Joe Besser

  1. Marvin Kaplan, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, 1963.  Producer-director Stanley Kramer’s movie was stuffed full with stars – mainly comics. Not all agreed to join  the party, being terrified at the prospect of working with the great Spencer Tracy. Irwin the garage mechanic was aimed as Besser (of The Three Stooges),  but he was tied to TV’s Joey Bishop Show.  Kramer next asked stand-up king Jackie Mason…   and ultimately Kaplan, a Top Cat tele-toon voice artist (like Arnold Stang who was Irwin at the garage). Pity about Besser. His absence meant  only  four of the six one-time Three Stooges were cast.
  2. Vic Tayback, With Six Your Get Eggroll, 1968.     Change of the truck driver when director Howard Morriss was displeased with Besser’s  delivery.   And gave it to Vic ((of the Alice sit-com). The star, poor Doris Day, could not  retire as planned after the shoot…  Her husband, Marty Melcher, died and she discovered she was $500,000 in debt, he’d used up her fortune  and committed her to a five year TV series… while Tayback later formed LA’s Company of Angels stage group with Richard Chamberlain and Sally Kellerman.

 Birth year: 1907Death year: 1988Other name: Casting Calls:  2