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BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Price

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:45 pm
by Richard M Roberts
So, also just in time for Halloween, if Schrimpenstein didn't float your boats, here's a sketch from THE DANNY KAYE SHOW broadcast December 15, 1965, featuring Guest Vincent Price as Dr. Frankenstein and regular Harvey Korman as Igor, leaving guess who as the Monster:

With the creative staffs involved, some said THE DANNY KAYE SHOW was basically CAESAR'S HOUR with Danny Kaye instead of Sid Caesar. This sketch is fun, but it does feel like one of the musical sketches Caesar used to do. At least the tradition did carry on.


Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:17 am
by Gary Johnson
This clip raises many questions and answers just as many.....

First off, I'm not surprised to see Harvey Korman ensconced in a supporting comedic role at this time. I always assumed that he was working in television as a second banana before joining Carol Burnett, I just was never interested enough to search out the answer. Now I have it.
Carol herself, spent time in the same manner learning her craft as a second banana on the Garry Moore Show a decade earlier.

I'm not buying the Sid Caesar connection as much. Was there more to it than Larry Gelbart? I haven't seen anything yet that lists other writers of that show to had influenced a certain comic direction. And from this clip I didn't find much evidence of a Caesar-type influence.......outside of the fact that Kaye's Frankenstein reacted over every berating by bawling. Not exactly a hilarious reaction but at least slightly different.

Which brings us to our main problem. I never considered Kaye a comedic talent. To me he is a musical performer extraordinaire -- much as in the same vein as Jolson or Canter. They could all tell jokes, but to me the humor was all 'canned radio' -- regurgitated material from professional writers that could had been spoken by anyone. No real signature identity to the humor. I'm sure others will disagree with me over that assessment, but I'm not invested enough with the subject to get that upset over it.

What I would like to know is why CBS executives thought that Kaye had more clout than Garland in 1963? He turned down having his show being scheduled against BONANZA on Sunday and so Garland's show was thrown to the dogs.......or was it horse hoofs?

Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:20 am
by Richard M Roberts
Well congratulations Gary, you managed to be generally wrong or just somewhat misinformed on pretty much everything you said here. To begin with, Harvey Korman made his name as a supporting comic with his work on THE DANNY KAYE SHOW, which immediately translated into his being picked up as one of the regular supporting players on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW when one show went off the air as the other went on (when was he not a second banana? THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW was not called THE HARVEY KORMAN SHOW was it?)

As to the Sid Caesar similarity, that comes directly from Larry Gelbart’s mouth as to how the Writers and Producers of THE DANNY KAYE SHOW perceived the show themselves and its true. It becomes even more obvious when Howard Morris also became a semi-regular on THE DANNY KAYE SHOW as well. The mini-musical sketch like BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN is exactly the same form as many of the Caesar Show’s mini-musical or operetta sketches. The other thing you obviously have done no research on even if you don’t remember it at the time was how successful THE DANNY KAYE SHOW was for CBS, both critically and ratings-wise, it garnered numerous Emmy wins and nominations, as well as a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and was a top-ten hit certainly in its first few seasons. It was a big deal at the time to have Danny Kaye come to Television, it was something he had not done before and just as you were talking about how neat it was to have big-time Movie Stars doing TV in the 60’s, he was one of the last holdouts. In 1963, he was a VERY BIG DEAL for Television, Judy Garland was a troublesome performer on the downward slope of her career and way past her prime.

And of-for-friggin-course Danny Kaye was a bloody comedian you sap! No one could work their way through complicated patter songs the way he could, and his character-peppered monologues and stories were all tailored special to his personality, and, performing live, he was as electric as they came, he could mesmerize an audience like few could. So what if he had writers, get it through your skull Johnson, ALL COMEDIANS, FROM `EFFIN CHAPLIN ALL THE WAY ON DOWN HAD WRITERS!!!!! If you don’t know this, you haven’t been reading comedy history, much less the Silent Comedy Mafia, that closely. Does not alter their talents as comedians one diaphanous damn dippity-do-di-iota, for none of their writers could have done their material as well as they could.

