“Danny Kaye’s Shopping For A Broadway Show”

St. Petersburg Times – Jul. 28, 1946

By: Louella O. Parsons

HOLLYWOOD—“Next Christmas will be the happiest one in my whole life,” Danny Kaye said, “for just about that time, or a little earlier, I expect Santa Claus in a white coat to step out of the delivery room and say to me, ‘It’s a baby.’ Imagine the thrill of that—after seven years of marriage.”

“Don’t you know which you prefer—a girl or a boy?” I asked.

“Certainly I know,” said Danny, giving me that zany look of his. “If on my way to the studio, I pass a cute little girl, that day I want a girl. If on the way home, I pass a small boy, then I want a boy. I make bets both way. I don’t know which I’ve got the most money on—the males or the females—but either way, all Sylvia and I are really waiting for is that ‘It’s a baby’ bulletin. When I hear that, it will be absolutely the biggest moment I’ve ever lived through."

I have never seen Danny so talkative as he was the day he came to call on me for this interview. Ordinarily, for all his glibness on screen, he’s a very quiet, intense and almost moody guy off screen. Incidentally, he’s much more handsome than he photographs, too. He’s given his wife, Sylvia Fine, so much credit for her influence on his career, that too many people think she’s created all of it. I definitely believe in wives getting credit for their contribution to their husband’s success, and I know Sylvia deserves every word of the praise that Danny has heaped upon her, but just the same, I am aware that, in the final analysis, it is Danny who decides just what is funny for him, and what isn’t. When it comes to the actual working out of the details of being a comedian, that is no laughing matter.

Right now, for instance, Danny is hunting around for an outside picture to do, separate from his contract with Samuel Goldwyn, with whom he has made his three enormously successful pictures, “Up in Arms,” “Wonder Man,” and his current smash: “The Kid From Brooklyn,” at which I literally laughed until I cried.

“I’ve only praise for Sam Goldwyn,” Danny explained. “He signed me when other producers thought my kind of comedy would never go on screen. I’m eternally grateful to him for the opportunity he’s given me and the type of productions he’s put me in. Nevertheless, my three pictures with him have practically been duplicates of one another, even the cast of them being about the same. That’s why I want either to get a stage play to do on Broadway or a free-lance picture so that I can show the public I’ve some variety as a performer.”

I told Danny I was afraid that if he got a Broadway hit, he might stay back there and desert Hollywood.

“Oh, no I won’t,” he said. “Sylvia and I have both fallen for this place. We’ll be back in New York this winter because Sylvia wants to have her own doctor with her when the baby’s born. In fact, she’s back there now and I’ll join her just as soon as my picture, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ stops shooting. But, if I don’t get a stage show, I expect that right after New Year’s we’ll shut up our apartment back there, and come out here and build a real home. That will be one with a very small living room and dining room—for we are not the givers of big parties. With us, eight people is a blow-out. But we’ll have a strictly terrific nursery, and if, in a few years, that gets overcrowded, that will be very sharp.”

Danny’s ambition, as he further explained it to me, seemed very intelligent. What he desires are not more important roles, but actually less important. At least he wants to share his productions with someone—another star, and a generally bigger cast. So far, he has carried his pictures all alone.

“I’d really like something like Rita Hayworth’s ‘Gilda,’” he said, “only tailored to a male lead. That was primarily dramatic, but it also had musical interludes. Rita was the star but Glenn Ford was right in there, sharing the spotlight, and the rest of the cast was top grade, too. I’d like to do an almost straight comedy. If a song worked into it, let it be a part of the plot—not an out-and-out ‘number,’ such as I’ve always done up till now.”

“Will you teach your baby how to become a star?” I asked. “That would sure give it a head start by a million dollars.”

“I’m the one who’ll need the teaching,” Danny said. “I’ll have to learn how to keep out of his way—or her way—so the poor kid won’t be burdened with being ‘Danny Kaye’s child.’ But then, Sylvia will manage that. She always does She’s the brains of our family, you know.”

Danny wasn’t acting when he said that. He honestly doesn’t regard himself as very smart. But I think he’s very much so, don’t you? And I think Mr. or Miss Kaye Jr. is going to be a mighty lucky infant, indeed.

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