DOCUMENT: Celebrity

What's Happening With Rerun, Carson

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What's Happening With Rerun, Carson

Johnny Carson $100,000 Donation

Some programming notes:

1) While we loved the comedic antics of TV's Freddie Stubbs, we're not sure the "Rerun" character is actually worth $14 million. That's what Fred Berry,the man who played rotund Rerun on "What's Happening!!," wants a circus company to pay forappropriating his "name and likeness," according to a federal lawsuit filed in Maryland on January 23. Berry, 50, was hired last year as a $1000-a-week" general circus performer" with Universoul Circus, but claims that management--without his permission--used "the image and likeness of my 'Rerun' character in their advertising, promotional materials, and on their website." When Berry's remuneration request was rebuffed, he headed to court (using Rerun's figures,that "Hey, hey, hey" saying's gotta be worth about five mil). Here's a circus promo flyer and a couple of other court exhibits. (5 pages)

2) Turns out Carnac the Magnificent is a big fan of The Amazing Randi. Johnny Carson's private foundation has made a whopping $100,000 donation to a Florida group that aims to debunk "paranormal and pseudoscientific" claims made by supposed mentalists, mind readers, psychic surgeons, and personalities like spoon bender Uri Geller and "Crossing Over" star John Edward. According to an IRS return filed last year, Carson gave the 100k to a group run by James Randi, who adopted the tongue-in-cheek "Amazing Randi" moniker years ago. As the turban-wearing psychic Carnac, Carson would magically divine the answer to riddles contained in envelopes that had been hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch. (1 page)