Monday, April 1, 2013

An Interview with Jackie Curtiss - Part Six

Jackie Curtiss: I met Red Buttons when he got his first television show and fell into ire with the other guys. He said, "If one of us makes it - we all make it!" And then when he got his own show he disappeared and no one could get a hold of him. Afterward, when he fell from grace, he came back and begged everybody to let him back in the circle. I think it was Buddy Hackett, which is strange because he was not usually kind, who said, "Okay. Let's give him a chance." I met Red - in passing - when I was in a comedy team with Marc Antone. I really only got to know him towards the end. By then he had mellowed quite a bit.

Kliph Nesteroff: I want to go through a list of people you knew, worked with, or encountered... Any thought or anecdote that comes to mind... Morey Amsterdam...

Jackie Curtiss: I knew him first as a comic and later we spent time together when we were all hanging out over coffee and things. A show came up that they wanted me to host... a joke show... a very famous joke show...

Kliph Nesteroff: Make Me Laugh... Can You Top This...

Jackie Curtiss: Can You Top This. I went in for that and it was Morey, Larry Storch and Stu Gilliam. We did the pilot. Right in the middle of it I stumbled for a moment and that was all he needed. Morey was up and he took over. He was a great guy, very wonderful and I never had a bad thing with him... other than this Can You Top This moment where he ran over me. The show never made it. It never took off.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Vaughn Meader...

Jackie Curtiss: I never knew him, but I thought he was good. It was funny when Lenny Bruce said, "Did you hear Kennedy got assassinated? Well, there goes Vaughn Meader's act."

Kliph Nesteroff: Right.

Jackie Curtiss: That broke me up.

Kliph Nesteroff: Lenny was right. It ended Vaughn Meader's career.

Jackie Curtiss: Oh, absolutely. Lenny knew him and from what he told me... Vaughn Meader was a very talented guy beyond just the Kennedy thing. I think he fell into the category of Will Jordan. He got stuck doing Kennedy like Will got stuck doing Ed Sullivan. It hurt him. Will said all the time, "My God, nobody knows I have other impressions. All they want to hear is Sullivan."

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Pat McCormick?

Jackie Curtiss: Pat McCormick was a brilliant writer. He was huge. He must have weighed two hundred and fifty pounds, six foot four, and the things he said were brilliant. I used to attend a thing called the Castle Comics at the Magic Castle that Dave Madden put together. Every other Friday we would go to the Houdini room and I'd sit with people like Dick Gautier, Louis Nye, Tom Poston and all the comics. 

The rule was - when you walked in that room, that was it, nothing was off the table. You can't be polite or anything like that. Once you go in the room, that's it, you take your lumps. But Pat came in one day and said, "Let's talk about the worst job you ever had." So we all thought about it, you know, "janitor" and "waiter" and whatever. Then one of us said, "Pat, what was your worst job?" Pat said, "Worst job I ever had was butt rouger in a baboon factory." I thought I would die. The whole room was convulsed. For him to come up with a line like that? He was brilliant in that offbeat, over-the-top line. And a nice guy. A sweet guy.

Kliph Nesteroff: There isn't much footage of him actually performing. He wrote plenty on I've Got a Secret and his Tonight Show gig.

Jackie Curtiss: Even though we all knew he was a comic, we mostly considered him a writer.

Kliph Nesteroff: The day before yesterday the Stage Delicatessen in New York shut down forever. I was wondering if you had any reminiscence of that place.

Jackie Curtiss: I have great memories of the Stage from back when I was singing with Jack Fina. I was young. I had a voice teacher in San Francisco named Bill Stoker. He told me about this kid he was giving voice lessons to named Johnny Mathis. I met Johnny and I loaned him a couple of bucks... which he forgot about. Later on I was in New York when he was at the Copacabana. I was with some singer... I forget who... and he said, "Let's go see Johnny Mathis." I didn't tell him I knew Johnny. After the show we went upstairs to the dressing room Jules Podell provided. We went in and Johnny kind of brushed me off. I let it go, but I was upset about it. 

