Irwin Corey Biography
is a product of the night clubs, bistros and radio, where he has been
practicing his special brand of surrealistic comedy under the soubriquet
"The World's Foremost Authority." He is proud of the fact
that he and his five brothers and sisters are alumni of the Brooklyn
Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and that he is the former 112-pound boxing champion
of the Civilian Conservation Corps. A minor role in "Pots and Pans," a borscht circuit
production, whetted his appetite for the stage. Irwin's night club career
began with an appearance at the Village Vanguard and the past master
of the non-sequitor has broken records for long runs at the Ruban Bleu,
The Cotillion Room, the Copacabana, and Chicago's Palmer House. On the
radio, Mr. Corey has starred on the Edgar Bergen and the Ballantine
Radio Shows. His first appearance in a musical comedy was in the U.S.O. presentation of "Oklahoma" in Europe, in which he took
over Joseph Buloff's role as the peddler Ali Hakim, and he has subsequently
been seen in "Heaven on Earth" and "Happy as Larry"
on Broadway, and as the zany genie, Abou Ben Atom, in "Fla-hooley,"
by Yip Harburg ("Finnian's Rainbow" and "Over The Rainbow,")
and Mrs. McThing. Off-Broadway he played the title role in The Good
Soldier Schweik. In the 70's he played Marlo Thomas's father in the
Herb Gardner play THIEVES and followed it by reprising his role in the
Paramount film of the play.
In the words of internationally known theatre critic Kenneth Tynan,
Corey is "a cultural clown, a parody of literacy, a travesty of
all that our civilization holds dear and one of the funniest grotesques
in America. He is Chaplin's clown with a college education."
Corey gained prominence in television on the talk shows of Steve Allan,
Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan. On Jackie Gleason's show as
a regular with Jayne Mansfield and Frank Fontaine. He did the Martha
Rey Show, Sgt. Bilko, Andy Griffith, Andy Williams, "Doc"
Bernard Hughs tv series, The Smother's Brothers, and Others in scripted
shows. And all the rest of the Talk Shows from Dick Cavette, Merv Griffin,
Mike Douglas, Pat Boon (Co-host for 1 week) Woody Woodberry, Joe Franklyn,
to David Letterman, and I forget the rest... In radio he was Charlie
McCarthy's tutor, and some people believe he was hiding in Fibber MaGee's
After a 10 year hiatus from the Broadway stage, the Professor was "Sylvester
Sly" in TAMING OF THE SHREW and the Gravedigger in HAMLET for Zoe
Caldwell (director) at the Stratford Shakespere Festival. COREY'S film
carrer started again in the past few years with
NOT RAPPAPORT, and most recently, THE
CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION.
The rest you'll have to figure out for yourself.