December 14, 2014

1941 Premiered 35 Years Ago Today!

1941 - STEVEN SPIELBERG'S ONLY COMEDY - PREMIERED 35 YEARS AGO TODAY - DECEMBER 14, 1979.

THE BUDGET WAS AN ESTIMATED $42,000,000.00, AT THE TIME, THE HIGHEST BUDGET EVER FOR A FILM COMEDY.

JOHN WAYNE WAS OFFERED THE ROLE OF MAJOR-GENERAL STILLWELL IN THE FILM. HE FELT THE FILM WAS UNPATRIOTIC AND A SLAP IN THE FACE TO WORLD WAR II VETERANS, SO HE TURNED IT DOWN. (HE WAS ALSO VERY ILL AT THE TIME). CHARLETON HESTON ALSO WAS OFFERED AND TURNED DOWN THE ROLE.

SOME SCENES IN THE FILM WERE SO NOISY, WE COULDN'T HEAR STEVEN SPIELBERG SAY "CUT". HE ACTUALLY HAD TO FIRE A PROP MACHINE GUN IN THE AIR TO GET THE ACTION TO STOP.

I SPENT MOST OF 1941 UP IN A FERRIS WHEEL WITH MY PAL, MURRAY HAMILTON. ONE DAY, MURRAY AND I WERE REALLY GETTING WHIPPED AND SPUN AROUND BY STEVEN ON THE FERRIS WHEEL AND I GOT VERY MOTION SICK. STEVEN'S SECRETARY HELPED ME AND TOOK ME TO STEVEN'S DRESSING ROOM TO LIE DOWN.

I LAY ON STEVEN'S BED AND FELT VERY WOOZY AND NAUSEOUS. THEN I SHAKILY WALKED TO STEVEN'S BATHROOM AND THREW UP.

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IT DAWNED ON ME THAT I HAD JUST THROWN UP IN STEVEN SPIELBERG'S TOILET. THIS WAS A GREAT HONOR AND I STILL CONSIDER IT ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY CAREER.

Eddie's on the Cover!

Alleg

Check out who's on the cover of this month's Allegany Magazine!

December 08, 2014

John Lennon, My Hero

JWL

I BELIEVE IN HEROES. I KNOW NOT EVERYONE HAS A HERO OR HEROES, BUT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THEM AND I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN THEM.

ONE OF MY GREATEST HEROES, JOHN LENNON, DIED ON THIS DAY - DECEMBER 8 - IN 1980. WE ALL KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF JOHN'S PASSING, SO I WON'T MENTION THEM.

JOHN WAS ONE OF ROCK MUSIC'S GREAT ICONOCLASTS, HE WAS ACTUALLY A BOY SCOUT AND A CHOIR BOY IN HIS YOUTH.

IT WAS ACTUALLY JOHN WHO HELPED NAME THE GROUP THE BEATLES. HIS BEST FRIEND, STU SUTCLIFFE, THOUGHT OF THE NAME THE BEETLES, IN HONOR OF BUDDY HOLLY AND HIS BAND, THE CRICKETS. JOHN CHANGED THE SECOND "E" TO AN "A" BECAUSE THEY WERE A BEAT GROUP.

November 29, 2014

THE BEST COMEDY PARTNER I EVER HAD

WJS

VERY SADLY, MY OLD FRIEND AND CO-STAR WENDIE JO SPERBER, DIED ON THIS DAY - NOVEMBER 29 - in 2005.

WENDIE WAS A JOY AND A DELIGHT TO WORK WITH AND ALTHOUGH SHE APPEARED IN SEVERAL MOVIES AND TV SHOWS, SHE WILL ALWAYS BE ROSIE FROM I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND TO ME - IN MY HEART.

November 19, 2014

On Last Night's Daily Show:
Jon Stewart Namechecks Eddie Deezen

The Daily Show - "Classic Movie Nerd Eddie Deezen"

Your Moment of Zen starts just after 3:00...

October 18, 2014

THE DAY I SPOKE TO GEORGE C. SCOTT
ON THE PHONE

GCS
THE MARVELOUS ACTOR GEORGE C. SCOTT, WHO WAS SO BRILLIANT IN PATTON AND SO MANY OTHER MOVIES, WAS BORN ON THIS DAY - OCTOBER 18, 1927.

I HAD JUST FINISHED FILMING A PILOT AT PARAMOUNT STUDIOS CALLED HOMEROOM - THIS WAS AROUND 1981. THE CAST WAS ALL AT A RESTAURANT FOR THE WRAP PARTY.

THE PHONE THERE RANG AND I PICKED IT UP. THE CALLER ASKED FOR SOMEONE IN A VERY FAMILIAR, GRAVELLY VOICE.

