GOOD MORNING: “I want to be sure we have a Democrat president,” says Casey Wasserman, grandson of the late Lew Wasserman. He and wife Laura hosted a $2,000-per-person reception in honor of presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). Asked about his involvement in national politics, Casey says, “I was raised that way. It’s important to be involved in our nation — just as I was raised to know it’s important to be charitable.” Edwards has led fights to save Social Security and Medicare. Young Wasserman says he has known the senator “for several years.” And Wasserman says Edwards understands the export importance of the movie business — and “we’ve talked about the dangers of piracy.” Among guests on hand for the reception: Jack Valenti, Skip Paul, Van Fletcher, Lorraine and Sid Sheinberg, Shelli Azoff, Toni and Bruce Corwin, Jane and Ron Olson, Jeremy Barber, Zach Horowitz, Kevin Wendle, Casey’s mom, Lynne Wasserman, his grandmother Edie Wasserman and Norman Brokaw, who hosted a meeting with William Morris men at the office Friday afternoon. Brokaw and Mel Berger made a Simon & Schuster deal for Edwards’ memoirs. On another personal note, Laura and Casey Wasserman are expecting their first child, a boy, in May. His middle name will be Lew.
“CHICAGO” HAS GOT ALL of showbiz infected with music — and now the SAG Awards will have a tribute seg to actors who sing, those we never expected to hear warble in one of their movies. F’rinstance: Clark Gable singing “Putting on the Ritz” in “Idiot’s Delight,” Cary Grant on “Did I Remember?” in “Suzy,” Michelle Pfeiffer on “Makin’ Whoopee” in “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” even Laurence Olivier in “The Entertainer,” plus Ed Norton and Keanu Reeves. Harrison Engle put together this seg for Sunday’s show on TNT from the Shrine. Richard Gere, snubbed by Oscar but SAG-nominated as leading actor in “Chicago,” will present, as will Renee Zellweger. Julianne Moore, a double nominee (actress and supporting actress), presents, as do nominee Daniel Day-Lewis, Halle Berry, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage and Nia Vardalos. And Ray Romano presents the lifetime achievement award to his golfing buddy, Clint Eastwood. William H. Macy presents the in memoriam clips. Ron de Moraes directs the show on TNT starting at 8 p.m. …Gary Smith exec produced the AFI’s next special, “100 Years … 100 Heroes and Villains,” airing June 3 on CBS. Those already set to participate — will they be as hero or villain? — Kathy Bates, Geena Davis, Kirk Douglas, Louise Fletcher, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Dennis Hopper, Liam Neeson, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon, Sylvester Stallone, etc. … Christopher Noxon’s lengthy article about Mel Gibson and his film “Passions” will appear in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. The film has two more weeks to film in Italy — where it’s being done in the Aramaic language.
HOLLYWOOD’S “A NIGHT AT SARDI’S,” the annual star-studded tab version of a B’way musical to fund-raise for the Alzheimer’s Assn. in L.A., chose “Hair” for its subject this year. Once again, it proved an enormous success, raising $97,000 for the charity. The cast, attired in nude-look costumes, was again headed by m.c. Jason Alexander. This time he was also camouflaged in a long curly wig and headband, fringe vest, jeans and bare feet. Laurie Burrows Grad again chaired. The fun-loving cast: David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Tom McGowan, John Mahoney, Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Madeline Deutsch, Bruce Vilanch (with his own updated lyrics), Sharon Lawrence, Karla DeVito, Jean Smart, Dorian Harewood, Wayne Brady, Hattie Winston, Yvette Freeman, Victor Garber, Leeza Gibbons and daughter Lexi. Harold Wheeeler was musical director, Vincent Patterson directed and Susan Dietz produced. Next year they tackle “A Chorus Line.” They’d better sked on a night when Alexander has a night off “The Producers” at the Pantages … While Tom and Dick Smothers are on a new SRO tour, Dick Smothers Jr. is making a name for himself — on the adult film circuit. Says pap, “I don’t condone it, but you can’t control your kids’ lives.” Especially when they’re adults … Vet praiser Julian Myers, 85, did indeed run the L.A. Marathon (26.2 miles)–in eight hours, 36 minutes, 50 seconds. He was seven minutes faster than last year.