Today is the birthday of the hysterically funny Louie Nye (1913-2005). Born Louis Neistat in Hartford, CT he started out as an actor in radio before doing his hitch in World War II (where he first began doing comedy, entertaining his fellow troops). After the war he broke into television, achieving his greatest success (and the work he remains best known for today) on the Steve Allen show, usually playing pompous but fun loving rich socialites and sissies. For decades after that, he was a ubiquitous character actor, mostly on tv sit-coms, but also occasional movies. He played Mr. Drysdale’s swishy son in a memorable season of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962). I have a very particular memory of seeing him in comedic television movie based on the song Harper Valley PTA that aired in 1978 starring Barbara Eden. And he got a new burst of fame in the years just before he died, playing Jeff Garlin’s father on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
I couldn’t find a good clip of him on Steve Allen doing his “Hi, Ho, Steverino” schtick, but he’s quite hilarious in this clipping from that aforementioned Harper Valley PTA movie I mentioned.