Letterman ready to ‘go nuts’

GOOD MORNING and good luck Oscar nominees: David Letterman said, “We just want it to be fun,” as he readies to emcee tonight’s Oscars. “I am really looking forward to it, and although there really is not much we can do, because the show has a life of its own, I’m really looking forward to something that will go nuts,” he laughed. Letterman said he’s looked studiously at several of the last Oscar shows and thinks Billy Crystal did a wonderful job. “We’re going to give it our best shot. We’ve been going over many different things to select for our final script. We came loaded with a lot of stuff.” He reminded, “There’s a lot of tradition in the Oscars.” When asked whether he would use some of the best routines from his television shows, he answered, “No, the worst ones.”… Sherry Lansing and Vanity Fair’s editor Graydon Carter made up over the flap of her vintage pic in the magazine’s April Hollywood issue during lunch Friday at Patina. What’s more, Sherry picked up the lunch tab! Carter had earlier sent her a letter of apology and flowers. “It was unfortunate,” he said. “It was meant as a tribute. Next year (another Hollywood issue) we will use her fully clothed — up to her neck.” The May issue of Vanity Fair will be covered by Meg Ryan — with revealing quotes inside about her mother and husband … Lansing and the Paramount contingent will be at the Shrine tonight, where the studio has 17 nominations. After the Governors’ Ball they hie to the studio’s private party at Drai’s, where 400-700 are expected, sez Victor D., who takes over the adjoining gallery … Graydon Carter, of course, will be at Morton’s where he and “Forrest Gump’s” Steve Tisch co-host their party — with Tisch also wending his way west after the Oscars, Governors’ Ball — and eventually also to the Par party at Drai’s. Whatta night … No less the excitement and anticipation in the “Pulp Fiction” camp. Miramax not only holds its party at Chasen’s tonight, but also hosted a get-together on Sunday at the Beverly Wilshire. And Jersey Films’ toppers toasted their “Fiction” nominees at the Danny DeVitos’ home Sunday afternoon. John Travolta had flown out to/back from Wichita Saturday to appear for longtime friend Kirstie Alley at the opening of a community center for children. He had been working nights last week in Jersey’s “Get Shorty.” And has today and Tuesday off. Travolta recalled his first Oscar nomination, for 1977’s “Saturday Night Fever”–“I was 23 and the Oscar night was all in a haze, it was so unreal to me. Now I’m 41 and it’s very real!” Travolta says he just signed the deal to start “Broken Arrow” May 14, two weeks after winding “Shorty.” His wife, Kelly Preston, now working in “The Devil Inside,” will be wearing a “museum piece” Oscar de la Renta gown (loaned) to the Oscars. “It’s like something Grace Kelly would have worn in 1968,” said a proud Travolta.

A PREVIEW OF WHAT some are skedded to wear tonight: David Letterman in a classic six-button Giorgio Armani peak-lapel’d tux … Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will present the Thalberg award to Clint Eastwood, also selected Giorgio Armani — a black, single-breasted shawl collar tux with a matching vest. His wife, Maria Shriver, will wear a light blue floral beaded sleeveless gown with a matching high-collar jacket. Eastwood, says Frances Fisher, hasn’t decided which of his closet of tuxedos to wear. But he looks as at home in formal wear as in jeans and dirt-covered boots … Robert Zemeckis wears a navy, double-breasted, shawl collar Armani tux. And Gary Sinise wears the same in black with matching vest. His wife, Moira Harris, will wear a floor-length black beaded high-collar gown … Robert De Niro, who presents the best picture Oscar, has chosen a navy double-breasted peak-lapel Armani … Annette Bening wears a black and cream floral beaded long sleeve gown … Rene Russo, presenting for best song, wears a brown silk empire-waist sleeveless gown … Jessica Lange and Sarah Jessica Parker have both chosen black Calvin Klein creations, Lange’s in satin, Parker’s in silk … Tonight, Alan Bergman presides over the Acad’s Board of Governors’ Ball at the Shrine. The tab for the Ball and accompanying tents for press, etc., is in the $ 700,000 range.

“IT’S LIKE OSCAR NIGHT HERE — every night,” said Chasen’s Ronnie Clint. F’rinstance, last Thursday, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Tom Hanks and Martin Short were at one table, And nearby in the packed eatery, at another table, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, new DreamWorks investor Paul Allen and Megan Taylor, Allen’s partner in Storyopolis, the company dedicated to multimedia projects based on kids’ storybooks. Geffen, by the way, escorts Sally Field tonight … Also at Chasen’s, Bob and Dolores Hope and the “Friends of the Vatican” group … Michael Eisner joins the Miramax party at Chasen’s after the Oscar telecast tonight — he’ll be watching at home with family — it’s wife Jane’s birthday today. You can catch Eisner almost every night at the Shubert, where he looks in at “Beauty and the Beast,” now in previews.

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