one,” laughed Sheen, who is getting enormous laughs from the “Hot” trailer now in theaters. The newly heavily muscled Sheen is seen with his back to the camera, his head bandana’d a la Stallone–and when he turns, the audience roars to discover it’s Sheen. He looks every inch the movie star. He’s soon to be seen in “Fixing the Shadow,” followed by a cameo for Chris Coppola and “Deadfall,” and two weeks after winding ‘Hot Shots 2,” Sheen starts “The Chase” for Adam Rifkin …”Hot Shots 2″ will be out Memorial Day and Abrahams says it costs only a few million-$ more than the original–which earned over $ 200 million worldwide. Will there be a third? Abrahams says he’ll head for non-parodied subjects (for only the second time). And he’s talking “K.T. Eagle,” a Joe Eszterhas script written over 10 years ago! … The “Hot Shots 2” set finds producer Bill Badalato and associate producers Greg Norberg and Mike McManus on hand to add/delete some of the comedy … Presidents Bush, Carter, Nixon, Ford and Reagan are also portrayed in the movie, with Lloyd Bridges playing a combination Bush-Reagan character. No, there’s no Clinton reference–yet … Abrahams rejoins the Zucker brothers, David and Jerry, on the third “Naked Gun” but no director’s yet set. And Proft, with many in preparation at Sony, has a comedy horror movie among’em … Dick Crenna, who plays “Hot’s” Col. Denton Walters, told me this is the funniest script he’s ever read.
BILL BIXBY’S BACK and “Blossom’s” got him directing again (six of the seven remaining segs). “It’s good to feel good,” he admits, having recuped from prostate cancer treatment at UCLA with the drug Suramin. “That’s what my new license plate will read,” he smiled. Witt-Thomas had told him, “The job is always there for you.” Yesterday, Fred Rogers, of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” came by to well-wish Bixby. The crew was in awe! So was Bixby … Sorry to report Glenn Ford re-entered Cedars-Sinai Wednesday and is undergoing tests. He had been feeling well over the holidays … Late additions to the inaugural gala on the 19th to be aired on CBS include Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Meryl Streep. … Congrats to Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm of Hanna-Barbera’s “Flintstones,” who will wed Feb. 7 in a two-hour ABC spec of “I Yabba-Dabba Do!” You should see the rock she’s wearing (sorry) … Ann-Margret’s been paged to return to the bigscreen and join Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in WB’s “Grumpy Old Men” directed by Donald Petrie … And Joan Cusack’s called to play the “babysitter from hell” in Par’s “Addams Family II”… Michelle Pfeiffer and her ex, Peter Horton, came in outta the rain to lunch yesterday at the Grill. Michelle’s talking both “Wolf” with Jack Nicholson for director Mike Nichols and “Him” with Norman Jewison directing at TriStar … Tony Griffin, who played a role for Mel Brooks in “Spaceballs,” returned to Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” with Carey Elwes. And Griffin next heads to Duluth (brrr) to play a dog sled racer in Disney’s fact-based “Iron Will.”
TO HELP CELEBRATE Elvis Presley’s birthday today at the Hilton in Vegas, the Colonel — Tom Parker, that is — has set up a table alongside that of the sales of the commemorative stamp. But the Colonel will be giving away copies (2,000) of a poem he wrote, “Memories of Elvis.”… An unexpected, giant plug for Touchstone’s “Alive,” opening next week, in the next issue of Life–telling (and illustrating) the story of the bizarre 1972 tragedy … The new “Cigar” magazine , bowing in March, boasts a feature story by Arthur Marx on his father, Groucho–who was never seen without his famous cigar. Marx, writing the “unauthorized” bio of Bob Hope “The Secret Life of Bob Hope” (Lyle Stuart), says , “I never dreamed there would be so much material”–so he won’t make the early deadline … Jay Leno got word he marked up a lofty 5.1 rating for the second week in a row. Couldn’t come at a better time … Johnny Crawford conducts a band every Thursday p.m. at Ava’s, the new hotspot in the Beverly Center. On hand, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, Sara Gilbert, Bruce Boxleitner, Jason Priestley, etc.