Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Martin & Lewis address their critics
Make that critic. Louella Parsons. Ms. Parsons was America's first movie columnist. Nowadays we shrug off punks like Justin Bieber using a janitor's bucket for a urinal, but back in the day, Parsons had to power to make or break a celebrity's career with just a few pecks of her typewriter.
In public, the duo played nice with the Hollywood press machine. Once the cameras stopped rolling, Martin & Lewis' disdain for the Hearst Syndicate's reigning gossip queen became clear. Jerry refers to Parsons in his autobiography, Dean and Me, saying that she "spoke like a Muppet without a hand up her back."
That's nothing compared to what Jerry had to say on Larry King Live: "Let me tell you that probably 50 percent of the film community plays a game and does their thing because they're prominent and they're making a lot of money, and what they do is they give up a piece of their soul, which I would give up, and for them, their comfortable, and they feel that's fine. It was never fine for me and I wouldn't go there. I told Louella Parsons I thought she was a fat pig, because I thought she was. I had an opinion."
OH, YEAH! TIMPANI!
I was reminded of Jerry's love for Louella while thumbing through Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr., a collection of candid snaps taken by the Candy Man, man. My guess is this was shot on the set of Money From Home, but don't quote me. Note the headline on the framed newspaper.
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