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R.S.V.P. : Chubby Checker, Friends Twisted the Night Away

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Hollywood’s chichi China Club braced itself for a roisterous evening as Chubby Checker and his band, the Wildcats, packed the club with a few hundred gyrating folks and brought back 30 years of rock ‘n’ roll memories.

Checker teamed up Sunday with Nabisco’s Oreo cookie division to host a twist contest with 39 regional contestants flown in from around the country.

A panel of celebs selected the winner: Walter Frazier of St. Louis. Thereafter, the dance floor--such as it was--was up for grabs.

Like many club floors, it was too small for dancing much less twisting, and the long tinsel ribbons from the balloons on the ceiling tangled in dancers’ hair and hit their faces.

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Adults discussed the proper way to eat an Oreo cookie. Most said an Oreo had to be twisted apart before partaking. Twist--get it?

Along with Checker, on hand were Sherman Hemsley (“The Jeffersons,” “Amen”), Jeremy Miller (“Growing Pains”), dancer Stacey Q, Kim McGuire (“Cry Baby”), the rock group Dramarama, Carol Channing, Soleil Moon Frye (“Punky Brewster”) and master of ceremonies Gary Owens.

The food consisted of Oreo cookies and more Oreo cookies, piled up in bowls at every table and washed down with vanilla milk shakes, milk or--at the bar--beer, wine and soda.

Downstairs in the VIP room, guests could get Chinese food as well as Oreos. There was no escaping the cookies.

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“It’s happening--the twist,” said Checker. “What are we doing here?” He didn’t have to wait for the obvious answer. “The twist. That’s what’s happening.”

It certainly was. No arguing that.


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