“Danny Kaye Is Real Showoff: Actor Wants People To Be Greatly Amused”

Kentucky New Era – Oct. 11, 1948

By: Gene Handsaker

Hollywood, Oct. 7—(UP)—Danny Kaye is Hollywood’s strangest showoff. He loves an audience … loves to regale an entire cast and crew at lunch with one admiring pal, frequently Composer Johnny Green, serving as volunteer straight man. But to a one-person audience Danny is practically a clam until you get to know him.

He enjoys and needs the feeling he is keeping people around him, large numbers of them convulsed. A suppressed chuckle from his director in the middle of a take peps up the whole scene. Henry Koster, currently directing Danny in “Happy Times,” calls him a “creative comedian.”

Six-foot, golden-haired, blue-eyed Danny Kaye lives almost entirely by instinct. He bursts into a rage over little things…somebody’s being late for an appointment, for example. But in another 10 minutes he’s apologizing. His peeve is being regarded as an uncultured funnyman limited to fast-talking git-gat-gittle. In the lobby at the Metropolitan Opera he encountered a man who said, “What the devil are you doing here?” An hour later Danny was still fuming. He told a friend, “I wanted to punch him in the nose.”

Of all the events of his 30 years…his breaking in on the Catskills’ borscht circuit, his graduation to Broadway, and his six movies…the biggest for Danny was playing to the royal family of England earlier this year.

“It was the first time in the history of England that the king and queen came to a variety house without it being a command performance,” Ed enthuses. “And it was the first time a king and queen sat in the stalls with the people at a music hall instead of in the royal box.” The royal couple, Princess Elizabeth, her husband and Princess Margaret Rose sat in front row center down stairs. Afterward, Danny and Ed chatted with the family in an anteroom. Ed was interested to note that Princess Margaret Rose referred to Her Majesty as “Mamma.”

The night Churchill attended, Danny lay on the apron of the stage and smoked a cigarette while news cameras flashed. “You’ve taken seven pictures of him and only three of me,” the Brooklyn clothes-designer’s son complained to the cameramen. “I’m supposed to be the star of this show…take four more of me, please.” And they did.

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