“Danny Kaye’s Wife Is Brain Behind His Career”

The Deseret News – Jun. 3, 1959

HOLLYWOOD (UPI)—The “brain” behind Danny Kaye—his wife Sylvia—described herself today as a “creative needle” who writes Danny’s lyrics and music.

It’s more than happenstance that the comedian’s best pictures are the ones in which Sylvia collaborates.

Of Danny’s 13 pictures she has worked on all but four—and three of those were something less than box-office smashes.

“I would like to think that my contributions to Danny’s career have helped him along the way,” she said. “If it’s true it’s because I know him so well and I recognize what he can do.

“Sometimes I break up writing material for him because I know exactly how he’ll handle it.

“Danny and I are really a working team. We rely on each other’s judgment. And no matter what our advisers say, in the final analysis it is up to us to decide what he should do.

“A husband and wife team working together undoubtedly puts some stress on our personal relationship, but there are compensations, too. Our mutual interests are so much the same it keeps us close together.”

For Danny’s newest picture, “The Five Pennies,” Sylvia wrote the words and music for five songs, and penned a new set of lyrics for “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” Additionally, she functioned as associate producer.

“It isn’t all hard work,” Sylvia smiled.

“In every picture I’ve done with Danny we’ve managed to work in a ‘gesundheit’ joke. It’s sort of an inside gag with us to see how many variations we can come up with.”

“Danny is the funniest man I’ve ever known,” Sylvia said, “but only when he’s in the mood. He’s an intelligent man of many facets. Once you get him on a subject he’s interested in and knows something about he becomes deadly serious.”

“He’s unpredictable. I know him better than anyone else in the world, but even I don’t know when he will be serious or funny.

“Sometimes when we’re home alone Danny will go into a routine just to break me up. After all our years together he has to be funny to get a laugh from me, but he always does.”

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