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LADIES CAST POLITICS ASIDE

They do say that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's lady, Maria Shriver, has grown quite close to former first lady Nancy Reagan. They phone each other a lot and often dine a deux, usually at the marvelously calm Bel-Air Hotel.

That Maria was raised a staunch Democrat, and Nancy is, of course, famously Republican, doesn't get in the way of their affectionate chats. (Alzheimer's, which took Ronald Reagan and has stricken Maria's father, Sargent Shriver, is bound to be a subject.)

"You're Friared!" is what the Friars Club said to Donald Trump, when it celebrated its 100th anniversary last week. A lot of nasty and naughty things offered from the Hilton podium were meant to bring Donald down. Numbers of famous folks in the audience and on the podium were also mowed down in a most vulgar and indecent manner. But for almost three hours, hundreds of people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

One of the more elegant roasters, Richard Belzer of "Law & Order: SVU," read from a book where Donald had used an expression about "getting my kicks." Belzer sniped, "The '40s called. They want their vernacular back." Then, he added that Trump's business behavior "makes Halliburton look like Habitat for Humanity."

Robert Klein remarked on Donald's "Zero Mostel hair transplant." Did anybody besides me notice that NBC titan Jeff Zucker ended his remarks saying, "Donald, you are the only thing that stands between NBC and total collapse." Jeffrey Ross commented, apropos of nothing, that "John McEnroe is here to make sure nobody has a good time!" He referred to Trump's hair as "the real Mirage!" The potentially funniest person there was Howard Stern's radio sidekick Artie Lange, who prefaced his remarks by telling the audience, "I'm ripped!" He seemed to be, indeed. He also recalled once hearing Trump say he didn't want O.J. Simpson on his premises because "he didn't want his kind here." Lange asked, "You mean a murderer?" Then, he claims Trump answered: "He murdered someone?" I rather liked Stewie Stone, who was the first to speak. He said he'd just seen the pope, who mentioned Donald. "How does the pope know Donald Trump?" he was asked. Answer: "His name comes up a lot in confession!"

Regis Philbin turned out to be a saucy host with jokes of his own. But he had to endure a lot of comments on his former TV partner Kathie Lee. Just as Victoria Gotti, on the dais, had to put up with jokes about bulletproof vests. She sat blondly serene throughout, since she's heard it all before. Incidentally, the dais extended almost the length of the Hilton ballroom, and it took more than half an hour for Friar Freddie Roman to introduce everyone. Toward the end, one comic asked Donald, "Isn't this more fun than sitting around all day with people kissing your ---- ?"

Hmm, well, it was more fun than being in the office working. Someone quipped that Donald has a person who stands near him with alcohol to rub him down, since he is germ phobic. I try never to make Donald shake hands, knowing this -- but I did get a big kiss from him when I arrived and another one when I left. So I am racking up a gain. To be kissed in public by Donald Trump. Is that anything like touching the hem of Louis XIV's garment for good luck?

I see that my pal Barbara Goldsmith, who has written several great big books in the past (one about Gloria Vanderbilt and another about Victoria Woodhull), now has a "little" book coming about a big subject. This is her "Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie," and it has already sold in seven languages before publication. Barbara's is an entirely fresh and new look at the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Madame Curie won it twice after discovering radium and radioactivity.

This is a marvelous little read about a great woman of science, brought back to her humanity and scientific significance. The New York Public Library celebrates Barbara Nov. 15 in the Bartos Forum, and Evelyn and Leonard Lauder are feting her Nov. 30. This is Goldsmith's year! Her Victoria Woodhull book is in the movie works at Universal!

Tribune Media Services

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