PERFORMERS: ALLEN AND ROSSI

allenrossiby PETER TATCHELL (reprinted from LAUGH MAGAZINE #13, 1995)

In the early 1960s the most popular double act in America was Marty Allen and Steve Rossi. Almost overnight they inherited the mantle of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as the country’s favourite Italian singer and his goofball offsider, and were much in demand at Las Vegas nightclubs and on television programmes like The Ed Sullivan Show.

The pair met in 1959 when 37-year-old Allen was Nat King Cole’s opening act . . . Rossi (ten years younger than his partner) had previously worked as a straight man in a revue starring Mae West. Fans everywhere delighted at Marty’s crazy antics as a punch-drunk boxer, a spaced-out astronaut and even a Playboy Bunny.

The duo’s best-known routine featured Rossi as interviewer to all the famous names in the news. No matter which politi­cian, movie star or headline-maker Allen would be playing, his greeting would invariably be the unlikely “hello, dere”, a catchphrase that would become their trademark. It also served as the title of their first record album, which caused a smash when released in 1962.

The pair produced a number of discs as the decade rolled on . . . they also starred in a movie The Last Of The Secret Agents, which unfortunately was not a success. By the time of its release in 1966 their popularity had begun to wane, and they decided to go their separate ways.

Allen appeared on his own on game shows such as Hollywood Squares, while Rossi teamed with a succession of partners like ex-Bilko and Car 54, Where Are You? funnyman Joe E. Ross and later Slappy White. In the early 1970s he even performed with a comic named Bernie Allen (to enable the act to be billed Allen And Rossi) but none of the pairings was suc­cessful.

Marty and Steve eventually reunited in 1983 for a series of casino appearances at Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and for a time recaptured a portion of their earlier success.

DISCOGRAPHY

Hello, Dere!
ABC-Paramount LP ABC 2270
Allen And Rossi: Introduction
Hello, Dere: Famous People In The News
Christopher Columbus
The Wine Taster
The Japanese Ball Player
The Man On The Moon
The Portrait

One More Time — Hello Dere!
ABC-Paramount LP ABC(S) 445
Hello Dere
Famous People In The News
I’ve Got The World On A String (Rossi vocal, with Allen interjections)
The Punch Drunk Fighter
Hello Dere (song)
The Peace Corps
The Lion Tamer
Because You’re Mine (Rossi vocal)
The Golfer

Two Funny For Words
Reprise LP R 6104
Cleopatra
Playboy Bunny
The Folksinger
All-American Football Coach
The Mechanical Man
Hello Dere: People In The News
Fire Chief
The World’s Greatest Bullfighter
Japanese Teenager
Dog Days
Olympic Coach
Chief Of Central Intelli­gence Agency
The Prison Break
Paraders For Peace

In Person
Mercury LP MG 20979/SR 60979
Opening Gags
Hello Deres
Marty The Spy
Tony Martin Im­pression – There’s No Tomorrow
Marty The Indian
The Boy Scout
When You’re Smiling
How To Make A Date On The Phone
Battle Hymn Of The Republic

Allen And Rossi Meet The Great Society
Mercury LP MG 21015/SR 61015
a satire on the Lyndon B. Johnson presidency,
also featuring Dyanne Thorne, Carol McKinley, Harvey Miller, Bill Levine and Bob Prescott
Hubert
Medicare
L.B.J.’s New Dog
Homecoming
L.B.J. Dance Lesson
Martin Luther King
Ranger Photographs
Pov­erty Program
President’s Tailor
Russian Premier
Lady Bird
Jimmy Hoffa
L.B.J. Ranch
Free Enterprise
Dumb
Lynda Bird’s Date
Countdown
Passport, Italian Style
Beautify America
Peace Corps
Two Man Gemini Capsule
L.B.J. Ra­dio
Farm Subsidy Program
Balance The Budget
White House Correspondent
United Nations
Lady Bird Luncheon
New Image
On With The Show
The Great Society (L.B.J. Singalong)

The Adventures Of Batman And Rubin
Mercury LP MG 21077/SR 61077
Rubin’s Dream
Enter Batman
Enter Commissioner Gordon
Enter The Penguin
At The Discoteque
Enter The Catwoman
Enter The Riddler
A Clue
Batman And Rubin Meet The Riddler
Rubin Awakes

Allen And Rossi Tell The Truth About The Green Horn-Nut And Ca-toe
Roulette LP (S)LP 507
also featuring Sterling Yates and Sharon Dale
Friday Nites On T.V. Station B.U.G.
Gung Fu
The Horn-Nut’s Weapon
Office Of The D.A.
How The Green Horn-Nut Really Started
The Horn-Nut Hummm
The Green Horn-Nut Takes His Army Physical
Buying The Black Beauty
Crisis At The Daily Centinul
Green Horn-Nut’s Driving Lesson
The Ca-Toe And Green Horn-Nut Weather Report
The Case Of The Missing Gems
Green Horn-Nut Has Tax Problems

Dedicated To Our Armed Forces
Roulette LP (S)R 508
Marty’s Monolog
Hello, Dere!
Punchy The Fighter
Celebrities
Guess Who
Somewhere My Love + If You Love Me (Rossi vocals)
See The Funny Clown
Marty Allen Speaks
United Nations Translator
Started Out In Show Business
Blood Brothers
Shadow Of Your Smile & Strangers In The Night (Rossi vocals)
The Drunk Winetaster & Joke Medley

Marty Allen also appeared on the following LP …

Zingers From The Hollywood Squares
Event LP EV 6903

Steve Rossi also appeared on the following LPs …

with Slappy White:
I Found Me A White Man, You Find Yourself One!
Roulette LP SR 42065

with Bernie Allen:
According To Allen And Rossi, Sex Is …
Cappo LP CPS 1001
Obscene Phone Call
Erogenous Zones
College Sex Lecture
Sex And Marriage
Sexascope
Statuary Rape
Gay Sex
Kid Sex
Birth Control
Sex, Pollacks & Jews
2 Pickets To Titsburgh!
The Dirty Old Professor

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: