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Ullman Tackles Hollywood : Unvarnished Views on the Rich and Famous

April 17, 1988|H oward Rosenberg

"THEY LOVE YOU,"she says. "They love the essence of you, and then they want to sanitize you and make it acceptable to their research people in Des Moines." The voice is now American as Ullman--practicing the tradition of biting wit popularized by comedians such as Don Rickles and Joan Rivers--leans across the table in mock sincerity, deriding the process of making deals, doing lunch, taking a meeting with someone in creative development, blowing smoke: "You are hysterical. I have a wonderful idea. I have someone who wrote the 17th episode of 'Laverne & Shirley,' and I think you would be just wonderful together. You're a British nanny and you're just kooky. Don't even look at me now because you're sohhhhhh funny. I'm pitching now. I'm pitching now. There's a kid who shows her nanny around town, a real funny kid and. . . ."

And maybe there will be a TV series on the air, just like the last one, and another and another, TV in triplicates and quadruplicates. "It's all those things they bring back year after year," Ullman says. "Fail with one and bring it back. They swap plots. It's just hours and hours of rubbish." Ullman the critic takes her best shots at:

Bob Hope: "Why are they watching him? I love it when he looks at his cue cards--even in the movie of the week he did. We have the equivalent of him in England called the Queen Mother. They're already rehearsing her death. The headlines on all those crappy papers will say (in a somber voice): 'A Nation Mourns. God Bless You, Mum.' "

Suzanne Somers: "What's her show called, 'She's the Sheriff'? All those phone calls to the business manager, all those lunches, for that. She's got big hips. She's a case for liposuction."

Local newscasters: "When I first came here, I just couldn't believe people like Tawny Little existed. My dream is that her TelePrompTer will break down and they'll ask her to ad-lib about the Nicaragua situation."

Variety shows: "I mean there was a point when variety shows became people in the Everglades singing on the front of speedboats. And Andy Williams in Rome with the NBC kids. Did you see that? He took those girls, that Tootie from 'The Facts of Life,' and they had somebody doing a solo bit on a moped going (crooning in a husky voice): 'Guys and dates go to the movies with pasta in Rome.' It was so 'orrible."

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