updated 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

At a West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce luncheon honoring her as "Entertainer of the Year," Joan Rivers was ebullient about the Olympics ("We should do this every year") but quickly returned to her favorite subjects. She complained that she had a dream in which Edgar, her husband, and Tom Selleck "were beating each other up over me, and Tom Selleck lost." Then someone in the audience asked her about Elizabeth Taylor's new look. "I'm furious at her," Rivers replied, though she agreed that Liz does look good. "One more year of her as a fat pig and I would have had a new house." Joan claimed that Liz had sent her a box of éclairs recently. "I guess she was cleaning out closets."

It comes as a jolt to remember that only three years ago few rock stars made videos and fewer TV shows aired them. Which helps explain why Michael Jackson's appearance in the Can You Feel It video is causing some confusion. The video, which aired on Ted Turner's Atlanta superstation last month, was made in 1981 to promote the Jacksons' Triumph LP and shows Michael before he had his nose bobbed. A spokesperson for the station's L.A.-based Night Tracks program says they've received more than 100 calls about Michael. Fans who think the video is recent are baffled by Jackson's appearance; others, who know the video is old, are just mad. "One girl said that we were hurting Michael by showing him before the nose job—and she'd make certain we didn't receive any Jackson tickets when they're in town," the spokeswoman said. But, she added, no matter how peeved the fans, they invariably ask for Michael's phone number. She doesn't have it.

Billy Crystal, who has imitated Sammy Davis Jr. on Saturday Night Live and elsewhere, says Sammy called to tell him how much he enjoys the impression. Unfortunately, Sammy got Billy's answering machine, on which Billy imitates Sammy saying, "I can't talk now, babe, I'm making a video with Frank. Leave a message and I'll get back to you with peace and love." According to Billy, Sammy blurted, "This is too far-out for me" and hung up.

"All you really need to be a debutante is a white dress and $50,000 to give the party," shrugs Cornelia Guest, who ought to know. Corny, now 20, was New York's most talked about deb after her 1982 coming out. Next fall she'll have something else coming out: The Debutante's Guide to Life, which she is penning with Carol McD. Wallace, one of the co-authors of that other upscale how-to book, The Official Preppy Handbook. Cornelia will advise potential debs to avoid "getting busted for drugs or having an affair with an old married man, like one of the committee members' husbands." She'll also advise against wearing sequins ("tacky") or fake pearls. ("I suppose you could get away with it. I mean you have to bite pearls to tell whether they're real or not, and nobody's going to go around biting your necklace.") Also verboten, according to Cornelia, are large diamonds. "If you wear jewelry like that when you're 18," figures the practical-minded deb, "What are you going to wear when you're 40?"

Comedian Jerry Stiller, who is starring in Hurlyburly on Broadway, claims to have a terrific memory—and he proved it when a friend he hadn't seen since the third grade stopped by his dressing room. Stiller, 57, remembered not only his former classmate's name but the names of his parents and siblings. Comedienne Anne Meara, Stiller's wife, was nonetheless unimpressed when she heard the story. "So how come," she asked, "he forgets to bring home a can of coffee?"

Between takes of a TV special in L.A., Brooke Shields was surrounded by photographers who pestered her while they shot her from every angle. After the hundredth "Brooke, over here," from the shutterbugs, Brooke shot back, "You guys could really make a person hate her name."

Comedian Paul Rodriguez, who was in D.C. Cab last winter and is now shooting Miracles with Teri Garr, was in Washington being honored for his work on behalf of the Hispanic community. Joked Rodriguez: "I stopped by the White House to tell the President we Mexicans all like him. Not his politics—his hairstyle."

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