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Danny Kaye

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One of the silver screen's greatest comedians.

Kaye's first film role was as a hypochondriac in the Army in UP IN ARMS (1944), a musical comedy which also featured Dinah Shore, Dana Andrews and Virginia Mayo (as a chorus girl). Mayo actually appeared with Kaye in each of his first five films.

At left is a still from their second film together, WONDER MAN (1945), in which he plays twins, one a musical comedy entertainer who gets bumped off by a gangster and frequently comes back to inhabit the body of his brother, a quiet bookworm. Mayo is his librarian girlfriend. Both the comedy and special effects hold up pretty well in this one, making it a fun picture. Also featured in WONDER MAN are Vera-Ellen and S.Z. Sakall.

A poster from THE KID FROM BROOKLYN (1946), another fun Kaye comedy, this time featuring him as a shy milkman named Burleigh Sullivan who accidentally knocks out a prize fighter and gets recruited to play a dupe champion boxer, all of whose opponents get paid to take a dive for him. Thinking he's a real "Tiger," Burleigh gets an ego which threatens to spoil his relationship with his nightclub singer girlfriend, Polly Pringle (played by Mayo). Songs in this musical comedy include "You're The Cause Of It All" and "Hey! What's Your Name?"

Remember this famous dialog from THE COURT JESTER (1956)?

Hawkins: I've got it! I've got it! Click hereThe pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! (a 45KB .WAV file) Right?
Griselda: Right. But there's been a change: they broke the chalice from the palace!
Hawkins: They broke the chalice from the palace?
Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
Hawkins: A flagon...?
Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
Griselda: Right.
Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
Griselda: No!!! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
Hawkins: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
Griselda: Just remember that.

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Last updated: October 19, 2010.
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