Marty Allen, who normally goes to the gym five days a week, broke his hip about a week and a half ago, but that is not keeping him out of commission. He got a hip replacement, and says, “I’m already walking with a cane and I’ve started exercising with this physical therapist who comes over.”
The chubby cutup who rose to fame with former partner Steve Rossi way back in the 1960s classic age of comedy expects to be in shape to play a gig Saturday (12/10) at the Louie Anderson Theater at Palace Station in Las Vegas. “And the next night, we fly to Milwaukee for another one.” He says, “You know how old I am? People get hysterical about it. I turn 90 in March.”
Allen & Rossi “What’s My Line?”
Allen’s onstage partner is his wife of 27 years, Karon Kate Blackwell. “She’s a phenomenal singer. She plays piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. And she’s a great straightwoman. Our act is kind of George Burns and Gracie Allen and I’m Gracie.” They keep a full calendar of performance engagements, he says, including a lot of cruise ship performances. “We’re constantly working. We don’t do vacations. We play to older crowds, younger crowds, anybody. Our act is one of the few clean acts out there. We do topical humor,” he lets us know. For instance, they have a current bit in which Marty dons a colorful wig and plays Daddy Gaga, father of guess who.
Allen gets out to see buddies like Don Rickles and Shecky Greene perform, and keeps his eye on the contemporary scene. The comedy world is vastly different from his earlier career, he allows, but he still sees a lot to like. “There are different people of today who are really good. Craig Ferguson is very funny.”
And he likes that gal who’s a couple months older than he is, Betty White.
Allen & Rossi: The Hollywood Palace