MORKSIST ANALYSIS: Robin Williams was a surprise performer at the Amnesty International concert in Chicago and took center stage to show off some of his new and pungent political humor. Speaking about the racial unrest in South Africa, Williams said, "Someone should go there and tell them that there are 17 million blacks there and only 4 million whites. Then ask, 'Does the name Custer mean anything to you?' "
DIRTY POLITICS, HARRY: Newly elected Mayor Clint Eastwood of Carmel, Calif, is proving to be a quick study at the game of politics. Just seven weeks after he was sworn in, Clint canned and replaced four unfriendly commissioners of the seven-member planning board. He also stacked the deck with two other partisan appointments. Said ousted Thomas Nash: "The way Clint did it stirred up the most resentment, especially considering that one of his big issues was bringing politeness back to government." Nash said that citizens who wanted to attend a city council session to protest the firings "couldn't get in because the meetings are always packed with tourists."
IT HASN'T BEEN AN EASY RIDE: To the amazement of everyone who knew him in his drug-filled years of the '60s, actor Dennis Hopper has made it to 50. In Austin for the shooting of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part II, Hopper was given a big birthday cake by the cast and crew. Naturally, he cut it with a chainsaw. He also got a gold pocket watch. Noted the birthday boy: "I always wondered if I would live long enough for somebody to give me a gold watch."
WE'LL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT: At a Washington, D.C. press dinner last year, Washington Redskins running back John Riggins made a spectacle of himself by, for starters, suggesting that tablemate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor "lighten up." Well, she has. Addressing the graduating class at Georgetown University law school, O'Connor observed, "A commencement speech is a particularly difficult assignment. You're given no topic and are expected to be able to inspire all the graduates with a stirring speech about nothing at all. I suppose that is why so many lawyers are asked to be commencement speakers."
HE MADE A BAD IMPRESSION-IST: Mel Tormé, in L.A. for the Playboy Jazz Festival, recalls that he shared billing with Rich Little during a recent Las Vegas appearance. "A man who had been living in Switzerland for 15 years and had never heard of Rich came to see me backstage before the show and said, That's the most absurd, conceited, pompous billing I've ever seen on a marquee!' I couldn't understand what he was talking about until he said, 'I mean, what a way to bill yourself—rich little Mel Tormé!' "
THAT'S BECAUSE HE'S THE CREAM OF THE CROP: Father's Day has just passed, so it's as good a time as any to deal with the subject of grown men and their mothers. Billy Crystal is 38 and successful, but his mom is still what you might call overprotective. Appearing in L.A. at a bash honoring A & M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Crystal said, "I didn't call her for two weeks, and she put my picture on a milk carton." Crystal, father of a teenage girl, is sometimes guilty of the same crime. "When the boys call, I just tell them, 'Oh, I'm sorry, but my daughter is serving time.' "