R.I.P. Carnegie Deli, 1937-2016

Carnegie Deli closes doors, serves last hot pastrami sandwiches – NY Daily News

Fans lined the sidewalk late into the night for a last bite at the restaurant.

Source: Carnegie Deli closes doors, serves last hot pastrami sandwiches – NY Daily News


An era ended on the night of Friday, December 30, 2016 as the famed Carnegie Deli in Manhattan closed its doors after nearly eight decades of serving up pastrami and cheesecake and gigantic sandwiches. While other locations, including those at Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas, will continue operations, the deli’s flagship restaurant at 854 7th Avenue, New York City, is now sadly history.

The official Carnegie Deli online store will continue to sell and ship products including T-shirts, mugs, food items, and of course their famous cheesecake. According to the company’s website, the bakery and meat-processing facility will both continue operating.

In addition to the writeup by the New York Daily News cited above (which, among other things, disclosed the fact that the Carnegie’s owner, Marian Harper-Levine, turned down a $10 million offer to buy the deli), there have been several online news stories and tributes to the famed NYC institution. On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Daily News published this followup report on picketing by nearly three dozen former Carnegie Deli workers demanding their jobs back.


See also:

After 8 Decades And Countless Pastrami Sandwiches, New York’s Carnegie Deli Folds (NPR.org)

An Illustrated Look Inside Carnegie Deli’s Final Night (Grub Street)

Carnegie Deli – Last of the Latkes (Huffington Post)

The Twilight of Carnegie Deli (The Awl)

Carnegie Deli on Wikipedia



GGACP Mini-Episode 90: Christmas Novelty Songs

On Gilbert and Frank’s Amazing Colossal Obsessions (aka mini-episode) #90, which went live on December 15, 2016, Gilbert Gottfried and Frank Santopadre cover novelty Christmas songs from the past along with their special guest, actor and comedian Mario Cantone. In addition to chipmunks and a donkey, a beagle also made an appearance (in the guise of a World War I flying ace), courtesy of this holiday classic by the Royal Guardsmen:

Click here to listen to GGACP Mini-Episode #90.

Edit 12/19/16: Mario Cantone is the guest on this week’s full-episode podcast; click on the link to hear the hilarity!

Gilbert and Frank have been kept very busy interviewing guests for Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, a brand-new episode of which is made available every week. Recent guests have ranged from Lee Grant to John Amos to Hal Linden. For an alphabetical list (along with the links to listen), please visit the Podcast Guests page on this blog.

Happy holidays!

John Amos guests on GGACP

John Amos, best known for his roles on the television sitcom Good Times and the miniseries Roots, is featured on the November 14, 2016 episode of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. In the podcast, the 76-year-old actor reveals to Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre the real reason he left Good Times (rather than re-casting the role of James Evans, Sr., the character was killed off) and how his subsequent availability led to his being offered the part of Kunta Kinte.

To listen to the podcast, just click on the link.

Good Times opening credits:

Unaired “alternate” ending to “The Big Move: Part 2,” the Good Times episode that dealt with James’s death and its aftermath (according to Wikipedia, the scene that aired [which did not have the flashbacks or music] is regarded as one of the most touching scenes in TV sitcom history):

John Amos as Kunta Kinte in Roots, with newborn daughter Kizzy: “Behold—the only thing greater than yourself!”

Classic McDonald’s commercial featuring John Amos singing and dancing with an all-star cast (see if you can spot Happy Days‘ Anson Williams, too!):

Below, L-R: Gilbert Gottfried, John Amos, Frank Santopadre

GGACP Mini-Episode 76: One-Hit Wonders

Once again, Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre have brought listeners of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast a highly entertaining episode. Mini-episode (aka Gilbert and Frank’s Amazing Colossal Obsessions) #76, which first aired on September 8, 2016, pays tribute to One-Hit Wonders of 1971—which happens to be one of your friendly blog author’s favorite years in music. As with the posts spotlighting Gilbert and Frank’s previous music episodes, relevant videos have been embedded for the viewing and listening enjoyment of blog readers everywhere. If you haven’t yet heard GAFACO #76, or even if you have, I suggest giving it a(nother) listen while you’re on this page, and pausing the podcast audio to fire up the corresponding video whenever a song is mentioned during the episode. Not all of the songs discussed are represented here, but for those that are, the videos appear in the same order in which the songs come up in the podcast. (All links open in new windows so that blog readers can easily toggle between two or more pages.)

By the way, if it seems as if I am weeks behind in posting about specific episodes of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast … well, that’s ’cause I am, and I apologize for the delay. I’m still playing catch-up after having taken several weeks off to finish my book. My intention when I began this blog was to post occasionally about select episodes which aired before this blog existed, alternating with posts about Gilbert and Frank’s latest offerings; and in the latter case I will normally post a tribute blog within one or two weeks of a particular episode first being made available online (rather than a month and a half later, as is the case here). Since I have no way of going back in time, this self-imposed guideline doesn’t apply to podcast episodes that predate the creation of this blog. A fair number of GGACP episodes and mini-episodes had already been broadcast in the more than two years between the podcast’s first episode on June 1, 2014 and this blog’s inaugural post on August 1, 2016; and I intend to spotlight a few of my favorites from that time period. But when it comes to the newer content, I do prefer to post about specific episodes while they’re still relatively fresh. Hence my disclaimer for this blog post, which is late according to my standards but hopefully will still prove to be enjoyable for fans of GGACP!

Mini-Episode #76: One-Hit Wonders, 1971


“Rose Garden” – Lynn Anderson:

The above tune was composed by Joe South, a singer-songwriter who had a couple of Top Twenty hit under his own name—including this one, which peaked at #12 in 1969.

“Games People Play” – Joe South:

Ah, love! The theme from the 1970 film Love Story has been recorded many times by many different artists. One of its composers, Francis Lai, had his only Top Forty hit with the instrumental version in February of 1971.

“Theme from Love Story” – Francis Lai:

Songwriter Carl Sigman later added lyrics to Lai’s beautiful music, and the tune went on to be covered by a number of singers. Perhaps the best-known version is this one by the great Andy Williams, which coincidentally peaked at #9 on the charts the same week that Lai’s instrumental reached its own peak at the #31 position.

“(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story” – Andy Williams:

In addition to his success as a recording artist, Kris Kristofferson also wrote tunes with which other artists had hits. By coincidence, two of Kristofferson’s compositions peaked on the charts a week apart—on March 20 and March 27, 1971—for Janis Joplin and Sammi Smith, respectively. “Me and Bobby McGee” (click on the title to hear the original audio by Joplin) and “Help Me Make It Through the Night” both made the Top Ten, and each recording remains the best-known version of the song although both tunes have been covered by multiple artists.

“Help Me Make It Through the Night” – Sammi Smith:

“One Toke Over the Line” – Brewer and Shipley:

(Nope, I don’t have any plans to post the link to the Lawrence Welk version … anyone wanting to check out this embarrassment is more than welcome to search for it his or her own damn self! LOL)

“Put Your Hand in the Hand” – Ocean:

Who’d’ve thunk that a song about cannibalism would become a Top Twenty hit? Certainly not its composer, singer-songwriter Rupert Holmes (“Escape [The Piña Colada Song]”), who deliberately wrote the tune to be banned … although it didn’t quite work out that way. The success of the recording can probably be blamed on the record label’s and general public’s ignorance of the subject matter of The Buoys’ “Timothy.” Click on the title to hear the original audio, then check out a live performance by the group Dakota (founded by two former members of The Buoys, Bill Kelly and Jerry Hludzik).

“Timothy” – Dakota:

Dick Monda, under the name Daddy Dewdrop, became a one-hit wonder when his playful ditty “Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It)” peaked at #9 in May of 1971. (Click the title to hear the track.) If the song sounded familiar to legions of record-buyers, it was due to the fact that Monda was also the music producer for the Saturday-morning cartoon, Groovie Goolies, and had written the tune for one of the show’s episodes. He then later altered some of the lyrics for the single release. Here’s the original incarnation.

“Chick-a-Boom” – The Rolling Gravestones:

“Mr. Big Stuff” – Jean Knight:

“Smiling Faces Sometimes” – Undisputed Truth

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” (click the title to listen to the track) made brother-and-sister act Mac & Katie Kissoon a one-hit wonder in the United States (Middle of the Road reached #1 with the song in the U.K.).”Chirpy” was also recorded by a group called the California Gold Rush; lead vocal was provided by none other than Ron Dante of The Archies (“Sugar, Sugar”) and The Cuff Links (“Tracy”).

“Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” – The California Gold Rush:





GGACP Mini-Episode 74: One-Hit Wonders

Hello, fans of Gilbert Gottfried and his Amazing Colossal Podcast! After a short “hiatus” of one month (for your friendly blog owner to complete and publish a novel!), For the Love of Gottfried is back among the living with a post about a mini-episode which originally went online on August 25, 2016. One-Hit Wonders of 1970 continues the series of Obsessions by Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre that focus on our favorite tunes from the 1960s and 1970s—specifically those by artists who did not make the national Top Forty charts before or since.

Below are videos of several songs that were discussed (and, in some cases, sung by Gilbert) during GGACP’s Mini-Episode #74. (If you haven’t yet listened to the episode, the last video in this post may surprise you … but, on the other hand, if you haven’t yet listened to the episode, what are you waiting for? Click on one of the links below!)

Mini-Episode #74 on GilbertPodcast.com

Mini-Episode #74 on Soundcloud


“Venus” – Shocking Blue:

“Spirit in the Sky” – Norman Greenbaum:

“House of the Rising Sun” – Frijid Pink:

“Reflections Of My Life” – Marmalade:

“Ride Captain Ride” – Blues Image:

“O-o-h Child” – The Five Stairsteps:

“In the Summertime” – Mungo Jerry

This mini-episode could easily have been subtitled “A Tribute to Tony Burrows,” for not one, not two, but four of the British singer’s recordings were mentioned in the podcast! Burrows had a good year in 1970, singing lead on the first two records below, and sharing lead vocals on the other two.

“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” – Edison Lighthouse:

“My Baby Loves Lovin'” – White Plains (LIVE version by lead singer Tony Burrows, 2004):

(The original recording can be heard by clicking  HERE.)

“United We Stand” – Brotherhood of Man:

In the original version of “Gimme Dat Ding,” Tony Burrows shared lead vocals with Roger Greenaway (Burrows did the low voice while Greenaway took the tenor part). The video below features Burrows with Susi Banzhaf, who sings the lines originally done by Greenaway.

“Gimme Dat Ding” – The Pipkins (LIVE version by Tony Burrows with Susi Banzhaf):

(The original recording can be heard by clicking HERE.)

The Burrows tunes weren’t the only ones that shared a common element—legendary Brill Building composer Jeff Barry co-wrote and produced both of the following tracks, by Robin McNamara and Bobby Bloom respectively. (A bit of self-promotion for this blog author, as I own and manage the websites for both Barry and McNamara!)

“Lay a Little Lovin’ On Me” – Robin McNamara:

“Montego Bay” – Bobby Bloom:

And, finally, an unexpected One-Hit Wonder from Ernie of Sesame Street!

“Rubber Duckie” – Ernie:



About This Blog

I am taking this weekend off from posting on the blog in order to finish a book (writing, not reading!). Or does this count as a blog post? I imagine it does, so I’ve just made a liar out of myself. But it’s going to be a much more abbreviated post than usual; no references to specific GGACP episodes, no trivia, no videos; although I am including a pic that I took of Gilbert Gottfried at Side Splitters Comedy Club (Tampa, Florida) in October of last year.

Here are a few “fun facts” about this blog:

  1. For the Love of Gottfried is a fan blog run by me, Laura Pinto. If you’d like to learn more about me, please click on my name to visit my website. I’m a published author and I’ve got lots of websites, social-media pages and blogs, many related to oldies music, and all listed (and linked) on my main site. My sites and blogs haven’t been updated much in the past few months because I’ve been busy writing; but I plan to re-join the living very soon!
  2. For the Love of Gottfried is not an official Gilbert Gottfried product; the blog is not endorsed by Gilbert Gottfried or any members of his organization. Check out the disclaimer on the left sidebar; then, after you’re finished chuckling (I hope!), visit the About page for links to relevant websites and social-media pages for Gilbert, co-host Frank Santopadre and Nutmeg Post sound man Frank Verderosa.
  3. As of this writing, Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast has been “on the air” for a little over two years—the first episode, with Dick Cavett, appeared online on June 1, 2014—and has presented more than a hundred guests. For an alphabetical list (by first name) of podcast guests, please visit the Podcast Guests page. (This doesn’t include mini-episodes but there are links to a few notable ones at the bottom of that page.)

Thank you so much for visiting For the Love of Gottfried!


Recent GGACP Guest Marvin Kaplan Dies at 89

Marvin Kaplan, the comic character actor perhaps best known as diner denizen Henry the telephone repairman on the long-running CBS sitcom Alice, died Thursday. He was 89. …

(Click on the link below to read more about Kaplan’s storied career on the Hollywood Reporter website)

Source: Marvin Kaplan Dead: ‘Alice’ Actor Was 89 | Hollywood Reporter

Marvin Kaplan recently guested on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, hosted by Gilbert Gottfried and Frank Santopadre. The interview, uploaded on 27 June 2016, made for a fun, entertaining and informative episode. Kaplan, whose distinctive voice is familiar to millions of TV and movie fans, got his start in the 1949 film Adam’s Rib, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Kaplan had an uncredited role as a court stenographer; he can be seen in the video below, taking notes at his desk in front of the judge:

Baby boomers who were kids during the early 1960s will remember Kaplan as the voice of Choo-Choo (the pink cat) in the animated TV series Top Cat, which ran for 30 episodes from September 1961 to April 1962. His character is featured prominently in episode #11, “Choo-Choo’s Romance,” shown in the video below. Other voices include Arnold Stang as the titular character (whose close friends get to call him T.C.), Maurice Gosfield as Benny the Ball (the blue cat), Leo De Lyon* as Brain and Spook, John Stephenson as Fancy-Fancy (and as Pierre in this episode), and Allen Jenkins as the perpetually party-pooping Officer Dibble. Jean Vander Pyl took time out from her role as Wilma in The Flintstones to provide the voice for Choo-Choo’s paramour, Goldie.

*Speaking of Leo De Lyon—here he is in the flesh, hosting this cool documentary about the making of Top Cat:

In 1963, Kaplan joined his former Top Cat alum Arnold Stang as part of a cast of (almost literally) thousands in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Check out the 2012 video below in which Kaplan is interviewed about the film by then-14-year-old Price T. Morgan for DubyaCast, a fan-made documentary web series.

Upon hearing of Kaplan’s passing, Morgan posted this nice tribute on Facebook:

From 1977 until the series ended in 1985, Kaplan portrayed Henry Beesmeyer in the TV sitcom Alice. He also found time to appear in commercials, such as this one for Sun Giant Raisins in 1980:

Kaplan shares anecdotes about It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s The Last 70mm Film Festival at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in 2012 (that’s Jonathan Winters seated next to him):

Marvin Kaplan: 24 January 1927 – 25 August 2016

Marvin Kaplan on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast (27 June 2016)

Marvin Kaplan’s page on Wikipedia

Thanks for the laughs, Choo-Choo.