Born to poverty-stricken teenage parents in the slums of Chicago, Howard helped support his family from the age of 9 by performing on stage. By 15 years old, Howard’s career took off when he regularly performed at the Chicago Theatre, where he was introduced to the scene by his stage name Slick Slavin. He went on to perform at a variety of well-known nightclubs and theaters around the world, where he sang, played instruments, and did impersonations.
After serving in the Army, Howard returned to pursue a career as an actor, starring in films such as “Philbert,” “Speed Crazy,” and “King Creole” alongside Elvis Presley.
Howard later made the transition from acting to writing, eventually becoming head writer of the talk show “The Joey Bishop Show.” He went on to write and produce several television specials,