06/10/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT
HUP, TWO, THREE, FIVE: Talk about unusual choices. Syndicated cartoonist Gary Larson, whose black-humored, off-the-wall strip, The Far Side, appears in 250 daily newspapers, was invited to speak to the graduating history students at the University of California at Berkeley. Larson told the assembled body, "My first controversial cartoon was of Santa Claus writing in his cookbook on nine ways to serve venison." After being deluged with hate mail for that one, an editor gave him some important advice: " 'Just keep doing it the way you're doing it'—and I have." In conclusion Larson opined, "I can't think of anything much sadder than hearing a different drummer in your head and marching to the same beat that everybody else does."
THANK YOU FOR CHERING: Director John Boorman, whose latest film is the upcoming adventure The Emerald Forest, had the honor of handing out the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. This year it was a tie between Argentina's Norma Aleandro, for The Official Version, and Cher, for Mask. As the latter accepted her honor, Boorman quipped, "Ma chére Cher—sorry you have to share."
SHIRLEY, YOU JEST: As everyone knows, Hollywood takes creative liberties. Shirley MacLaine drove this point home at the recent ABC-TV affiliates gala in New York. Her best-selling book, Out on a Limb, which is about her alleged past lives, is slated to become a TV movie. MacLaine joked about an apocryphal meeting she had with producers concerning alleged "small changes" that they requested before filming began. "First they wanted me to change the title. They thought Out on a Limb was about gay lumberjacks. For the cast they thought Prince would make a great guru. 'He's young and hot and looks very lovely in those little Maria Montez outfits,' they said. 'We could use Tom Selleck as a backdrop. We'll just take him off starches until he looks like Gandhi. You've always wanted to work with John Travolta, so maybe he could play the foreign diplomat. If his voice doesn't work, we'll just dub it. The real problem is who will play you?' I stopped and asked, 'Why can't I play me?' 'No,' they said, 'you're not the type. We think it should be Dolly Parton, Marie Osmond or Diana Ross.' "
JUST LOUNGING AROUND: Paul Shaffer, Late Night with David Letter-man's formidably hep bandleader, hasn't let fame and fortune ruin his perspective. He started out playing topless bars and weddings in Ontario, where he was reared, and figures he may someday wind up doing that sort of gig again. "There's a couple of things I want to do before I return to the Holiday Inn lounges," he told the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. "But when it's time for me to go, I'll go graciously, and I'll drag out Proud Mary and play it as many times as you want to hear it."
BLOODTHIRSTY: Richard Crenna, who played Sylvester Stallone's colonel in First Blood, has reprised the role in Rambo: First Blood Part II. When asked by the Chicago Sun-Times if he'd appear in First Blood III, he replied, "Absolutely! I'd do First Blood XIX if they asked me. We'd be in wheelchairs, attacking Sun City, but I'd do it."
KNOT YOUNG ANYMORE: Ava Gardner, who appeared this season on Knots Landing, says she came out of retirement "for the loot, honey, for the loot." Gardner, who lives in London, told a British newspaper she will start receiving an MGM pension in 1987, on her 65th birthday. Unlike most Hollywood sex goddesses, the famed barefoot contessa has no compunction about disclosing her age. "What's the point?" she asks. "My face, shall we say, looks lived in. You won't find me standing in front of a mirror weeping. The truth is, I look as good as I want to."