Red Buttons

Every time I saw Red Buttons perform in the later years of his life, it was like taking a trip in a time machine. I remember seeing him on TV as a kid on all of the old variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle and even his own show. Growing up in New York when I did, everyone laughed with their family watching Red Buttons on TV. He was really very funny. I also remember when he got his Academy Award for his performance in the film “Sayonara”. Red was an old school, first-rate stand up comic who I saw perform many times in the Catskill Mountains and in Florida. He had his own style and his own rhythm. I was lucky enough to be friends with him. He was a lovely man.

I saw Red perform at Sid Caesar’s 80th birthday party and he was absolutely hysterical. The audience was full of Hollywood’s top comedians, actors and entertainers. There were times when they were all in tears from laughing at some of Red’s great jokes. I was sitting near Sid and he turned to me after one of Red’s lines and said “Artie he is a funny funny man. Always was.” What a great compliment for Red coming from Sid Caesar who certainly is on my list of all time great funny men. There was a reason why Red Buttons was chosen to close the show on this evening of the top comics honoring the great Sid Caesar. Simply put, he was a very hard act to follow. This picture was taken in 1999.