“Welcome home,” a waiter said to me as I took my seat at a Waldorf gala last night, and I was thrilled, feeling like Dolly Levi coming back to the Harmonia Gardens.
It was the Friars Club benefit that honored singer Connie Francis, and the old-timers came out of the woodwork like milkshakes at a sock hop.
MC Tony Orlando sang “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” and, when the song got recognition applause, he blurted, “Thank God you’re old enough to remember!”
Comics lined up to make jokes about attendee Abe Vigoda, above. (“For those of you who didn’t see him, there’ll be a second viewing,” cracked one of them.)
Neil Sedaka and Jay Black sang their old hits, and proved to be in such shockingly good voice, they obviously will never need Auto-Tune.
And the Italian princess, Connie herself, emerged, in a white chiffony dress with sparkles, pricelessly belting an unlikely medley of “Exodus” and “Hava Nagila”!
She also treated us to some more expected songs, like “Stupid Cupid” and “Where the Boys Are” (“the gay anthem,” she joked).
By the way, in the crowd, when comic Pat Cooper gave me a signed copy of his new memoir, I asked him, “What’s the message of it? ‘Don’t take any crap’?” “Enjoy the book,” he responded, blankly.
I was completely thrown off, until Cooper did his act, which was largely about his hearing problem!
I love the old-timers!
Oh, his best line: “The guy told me, ‘I can give you a hearing aid for $5,000.’ I said, ‘I can’t hear you!'”