Jimmy Durante

DuranteThe Jimmy Durante ShowThe Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore ShowClayton, Jackson, and DuranteJames DuranteJames Francis "Jimmy" Durante
James Francis Durante (, ; February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor.wikipedia
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Lower East Side

Lower East Side, ManhattanCorlear's HookLower East Side of Manhattan
His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, Lower East Side Manhattan accent, comic language-butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and prominent nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s.
By the turn of the twentieth century, the neighborhood had become closely associated with radical politics, such as anarchism, socialism and communism, and was also known as a place where many popular performers had grown up, such as the Marx Brothers, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, George and Ira Gershwin, Jimmy Durante, and Irving Berlin.

Lou Clayton

Clayton, Jackson & DuranteLew Clayton
Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson, Durante's closest friends, often reunited with Durante in subsequent years.
Lou Clayton (also Lew Clayton, born Louis Finkelstein; 1890-1950) was an American song-and-dance vaudeville performer, best known for his teaming with Jimmy Durante and Eddie Jackson, as Clayton, Jackson, and Durante, or "The Three Sawdust Bums".

Piano bar

piano loungebar pianistclub pianist
He continued working the city's piano bar circuit and earned the nickname "ragtime Jimmy", before he joined one of the first recognizable jazz bands in New York, the Original New Orleans Jazz Band.
Jimmy Durante started as a piano bar player, as did Billy Joel.

The New Yorkers

The New Yorker,
Jackson and Durante appeared in the Cole Porter musical The New Yorkers, which opened on Broadway on December 8, 1930.
Star Jimmy Durante also wrote the words and music for the songs in which his character was featured.

Eddie Jackson (vaudeville)

Eddie Jackson
Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson, Durante's closest friends, often reunited with Durante in subsequent years.
Edward Jackson (February 19, 1896 - July 16, 1980 ) was a leading vaudeville performer, actor and musician, and longtime colleague and partner of Jimmy Durante.

Inka Dinka Doo

By 1934, Durante had a major record hit with his own novelty composition, "Inka Dinka Doo", with lyrics by Ben Ryan.
"Inka Dinka Doo" is a 1933 popular song whose words were written by Ben Ryan, and whose music was composed by James Francis "Jimmy" Durante.

Billy Rose's Jumbo

JumboBilly Rose's Jumbo (film)1962 Film
This comedy bit, also reprised in his role in Billy Rose's Jumbo, likely contributed to the popularity of the idiom the elephant in the room. Durante went on to appear in The Wet Parade (1932), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, playing Banjo, a character based on Harpo Marx), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical), and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
Billy Rose's Jumbo is a 1962 American musical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Doris Day, Stephen Boyd, Jimmy Durante, and Martha Raye.

Hollywood Party (1934 film)

Hollywood PartyHollywood Party'' (1934 film)
In 1934, he starred in Hollywood Party, where he dreams he is 'Schnarzan', a parody of 'Tarzan' who was popular at the time due to the Johnny Weissmuller films.
Hollywood Party, also known under its working title of Hollywood Revue of 1933 and Star Spangled Banquet, is a 1934 American pre-Code musical film starring Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, Jimmy Durante, Lupe Vélez and Mickey Mouse (voiced by an uncredited Walt Disney).

Speak Easily

He was initially paired with silent film legend Buster Keaton in a series of three popular comedies for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Speak Easily (1932), The Passionate Plumber (1932), and What! No Beer? (1933), which were financial hits and a career springboard for the distinctive newcomer.
Speak Easily is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy film starring Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, and Thelma Todd, and directed by Edward Sedgwick.

The Passionate Plumber

He was initially paired with silent film legend Buster Keaton in a series of three popular comedies for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Speak Easily (1932), The Passionate Plumber (1932), and What! No Beer? (1933), which were financial hits and a career springboard for the distinctive newcomer.
The Passionate Plumber is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy film directed by Edward Sedgwick, and starring Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, and Irene Purcell.

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942 film)

The Man Who Came to Dinnera 1942 feature filmThe Man Who Came to Dinner'' (1942 film)
Durante went on to appear in The Wet Parade (1932), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, playing Banjo, a character based on Harpo Marx), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical), and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
The supporting cast features Jimmy Durante and Billie Burke.

The Jumbo Fire Chief Program

He then moved on to The Jumbo Fire Chief Program (1935–36).
The Jumbo Fire Chief Program is an American old-time radio program starring Jimmy Durante, Donald Novis and Gloria Grafton.

The Phantom President

The Phantom President (uncredited)
His early motion pictures included an original Rodgers & Hart musical The Phantom President (1932), which featured Durante singing the self-referential Schnozzola.
It was directed by Norman Taurog, starred George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert, and Jimmy Durante, with songs by Richard Rodgers (music) and Lorenz Hart (lyrics).

