Leslie Moonves and wife Julie Chen
Elie Wiesel and wife Marion
Freddie Roman and Dionne Warwick
Paul Shaffer and Ben Vereen
Robert Klein and Freddie Roman
Tom Jones and Lucie Arnaz
Freddie Roman and Norm Crosby
Joe Zappala and Tom Jones
CBS Honcho Relieved That
The Friars Didnít Roast Him
ESLIE MOONVES had no fear of being the
butt of barbs from the Friars last month at Cipriani 42nd
St. But as this was no roast, the CBS president and CEO gladly
joined Tom Jones and Natalie Cole as honorees
at the Friars Foundation Applause Award Gala where some 500 Friars
and fans cheered.
The comedians and singers who performed for Moonves
were duly respectful. Dionne Warwick, Lucie Arnaz, and
Ben Vereen performed. Natalie Cole would have sung
too, but she was home recovering from a liver transplant.
Robert Klein talked about his fourth
colonoscopy. Norm Crosby said he went to the bank to check
his balance and the clerk pushed him.
Another Crosby nugget. A woman sues for divorce
because her husband hasnít spoken in five years. "Why not?" the
judge asks. "I didnít want to interrupt her," the husband says.
Freddie Roman thanked Moonves for putting his
sonís show on the air. Freddieís son, Alan Kirschenbaum,
executive produced Yes, Dear, which just ended a four-year
In presenting Moonves with his award, Elie Wiesel
seized the moment to lecture the network honcho on something to
"I would be afraid to be in your place of power,"
the Nobel laureate said. "Iíd worry how my words would be
interpreted, or misinterpreted. Do you worry?"
True story from Lucie Arnaz. She and Laurence
Luckinbill had trouble with cable at their home in Weston, Conn.
The repairman was working on the TV set when he noticed a picture on
"That looks like Lucille Ball," he said.
"Thatís my mother," Lucie said.
"Amazing! You mother looks like Lucille Ball?"
Moonves, a New Yorker whose family Munweis came from
Ukraine and is a great-nephew of David Ben-Gurion, may not
have been worried but he said he was humbled.
"Television is not just entertainment," Wiesel
added. "Itís a vehicle for information. It must be transmitted with
"This is not fair!" Moonves protested. "Iíve
received a lot of awards but never from someone like Elie Wiesel."
Whatís Elie Wiesel doing with the Friars anyway?
"I joined the Friars for the humor," he said. "I
wondered what real humor is."
Stewie Stone, who emceed the awards gala,
offered an example when he told about meeting the pope.
"How is Tom Jones?" the pope asked.
"How do you know Tom Jones?" Stewie said.
"I donít but his name comes up in confession a lot."
Moonves said CBS and the Friars have had a long
relationship, with such members as Walter Cronkite and
Mike Wallace. He mentioned that his wife, Julie Chen, the
CBS Early Show anchor, expects her first baby in October. "Our child
will be the first Jewish Chinese member of the Friars."