It has become fashionable of recent to denigrate Danny Kaye because he may not have been the nicest guy in the Universe (and lets just see that list of the totally loveable human being comedians with perfect personal lives!……………come on!……….we’re waiting!……….one name!……….No Jack Benny doesn’t count, apparently he was married to one of the least likable women in show business.) and the fact that today the depressive, lonely film nerds watch his films alone in their hovels and think a Guy used to playing the packed Palladium comes across a bit much on a fifty-five inch flatscreen all by their widdle ownsomes and get on the Internet and say so, doesn’t make it true. Danny Kaye was a damn big deal at the time, top movie star of the forties and fifties, top television star of the sixties. THE DANNY KAYE SHOW has basically been kept out of circulation since it ran on the network, and that is too bad because it was so good that I and those that saw it remembered it well over all those years even though it hadn’t been around since to revisit, and I’m glad bits of it are finally sneaking back into public viewing. Danny Kaye was what Jerry Lewis could have been if he had had the talent and discipline to get himself to that level, and never did.

Glad to know you won’t be too upset by getting set straight on this one, as it is pretty darn obvious you have indeed invested mere pennies on the subject.

RICHARD M ROBERTS (and Danny Kaye isn’t even one of my top-ten faves either)

Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:02 am
by Gary Johnson
So I didn't know that someone could admit that they learned something and be called out for it as being wrong. I wrote that I assumed Korman learned his comic chops on a variety show before landing on Burnett's show. This clip gave me the answer -- Danny Kaye's show.
You need to work on your 'reading comprehension' skills.

Now I expected Richard to blow up over my Kaye comment, but I never said he wasn't a comic. I said I've never perceived him as a comic. To me he's a musical/comedy performer and you can scream the rafters off and nothing is going to persuade me otherwise.

Now then, after watching this clip I scrolled around to others from his series and I liked the Hillybilly routine with Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett (and Howard Morris is there also) and a segment where Kaye dances around with Gene Kelly. I have yet to find any comedy from Kaye that has amused me. I'll keep looking.

Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:38 am
by Richard M Roberts
Oh don’t try to get coy and cute now Johnson now that you got corrected on a few things, you basically said that you didn’t know that Harvey Korman was a second banana before he became……..a second banana, implying that ….what, he became a major comedy star when he was on THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW? Korman was always a second banana, one of the best in the business and a terrific comic actor, but he was always support.

It is perfectly okay to say “I don’t like Danny Kaye” or, “I don’t think Danny Kaye is funny”, but you know damn well you’re gonna get grief around here anytime you try any variation on the “I never considered Kaye a comedic talent” nonsense. Your perception problems are indeed your problems, and Kaye made too many damn people laugh not to consider him a “comedic talent”. Try it sometime.

And hmmm, what is this major difference between “comedian” and “musical/comedy performer”? Say, they both seem to contain the word “comedy” in there somewhere, however, apparently by your definition, being “musical” on top of being comic makes it mutually exclusive in some way or another? Well, then I guess The Marx Brothers aren’t comedians either, or Laurel and Hardy, or Chaplin, Keaton, Langdon, Charley Chase, the list goes on and on. Hey, Harold Lloyd didn’t sing, so I guess he was a “comedian”, though he considered himself a “comic actor”, ah well, just can’t make the grade by the Johnson parameters if you warble a tune or play an instrument as well, poppycock. Music and comedy go hand in hand, more often than not, kinda sorta involves that timing and precision you need to truly make either form work.

And since you mentioned those other two clips from the Kaye show, which are indeed delightful, perhaps we should put them up for all to see. Here’s the Hillbilly Sketch with Ebsen and Morris:

And here’s the dance routine with Gene Kelly:

I’m sorry that Danny Kaye does not “amuse “you, yet his comedy does seem to work for a lot of other folk.


Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:53 pm
by Gary Johnson
I just keep noticing that all of Kaye's comedic highlights are 'musical'.

Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:41 am
by Richard M Roberts
Gary Johnson wrote:I just keep noticing that all of Kaye's comedic highlights are 'musical'.

The hell they are, but if it were true, it would still not make him any less of a comedian.


Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:18 am
by Rob Farr
Just this week a 6-episode set called "The Best of the Danny Kaye Show" is out. As the reviewer points out, this seems less like the best the show had to offer than the six episodes they had available to them, but nonetheless I will be picking it up. ... kaye-show/

Re: BIKINI BEACH FRANKENSTEIN (1965) Danny Kaye Vincent Pric

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:03 pm
by Eric Cohen
"getTV" is showing 60s variety shows on Mondays and The Danny Kaye Show episode 4.17 is on 11/16/15 11pm Central Time.
The guest is Liberace and the weak Bond spoof is on youtube. It's all a set-up for the missing mirror routine. Still Kaye later plays an aging Italian tailor, Giovanni, a character that returns the next episode-a good sign…or maudlin sign. Guess I'll find out. I was a big (and young) fan of this show, but was out of the country for the 4th season and was disappointed to find it gone when I got back.