Cruel Fun

August 19th, 2016 § 0 comments

The late Larry Gore was a renowned Broadway press agent (and comic strip author). He had a sardonic wit. Gore commented after Israel’s Six Day War: “An Arab spokesman said: ‘Unfair. They have 2,300,000 Jews and we have none.'”. The nationally syndicated columnist Earl Wilson quoted the quip in his “It Happened One Night” column and it became a much repeated phrase. Gore’s office was a gathering place for the many comedians and night club performers he represented. They encouraged Larry to run his annual “Bore Party.” The party was attended by both Larry’s friends and local bores, that is, boring individuals whose self absorption made them oblivious in all ways to others. HG and the late Sander Greenberg assisted Larry at one bore party. They served platters of Uneeda biscuits sandwiching a triscuit (held together with a toothpick) and rock candy. The beverage was warm seltzer, no ice. Larry hired a thug to sit outside the bathroom. He demanded the bores pay him $1.00 to enter (no one ever mentioned this as outrageous). A glance at some of the guests: The estranged remittance man – son of a distinguished California family. Obsessed with cowboy movies. A Broadway shirt merchant who claimed that he was a great Shakespearean actor frozen out of classic theater because of anti-semitism. Retailing was only a sideline. There was a manager of a 42nd Street hot dog stand who relentlessly quoted baseball statistics. Others included a conspiracy theorist. According to him, everything was fixed by wily conspirators. Their targets included sports, theater and movie reviewing. Plus politics, of course (hey, the guy was sometimes right). There were a number of unmelodic song writers, off key singers and unfunny comics. All held day jobs in the theater district and considered themselves as an integral part of show biz. Entertainment for the party was by a rotund man in snug matador pants, Spanish high heels and colorful bolero. He fancied himself an expert Flamenco dancer. He was a ludicrous klutz. As he danced to recorded music, Sander and HG would make rapturous comments: “Look at that footwork!” “Dance genius!” “Better than anyone in Spain!” It was a happy party. The bores said they had a wonderful time and thanked Larry for his gracious hospitality.

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