There are many interesting anecdotes about the greats and the near greats (whatever that is?) I think it means when they mention your name, they have to explain who you are. “Greats, near greats and ingrates” is a Damon Runyon line. Mr. Franklin is even somewhat kind and forgiving to the ingrates…As to what is Joe Franklin really like? There are plenty of stories about his youth, his rise in show business, his marriage and his son. If you like sexy tidbits about the stars and about Joe also, there are plenty. If you don”t like that stuff, or you think it’s overdone, skip over it…The funniest pages in the book, at least to this reviewer, are about three “never-weres” who had a “fixation” on Joe Franklin. Busted out laughing reading that stuff. But some of the stories are very sad. This isn’t all light reading. Some are mysterious (you wonder how that happened)…The book (copyrighted 1995) seems to celebrate the “retirement of Joe Franklin.” If that was true, he seems to be making a big comeback. He’s as active as ever and has a great restaurant near Times Square, and it’s a great New York book. It happened in New York.
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In his long awaited autobiography.Joe Franklin and his co author:Mr.R.J.Marx try to recall Joe’s life story.From his humble beginnings in The Bronx,NYC during the hideious days of The Great Depression to his first encounter with a former star:George M.Cohan to his early job in radio as a record librian and research asistant first to Martin Block(for Mr.Block’s “Make Believe Ballroom Time”Show)and later for Paul(“Pop”)Whiteman.Before Franklin finally got his own radio talk/music shows on stations like WJZ.To his earliest days on TV: First on WJZ/WABC TV Ch.7 in NYC with”Joe Franklin’s Memory Lane!”to his later years on WOR TV/WWOR TV Ch.9 in NYC and in Seacaucus,NJ with”The Joe Franklin Show” &”When Movies Were Movies”and his most recent nostalgia talk/music program on WOR Radio.While the book tries to tell Franklin’s life story.Most of the bio’s facts are questionable.Since Joe does not go into alot of details about his career and his disrespect for NYC based kids tv hosts/performers is eveident.He gets the facts about the hosts/performers of WJZ/WABC TV Ch.7 NYC’s”Time For Fun”/”The Johnny Jellybean Show”wrong.Since Joe Bova..never played:”Johnny Jellybean”on that show(The role was played first by Bill Britten and later by Keith Hefner).Mr.Bova did host:”Time For Fun!”but as “Uncle Joe”.Franklin also gets the facts wrong about Claude Kirchner.Mr.Kirchner never played a clown on his WOR TV Ch.9 NYC based cartoon shows.He played a circus ringmaster.Who worked with a clown puppet”Clownie”.But he never wore a clown suit and make up on his NYC based kids tv shows and Franklin also gets the facts wrong about who hosted:”The Tommy Seven Show”.The host/performer..who played the sad faced tramp clown was not:Keith Hefner..but The Late Ed Bakey.Mr.Bakey passed away in May,1988 not Mr.Hefner.This book does little more have Mr.Franklin give the readers a random smapling of his life stories.With inaccuate facts and nasty lies about his colleages in NYC tv added to the manuscript for those lovers of gossip mongering.This is one memiors not worth having.Kevin S.Butler.