“Danny Kaye’s Fresh Slant On Comedy”

The Sydney Morning-Herald – Mar. 1, 1951

The fabulous Danny Kaye is back in Sydney tomorrow in Warner Brothers’ Technicolor comedy, “The Inspector General.”

The story is taken from a comedy by the last-century Russian playwright Gogol.

Danny had been waiting for a long time to make a film on this theme, though he doesn’t show much more respect towards the play than he does towards anything else.

He uses the story of a simple-minded vagabond who finds himself mistaken for an Inspector General as an excuse for his own personal brand of high-pressure clowning, singing, and dancing—though he does take time off for a little straight acting.

“I’m not a gag comic,” Danny Kaye insists. “What I need are situations and characters.”

But he has a way of handling them that is all his own. His habit of walking in front of the cameras and improvising an eight-minute routine without rehearsal gives directors nightmares, but those scenes are sometimes the highspots of his films.

In “The Inspector General” he persuaded director Henry Koster to let the cameras roll while he sat down and ate a whole meal, giving an impersonation of a single-minded glutton at work. It’s in the picture.

Another unexpected Kaye routine in the film is the “Soliloquy for Three Heads,” a quartet which Danny Kaye sings with himself.

Character actor Walter Slezak plays Danny’s employer, the gypsy quack.

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