"Heeeeeeeeerrrrrre's Johnny" multiplied by a hundred or two equals the party one of Johnny Carson's lawyers, Don Santarelli, gave for you-know-whom last night.
"This is Ed Harper," said Santarelli ceremoniously, introducing Harper to the Carsons as a onetime deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
"If you didn't keep holding all these balls, you could balance the budget," said Carson.
"Heh heh," said Harper. He moved on.
Sen. William Cohen (R-Maine) appeared). So did former attorney general John Mitchell and former Nixon campaign director and lawyer Clark MacGregor. Journalist Bill Moyers, too, and former U.S. ambassador to Italy John Volpe, and Virginia Gov. John Dalton. Flashbulbs popped. The Carsons, Johnny and Joanna, smiled obligingly, although Joanna almost twisted the gold tassel off her evening bag.
Henry "Bombastic" Bushkin, the other Carson lawyer, was standing near John Moore, a friend of Don Santarelli's. "Don is mentioned 13 times in Gordon Liddy's book," said Moore. "He raised money for Liddy's wife while Liddy was in jail." Did Moore count the references? "No, Don did."
"This is Mr. Webster from the FBI," said Santarelli, introducing FBI Director William Webster to several in the receiving line. "He's checking you out before you meet Mr. Carson."
The line got longer. John Mitchell was demonstrating his golf swing nearby for a small but appreciative crowd. "Carson?" said Mitchell, somberly. "He's a funny man. Especially to insomniacs."
"This has been the same exact crowd at every party since Clem Stone's the other night," said Washington writer Lauren Adler. "It's just like a floating crap game."
"Well, I guess you have to go," said Santarelli to the Carsons as they prepared to leave.
"You owe me for this, Don," said Carson.