AFTER WE SPOKE FOR A MINUTE, HE ASKED:

IS THIS EDDIE DEEZEN?.

YES, I REPLIED.

YOU WERE GREAT IN 1941. THIS IS GEORGE SCOTT, HE SAID.

IS THIS GEORGE C. SCOTT? I ASKED, STUNNED AND AMAZED. (HEAVY ACCENT ON THE "C" WHEN I ASKED) (!!!!!)

YEAH, HE ANSWERED.

I THANKED HIM PROFUSELY, AND SHAKEN AND AMAZED, I WENT TO GET HIS FRIEND AT THE PARTY.

October 10, 2014

The Fest for Beatles Fans - LA

Fest

I'LL BE AT THE LOS ANGELES FEST FOR BEATLES FANS 
TOMORROW AT THE LAX MARRIOTT.

I WILL BE AT THE SCREENING OF MY MOVIE I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND AT 1:00 P.M. AND I'LL BE SIGNING AFTERWARDS.

I WILL DEFINITELY BE SHOPPING AROUND TOO AND BUYING BEATLES STUFF AND JUST ENJOYING SEEING AND MEETING ALL MY FELLOW BEATLE FANS.

September 10, 2014

ON THE EVE OF 9/11

911
A HANDFUL OF EVENTS IN LIFE CONNECT US ALL. NEITHER SPECIFICALLY GOOD OR BAD, JUST CLASSIFIED AS EARTH-SHATTERING. NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN. INDELIBLE IN EACH OF OUR INDIVIDUAL MEMORY BANKS.

ON THE GOOD SIDE, THERE WAS THE BEATLES COMING TO AMERICA AND THEIR APPEARANCE ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. NEIL ARMSTRONG'S FIRST STEP ON THE MOON. MAYBE A FEW SPORTING EVENTS. A HANDFUL OF TV SHOWS PERHAPS. HMMMM.....MAYBE FEWER GOOD ONES THAN I HAD AT FIRST IMAGINED.

ISN'T IT ODD HOW THE BAD ONES SEEM TO OUTNUMBER THE GOOD?

I WAS SIX WHEN PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY WAS SHOT. I RECALL WALKING HOME FROM MY FIRST GRADE CLASS. WHEN I ARRIVED HOME I SAW MY MOTHER SITTING ON THE COUCH, WEEPING, HUGE SOBBING TEARS. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A WOMAN - OR ANYONE - EVER CRY LIKE MY MOM THAT DAY. I REMEMBER SEEING OUR SCHOOL FLAG HANGING AT HALF-MAST. THE DEATHS OF DR. KING AND ROBERT KENNEDY HAD NO REAL IMPACT ON MY INNOCENT, 13-YEAR-OLD MIND IN '68. HA! A LARK! MAYBE THERE'LL BE NO SCHOOL TODAY. IGNORANCE IS, INDEED, BLISS. MUCH DIFFERENTLY, THE DEATH OF JOHN LENNON IN 1980 HAD A DEEP AND PROFOUND EFFECT. I WAS A HUGE BEATLES FAN, LENNON MY SUPREME HERO. I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHELL-SHOCKED. SUCH A SMALL, PATHETIC MAN COULD ACTUALLY TAKE AWAY THE LIFE OF THIS GIANT - THE GREATEST ARTIST OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

LITTLE DID ANY OF US IMAGINE THE COLLECTIVE IMPACT OF 9/11, 13 YEARS AGO. COULD ANY OF US IMAGINE - IN OUR WILDEST DREAMS (NIGHTMARES) - HOW MANY HUMAN DEATHS WOULD HAVE OCCURRED ON AND AFTER THAT NOTORIOUS DAY? TOO HORRIBLE TO CALCULATE.

THE EVIL WE SEE ON OUR PLANET IN ITS WAKE - TOO HORRIFIC TO CONFRONT, MUCH LESS UNDERSTAND. AS WE LOOK AT THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, I IMAGINE WE MUST FEEL LIKE AMERICANS IN THE 30'S AND '40'S AS THEY WATCHED THE NEWSREELS OF THE NAZIS GOOSE-STEPPING AND STORM-TROOPING. CHILLING. CREEPY. EVIL ON SUCH A GRAND SCALE ONE FEELS A TOTAL EFFECT.

WHAT CAUSES HUMAN HATE TO EXIST HAS BEEN SURMISED AND DEBATED BY THE GREATEST PHILOSOPHERS SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. ALL TOO OFTEN IN HUMAN HISTORY, THE EVIL TRUMPS THE GOOD.