I went to the Stage Delicatessen. I was sitting there brooding that Johnny had fluffed me off and all of a sudden I felt hands on my eyes, you know the old thing, "Guess who?" I could feel these hands on my eyes. I hear, "Guess who it is!" I said, "My God, sounds like Jimmy Durante." He says, "You got it, kid." Jimmy and I had a minor relationship early on, but that night I said to myself, "My God, Johnny Mathis, who I loaned money to, brushed me off. Jimmy Durante, who I only had a minor relation to, comes directly to me." It turned my whole head around. "I'm not going to worry about Johnny Mathis when there's a guy like Jimmy Durante."

Kliph Nesteroff: Describe the atmosphere of The Stage.

Jackie Curtiss: It was magnificent. The owners and the guys that worked there were characters onto themselves. I never understood why somebody didn't do a movie called the Stage Delicatessen. I mean, they were just fabulous people and kept everybody happy. Stan Fisher, the harmonica player, had a harmonica long and silver. He was sitting in the Stage Delicatessen and two hoodlums were giving him a real hard time. Stan told me this. He reached in his pocket and pulled his harmonica half way out and it looked like a .45. The guys ran out of the place! 

He faked it, pretending his harmonica was a gun. This was at the Stage Delicatessen. Sometimes a lady would come into the Stage and say, "I want roast beef, but I don't want the end cut. I want the part there." And she would direct the guy who was cutting the slices til he was right in the middle. He'd cut two slices and she'd say, "That's what I want." It would disrupt the whole place because you don't go into a whole roast beef and just take two pieces, but they were generally nice. I had four or five dinners with Myron Cohen there. He was a favorite of the Stage Delicatessen. They loved show people.

Kliph Nesteroff: The head guy there was Max Asnas.

Jackie Curtiss: Max, yeah, and he was a character. They were all true characters. Everything out of their mouth was funny.

Kliph Nesteroff: Did you know Jack Carter and Myron Cohen are cousins?

Jackie Curtiss: No!

Kliph Nesteroff: Yeah, they are.

Jackie Curtiss: Wow, I didn't know that. Myron was just wonderful. A beautiful, beautiful man.

Kliph Nesteroff: You have talked in passing about Stan Fisher's schlong.

Jackie Curtiss: Oh, yes. Milton Berle said, "If Stan Fisher hadn't been circumcised he would have beat me!" That was his line. When we did cruises together, I remember sitting at the bar with him. Girls would come up to him. "Excuse me, are you Stan Fisher?" "Yes." "Is it true what they say?" "Yeah." "Come with me." Some girl would just come over and take him down to the cabin! He told me later of changing into his robe and coming into the bedroom, opening his robe and the girl going, "Oh, no, no, no, forget it! I want to be thrilled not killed." It was unbelievable.

Kliph Nesteroff: I had never heard that about him. I'd heard, obviously, about Milton Berle and Forrest Tucker. Also Huntz Hall.

Jackie Curtiss: I didn't know that about Huntz Hall. I never heard that. I knew Huntz. Did you ever hear the Friars Club roast of Arnold Schwarzenegger? If you listen to the end of it... I don't know who wrote his material for him, but Arnold gets up and says, "I want to thank you very much. Mitlon Berle here, sitting right next to me, people don't know it, but right now way back in the kitchen there is a bus boy sucking him off." Just wild! It broke up the whole place.

Kliph Nesteroff: You're close with Dave Madden...

Jackie Curtiss: Yes, he's one of my best friends. When I had a terrible divorce he took me in. He had an apartment in Burbank that, in the midst of my divorce, I went to when I had no place to go. It was while he was doing the Partridge Family. He had a nice bungalow in Malibu, but he also had this apartment near the studio. I was sleeping on his couch when one of the big earthquakes hit. I fell off the couch and he came running in. 

He said, "Are you okay?" I said, "Is a divorce always like this?" We sat on his bed while the place was just rocking. We were arm in arm and he said, "Jackie, if we die they're going to find us this way!" He's a wonderful guy. He plays the part of curmudgeon, but he has a heart of gold. He is fabulous. Of all the people you've talked to and interviewed, boy, he would be the best. If you could get him to open up. He has stories, boy.

Kliph Nesteroff: Someone I spoke to recently with great stories is Peter Marshall.

Jackie Curtiss: Oh yeah, I go way back with Peter when he was with Tommy Noonan. I was better friends with Tommy Noonan. Peter wanted to be Dick Haymes, his brother-in-law. There were great stories with that. Joanne Dru married John Ireland. He had been married before and she had been married before and they both had children. He was working in the garden and she said, "John, come quick! My children and your children are fighting with our children!" That's one of the great Hollywood lines.

