A Redundant Special: The Big Party



Every so often, we will present an entire episode of a fabulous television program. We commence with The Big Party, an amusing soirée thrown by Rock Hudson in 1959. His guests include Esther Williams, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mort Sahl, Carlos Montoya, Matt Dennis, the marvelous Lisa Kirk (with her bevy of boys), and Miss Tallulah Bankhead. Commercials from Revlon only add to the glamour. It's a fun and fascinating look at a bygone era, and cocktails are mandatory. Enjoy!

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UPDATE: Check out the comments for a message from LYPSINKA!

15 comments:

  1. I have to admit that I'm only five minutes in (the Internet is being most trying in this part of the world today), but I've already decided two things:

    1. I want a loop recording of Barbara Britton saying "the BIG party!" over and over again; and

    2. I think the sound track from this could be the basis for Lypsinka's next vehicle.

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    1. TOTAL Lypsinka! I even considered sending this to her!

      Whatever you do, don't miss Lisa Kirk's performance at 52:00. FABULOUS!

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  2. Who knew Miss Bankhead was so gauche,and such a bore. Rock looks like he'd rather be in the locker room at the local gym.

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    1. This was toward's the end of Tallulah's illustrious career, when she was drinking heavily. Or, rather, even more heavily. Within a decade she would appear on Batman, and then die.

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  3. I knew it. Adam West was a serial killer.

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  4. And you should send this to Lypsinka!

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  5. So many moments! Sammy's remark to Rock that "Most of the group was there. Sal and Tab and everybody" Was this a little in-joke about Hollywood gays? The crowd laughs, knowingly...Tallulah playing "Tallulah"...Barbara Britton's Revlon spiel...Lisa Kirk's FABULOUS performance (at 52:00)---that luggage! Those boys!...Matt Dennis, wonderfully singing one of his most popular compositions, "Violets for your Furs"...Rock lifting Sammy off of the grand piano...Tallulah's oddly touching farewell. I LOVE THIS SHOW!

    Other episodes featured Greer Garson, Peggy Lee, Eva Gabor, Carol Channing, Martha Raye, Sal Mineo, John Gielgud. Only three episodes were televised, though twenty were originally ordered. Would love to see any and all of them!

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  6. Who did she say came in Rock's suit, again????
    I'll listen to it again while I'm eating my two cubes of Aids while wrapped in Saran about my torso....

    I wonder who is on The View, tomorrow...

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  7. Awesome!

    What I learned from Revlon's "The Look" is that in less than 24 hours they'll take you from Morning Make Up Innocent to Evening Make Up Slut.

    I can remember watching Arthur and Katherine Murray's Dance Party as a little kid and I wonder if in hind sight it was as fabulous as this?

    BrianB

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  8. A message from LYPSINKA!

    I sent this link to John Epperson (that's Lypsinka to you!) and he was kind enough to reply! Here's what he had to say:

    Thank you, Thom! I have had for over 20 years the audio recording of Kirk's Persian Room act, but had never seen any footage.

    I performed the Traveling Light number at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom in 1992 for an AmFAR benefit, complete with dancing boys. The boys in this clip may have been Kirk's original Persian Room guys. The lighter-haired of the 4 seems to Anthony Teague who later played Bud Frump in the movie version of How To Succeed In Business.

    The audio recording of the act also have a great arrangement of Anything Goes which I made a film of in 91. Must post it on youtube someday.

    Kirk's act was staged by Tony Charmoli who is a friend of mine, still living in LA.

    Keep 'em comin'!

    Best,
    John Epperson aka The Lyp


    And, in a post script: Jean Louis did the costumes for Kirk's act, so that's probably a Jean Louis custom made original she's wearing there. She was quite the clotheshorse and must have had lots of money because she had many designer originals. Her husband was Bob Wells who wrote The Chestnut Song (Xmas Song). A funny story I heard about her: She stepped onto a crowded elevator once and was peeved that no one seemed to recognize her, so she said out loud, "Silly me - Lisa Kirk - forgot my gloves!"

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  9. This is simply everything in the world!

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    1. Isn't it something? I'm so glad you watched it!

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