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Paul Coates -- Confidential File, February 14, 1959

February 14, 2009 |  2:00 pm

Mash Notes and Comments

Paul_coates_3 "Dear Paul Coates:

"I have often been told that an opinion unasked is seldom accepted. However, as this is my opinion as constructive criticism, I hope I do not offend you.

"On television you interview many mobsters, racketeers, etc.

"But should that fact give YOU license to wear the attire of these questionable characters?

"A few evenings past, you were wearing a wide-striped suit, a very dark shirt (it looked black or navy), light tie -- really an outfit a tin-horn gambler would select.

"Perish the thought that this should happen to a nice looking gentleman of your apparent good background and intelligence.

"We still admire you, but please surrender that particular creation which you wore to interview Mickey Cohen." (signed) Marjorie Powell Clegg, 3975 Glen Feliz Blvd., L.A. 

-- Mickey Cohen! He wouldn't be caught dead in an outfit like that.

* *

"Dear Mr. Coates:

"Usually you are right -- but this time you goofed.

"In reference to your recent column in which you state that you never received a Man-of-the-Year award, I must remind you that you were the recipient of such award from the Al Jolson B'nai B'rith Women No. 760. 

"It was presented to you in April, 1955, at Ciro's nightclub.

"May I add that you were not asked to bring any film stars along, and as it turned out, you yourself were very entertaining." (signed) Mrs. Jack Sonenshine, president Al Jolson B'nai B'rith Women, L.A. 

-- I know I was. But I hated myself in the morning.

* *

"Dear Mr. Coates:

"Last Sunday evening while I was hustling papers in front of the Hollywood Egyptian theater I noticed five beautiful girls and wealthy young women looking at me and I heard their conversation mention you.

"Then they mentioned the name Parkey Sharkey and looking at me, they were laughing as they entered their expensive automobile.

"I do not know how they could have imagined ME being the man Parkey Sharkey.

"I am not in the least egotistic, but I have decided to go to the expense of getting the attached snapshot of me into your possession so that you may be able to show, when necessary, that I am not Parkey Sharkey." (signed) Memphis Harry Lee Ward, P.O. Box 1963, Hollywood. 

-- How could anybody confuse you with Parkey? He's bald.

* *

(Press Release) "Mr. Lenny Bruce -- one of the most brilliant modern humorists and wits in captivity -- has just been added to the great lineup of stars that impresario Gene Norman will present in a modern jazz concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Saturday night, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m.

"Bruce is not a 'stand up' comedian. He will bring to the auditorium all his facilities in the modern approach to humor.

"Bruce is a sort of Thoreau-type comedian. He attacks humor in a very natural sense.

"If he says 'Go jump in the pond,' he probably means it!" (signed) Audrey P. Franklyn, publicity, 8568 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

-- Whether he means it or not, I must admit it's a hysterical line.