Super Bowl Viewers Will See a Ken Kragen Coup

Times Staff Writer

Look at what Ken (Hands Across America) Kragen has planned for football fans.

Sources tell us that he's pried loose a spot of several minutes on the NBC pregame show on Super Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26, for a specially made rock video promoting his Hands project. (Hands Across America, on May 25, is what Kragen thought of after "We Are the World." It is designed to raise money to combat hunger in the United States.)

A three-minute spot on the pregame show normally carries what a source said was a $1-million-plus price tag, considering the Godzilla-size audience watching the event--but Kragen has managed to have NBC Sports donate it.

What he will fill it with is a rock video pre-creating the Hands event--like the public service announcement done a few months back for PRO Peace. Scads of Hollywood agents and managers have been contacted--trying to sign up the likes of Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Burt Reynolds and Rosanna Arquette.

Bob Giraldi--the director of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video--was already signed on by NBC Sports' Michael Weisman to do several minutes of "vignettes" documenting the effect of the Super Bowl on American life. Now he's supposed to be north of L.A. this weekend, making the Hands Across America video pre-creation happen. . . .

POWER--That's what turned out Monday night at the Sheraton Premiere for the Anti-Defamation League's dinner honoring Jack Valenti on his 20th anniversary as president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Power was there--MCA's Lew and Edie Wasserman along with dinner co-chair Sidney Sheinberg; Lorimar's Merv Adelson, whose close friend Barbara Walters did the emceeing; 20th Century Fox's Barry Diller; Burt Lancaster; Anne and Kirk Douglas and several Douglas sons, including Jewel-of-the-Nile Michael. Sen. Pete Wilson told the group that "at its best, Hollywood does more than entertain. It educates and inspires. So does the ADL. And so does Jack Valenti." Wilson also said that "America is what it is today because the ADL insisted that it be." Valenti, who served under President Lyndon Johnson, was certainly warm in return to the first-term Republican: "I never met a senator who more diligently represents his state and this industry than Pete Wilson. And I want him to be re-elected. I've told him I'd speak for him. Or against him." . . . Power was also in the hands of whoever decided that all the after-dinner speeches would precede the VIP-crowded dinner. The cocktail reception was at 6:30, the glitzy crowd sat down at 7:30. Each guest had a plate with five small but tasty hors d'oeuvres. And that was it. Until the speeches ended at close to 9 p.m. Power. . . .

REPRISE--The delight of New York cafe society, Bobby Short--starting his 19th season at the Carlyle Hotel this spring--will be at the Beverly Theater on Jan. 25 for two evening performances. For Short, L.A has great memories, according to a veteran Hollywood source. About 30 years ago, Short played at the Cafe Gala, he recalled, on Horn and Sunset, down the hill from "Humphrey Bogart and May Methot's house. You'd hear them screaming at each other for days." Cafe Gala is now Spago. And the only sound is the click of paparazzi. . . .

BIG DOINGS IN THE DESERT--Ambassador Walter Annenberg does the introducing honors Jan. 25 when former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick is honored. The event is the Major Gift Dinner Dance of the Jewish Federation there, the party at the Marriott's Rancho Las Palmas Resort chaired by Joan and Robert Rose.

ROMAN A FIRST FAMILY--Don't forget. On sale in February will be First Daughter Patti Davis' novel about the daughter of a governor growing up in the '60s. Called "Homefront," the book also has a Vietnam angle. Wonder where she got the material?

HISTORICAL FIRST--That will happen when Judge Maxine F. Thomas is installed as a presiding judge for the L.A. Municipal Court on Thursday. Only six women have held that post since it was created in 1926--and Judge Thomas is the first black woman to do so. Thomas founded and supervised the night small claims court, is co-founder of the night civil court and the Olympic visitors small claims court.

GREAT CALIFORNIA WAY--When the California Theater Council holds its annual conference here at the end of the month, some top-flight entertainment names will be involved in the 10th annual awards dinner. Honored this year--Richard Dreyfuss for outstanding artistic achievement, and Peg Yorkin, the producer of the year. David Wolper, who's chairing the Jan. 30 event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, said that decriers of the L.A. theater scene just don't realize that "we've lots of very good theater here, too." Why don't people go? "Habit. Just plain habit."

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