Entertainment news for May 13, 1994 -- Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wiliams, Johnny Rotten and others made news this week

By EW Staff
Updated May 20, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

MAGIC MAKEOVER: Just how did David Copperfield nab supermodel Claudia Schiffer? The answer can be found at Copperfield’s clandestine Las Vegas studio. On the walls: posters from his 20-year career that chronicle his transformation from nerdy magician to sex-symbol illusionist (everything from hairstyles to haute couture). ”I call it my wall of shame!” Copperfield quips. ”It’s my time line of what not to do.” By examining his past, Copperfield says, he learned to relax. ”I was the shark that wouldn’t stop moving. Now I still work hard, but I stop and smell the roses.” Is this what attracted Schiffer? ”I don’t care what other people think,” she says. ”The reason I fell in love with David is that he is the most interesting man I’ve ever met.” –Alan Carter

STORE DETECTIVE: The time: early evening. The place: Manhattan’s Palmer Video. The scene: Fresh from filming Robert Altman’s Pret a Porter in Paris, Julia Roberts and a gal pal were spotted renting a few flicks at the midtown locale. The oft-hounded actress almost escaped unrecognized, but one attentive employee was able to make the positive ID. ”Her hair was tucked into a cap and she was wearing sweats,” says the staffer, ”but her voice is completely unmistakable-that Southern twang of hers. Everyone behind the counter was really transfixed.” On Roberts’ agenda that night was not one, but three films: Tequila Sunrise, Reversal of Fortune, and the ironically titled Watch It. Is this proof positive that in her spare time Roberts is a certified couch potato? ”Well,” says the employee, ”she got a lifetime membership.” –Gregory Young

ROCK AND ROLLING: It’s enough to make Elvis Presley turn in his grave. According to ABC’s May 21 World of Discovery special, Earthquakes: The Terrifying Truth, the famous home of the swivel-hipped crooner may be about to shake, rattle, and roll. Graceland, which sits on a hill in Memphis, lies ^ precariously close to one of the country’s largest fault lines, the New Madrid seismic zone. ”If a large earthquake were to occur in the Southern end of the zone, Graceland would undergo minor liquification,” warns seismologist Dr. Kay Shedlock of the U.S. Geological Survey. ”The ground around Graceland would shimmy three or four inches and sink about an inch. But if it’s a wood-frame building, it would probably do okay.” Graceland management refuses to get all shook up. ”It is a wood-frame under the stone, and we’re pretty secure in the structure,” says a Graceland spokesman. ”We’ve had 7 million visitors in the last 10 years, and that’s a good test of soundness. The place appears to be as solid as the legend himself.” –Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

IN THE NORM: The motto for NBC’s fall-’94 lineup? Two Cheers. Thrilled by the spin-off success of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier, NBC is expected to greenlight a series this week from another Beantown alum, George Wendt. In the sitcom, tentatively titled Under the Hood Wendt and Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) play car mechanics who also run their own call-in talk show. (It’s loosely based on the real-life antics of Tom and Ray Magliozzi, M.I.T. grads who dispense automotive wit and wisdom on their National Public Radio show, Car Talk.) ”George was definitely apprehensive-being on a hit show for 11 years makes it difficult to take that next step,” says executive producer Peter Tolan (The Larry Sanders Show), who hopes Hood will get a spot in the Thursday-night lineup. Says Tom Magliozzi, ”We said we’d be happy just as long as we get the money and still do next to nothing.” –Kate Meyers