He says this while leaning against a buffet table festively trimmed with potatoes: Idahos, russets, Mr. Potato Heads—some wearing little plastic spectacles, others carrying little plastic handbags. On the far end of this spuds-o-rama is Crosby, the celebrated funnyman of Merv! fame.
So what's your handicap, Norm? "My hearing. I can't hear."
Crosby says Sinatra never cared about golf. "He'd miss a shot and laugh," says the Master of Malaprops. "If he was too tired or too hot or felt like a drink, he'd say, 'Let's quit.' Didn't matter if he was having the best game of his life. That was pretty much his philosophy of life."
On the other hand, Carter, the celebrated funnyman of Viva Las Vegas fame, doesn't believe Sinatra ever played golf. "Frank was never even on a course," he insists. By the way, Jack, what's your handicap? "I'm Jewish and I've got hemorrhoids."
Friday, 11 a.m. Stallion Mountain Country Club. Noncelebs pay $3,500 for the privilege of schmoozing with celebs in the two-day Classic, which is spread over two of Stallion Mountain's three courses. The proceeds benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Opportunity Village, of Las Vegas, which provides training to the mentally challenged.
A man who identifies himself only as Harry is one of four noncelebs teamed in a scramble with Carter. "I used to run a brothel," says Harry, the uncelebrated funnyman, "but I've cleaned up my act. Now I'm a male prostitute."
Carter lines up a 10-foot putt and taps his ball toward the hole. It starts left and shimmies right, missing the cup by two feet. "I sliced it," he quips. "Anyone here ever slice a putt?" Nobody laughs.
Carter reaches into his pocket, takes out another ball and drops it onto the green. "This is what you do when you slice a putt," he cackles, slapping the ball holeward. It slices roughward. "Now that's what I call slicing a putt!" Nobody laughs.
Has Carter been a load of laughs? "Not yet," says Harry. "But we're still holding out hope."
Friday, 2 p.m. Stallion Mountain. Though the Classic is free to the public, the fairways are anything but mobbed. At this event, the two autograph hounds at the 14th green on the West Course constitute a gallery. One hound—a middle-aged woman—thrusts a yellowing publicity still at Cassidy. "I was so in love with you when I was eight," she tells the celebrated singer of Partridge Family fame.