Friday, April 24, 2009

The one and only, Mr. Sammy Petrillo

Sammy Petrillo is best known as the most startlingly accurate Jerry Lewis impersonator ever, the man who starred as half of the Martin & Lewis knockoff team that was the focus of Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). In fact, Petrillo wasn’t a Jerry impersonator intentionally — it was something he fell into, by dint of the fact that he looked identical to, and could sound incredibly like, the Martin & Lewis-era Jerry. Sammy’s career has been spotty, but there were a few more fascinating moments in the peripheral limelight after Brooklyn Gorilla. In an interview I conducted with Sammy back in 1997, he spoke about these cult items.

First, the prank phone call LP he released in the early 1960s:

And also his starring/scripting turn in Doris Wishman’s mind-blowingly weird sex movie Keyholes are for Peeping(1972):

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