“Danny Kaye Is Real Normal Guy: For Hollywood, That Is”

Beaver Valley Times – Aug. 16, 1957

By: Lee Belser

HOLLYWOOD – (INS) – In Hollywood, where the inmates drive pink cars, wear black glasses and call each other “darling.” Lanky-legged Danny Kaye stands out as a real normal guy.

Normal? Well, you be the judge!

Kaye is so normal he eats steak for breakfast, refuses to write letters, hates to see earrings on women and thinks an old golfing cap is a much more effective disguise than dark specs.

Last time we ran into this human time-bomb, he was slamming through a fast-paced routine for a movie, “Merry Andrew,” over at MGM.

“Still wearing those earrings?” he snapped. “And I thought I told you that’s the wrong color lipstick!”

Well, it’s like this I started to explain, and then, before you know it, Danny, is doing the interviewing.

By this time he knows my life story so well he could write a book called, “Skeletons in the Belser Closet.”

“Now,” he said, “Tell me where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.”

I could see this had all the earmarks of another life yarn, so when Danny dived into the set scene I beckoned to his press agent, a slender young man named Bob McElwaine.

“Say,” I said, “what do you do with a guy like that? He gets whackier every time I see him. Why can’t he be normal like other people?”

“Normal?” Bob relied in a surprised tone, “why he’s as normal as anybody.”

“He’s so normal,” the P. A. went on, “that he wears T-shirts and old slacks even though he has hundreds of beautiful clothes. He even designs some of them himself.

“And he never eats regular meals. I remember once in Boston he ate nothing but spaghetti with clam sauce for six weeks and another six weeks nothing but two fried eggs and a glass of root beer for lunch. He just didn’t want to bother thinking up something new to order!

“He has a world wide reputation as a comedian,” Bob continued, “but he has never told a joke either on or off stage. He says he doesn’t know any.

“And he has conducted some of the world’s great symphony orchestras. But he can’t read a note of music. And he has racks of neckties, but they’re all alike—dark knitted ones. He doesn’t want to bother trying to decide which one to wear.

“He never takes a drink except just before he goes to bed because he says the stuff puts him to sleep. He’s had the same agent, Abe Lastfogel, for 15 years, the same pianist, Sam Prager, 14 years and the same wife, Sylvia Fine, 17 years.

“Normal?” Bob shouted, “I’ll say!”

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