I THINK WE ALL REALIZE THAT IF IT DOES TRIUMPH AGAIN, THERE MAY BE NO REAL TOMORROW FOR ANY DECENT PEOPLE.

I SEND MY LOVE TO ALL MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS.

MAY THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR COLLECTIVE NATURE AS HUMAN BEINGS TRIUMPH.

MAY WE ALL LIVE TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE A BRIGHTER DAY!

August 31, 2014

MY REUNION WITH OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

ONJ-ED-14
(PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN)

ON THURSDAY NIGHT, WE WENT TO SEE OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AT THE FLAMINGO.

AS OLIVIA CAME OUT, SHE WAVED DAINTILY AT AT A FEW PEOPLE. THEN SHE SAW ME AT MY TABLE AND GAVE ME A BIG WAVE. I WAS DEEPLY TOUCHED. AT FIRST, I ACTUALLY WASN'T SURE THAT WAVE WAS FOR ME. (BUT IT WAS!!!)

OLIVIA SANG MANY OF HER HIT SONGS, THEN SHE GOT TO THE GREASE SONGS. THEN SHE SAID:

I WANT TO INTRODUCE ONE OF MY CO-STARS IN GREASE WHO IS HERE IN THE AUDIENCE: EDDIE DEEZEN, WHO PLAYED EUGENE.

I STOOD UP AND WAVED. SHE CALLED ME UP ON STAGE.

I RAN UP AND HUGGED OLIVIA AND GAVE HER A KISS ON THE CHEEK. I SAID:

YOU'RE STILL BEAUTIFUL.

(WHICH WAS VERY TRUE).

WE HUGGED AND I WENT BACK TO MY SEAT. OLIVIA SAID:

WE HAD FUN, DIDN'T WE?

TO ME. WE GOT GREAT CHEERS FROM THE PACKED HOUSE. IT WAS A TRULY MAGICAL MOMENT.

MOM AND I GOT TO SAY HI TO OLIVIA IN HER DRESSING ROOM AND LATER AT THE MEET AND GREET.

THIS WAS DEFINITELY THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY ENTIRE TRIP. OLIVIA WAS LOVELY, KIND AND GRACIOUS. SHE CALLED ME OVER TO GET A PHOTO TOGETHER. SHE SAID:

COME HERE, EUGENE.

THEN SHE APOLOGIZED FOR CALLING ME MY CHARACTER'S NAME.

I LOVED OLIVIA 37 YEARS AGO WHEN WE FILMED "GREASE" AND I STILL LOVE HER VERY MUCH.

I AM HAPPY AND PROUD SUCH A WONDERFUL LADY IS A PART OF MY LIFE.

July 02, 2014

THE GREATEST LOOK I EVER GOT
FROM A WOMAN

Gilda

I WAS REMINDED OF THIS MOMENT FROM A POST I JUST SAW ON SOMEONE'S FACEBOOK PAGE. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE INDELIBLE, UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS THAT WE ALL EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIVES.

I WAS AT THE PREMIERE PARTY FOR A MOVIE I WAS IN CALLED I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND IN 1978. IT WAS AT THE PLAZA HOTEL, WHERE WE WERE STAYING. (WE WERE THERE ON A PROMOTIONAL TOUR FOR THE FILM). AT THIS PARTY, I MET AND GOT TO CHAT WITH JOHN BELUSHI AND DICK CAVETT. I WAS AWESTRUCK, AS I IDOLIZED BOTH OF THESE GUYS. BUT THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT WAS A LOOK I SHARED WITH GILDA RADNER. I WAS JUST WALKING SOMEWHERE, AND I TURNED AND I SAW GILDA. WE STOPPED FOR A MOMENT AND LOOKED AT EACH OTHER, JUST LIKE TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE IN LOVE IN SOME CORNY B-MOVIE.

THE LOOK SHE GAVE ME WAS A COMBINATION OF WARMTH, COMPASSION, HUMOR, UNDERSTANDING, AFFINITY, FRIENDSHIP AND KINDNESS. I GUESS MOMENTS LIKE THIS ARE REALLY INDESCRIBABLE. THESE ARE "YOU HAD TO BE THERE" MOMENTS. I THINK THE LOOK TOOK ALL OF TEN SECONDS.

NO WORDS WERE EXCHANGED. NO WORDS WERE SPOKEN BY EITHER ONE OF US.

AND IN THAT BRIEF MOMENT, I UNDERSTOOD THAT THE REALLY GREAT MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH TIME. TIME IS IRRELEVANT.

IN THAT MOMENT, I UNDERSTOOD WHY SO MANY LOVED GILDA RADNER SO MUCH.

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