Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kookie, Kookie

Another show I never watched for some reason. I can't find Kookie in the census, but he was a Bronx, New Yorker which makes him ineligible for a "who's almost who distinction" Evidently he's a not very nice guy.
from wikipedia
Born Edward Byrne Breitenberger in New York City on 30 July 1933, Edd shared an impoverished and unhappy childhood with brother Vincent and sister Jo-Ann. When Edd was 13, his father died. Edd then dropped his last name in favor of "Byrnes" based on the name of his maternal grandfather, a New York City fireman.
His most famous role was as Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson, III, on the ABC television detective series 77 Sunset Strip. He played a continuously hair-combing serial killer in the pilot, Girl on the Run, but he was so popular as a result that the producers brought back the following week as a regular cast member in a different role. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. explained the situation to the audience:
We previewed this show, and because Edd Byrnes was such a hit we decided that Kookie and his comb had to be in our series. So this week, we'll just forget that in the pilot he went off to prison to be executed.
Kookie's constant tending of his ducktail haircut led to many jokes and a hit song, "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb", which he recorded with Connie Stevens, and which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kookie's character -- a valet parker at Dean Martin's "Dino's Lodge" restaurant next door to 77 Sunset Strip -- frequently acted as an unlicensed detective who helped the private eyes (Zimbalist and Roger Smith) on their cases. He called everybody "Dad" and was an example of the hipster of the late '50s and early '60s who talks jive talk and knows "the word on the street."
Byrnes was later hired to host the pilot version of Wheel of Fortune, to which game show fans have often criticized him for certain techniques, such as telling contestants to spin the wheel when they had little money and were ready to solve the puzzle, and some sites reveal that producers were shocked to discover Edd rehearsing which letters were vowels, thus enabling NBC to replace Edd with Chuck Woolery. He has appeared in many television programs and movies including three Spaghetti Westerns.
Byrnes also made a cameo appearance in an episode of the TV comedy series Married With Children, in which he appeared with the music group Anthrax, which sang "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb."
In 1962 he married long-time girlfriend Asa Maynor. Their son, Logan, was born on September 13, 1965. Edd and Asa's marriage ended in divorce in 1971. Logan Byrnes is a news anchor for FOX's affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut (WTIC-61).
Edd Byrnes ranked #5 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols" (23 January 2005 issue).
His fan mail reached 15,000 letters a week, according to Picture Magazine in 1961.
Owing to restrictions in his Warner Brothers contract, he was forced to turn down roles in Ocean's Eleven (1960), North to Alaska (1960) and Rio Bravo (1959).
He played the role of the Dick Clark-like dance-show host Vince Fontaine in the 1978 smash movie Grease.
Byrnes wrote an autobiography in 1996 entitled "Kookie No More."
Edd Byrnes threatened to sue actor Edward Burns if he did not change his professional name. Unlike Edd Byrnes, however that is Edward Burns' actual birth name. Byrnes has spent his recent years travelling, selling autographed pictures at car shows. Recent reports cite that because of rude and unprofessional behavior toward fans, car enthusiasts, and his charging above-average rates for his autographed pictures, many car shows have banned Mr. Byrnes. In fact, the president of Kustom Kemps Of America vowed never to use Edd Byrnes again at any of his car shows because of Mr. Byrnes’s unacceptable behavior and high rates. Several sources state that on October 25, 2007 at the Blast With The Past car show in Denison, Texas, that Edd Byrnes started yelling obscenities at a little girl and her father for videotaping in his direction. Mr. Byrnes claimed that he “did not want people coming around recording him and his pictures for free, (without paying him) and then making movies about him”. It was reported that Edd Byrnes made the child cry. She had recently seen the movie Grease and had only wanted to meet him. This was reported on local news (CBS and NBC affiliates) KXII and KTEN, as well as the Herald Democrat Newspaper.

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