Thursday, October 18, 2007

"I thought you could walk on water!"

The last of the Rat Packers passed away Wednesday night. Bronx native Joey Bishop was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb in 1918 and began his comedy career with his brother Maury in the 1930s. Known for his dead pan delivery, Joey rose to fame in the 1940s and 50s televison (The Steve Allen Show),night clubs, and junket circuit. Then he fell in with the notorious Rat Pack which consisted of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. He never had the high profile as the rest of his cronies but he was known as the "Hub of the wheel" and often played the straight man in their routines.

His comedic brilliance is typified in his reaction to a near tragedy. Frank Sinatra almost drowned while filming a movie in Hawaii, so Bishop wired him: "I though you could walk on Water."

After his Rat Pack days, Joey starred in NBC's "The Joey Bishop Show" from 1961-65 and appeared in dozens of movies and television shows in supporting roles.

Thanks for the laughs Joey. The old gang is back together now.

(More information on Wikipedia)

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