Club Clobbering

Fred Hayman, sporting a banana-colored sports jacket, recently showed up at the opening of Merv Griffin's new nightspot, the Coconut Club, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As Hayman breezed into the room, Mr. Blackwell, the self-proclaimed arbiter of Hollywood fashion, spied the Beverly Hills boutique owner and said, "Why Fred, you look "

"Yellow!" huffed Hayman.

Across the room, Angie Dickinson proudly recalled that when Blackwell added her to his "worst-dressed" list several years ago, it signaled that she had finally arrived as a Hollywood star.

"He called me, 'Venus in fishnet,' " said the actress.

Meanwhile, talk-show host Regis Philbin's praise for Merv's new club suggested his L.A. wanderings may be farther afield than some might believe.

"It's great to have a place like this in L.A.," said Philbin. "All you had before was the Viper Room."

Valley's European Counterpart

Is Prague becoming the San Fernando Valley of Central Europe? You bet, according to the Prague Business Journal, which reports that the city is emerging as Europe's new pornography capital.

It's a title that in recent years has belonged to nearby Budapest, where more than 1,200 adult videos are produced a year. (That, incidentally, poses no threat to the Valley, which boasts 6,000 porno productions annually.)

But Budapest's star is rapidly fading. The reason? High costs and bad attitudes. "I'm fed up with Hungarian girls," laments one veteran producer. "On the set, they keep looking at their watches and they don't give anything for the camera. They don't try to act or pretend they enjoy it. They just come for the money."

Czech actresses, on the other hand, "are beautiful and they like sex in front of the camera more than Hungarians," said another producer.

Nosy Business

In response to a Business Journal inquiry last week, an employee of E! Entertainment Television snapped, "Oh, you're such nosy little things."

"And you, E! Television, you're not nosy?" the reporter replied.

"We're not nosy. Well, I guess we're the worst," the employee conceded before transferring the reporter to another department.

Pronunciation Lesson

For months, gubernatorial candidate and L.A. rich guy Al Checchi has been running campaign commercials that point out how hard his surname is to pronounce. One such commercial featured the former Northwest Airlines Inc. co-chair teaching schoolchildren how to say his name. (It's "CHECK-kee.")

Now Checchi is sending out press releases that use a visual depiction of his last name: a check mark followed by a drawing of a skeleton key. Check, key Checchi. Got it?

Maybe the candidate shouldn't have used a check mark, but rather a drawing of a blank check like the one he is using to pay for his self-financed campaign.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.