On his own: Appel BRADY'S BUNCH

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Top promotion guy Marty Appel formed his own Mamaroneck, N.Y.-based PR operation with Topps Co. already on board as a charter client. Marty's represented Major League Baseball and is celebrated as the first PR man ever hired by Steinbrenner of the Yankees and was later exec producer of WPIX telecasts. Company phone is (914) 235-4017.

Those fabulous twentysomething Weitz boys, screenwriting siblings (as Variety calls them) Paul and Chris, will helm a new Universal comedy, "East Grand Rapids High," with an $8 million budget. The Weitzes also wrote "Antz," an animated film about, well, ants, coming out next year from DreamWorks with buggy voices done by the likes of Woody Allen. They're currently writing another movie, "The Fly." Mother is actress Susan Kohner, dad is fashion's John Weitz.

Bloomingdale's biggie H. Frank Daroff will be saluted at the May 28 Cancer Care Dinner at the Waldorf in N.Y. along with Cokie Roberts of ABC and Carol Webb of Ortho Biotech, a cancer research leader. They're establishing a Kate Daroff memorial fund, honoring Frank's late wife.

A fun issue of the usually more serious American Heritage, "overrated" reputations down through the centuries. For example, most overrated financier, Bernard Baruch; sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe; founding father, Jefferson; auto, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird; movie star, Paul Muni; musical, "Porgy & Bess"; and like that.

Darn! Sony is screening "Godzilla" Thursday evening in Manhattan and I can't be there. I'm a sucker for monster movies ("Rodan" being a particular fave).

CMP Media's EE Times (a must for design engineers and techie managers) promoted Jeffrey Patterson to publisher. Editor Richard Wallace becomes edit director.

Seventeen has a new marketing director, Barbara Applbaum (no "e", please), who had been with Gruner & Jahr.

Get out the champagne flutes for yet another toast to Alan Richman of GQ, who just won his 6th consecutive annual James Beard award for magazine restaurant reviewing. Alan writes the mag's "The Hungry I" column. Quick now, in what city was the original "Hungry I?"

No, please, I do not want another "Seinfeld Commemorative Poster."

Retired Marine Corps Col. Welton Abell died in San Clemente, Calif., at 75. He spent 25 years as an exec of Blair Television Co.

With the soccer World Cup due to kick off, where oh where is Mario Machado, whom many consider this country's top soccer sportscaster? Mario's evidently not calling the Cup.M

Mr. Brady's latest novel, "Gin Lane," has just been published. He asks that everyone buy it. But failing that, be kind enough to shove it in front of competing novels on bookstore shelves, while muttering such expressions as "Gripping . . . hilarious . . . subtly nuanced."

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