NEW YORK — NBC sports topper Dick Ebersol has bought the rights to a 30-year-old name game: Who’s the cad depicted in Carly Simon’s 1972 hit tune “You’re So Vain”?
Ebersol paid $50,000 for the secret at a charity auction on Martha’s Vineyard earlier this week.
Later this summer, Simon will host a private fete for Ebersol and nine of his friends at her Vineyard home. The menu calls for peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and vodka martinis. At some point, the songstress will take Ebersol aside and answer the mystery.
But don’t expect Ebersol to tell anybody else. As chairman of NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, he knows all too well the weight of signing on the dotted line. In this case, he signed a confidentiality agreement saying he would keep Simon’s revelation a secret.
Appearing on the Peacock’s “Today” show Tuesday, Ebersol said he would have kept it a secret regardless.
“Dick Ebersol! You’re nuts!” joked “Today” show co-host Katie Couric. “He thinks this is about him, that’s why he bid on it.”
Ebersol said Simon gave him one clue — the mystery man has an “e” in his name. Names thrown around for years include Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson and Simon’s ex-husband James Taylor.
Common wisdom puts the highest odds on Beatty.
“Dick, something tells me Warren Beatty’s getting a big kick out of all this, don’t you think?” Couric said.
“I don’t know, my money’s on someone younger,” Ebersol opined.
Ebersol also confessed to Couric that he bid somewhere around $25,000 to have dinner with veteran CBS “60 Minutes” journalist Mike Wallace at Le Cirque.
“So I guess I’ll have to wear a tie on that one night,” Ebersol said.