Philly comedic institution Cozy Morley will host an April 5 preview of the Mummers' annual Show of Shows extravaganza at the Civic Center. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $10, with proceeds going to the Variety Club to aid handicapped children. It's the first time in the show's half-century that it's had an emcee. It will also be the 65th birthday for Morley, who's been doing his act around here since 1941.
Alex Trebek is expected to be at Merv Griffin's Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City next month to help pick contestants for his Jeopardy! TV show. Candidates will be tested at Resorts from noon to 8 p.m. daily between Monday and April 7.
David Brenner, accused six weeks ago of kidnapping son Cole, 8, from his mother, Charisse Brody, was ordered Wednesday by a state judge in Manhattan to return him by today. The comedian apparently took the boy on a cruise without proper clearance. In 1986, when the unmarried duo was battling for custody in Connecticut, they were both examined by a shrink, who concluded: "Neither parent would be my first choice."
Rocker Glenn Frey and his wife, Cindy, welcomed their first child, Taylor Marie, March 11 in Los Angeles.
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, 36, took his first wife, Laurene
Powell, 27, Monday in Yosemite National Park before about 40 people. Powell, an MBA student at Stanford, met Jobs, who's worth about $400 million, when he gave a speech at Stanford on management style and computers. They're honeymooning in the park.
Nadia Comaneci, lucky on the gym horse but unlucky in love, has taken up with U.S. gymnast Bart Conner, according to the New York Post. The Olympic gold medalist performed with Conner in Florida shorlty after leaving Romania in 1989.
THE HORSY SET
Capt. Mark Phillips - isn't it about time he got a promotion? - has been named the father of a girl born five years ago to New Zealand horsewoman Heather Tonkin, the British press reported yesterday. The separated husband of Princess Anne denies that the girl, Felicity, is his, thus opening the way for a suit, according to an Auckland lawyer, and a possible genetic fingerprint test for Phillips, 42, who runs an equestrian center in Scotland. Buckingham Palace had no comment on the reports, and Anne was in Tokyo attending - what else? - an international horse do.
Queen Elizabeth will make her semi-regular private trip to Kentucky in May after making official rounds in Florida, Texas and Washington. The queen, who has hit Blue Grass country three times since 1984, will visit the Woodford County farm of horse buddies Will and Sarah Farish, where she'll check on foals and decide which stallions might make worthy mates for her mares.
M.C. Hammer has entered the racing world in a big way with a stable of 11 thoroughbreds. One of them, Lite Light, won the Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year- old fillies Saturday. While the Hammer concentrates on rap dancing, his father, Louis Burrell, 51, is looking after the horse show. "My son's worth $300 million," he said. "We'll be in this game for a long, long time." Don't bet on it!
Aussie dancer Gypsy Fire was awarded $100,000 in damages yesterday by a Sydney court that found she was defamed by a newspaper that called her the sex slave of Bob Dylan. During the trial, Fire, who's really Emelia Caruana, 44, testified she had a two-week fling with the rock icon in a Melbourne hotel during his 1986 tour. But the jury faulted the Weekend Truth for implying that Fire was "a disgusting, publicity-seeking trollop in that she engaged in . . . obscene, bizarre and erotic behavior" with Dylan. Spake the rocker: ''It's good to know there's still justice in Australia."
Late-night TV star Rick Dees vowed to appeal a Tuesday court verdict awarding $10 million to a former business partner who accused Dees and his manager of improperly diverting profits from Dees' Top 40 radio countdown show. Cos Cappellino testified that he was promised 25 percent of the show's profits, but that Dees and his manager, Walter A. Clark, diverted millions into a secret account.
Wayne Newton's manager revealed Wednesday that the Las Vegas star was the mystery person who put up a $13,000 bond for Dana Plato, who had a running role in TV's Diff'rent Strokes. The former actress was arrested for allegedly holding up a Las Vegas video store at gunpoint Feb. 28. The manager cited Newton's empathy for former child stars, noting, "He's seen what this industry has done to people. (It) takes a terrible toll on children."
From the if-it-can-happen-to-him-it-can-happen-to-anybody department comes news that Manuel Noriega has become a born-again Christian. The former Panamanian supreme leader was always a lukewarm Catholic. But in Wednesday's issue of the Florida Baptist Witness, Noriega - noting his repentance for ''illusions of grandeur" - writes that he "received Jesus Christ as my savior the 15th of May of 1990 at 11 a.m." and has been meeting regularly in his Miami jail with two Texas evangelists. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said she didn't expect the conversion to matter much at Noriega's June trial on drug-trafficking charges.
A day after his 4 1/2-year-old son, Conor, fell 49 stories to his death
from a Manhattan high-rise, Eric Clapton was described yesterday by a friend as "an emotional wreck." Both he and the boy's mother, Italian actress Lori Del Santo, remained in seclusion, after being treated for shock at a New York hospital. The housekeeper who left the window open was reported under sedation. City officials are investigating why there were no window guards as required by law for apartments housing children under 11. No word yet on burial plans.