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Danny Kaye: King of Jesters Hardcover – November 1, 2012
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Some criticize the book for not enough "personal" material. In terms of Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine, one thing seems to be abundantly clear: both of them personally engendered strong emotional reactions from their acquaintances, business associates and each other -- be those reactions either positive or negative. I would rather read a book, such as this one, which sticks to established facts and to quotes from the principal players than to dredge up scandal and gossip from those with an axe to grind. On that note, I think the book had an abundance of personal detail -- just not the type of detail you might glean from listening through a keyhole.
The part that impressed me the most was the evolution of the various plays and movies from original concept to finished product. Talk about stuffing sausages! That's what the movie evolutions reminded me of--stuffing sausages: the finished product didn't resemble the original components.
I had to look up comedian Eddie Cantor--many tried to make Danny Kaye into the "next Eddie Cantor." I don't understand Hollywood at all--why not cultivate originals instead of copies of copies?
Life events covered included on-set injuries (in a sidebar on Page 165), how Q fever put Danny Kaye in "White Christmas," Danny Kaye's morale-boosting efforts the day JFK was murdered, the first American television program shown in the USSR, and how a broken foot improved Danny Kaye's performance in the play "Two by Two." Talk about "break a leg!"
Some of the political (or a-political) Danny Kaye was revealed too: his activities in UNICEF and his reply to a media feeding frenzy when he returned from Vietnam during America's non-war: "I was there fourteen days!...I don't think that's enough time to get well-informed."
The interaction between Danny Kaye, Sylvia Fine and Sam Goldwyn reminded me of the defunct "Golden Dreams" attraction at Disneyland--the scene with the ruby slippers.
As this book lists most (if not every) radio and television appearance, I don't hesitate to recommend "Danny Kaye: King of Jesters" as a part of every Danny Kaye fan's library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Item is just as described. Not a tell all book but a good recounting of the career of this mulch-talented performer. Read morePublished 13 months ago by deville1968
My son, age 23, just discovered the magic that was Danny Kaye. I bought this as a Christmas gift for him and he loved it.Published on January 5, 2014 by T. Boyd
I was looking for a good bio of Danny Kaye. This book really is NOT that as it covers, for the most part, what took place during filming this or that movie. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by David W. Nesbitt
I was a big Danny Kaye fan as a child, and rarely missed his films. When Danny had his weekly variety show in the 1960s, I was less interested. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by A. Mcintyre
I have just finished reading David Koenig's Danny Kaye: King of Jesters and I'm speechless. There aren't many Danny Kaye books out on the market, so I was thrilled to see this one... Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Janet A. Vincent
It seem to me like a reveiw on films and plays staring Danny Kaye and not a life story of a master of comedy.Published on July 29, 2013 by Raymond Mace
This is not a biography, which is what I was hoping for when I bought the book. It is, instead, a reference book of Kaye's movies, stage appearances, television shows, and the... Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by Walter P. Sheppard
Having seen precious few of the films he made, almost all my memories of Danny Kaye date from his TV show of the 60s. Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by Mike O'Connor
Wonderful book and great service. Nothing much on his personal life but really good at the professional part.