You heard it here first, folks! Rip Taylor (b. 1934) and Charles Nelson Reilly have the same birthday! Good lord, what crazy, kookin’, campy stars were alligned in the heavens on that day??? It’s practically a sign of Armageddon!
Comedian, voice-over actor, television personality, and just about my favorite master of ceremonies on earth, Taylor was THE perfect choice to host Chuck Barris’s follow up to The Gong Show, his beauty pageant parody The $1.98 Beauty Show, which ran in syndication from 1978 to 1980.
I learned many valuable lessons as a host from Taylor, not the least of which is that party favors and confetti will cover all multitude of sins. What matter if the jollity come out of a store-bought package? The bottom line is jollity!
Here’s the start of one episode; if it gets you hooked, there’s more where that came from on Youtube:
To find out more about show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc