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Lou Holtz - Lou Holtz Laugh Club 1940s

On: Monday, October 15, 2012

Lou Holtz
Birth name
Apr 11 1893 - Sep 22 1980 age 87
Official Site 

Lou Holtz is one of those "footnote" kind of comics; not exactly unique, far from brilliant.. Simply good enough to get noticed, make a nice living, and work with some of the top talents of his day. Lou's shtick was Yiddish dialect humor and telling funny stories. He ran hot and cold, capable of raising up a few belly laughs at his best and downright grating at his worst. His easy, conversational style and borderline blue humor made him a Catskills mainstay for decades. He was also a shameless gag recycler. In the 1940s, author Robert Bloch happened to meet Holtz and asked him about the source of his material. In response he summoned his dresser, who was a mute, and asked him for "the book." The dresser nodded and pulled a small black notebook from his jacket-pocket, handing it to Mr. Holtz. The comic held up the little black notebook and nodded.  "Here it is," he said. "My material." "For this show?" I asked. "For all my shows," Holtz responded." Including the radio programs, the revues, the nightclub acts. Over the years I've used maybe fifty, sixty stories. What more do I need?"
Lou Holtz shared the stage with Ed Wynn in Manhattan Mary as the smooth-talking agent Sam Platz and was on hand when Paramount's Astoria studios on Long Island filmed the musical as Follow the Leader in 1930. Between a couple of editions of George White's Scandals and a starring role in You Said It, a 1931 college-themed musical comedy that played for 192 performances, this was Holtz's peak both as a comic on Broadway and in film. In 1934, he was one of the first comics to appear in Columbia's Musical Novelties, the studio's first "official" two-reel comedies, doing his dialect shtick in School for Romance and When Do We Eat?. These two shorts marked the end of Lou Holtz's film career, although he's one of an endless number of writers who contributed gag material to MGM's bloated Ziegfeld Follies (1946). Holtz's storytelling abilities were put to their most effective use on radio where he most notably clowned for Rudy Vallee through the 1930s. At some point in the early 50s, Holtz starred in a syndicated series entitled The Lou Holtz Laugh Club, a daily series of five-minute programs (3:30 without the ads) that featured Lou, "America's favorite storyteller", as "the chairman of the Laugh Club". The format was effective and simple; the show opened with a one-liner followed by a bit of crosstalk between Holtz and his Southern-accented assistant "Ginger", a story, and a final bit of crosstalk with Ginger. Lou would then "adjourn the meeting" with the whack of a gavel. The shows were recorded before an audience of perhaps ten or fifteen people who, only rarely, seem not to be forcing their guffaws. The Lou Holtz Laugh Club was syndicated by Laffaday, Inc., which I have to assume was Holtz's own enterprise, and I can't imagine he didn't make a healthy return on this little program.     And a followup reader comment:
"Lyla Budnick, the kid sister of Larry Fine of The 3 Stooges told me that Holtz offered to let Fine develop an act from Holt's material. She told me Larry was honored, Holtz had said something to the effect that Larry's charm and gentle nature was perfect for delivering the material, etc. Larry considered it, but he and Moe really wanted to keep the Stooges going if at all possible." Third Banana

01 - 60 Episodes 1 - 60
67 - 74 Episodes 67 - 74
Episodes 61-66 are missing

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