Marty Allen, the comedy half of the Allen and Rossi team, is still performing as he gets ready for his 95th birthday tomorrow. Last December he did two comedy shows with his wife at a theater in Boca Raton, Florida.
As Marvin Glassman wrote in the Florida Jewish Journal,
Allen may be one of the oldest Jewish comedians still on stage to have performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show," a popular television variety show in the 1950s and 60s.Here are Allen and Rossi in a TV appearance with Dean Martin. Enjoy!
Allen and his late partner Steve Rossi became a comedy duo hit from the "Sullivan" appearances. Known as "Allen & Rossi," the duo appeared 44 times on "Ed Sullivan" and had 700 other television appearances in their heyday from 1957-68, before breaking up as a duo.
Allen was the pudgy, wild-haired short, affable Jewish man who would play funny characters while being asked questions by Rossi. Allen's quick wit made audiences laugh as Rossi would ask him questions after beginning the routines by saying "Hello Dere."
Born as Morton Alpern in Pittsburgh, he went into show business after serving in the U.S. Air Forces in World War II while stationed in Italy. Allen earned a Soldier's Medal for his bravery getting fellow soldiers out of a plane that was caught on fire while being refueled.
"I was shocked when I was in Italy to later learn about the Holocaust and care deeply about being Jewish and being a supporter of Israel. Growing up, our family celebrated all the Jewish holidays and I still celebrate the Jewish holidays," said Allen.
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