Billy Rose

RoseWilliam RoseBilly Rose dancer
A year later, Durante starred on Broadway in the Billy Rose stage musical Jumbo.
He produced Jumbo, starring Jimmy Durante, at the New York Hippodrome Theatre.

Buster Keaton

KeatonBuster Keaton ProductionsEleanor Keaton
He was initially paired with silent film legend Buster Keaton in a series of three popular comedies for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Speak Easily (1932), The Passionate Plumber (1932), and What! No Beer? (1933), which were financial hits and a career springboard for the distinctive newcomer.
MGM tried teaming the laconic Keaton with the rambunctious Jimmy Durante in a series of films, The Passionate Plumber, Speak Easily, and What! No Beer? The latter would be Keaton's last starring feature in his home country.

Red Harvest

book of the same name
Earlier that same year, the team appeared in the movie Roadhouse Nights, ostensibly based on Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest.
Red Harvest was adapted for the 1930 film Roadhouse Nights, starring Helen Morgan, Fred Kohler, and Jimmy Durante.

What! No Beer?

He was initially paired with silent film legend Buster Keaton in a series of three popular comedies for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Speak Easily (1932), The Passionate Plumber (1932), and What! No Beer? (1933), which were financial hits and a career springboard for the distinctive newcomer.
What - No Beer? is a 1933 Pre-Code comedy film directed by Edward Sedgwick and starring Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad WorldIt's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, WorldIt’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Durante went on to appear in The Wet Parade (1932), Broadway to Hollywood (1933), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942, playing Banjo, a character based on Harpo Marx), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962, based on the 1935 musical), and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).

Four Star Revue

All Star RevueAll-Star Revue
Although Durante made his television debut on November 1, 1950 (on the Four Star Revue - see below) he continued to keep a presence in radio, as a frequent guest on Tallulah Bankhead's two-year NBC comedy-variety show The Big Show.
The series originally starred four celebrities, Ed Wynn, Danny Thomas, Jack Carson, and Jimmy Durante (hence the name Four Star Revue), alternating as hosts of the program every week.

Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy

Augie DoggieDoggie DaddyAugie Ben Doggie
became an instant catchphrase, which would later inspire the cartoon Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy.
Doggie Daddy (voiced by Doug Young with a Brooklyn accent, based on a Jimmy Durante impersonation) tried to do the best he could at raising his rambunctious son Augie (voiced by Daws Butler).

The Big Show (NBC Radio)

The Big ShowBig ShowThe Big Show'' (NBC Radio)
Although Durante made his television debut on November 1, 1950 (on the Four Star Revue - see below) he continued to keep a presence in radio, as a frequent guest on Tallulah Bankhead's two-year NBC comedy-variety show The Big Show.
Hosted by stage actress Tallulah Bankhead, The Big Show began November 5, 1950, on NBC with a stellar line-up of guests: Fred Allen, Mindy Carson, Jimmy Durante, José Ferrer, Portland Hoffa, Frankie Laine, Russell Knight, Paul Lukas, Ethel Merman, Danny Thomas and Meredith Willson.

Cole Porter

PorterColeC. Porter
Jackson and Durante appeared in the Cole Porter musical The New Yorkers, which opened on Broadway on December 8, 1930.
Red, Hot and Blue (1936), featuring Merman, Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope, ran for 183 performances and introduced "It's De-Lovely", "Down in the Depths (on the Ninetieth Floor)", and "Ridin' High".

Elephant in the room

The Elephant in the Living Roomelephants in the roomthe elephant in our living room
This comedy bit, also reprised in his role in Billy Rose's Jumbo, likely contributed to the popularity of the idiom the elephant in the room.
In 1935, comedian Jimmy Durante starred on Broadway in the Billy Rose Broadway musical Jumbo, in which a police officer stops him as he leads a live elephant and asks, "What are you doing with that elephant?"

Eddie Cantor

The Eddie Cantor ShowEddie ''CantorEddie Cantor show
On September 10, 1933, Durante appeared on Eddie Cantor's NBC radio show, The Chase and Sanborn Hour, continuing until November 12 of that year.
One of his earliest paying jobs was doubling as a waiter and performer, singing for tips at Carey Walsh's Coney Island saloon, where a young Jimmy Durante accompanied him on piano.

Original New Orleans Jazz Band

He continued working the city's piano bar circuit and earned the nickname "ragtime Jimmy", before he joined one of the first recognizable jazz bands in New York, the Original New Orleans Jazz Band.
Jimmy Durante, the only New Yorker in the group, became well known for his showmanship and took over leadership from Frank Christian in 1920 and the group was renamed "Jimmy Durante's Jazz Band".