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1960: Paging Dr. Kaye

A look back at the actor's antics

Nov. 8, 1960
GOOD MORNING: Danny Kaye wanted to assist (at least attend) this a.m.’s surgery session of — his press agent Bill Blowitz! Although he was given a firm ‘NO!!’ the praiser, who fully expects to look up from the table and see D.K. on hand, sez where there’s a will there’s a Kaye… Bob Newhart was shown the Kaye starrer, “Up In Arms,” as a possible Goldwyn Jr. remake. But Newhart didn’t think the hypochondriac role right for him… Raymond Massey caught Newhart at the Crescendo to see the Lincoln bit … Hal Kanter penned a piece for the comic’s concert program book, “Why I Positively Hate Bob Newhart”… 2008 Update: Kanter, who celebrates his 90th birthday Dec. 18, is assemblng the brilliant words he’s put in the mouths of stars on stages from nightclubs to toastimonials to the Oscars over the half-century plus. Meanwhile, Bob Newhart continues to write — and deliver his bon mots today — and tomorrow. Newhart recalled his six-week stand at the Crescendo on the Sunset Strip. “I opened for Erroll Garner for the first three weeks and for the next three I was the headliner.” Famous showbiz attorney Greg Bautzer caught Newhart’s act and hired him to play a private party he was hosting “in a house behind the Hotel Bel-Air .The one-niter paid me as much as the entire Crescendo stand,” Newhart recalls. “So I’m doing the date and I look up from the (improvised) stage and I’m looking at — Bing Crosby, George Burns and Danny Kaye. I’m scared to death! Sam Goldwyn invited me to see Danny Kaye. I’m thinking I was a kid in a chocolate factory. But I told Goldwyn, ‘There is no way I could do that role justice’.” Today, Newhart continues to make regular appearances — recently in Santa Barbara, two upcoming in Chicago. His show’s title, “I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This.” He says, “But I keep trying things out — and if they work I use them.” They obviously continue to work — as Newhart continues to work successfully at 79.

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