“Danny Kaye Says Comedy, Feminine Acts Don’t Mix”

Middlesboro Daily News – Aug. 12, 1957

By: Aline Mosby (United Press Staff Correspondent)

HOLLYWOOD (UP) – Women who try to be the life of the party by acting like comics shouldn’t, says Danny Kaye. He thinks few women can be funny and feminine, too.

Danny sat on a set at MGM where he’s working in a movie, “Merry Andrew,” his first film in two years, and reflected on the state of the funny folks who happen to be female.

“There aren’t many female comedians because – well, how would like to put on a red wig and a funny nose and make people laugh,” he shrugged. “A woman likes to be thought of as a woman, as being pretty and feminine. Most women are terribly embarrassed if they think they are being made to look ridiculous.”

Down the years some women have decided to forget about being composed and graceful and have made their marks as uninhibited clowns, from the great and late Fanny Brice and Bea Lillie to Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca, Jane Kean (of the Kean sisters) and a newcomer who goes in for wonderful rubbery-faced imitations, Sue Carson.

Then there’s another group of women who go in for light, sophisticated comedy and still maintain a halo of glamour and beauty while they’re taking pies in the face and pratfalls. Kaye thinks Carole Lombard was a queen among those funny – but – glamorous beauties.

Others he picks are Rosalind Russell and Eve Arden. He also names as one of the big new stars of the year Kay Kendall, the English star and wife of Rex Harrison who’s the only new sophisticated comedienne to appear in the movies since Miss Russell. Kay’s drunk scene in “Les Girls”, her first Hollywood movie, ranks her as a master at being funny but feminine.

“There’s a borderline of being a clown and still retaining the qualities that makes a woman feminine,” Kaye said.

“Actually, the most attractive women I know are not afraid of being laughed at—look at Marilyn Monroe!”

“The attitude of men keeps many women from being funny. Certain men find complete unhibition in a woman a little frightening. It destroys the man’s picture of himself as being the dominant influence.

“Me—I like funny women, but those who still remain women. When I first met Sylvia (his wife), one of the things that impressed me most was her sense of comedy and how she could be feminine and funny at the same time.

“Most women are too serious anyway.”

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