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Entertainment news for July 17, 1992

Chris Rock, Carmen Electra, and Johnny Carson made headlines this week

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‘Cell Block’ Rock: Is the world ready for Saturday Night Live‘s Chris Rock in ”a black Spi¬®al Tap-meets-Wayne’s World? That’s one insider’s description of Cell Block IV, about a middle-class kid who turns gangsta rapper. The satire, directed by music vid vet Tamra Davis (Tone L oc’s ”Wild Thing”) and cowritten by Rock and Nelson George (Strictly Business), starts shooting this summer.

Hep Cat: Fashion czar Giorgio Armani plans a natty revamp for the cast of Blake Edwards’ upcoming Son of the Pink Panther. The Milanese designer, who clad Richard Gere’s American Gigolo and Robert De Niro in The Untouchables, will clothe Clouseau and company with specially created togs.

Totally Buff: ”Go-Go Dancer,” the new single from Prince’s protege-of-the-month, Carmen Electra, is so hot that Warner Bros. is promoting its initial release to 369 U.S. strip joints. ”The strip club sensation has become much more upscale,” says Bob Merlis, vice president and director of publicity for Warner Bros. Records. ”All these yuppies amd well-dressed people are going now. It’s not just mailmen.” The pneumatic 20-year-old Cincinnatian says her ode to ecdysiasts is intended to inspire each club’s ”most popular and hardest-working dancer.” Shake that money-maker!

Where’s Johnny? How real is the reported rift between former Tonight Show producer Freddie de Cordova and Johnny Carson? Feud rumors raged in May, when Carson’s farewell show never mentioned De Cordova by name, despite their 22 years together. The rumors reignited when neither Carson nor Ed McMahon showed for the recent Center for the Partially Sighted benefit, which honored De Cordova. Organizers say Carson was in Europe and not available. ”There’s no beef between Johnny and me,” insists De Cordova. ”When you’ve been married 22 years there are a couple of tiffs, but we’re still good friends.”

Call and Response: The Belgian techno group L.A. Style has set off an answermania frenzy with its single, ”James Brown Is Dead,” now a big international hit. The cash-in crop includes ”James Brown Is Still Alive,” ”James Brown Has Sex,” ”James Brown Is Brown,” and ”James Brown Is on Dope,” all by little bands on small Belgian and Dutch labels. James Brown’s reaction? To paraphrase his spokesman, ”James Brown Has No Comment.”

Written by: Pat H. Broeske, Giselle Benatar, Dave DiMartino, Rob Tannenbaum