Kliph Nesteroff: I only knew Peter Marshall from Hollywood Squares, not his nightclub act. I never really liked Hollywood Squares. I was surprised when I interviewed him with how interesting he was and how hip he was.

Jackie Curtiss: He goes way back and is very good.

Kliph Nesteroff: He definitely surprised me.

Jackie Curtiss: He is very political. He knows everybody and whatever they're hiding.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yes, he's got lots of gossip.

Jackie Curtiss: He knows all of that stuff. He can really give you insight about Paul Lynde. I had a situation once. I was married to a singer named Tracy Morgan. Just gorgeous. We went to a party thrown by the wife of some big director. Everyone in Hollywood was there. There was foyer with black and white tiles and a huge white bear rug and a sunken living room where everyone was sitting on cushions. 

It was a typical Beverly Hills thing where even I was in awe. My then wife caught her heel on the rug and went ass over teacup down. The rug hit an aquarium that was on the side. All the fish fell on the floor and a light fell over and everybody was picking up the goldfish and putting them in their martini glasses to keep them from dying. While all of this was going on, standing in the foyer was Paul Lynde. He saw the whole thing and he was very drunk and he shouts, "Throw the girl out before she guts the place!" I will never forget that. Everyone was running all over trying to save the goldfish.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were directed by Jack Webb on Dragnet.

Jackie Curtiss: I learned so much from him in those two weeks, stuff that I used when I was directing plays later. He was the most brilliant man. I always wanted to meet Orson Welles, but I think Jack Webb was pretty close.

Kliph Nesteroff: He doesn't get much credit.

Jackie Curtiss: I watched him. Everybody else went to lunch or wherever. Not me. I stayed and watched him direct everything and the technicians and all of it. When it came time for me to go on and direct, he made me a complete success, just because of what I saw him do. He was brilliant. I did one Dragnet and he used me on an Adam-12. It was hard for him to use the same people over and over again. He had a thing about fresh faces. There were four or five people in his little company he used over and over like Virginia Gregg.

Kliph Nesteroff: Olan Soule.

Jackie Curtiss: Yes, yes, but they were in an inner circle. Outside of those people... even though he liked me... after I did the Dragnet he said, "I'll try to use you on something else, Jackie, you're a fine actor." I said, "Yeah, well, I'm just a comic." He said, "I don't know if you're funny or not, but I admire what you did for me."

Kliph Nesteroff: Wasn't he tough?

Jackie Curtiss: No, not really. Not if you did your job. But if you did one thing wrong... I watched him slice into people because they did one thing wrong. He was a taskmaster. You know what he was? I don't know if you ever saw the motion picture The D.I.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yes, I have.

Jackie Curtiss: That's Jack Webb.  If you saw The D.I. -  that was him. You'd love him, but boy don't get one speck in your rifle.

Kliph Nesteroff: His style was, really, very avant-garde.

Jackie Curtiss: A complete innovator. In later years I remember watching The Killers with Burt Lancaster...

Kliph Nesteroff: Sure.

Jackie Curtiss: That's where he got the theme.

Kliph Nesteroff: I thought he took his elements from a different film... there's another film noir from that era that he swiped a bunch of stuff from... a film that he's in...

Jackie Curtiss: No, I asked him about it. In The Killers when they're coming to get Burt Lancaster - that same music is there and that's where he heard it. If you watch The Killers you will hear it.

Kliph Nesteroff: I love The Killers but...

Jackie Curtiss: But that other movie you're thinking of is He Walked By Night.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yeah, that's it. That's the one. I wanted to ask you about Phil Harris.

Jackie Curtiss: Phil Harris I met twice. The first time with Marc Antone when we were at the Town and Country in Seattle doing our act. We got a note afterward that someone wanted to have a drink with us. It was Phil Harris and Bing Crosby. We sat and it was just a very nice conversation and they liked us and I told them I was a fan of theirs and everything else. Twenty some odd years later I was with Bill Tracy and we did a Bing Crosby roast. I think George Jessel put it on. I did an impression of Bing on the show. 

We were told we had to roast Bing Crosby and I said, "I can't. I'm a nobody. It's not like Bob Hope who can say whatever." So I wrote a specific thing because my partner Bill Tracy, he had worked with Bing Crosby in pictures as part of the Mitchell Boy Choir. He had met Bing Crosby. I didn't want to do something where people would think, "How dare this young nobody do something terrible about Bing Crosby?"

