1960: Sahl considered for ‘Prince’

Politics plays part in Hollywood scene

July 24, 1960
GOOD MORNING: Staunch Democrat Mort Sahl is among those under serious consideration to play citizen Mike Romanoff in “Instant Prince” at 20th-Fox… Can’t quite picture Sahl with a cigarette holder or Romanoff in a sweater… But that’s showbiz… Zsa Zsa Gabor, Arlene Dahl and Kathryn Grayson in a heated, arm-flailing political discussion in the BevHills Hotel Lanai when a tourist ambled by, asked, “What are you girls starting — “a third party?”… The acceptances for Theo Bikel’s testimonial dinner at the California Racquet Club on the 29th read like a list of the defunct “Draft Stevenson” movement… (2008 Update… Sahl spoke at Emerson College in Boston on Thursday and he has a date at Sculler’s club tonight. When he appeared in B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill in Times Square earlier this year to a full house including Woody Allen and Dick Cavett, the latter introduced him… Sahl returns next week to his job teaching two classes at Claremont McKenna College: one “A Revoutionary Handbook,” the other a class in screenwriting. As you might also imagine, Sahl is paged to share his inimitable reactions to the currently percolating political scene. He tells me he is chagrined by the dearth of political humor out there today by comedians. In one of his classes, he says, “I teach a lot about Jack Kennedy.” He wrote jokes for the Kennedy campaign speeches. Of course, he has a comment or two on the current candidates and sampled me with: “We’re in worse trouble than ever when McCain says that Bush did a great job since 9/11.” As for playing Prince Mike Romanoff in the biopic, “Instant Prince” 48 years ago, he says it it never happened although they were pals and he was the only guest Romanoff allowed in his restaurant–without a tie. And they also went to Paris together — with Frank Sinatra. They remained friends, shared an office in the William Morris building and says Theo Bikel, who was an Adlai Stevenson supporter in that Demo primary, has supported Demos through the years and this year he championed Hillary Clinton in this primary — but he’s gone over to the BarackObama camp in speaking to Jewish groups.