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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Broadway

It’s hard to imagine Dean Martin as 100. In truth, it was hard to watch Dean get old. He was the living embodiment of the old joke, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Except it’s doubtful Dean Martin would have changed anything he did. He […]

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Phil Silvers, comedy giant, was born on this day in 1911. He was the man who was always “glad to seeya” and we were certainly thrilled to see him. Best known as Master Sgt. Ernie Bilko, Silvers was the embodiment of the comedic con-man. He gave memorable performances in Top Banana, Sgt. Bilko, It’s A […]

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Bing Crosby was born on this date in 1903. I have hosted a radio show called “Sinatra & Company” for many years and it still amuses me how the Sinatra fans refuse to show the same love for Bing that Sinatra did. And the tired excuse of his personal life and conduct doesn’t work when […]

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In honor of Harry Belafonte’s 90th birthday, we celebrate the great entertainer and political activist with a favorite song of mine and Dr. Tim’s!! Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem, New York City in 1927 but spent about eight years of his childhood in Jamaica. Here’s another catchy tune I’ve always liked. This features Harry […]

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Comedian George Burns was born 121 years ago today. It seems unfathomable to me that I can have so many distinct memories of a guy who was born well over a century ago but that’s what happens if you live to be 100 years old as Burns did – you transcend multiple generations. Like most […]

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There’s nothing better than an old Warner Brothers gangster film particularly if it stars Humphrey Bogart and has a little humor in it. I had DVR-ed King of the Underworld in August and decided to watch it the other night. I’d seen the film years ago but was happy to revisit it. It’s not a particularly […]

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Hal Linden a couple of times in the past few weeks. In addition to being a very nice man, he’s incredible talented. Most people will remember him as the Solomon-like Capt. Barney Miller, chief of the detectives at the 12th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, from the ABC TV show […]

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Today is the 90th birthday of comedy giant, Mel Brooks. I must admit that Mr. Brooks deserves credit for a certain portion of my humor. Brooks is a perfect example of humor as a tool to rage against the system. I honestly don’t remember the first time I saw Brooks’ 1973 movie classic, Blazing Saddles. The […]

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Born Yesterday is a wonderful play written by a fellow native of my hometown of Rochester, NY, Garson Kanin. As well-written as the play is, it owes its great success to the marvelously talented Judy Holliday who would have been 95 years old today. She brought a special kind of native intelligence to “the dumb blonde” […]

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I was very sorry to learn last night of the passing of Ann Morgan Guilbert, the wonderful character actress and comedienne. There are a number of tributes and remembrances of her online for her role  as Yetta on the 1990s sitcom, “The Nanny.” As I was not a huge fan of that particular show, it […]

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