The other time I saw Phil Harris, he was hanging out with Harry James at the Frontier in Las Vegas. I was in the lounge and he came by with Harry James. He saw me and said, "Are you the kid I saw in Seattle?" I said, "Yes, I am Mr. Harris!" He said, "Hey! You're moving up!" So here's a guy that remembered me after ten years. That was amazing.

Kliph Nesteroff:  How about Eddie Cantor...

Jackie Curtiss: When I was singing in San Francisco with the Jack Fina Orchestra I had to do a benefit at the San Francisco Opera House with Johnny Mathis. Eddie Cantor came in and sat down. He looked like he wasn't feeling well. I walked over. "Excuse me, Mr. Cantor? Are you okay?" He said, "Not really. Could you get me a glass of water?" I went and got him a water and that was it. I mean, some of these names are just in passing and there's no connection there. I just got Eddie Cantor a glass of water.

Kliph Nesteroff: More than I ever did for Eddie Cantor. You worked with Rob Reiner...

Jackie Curtiss: When I was at the Playboy in New York. Rob Reiner and Joey Bishop's son, Larry, and a girl who was a good actress... they did an avant-garde type act... like a Saturday Night Live style act and it just bombed. It was dreadful. Rob Reiner and Larry Bishop were standing onstage with their backs to the audience, making believe they were urinating and doing jokes. 

It was just dreadful. I met them, you know, as I was a Playboy Club star entertainer at the time. The maitre'd were called room directors at the Playboy Clubs. He came over to me after the show and told me, "Rob Reiner watched your show. He was sitting there and he could not get over the fact you were getting laughs. He said, 'I don't understand! We're bombing upstairs and this guy is getting screams! What's he got that we don't got?" Apparently the maitre'd said to him, "Talent."

Kliph Nesteroff: Ouch.

Jackie Curtiss: So that was my thing with him, but he was all right. You know, I talked to him in the cafeteria at Playboy and he was very nice, but he was just in his own world.

Kliph Nesteroff: I don't think Bishop and Reiner did their act more than a year.

Jackie Curtiss: I don't think they did it even that long. I only saw them at the Playboy in New York and there was nothing there.

Kliph Nesteroff: I think he next joined a group that was already established, already successful - The Committee, and from there landed a job writing for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Jackie Curtiss: Right. Of the two, Larry Bishop was nicer. Larry Bishop was very friendly. Rob Reiner, though, was just... I don't know.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Bob Crane...

Jackie Curtiss: When I met Bob he was at CBS in Los Angeles with his own radio show. It was a big radio show. At that time I was performing at Billy Gray's Band Box with Marc Antone and Bob wanted someone from Billy Gray's to come over. I went and did his show and he was so exciting! So delightful! The amazing thing was while we were sitting there in the studio he was doing everything manually. Spinning records, drumming with a drum kit there, he was just a wild guy! And very, very sweet and very, very nice. Later when he was doing Hogan's Heroes he called me to come audition for a thing. I didn't get it, somebody with a little more juice got it, but he at least thought of me.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Godfrey Cambridge...

Jackie Curtiss: Godfrey Cambridge and I worked the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. There were three of us. Godfrey, myself and Little Richard. I don't know if you know how some of those shows worked. Sometimes you go on at three o'clock in the morning and there are two or three people in there. Two people wanting to get on a bus and two people wanting to get under a bus - after having lost so much money. 

I did a show at three in the morning and Godfrey Cambridge was going to be on at four. When I started my three o'clock show there were four people in the audience. At the start of my show I would always get names. I have a very good memory and I can remember, at each show, the names of up to thirty or forty people in the audience. I had these four people, got their names, and started talking to them from the stage. 

Two people walked in and I introduced the four to the two. Four more came in and I introduced the six to the four. By the time my show was over I had about forty people that had come in to see Godfrey Cambridge. I was the loose act. When I finished my act I said goodnight to every person directly. I went downstairs and Godfrey says, "Jackie, what the hell was that name thing? You can remember them?" I said, "Sure." We got a legal pad out and I wrote down all forty names. So when he went out he said, "I'm in charge of this troupe and I want to make sure you're all here!" 

