Amazon Primes Gives Ability to Look Back at Childhood Friends
This was a kine-scope of a 50-minute 1959 TV special starring George Burns. It's amazing to think he died in 1996 and outlived Bobby Darin, who was only 23 at this time and died in 1973. Burns was a big promoter of Darin, and they worked well together. First Darin sang CLEMENTINE, and then he and George did a sand dance. Burns was 54 at the time and really smooth and in great singing voice.
In fact, in his later years, when he was an octogenarian and older, he did substantially this same act, making fun of his singing voice, singing really old vaudeville songs and telling stories about starting out with neighborhood kids as the Peewee Quartet, as well as all the different acts and names he had in vaudeville. There was more singing and less comedy in this, though, and it was great.
Jack Benny was on, ostensibly recreating his first time on stage without his violin, so that he didn't know what to do with his hands; it was pretty funny, although Jack was not really a physical comic; his awkwardness (except when he mimed bowing his violin) was part of the joke.
At the end, Jack, George, Eddie Cantor and Georgie Jessel sang PALS, while they each tried to upstage the other. I enjoyed this very much, although the b/w print was very smeary and hard to see someone youthful like Darin, whose face seemed washed out. Here's a clip from this sequence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUpLdLupNWk
All the ads were cut and the running time was still 50 minutes; now you hardly get 40 minutes without commercials during an hour.
Ethel Merman showed up at the end to tout her appearance the following week. She looked great.
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