Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: The Danny Kaye Show

When I was a kid, the most amazing man in the world to me was Danny Kaye.  I had seen him in some movies (I think my parents liked him) and there were jokes and phrases used around the house that I really had no idea where they came from until later years when I realized these were things Danny Kaye had said.

His films were not just funny but incredible because Kaye was a master of dialects and could do things with his tongue that people like Mel Blanc and Daws Butler could not.  He could very fast and precise and he had a rubbery body that he was able to contort.  He was like a toy and I remember the days when he was truly fascinating to me.

I read one time that during his stage shows (in Las Vegas?) he didn't have a thing scripted except his songs. He would just show up and perform.  He would be himself.  Playing with words and those fantastic tongue-twisters, he would fascinate one and all.   

I found out a couple of years ago that he once had a radio program,The Danny Kaye Show.  There are about 15 programs in circulation and I believe I have heard them all. 

The radio show seems to have no purpose at all except to show off Kaye's talents.  However, this does not seem to come off well on radio perhaps because the show was based on silly writing.  I cannot tell you to this day what the show's purpose was or what any show is about.  It's a meandering bunch of words, mostly Kaye's - but thrown into a showbiz blender - and it comes out mush.

I would not suggest you waste your time on the radio show. But I heartily suggest you catch a few of his films from the 1940's and 1950's and I think you will fall in love with one of the greatest talents of our time.

©Jimbo 2010/2011

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