So he started his act by reading all the names and it was picked up by one of the columnists who did a piece about "Jackie Curtiss and his incredible memory."

Kliph Nesteroff: And what was Godfrey Cambridge like?

Jackie Curtiss: Oh, a great guy. Little Richard was always trying to get into my pants and into Godfrey's. Anybody's. I had a way of dealing with gay men where they never knew whether they could get with me or not. 

I wanted to protect myself, but I didn't want to upset them because they were bigger names and could hurt me. Little Richard would say, "Jackie, Jackie, Jackie are we gonna get together tonight?" "Oh, no, well, maybe tomorrow night." So I had these games I played. Godfrey was terrified of Little Richard. He said, "He's banging on my door! What am I going to do!"

Kliph Nesteroff: Godfrey Cambridge was homosexual...

Jackie Curtiss: Well, I don't know whether he was or not, but whatever it was he wanted no part of Little Richard. I'll tell ya, I asked Little Richard if I could put on his coat. He wore this coat when he played piano and it was all mirrored. It almost dropped me to the floor. This thing must have been a hundred pounds. It was all mirrors.

Kliph Nesteroff: Godfrey Cambridge doesn't get his due.

Jackie Curtiss: No, and I tell ya, the act he did was great. He just nailed everything he wanted to without offending.

Kliph Nesteroff: He must have put out six separate comedy albums, all different material...

Jackie Curtiss: I was only with Godfrey Cambridge and Little Richard for four weeks, but I spent time having coffee with Godfrey whereas I just avoided Little Richard like the plague. One thing that happened to me at the Aladdin... in my act I did a thing about Igor the Hunchback and Boris Karloff.

I would go to the maitre'd at each place that I worked and say, "If you see anybody who is hunchbacked or crippled or anything like that don't put them anywhere near the front." Because ringside is what I deal with. I would tip the maitre'd pretty good to make sure. After I was at the Aladdin two or three nights, the maitre'd grabbed me. He said, "Jackie, there is a hunchback in the showroom." So I eliminated the bit. The next night the hunchback was in again. 

The guy came in three nights in a row! And this had been one of my best bits. So I didn't do it. The fourth night I was in the lobby and this little hunchbacked guy comes up to me. "Mr. Curtiss! I came in Monday when you opened and you did this wonderful hunchback thing, but you haven't done it since!" So he had kept coming in to see the bit! Such an odd thing.

Kliph Nesteroff: You knew Billy Barty...

Jackie Curtiss: Oh, very, very well. Billy and I had dinner many, many times at my home. I first met Billy when I was singing at the El Nido Rancho. I was appearing with Max Baer. We met. When I relocated to Los Angeles I did a club date and I saw him. I said, "Remember when I met you at the El Nido Rancho?" "Oh, yeah!" And we just became close and had dinner many times. Another sweet guy. 

And he goes way back, boy. I saw films of him that I hadn't even known about in which he is four or five years old. He was in a great many movies. Billy Barty and I did sixteen weeks together at Billy Gray's Band Box. One of the things he did was play a baby in a bassinet. Nobody would know he was in there. It was a bit with a Black girl named Mimi Dillard and a white girl named Pony Sherrill. King Solomon was played by Billy Gray and the bit was all about splitting the baby. Who is going to take the sword and cut the baby in half? Of course, Billy Barty jumps out of the bassinet and says, "A shegetz!"

Kliph Nesteroff: You worked non-stop at this Los Angeles nightclub the Trolly Ho. I've heard you say that the Trolly Ho's owners were basically a couple of thieves.

Jackie Curtiss: They were just crooks. Yeah, they took everything and skimmed. No, they didn't skim - they grabbed. Skimming is like a little bit. They took everything. They were just a couple of random hustlers. It was a shame. We had such a successful thing going there and they just destroyed it.

Kliph Nesteroff: We've mentioned in the past a scriptwriter who was very much responsible for writing the shows and revues at Billy Gray's Band Box - Sid Kuller.

Jackie Curtiss: Great writer. Brilliant writer. He wrote most of Billy Gray's shows. He was a super-Jew. That's the only way I can describe him. He was a super-Jew. Of course, my being half-Jewish, I got along great with him. His closest friend was Harry Ritz. They were there together all the time. Some of the stuff he wrote for Billy was just brilliant. He wrote a thing when It's Magic was the big song. He wrote a whole thing about a girl that walks on with Billy. She starts taking off her eyelashes and her nose and then her falsies. The parody was It's Tragic.

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Jackie Curtiss: I can't remember definitively the lines, but it was "you do this, you do this, you do that - it's traahh-gic."

Kliph Nesteroff: Billy Gray's Band Box sounds like such a fun place.

Jackie Curtiss: I think it was the happiest place I ever worked. Everybody was happy there and Billy was brilliant.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Mousie Garner...

Jackie Curtiss: I'll have to dig it up... I have a tape... he wanted to start up the Three Stooges again. So I put a thing together with Mousie called Almost Over the Hill. Mousie was a truly tragic figure. Here was a guy who wanted to be funny. He was only funny because he was funny looking, but he really didn't have any talent. He wanted to start the Three Stooges up again and he asked me and another friend. I said, "No. But I tell you what I'll do. We'll put a little film together here for you and you can use it to try sell yourself." And we did, but nothing ever happened with it.

Kliph Nesteroff: How did you know him?

Jackie Curtiss: I don't remember how we met, but sometimes you do a show and you meet somebody like Mousie. I really don't remember how I met him.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Moe Howard?

Jackie Curtiss: Moe Howard came to see me, I think, with my first partner at Maisson Jasseau's in Bakersfield, California. After the show he sent a note back. I came out and he said, "Hi, I'm Moe Howard." I said, "Yeah, no kidding." We talked and he gave me Larry's number and I became friends with him. I never knew Curly. By that time Curly was gone. I think they were using Joe DeRita. Moe was just a sweet guy who loved comedians. 

He said, "I love your style. You know what I like about you is you do brainy material, but you still do physical stuff. You don't find that in too many people." He paid me some great compliments. I used to visit Larry Fine at the home all the time. Because of that I got a call from Penn and Teller years later to write a Stooges sketch for them. I did one of their shows and the amazing thing was - I was sitting there in the greenroom with my wife and all of a sudden I hear my name called. I thought something went wrong. Penn and Teller paged me so they could introduce me to the studio audience. "This is the man who choreographed our Three Stooges sketch." And I thought that was so magnanimous.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Gabe Dell and Huntz Hall?

Jackie Curtiss: Huntz Hall I knew from Schwab's. We'd have coffee on Sundays. Gabe Dell I met when he was on The Steve Allen Show doing his Dracula thing. I did about twenty Steve Allen shows. We became like a family there also.

Kliph Nesteroff: I saw footage of Huntz Hall interviewed on an early episode of Late Night with David Letterman and the applause that greets him when he comes out... it's one of the longest bouts of applause I've ever heard anyone get.

Jackie Curtiss: I will tell you, even at Schwab's when I was sitting with him and a couple other comics, people would never recognize any of us but they would yell, "Huntz Hall! We love you!" Everybody. 

A lot of people do not know this, but he was not a dummy. His character with the Bowery Boys and the Dead End Kids and everything had nothing to do with his real self. He was intelligent. He was a bright guy, but he never talked in a bright way. A couple times when we were alone he would say something and I would go, "Jesus, that's bright thinking!" He'd say, "Well, I'm not a dummy. I just act a dummy."

Kliph Nesteroff: How about Guy Marks...

Jackie Curtiss: Guy Marks! Now there was a character. You ever hear the story about him in Pittsburgh at the old Nixon Theater? This was back in the forties. He was onstage doing his act and it was going well, when a guy in the front row yelled, "Why don't you take a slow boat to China!" He said, "Yeah, I think you're right." He walked offstage, got a seaman's license and took a boat to China!

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Jackie Curtiss: He did that! He was gone for a year and then he finally came back into the business. He was another one that fits into the Stan Fisher - Milton Berle club. The thing I loved about Guy was - when he did an impression it was amazing how he got into the person. He did Gary Cooper and I thought I was actually looking at Gary Cooper. He did the same with Humphrey Bogart.

I mean, he was truly amazing. And then he did impressions of birds. He did a flamingo. I loved Guy Marks very much. We spent time together mostly in Chicago when I was with the Playboy Club. He would be at the Chez Paree or some place. 

I don't know what it is about all these people that liked me. I think it was because I wasn't like them. I was just some old carny and I got along with everybody. There were very few people I didn't have a warm relationship with.