GOOD MORNING: Dennis Weaver is endorsing legislative action to make the growing of industrial hemp legal in Calif. It has no connection with marijuana-type hemp — but is the kind of crop Dennis’ Institute of Ecolonomics encourages. He says it helps the environment and business simultaneously. When I told Weaver that Woody Harrelson has also been a hemp supporter, Weaver started conversations with Woody and told me, “I’d love to have Woody join forces.” Dennis and wife Gerry drove in from their home in Ridgway, Colo., to talk the hemp subject and his institute at the home of attorney/environmentalist Bonnie Reiss. Bill Pullman, who starred with Weaver in TNT’s “The Virginian” (airs Jan. 9), joined that party as a new supporter of the institute. (Pullman also directed and co-produced “The Virginian”). Environmentalist Weaver says hemp would be invaluable for clothing, rope, seeds, food — and growth would help clean the atmosphere … Michael Douglas and Kim Basinger are now talking about teaming in Mike Lobell’s long-planned “This Man, This Woman” with Richard Loncrane to direct. Sean Penn and Meg Ryan were once possible costars but skeds conflicted. And now Meg (with an enormous salary) teams with Russell Crowe in WB’s “Proof of My Life” with Taylor Hackford to direct shortly after the new year … While Bob Daly has offices in Dodger Stadium, Terry Semel has new offices in WB’s triangle building, off the main Burbank lot. As for Semel’s future ballpark, he’s said to be eyeing that new monster — the Internet.
IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH anniversary of “Your Show of Shows,” Sid Caesar (who owns the original kinescopes), is in partnership with Creative Light Entertainment’s Peter Jaysen to produce a digitally remastered retrospective series of the best material from the “Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour.” I spoke to Sid who says they tested two of the new “Shows” with a small group of 18- to 30-year-olds. “They loved ’em — they’d never seen comedy like this before.” Some of the shows go back to 1950. Writers of those shows who’ve agreed to do in-depth interviews on the episodes (to be video-cassetted) include Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Neil Simon, Nanette Fabray and Howard Morris … The legit “Mr. Allen, Mr. Allen” (as in Fred) which is now playing at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, has piqued the interest of B’way producer Arthur Cantor who is talking to writer Arnold Peyser to bring it to N.Y. Peyser had produced the l956 “Fred Allen Show” TV series on NBC for Goodson-Todman. He’s since obtained rights to do the play from the Boston Public Library. In the current production, Jack Riley stars as Fred Allen. The show includes the famous cast of characters from “Allen’s Alley”: Titus Moody, Senator Claghorn, Ajax Cassidy, Mrs. Nussbaum — and Fred’s wife and radio partner, Portland Hoffa. J.P. Luckenbach produces the show … Mamie Van Doren, whose fame and figure won her pictorial exposure in both the February and June 1964 Playboy magazine issues, is playing the owner of a topless Las Vegas bar in “The Vegas Connection” for DeLaurentiis Prods. and Shooting Star Entertainment, Inc. No, Mamie (66) is not seen topless but her still-ample decolletage is generously displayed on screen. There are hopes the feature will segue to a TV series in which she will reprise the role. She has scenes in the feature with Robert Carradine and she reminds me that she acted in several pix with his father, John Carradine, one of ’em, “Sex Kittens Go to College.” Van Doren, who was a contractee at Universal, was a smart cookie; she saved her money and bought property in the ’50s and owns houses and condos. (She plays her nitery act in Florida’s condo circuit in January). She keeps the good old days alive and visits the Playboy mansion regularly — she was there Halloween night along with her son, Perry (43) whose father is Mamie’s ex, Ray Anthony. Van Doren has been happily married for 26 years to Thomas Dixon, a commercial video producer.
A BIDDING WAR OCCURRED at the St. Jude gala at the Resort at Summerlin, Las Vegas. The item: a Payne Stewart-autographed U.S. Open flag. Tony Thomas and Charles Johnson, who had just sold his Internet company that day, were the opposing bidders with Johnson finally winning out with a $20,000 nod. However, later at the gala dinner, Johnson handed Thomas a $100,000 check for the St. Jude Medical Center, enabling the event to raise more than $400,000 for the weekend … The AFI Alfred Dunhill Golf Classic at Riviera C.C. spearheaded by Bud Yorkin, raised $500,000. The top three teams, in order, were headed by William Devane, James Wood and Greg Kinnear … The incomparable harpist Corky Hale played at memorial services for Frank de Vol, who had been like a parent to her when she first arrived in L.A. Corky had just returned from N.Y. where George Michael had paged her to back him (on harp) for his new CD with — “I’ll Remember You” … Enrico Macias who was forced to flee Algeria in 1961, plays the Universal Amphi tonight — and got word he’s been invited back to perform in Algeria … Jaclyn Smith is honored by “School on Wheels” tonight at McCormick & Schmick’s on Via Rodeo in Beverly Hills … And the Big Sisters hold their annual gala tonight at the BevHilton with Denise Di Novi, Gale Anne Hurd, Paula Wagner, Laura Ziskin, Lisa Leslie and Terry Bradshaw as honorees.