Castor Oil...sickeningly good

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Who am I?

A new feature on the blog. First correct guess gets a kiss in the crotch from the sycophant of my choosing.

Who am I?

I was born in January of 1931. I grew up in the Bronx. My mother was a belligerent Swede who rarely left the house without a baseball bat. She had ethnic slurs for nearly every race, and she'd shout them regularly from the safety of her apartment window. My father was a henpecked Irish Catholic, a brush artist for movie posters at Paramount studios. When the studio started hiring photographers to design their posters, brush artists fell out of favor. My father lost his job and became an alcoholic.

I was, admittedly, a weak child in a tough neighborhood. A sickly, nearsighted boy, I’d climb into my mother's sewing basket and create puppet shows. I had no interest in sports, and he wasn't always able to hide the mannerisms and persona which marked me unmistakably as homosexual -- earning me the nickname of "Mary" from my immediate peer group.


At age nine, I got the lead in a school play about Christopher Columbus. My teacher told my mother that I was the only true actor she'd ever known. When I was eleven, a friend and I went to the circus in Hartford, Connecticut and a fire started under the circus tent. We escaped, but 168 people, including many children, died in the stampede to evacuate. For that reason, I have not sat in an audience for anything -- including a movie -- since July 6, 1944.

I decided to work backstage instead, and by the time I was 18, I was studying with Uta Hagen. My classmates included Jack Lemmon, Charles Grodin, Gene Hackman, Shelley Berman and Jason Robards. I remember that they couldn't act for shit! They stunk! If we had to watch Hal Holbrook and Steve McQueen do the brothers scene from Death of a Salesman once more, I thought we'd go out of our minds!

Between 1950 and 1960, I landed parts in twenty-two off-Broadway shows, including minor roles in Bye Bye Birdie, serving as the understudy for Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde. As
Bud Frump in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I earned a Tony Award -- and in 1964, I received the New York Critic's Circle award for my work as juvenile lead Cornelius Hackel in Hello, Dolly. Herald Tribune critic Walter Kerr wrote, "If I see his young, energetic face in one more opening number, I'm going to be sick."

When Dick Van Dyke left Bye Bye Birdie, he was replaced by Gene Rayburn, later the host of Match Game and long-time friend of mine. As Match Game grew in popularity, I was invited onto TattleTales and Hollywood Squares -- and somehow I ended up on every game show in town. I became a bigger personality than an actor. One night in the early 1970s, I realized that I was going to be appearing on game shows 27 times that week.

I was told years ago that I would never be allowed on television now I had to try to find out who you have to fuck to get off.

Who am I?

6 Comments:

  • Paul Lynn?

    By Anonymous Dennis, at 5:02 PM  

  • Close but no cigar silly man.

    By Blogger Castor OiL, at 5:08 PM  

  • Sounds like Hollywood Squares trivia. Could it be Charles Nelson Reilly?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:15 PM  

  • Charles Nelson MotherRucking Riley!

    :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 AM  

  • my mom?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 PM  

  • Charles Nelson Reilly it is! You can pick up your crotch kiss on April 1st at the Velvet Lounge.

    By Blogger Castor OiL, at 1:16 PM  

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