GOOD MORNING: Jerry Seinfeld is telling you for the last time — but not really. He’s also doing an album for Universal titled “I’m Telling You for the Last Time.” It follows his HBO performance from the stage of the Broadhurst theater, Aug. 9. (He’ll be onstage from the 6th). And that’s the last time (except for the CD) this material will be used by Jerry. I caught up with George Shapiro, Seinfeld’s longtime manager and series exec producer (along with Howard West) at the La Costa 25th anni Carl Reiner Pro/Am Celeb Tennis & Golf Tourney benefiting L.A.’s ERAS Center. (Shapiro-West are also longtime managers of Carl Reiner). I asked Shapiro what are the possibilities of a reunion special with the Seinfeld cast in a year when they are sprung from the jail sentence imposed on ’em in the last seg. Shapiro admitted, “It’s a perfect setup,” but quickly added, “It’s Jerry’s call — he’s the boss.” Shapiro leaves with “the boss” June 2 for Sydney and Melbourne, July 3-4 in Sweden, Iceland 8-9, and the London Palladium July 12. Then, U.S. workouts pre-B’way in San Antonio, Omaha and Des Moines. So Jerry and George will have plenty of time to talk about the TV reunion show(s)? Meanwhile, Seinfeld has already sold his BevHills home to one of the series’ staffers. But he still has his 60 (?) Porsches here at a Santa Monica Airport Hangar garage. … At the tennis tourney, Shapiro also won his B division tennis matches — moving up into the A class! The gala, m.c.’d masterfully each year by Reiner and benefiting the ERAS Center, brings a lot of joy for the Center well as laughs for the tourney attendees in an evening with uproarious comedians. This 25th year was no different. Phil Palisoul, who with wife Nora Lynch writes “Caroline in the City,” displayed his standup as well, describing their marriage. Kevin Meaney, with a unique “This Is the World” rendition, was spotted by a guest-CBS exec. The “pit bull” of comedy, Bobby Slayton, took time from playing Joey Bishop in the “Rat Pack” TV’er to once again amaze all with his rapid-fire, non-stop laughathon. TV weatherman Fritz Coleman proved he has all-weather talents. As an extra treat, Sid Caesar did a turn with his mutilingual tribute to Reiner (who admitted his Dick Van Dyke series was based on Reiner’s work on Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows”). Van Dyke was also on hand to take a bow; he starts his sixth season with “Diagnosis Murder,” which he says is the only successful series on the air “for those over 50.” (Coincidentally the Seinfeld pilot was taped on the original Van Dyke stage.) Van Dyke continues in the 10 p.m. (CBS) slot — on which he successfully bucked Seinfeld. Van Dyke remains and Jerry’s gone! … The tournament’s Mike and Gloria Franks were congratted on the event; Gloria also duetted with Nanette Fabray in a tribute to Reiner that was written by Buz Kohan.
“MY MARRIAGE TO ERNEST BORGNINE” caught my eye on Memorial Day. Actually, it was a review (by Anne Marie Welsh) in the San Diego Tribune of a play by Nicky Silver at the Sledgehammer Theatre. And it was news to Borgnine when I called him Tuesday. The revival of his brief marriage to Ethel Merman via this stage wasn’t good news to him at all. “I think it’s terrible. And I’m calling my lawyer — right now!” Borgnine had just come into L.A. for a coupla days between scenes in “Abiline,” filming in Tampa and Texas, where, he says, “You can’t see anything for 1,000 miles!” Nevertheless, camera crews were able to track him down for interviews on Frank Sinatra, with whom Borgnine co-starred so viciously in “From Here to Eternity.” Kim Hunter co-stars with Borgnine in “Abilene,” a Joe Camp III pic for Farmland Inc. Prods.
IT WAS NO SURPRISE to see Roberto Benigni’s wild reaction when winning Cannes’ Grand Prix for “Life Is Beautiful”: he fell down at the feet of jury prez Martin Scorsese, kissed his feet, and kissed every jury member after having swung femcee Isabelle Huppert around. I first met Roberto in Monte Carlo, June 25, 1992, when he was working as the successor to Peter Sellers’ Jacques Clouseau, playing the illegitimate “Son of the Pink Panther.” At the time, I wrote, “Benigni arrived on the location though he did not have a call to work. Before he arrived, everyone on the set told me flattering tales about the Italian star whose (then) current movie, ‘Johnny Stecchino’ has broken all record in Italy.” (He wrote, directed and starred in “Johnny.”) His arrival on the “Panther” set confirmed reports about him. He went about the set greeting each member of the crew personally, joking and always smiling. I told the slight, balding 39-year-old Roberto he reminded me of Woody Allen. He said he was flattered to be thought of in the same sentence, but thinks of himself more of a “combination of Laurel and Hardy.” Roberto described his first, hilarious meeting with Blake Edwards and Tony Adams at the Bel-Air Hotel; he didn’t think he had gotten the role. Unfortunately, when the movie was released in 1993, it went nowhere. … Talking of Blake Edwards, he is writing two plays. “Big Rose Marie, ” about a nightclub singer, is not for Julie, but the second, untitled one, is aimed for her. Andrews and James Garner will now film CBS’ vidpic “Winter Visitor” in November in Toronto. She plays a widow, he, an about-to-be-widower.