Today is the birthday of big band leader Les Brown (1912-2001). Now I like swing music well enough, though it’s not my all-consuming passion. But comedy fans will know why he is on my radar, and that has to do with this:
I want Jerry doing this dance on a loop, and I want it for my screensaver. Even more priceless to me is the faces on everyone else in the scene with him. Thus has Jerry Lewis hijacked Les Brown’s birthday. Well, almost. Les Brown and his Band of Renown appeared with Bob Hope on stage, screen and radio for nearly half a century. They were also the house band for The Steve Allen Show. And the band (as an organization, at least) is still going to this day, under the direction of Les Brown, Jr!
To find out more about the variety arts 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