Have to pay tribute to this grand old character lady, who kicked off the other day at the ripe old age of 81. She is best known to a generation for her ditzy, wacky role as Esmeralda on Bewitched, but she started out thoroughly legit: she debuted in the New Faces of 1952 and won a Tony in the 1960s as Best Featured Actress in a Lorraine Hansberry play. What do I offer here? Well, I’ve uploaded something that directly relates to her most permanent contribution to the history of camp TV, in my opinion. When Charles Nelson Reilly was interviewed a few years back in TV Guide, he was asked about that “hl-hul” chortle he had, and he attributed it to Ghostley, whom he said had actually also given her ‘tude to Paul Lynde. I had never considered this before, but the proof is in the clippage: here we have her with her male mirror image, the inimitable Mr. Lynde, in Joan Rivers’ bad-taste comedy Rabbit Test. The film is Joan trying desperately to be Mel Brooks (back when Mel was at his peak of popularity), and it has a host of guest stars, including folks like Paul that Joan must’ve met while doing Hollywood Squares. It’s godawfully arch, but when acted by pros like this, it’s certainly worth your time.
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