Today, June 24, is Joey Faye Day on the Great White Way.
Tony Randall will host a memorial tribute to the archetypical baggy-pants comic at 5:30 PM at the New Victory Theatre on West 42nd St. (Formerly Billy Minsky's Burlesque Theatre, where Faye performed from 1930-39).
Among those sharing their remembrances of Faye will be Milton Berle, Nanette Fabray, Sid Caesar, Rose Marie, Betty Garrett, Claire Aldon, Sondra Lee, stripper Sherry Britton, Saundra Gould and Al ("Grandpa") Lewis.
Eric Comstock at the piano will sing tunes selected from Faye's three dozen or so Broadway shows and a dozen films, for which he supplied comic relief for the likes of Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and John Wayne. Three films will be shown on the program -- one an original, one a salute from Friars Club friends in Los Angeles, and one a compilation of his work on film. Included in the latter are a Vitaphone short, the "slowly I turned" episode on "The Danny Thomas Show," and the telephone sketch from "Candid Camera."
Faye, who died April 26, 1997 at age 87, was in may people's minds the last of the great second-bananas -- a rep he capped while doing Top Banana with Phil Silvers and Jack Albertson. Carol Bradshaw is executive producer for the salute. Donations are requested for the Joey Faye Memorial Fund: 255 Mill Road, Staten Island, NY 10306.
-- By Harry Haun