Milt and Marty, A Cautionary Tale for Comedy Writers
Last week, I dropped by a book “warming” at the Friars’ Club for “Milt & Marty” - a fake memoir for an unsuccessful comedy writing team. The book was penned by Tom Leopold and Bob Sand, two veteran comedy writers themselves (but far more successful, much to the consternation of Milt and Marty, who took the pair under their diseased racist wing).
At the warming, Milt and Marty made an appearance via video, in this interview was conducted by the funny (but playing it straight here) Frank Santopadre. There’s more than a little joy watching some old pros biting the hand of the generation before them, packing jokes in the rapid clip of that time, sometimes dropping a reference you might have to look up on Wikipedia.
(BTW, the video was shot by my good friend Carol Hartsell at Drink at Work, who describes some of the challenges in shooting it here.)
The event was held in the club’s Milton Berle room, jokingly described as appropriately the biggest room at the Friar’s Club (the room is actually a little small, doing no justice to the comic’s legendary shvantz). The Friars seem probably to most like the echo of a bygone era, but there’s still something a little amazing about the place - a private club where comedians could be funny uncensored among each other, doing the stuff they couldn’t on stage. That sense of fraternity doesn’t seem necessary today, but it’s still more than a little attractive. Might need to find myself a membership application.