Bela Lugosi Meets Jerry Lewis?!?

by on Sep.15, 2011, under Horror Show Hosts

Reposted from The BONE JANGLER Speaks! | Go to Original Post

This Saturday night, at 8pm Eastern/7 Central, ONLINE at, fan fave Coven Girl HARMony & I will be hosting the very fun movie known as “Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla” (aka “The Boys From Brooklyn”), starring nightclub act Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, and, surprise, Bela Lugosi!

In the opinion of many critics, Mitchell and Petrillo’s act was solely based on impersonating the popular duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and, obviously, there’s a great deal of truth to that opinion. Sammy Petrillo was “discovered” by comedian Milton Berle who introduced him to Jerry Lewis. Immediately, Lewis was leery of Petrillo, telling him, “Don’t sign any checks, and tell them you’re Jerry Lewis!” Soon afterward, Lewis hired Petrillo to portray his infant son in an over-sized baby carriage. Not long afterward, Petrillo met lounge singer Duke Mitchell, and they formed a nightclub act.

In 1952, producer Jack Broder hired the duo to star opposite Bela Lugosi in the jungle comedy “Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla.” Years later, Duke Mitchell would say that Broder never intended to actually make the film, expecting Paramount Pictures to pay him not to, as they held Martin and Lewis’ contract. Instead, the studio filed a lawsuit against Broder, and he went ahead, and produced the film.

While the film did nothing for star Bela Lugosi, aside from his meager paycheck, Mitchell and Petrillo did manage to eke out a small career for a few years, before breaking up shortly after the highly publicized falling out of Martin and Lewis in 1956.

Steve Calvert played the gorilla in “Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla.” Later, Calvert, and his gorilla suit, was re-teamed with Bela Lugosi for the premiere of the 3D Horror film “House Of Wax” starring Vincent Price. Click on the following link to watch the only existing footage of the premiere.

HARMony & I had a great deal of fun, as always, at the taping of our hosting of “Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla” and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy watching it!


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