This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
In this edition, Jamie Dyer remembers American icon Phil Silvers.
This is your Old Time Review Daily podcast for May the 11th, 2021. And this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. On this day in 1911, American entertainer and comedic actor Phil Silvers was born. He was known as the King of Chutzpah. He was predominantly known in this country and around the world in The Phil Silvers Show, which was a 1950s sitcom set on a US Army Post, in which he played Master Sergeant Earnest Ernie Bilko.
And as I say, this is possibly his most famous role. It’s certainly the one that springs to mind when you think of Phil Silvers, and it’s funny because Comedian Jack Benny, whom he knew, basically told him at the beginning not to bother with television. I think they had a great laugh about this once all the awards started rolling in but Phil Silvers was more than just a TV sitcom actor He made some film appearances including It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 1963. The film had a long list of amazing performers alongside him. He was also in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum.
For you UK fans out there, he was in a Carry On film as well, which I felt he was outstanding in. He was very funny/ It can be very difficult to come into a film series that has a host of well-known faces, who sort of play the same role in every movie. He seemed to take over that movie and made it his own.
So that is Phil Silvers, who was born on this day in 1911. What is your favourite Phil Silvers role?