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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Jack Carter had a reputation as being one of the more miserable men in show business. He was, what you might call, a chronic complainer. He never felt he was as appreciated as he should be. According to Mr. Carter, he could do it all! Here’s a clip that I think confirms that indeed he could do it all. The question is, exactly what is it that he’s doing? He’s not really funny and he certainly can’t sing. I will give him this – he moved very well. Seriously, I’ve always marveled at the fact that most of the old comics were so light on their feet. Watch the old clips – even Jack E. Leonard, nicknamed “Fat Jack,” could move like a dancer.

In this clip, Carter seems to float along the stage. Impressive, but gliding around the stage is not much of an act unless you’re a ballerina or an ice skater.

Not too long ago, a gentleman named Kliph Nesteroff published a book called The Comedians. It is a great book. If you love old-time show biz, especially the comics, you really should read the book.  However, before Nesteroff wrote the book, he had a website filled with interviews he conducted with many old actors, comics, nightclub entertainers, etc., called “Classic Showbiz.” He’s interviewed many wonderful people but perhaps some of his most interesting conversations were with Jack Carter. I can’t do the interviews justice in words so click on the link and get started. They’re a little like a car accident – you don’t want to stop and stare but you just can’t look away. Click HERE.

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