Thursday, October 18, 2007

end of an era

Joey Bishop, the last survivor of the Rat Pack, has died.

The Rat Pack once was the coolest group of entertainers on the planet — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. Oh, yeah, and a stone-faced comedian named Joey Bishop.

Although not as widely appreciated, it was Bishop with his deadpan delivery, dead-on timing and bottomless pit of jokes, who was "the hub of the big wheel," according to Rat Pack leader Sinatra himself.

Bishop, who also starred on two TV shows throughout most of the 1960s, died Wednesday at age 89. He turned out to be the Rat Pack's last man standing, having outlived Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Lawford.

As a comic, I always found Joey Bishop to be somewhat of an unsung hero in the group.

So long, Joey.