Saturday, May 19, 2018


    Rose Marie became a Twitter sensation in the last year of her life.

    The reason she went on Twitter was to promote a documentary on her life — which was more than some vanity piece on an actress most people vaguely know was a child star on radio, and a brassy co-star on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” The film, “Wait For Your Laugh,”  is an excellently done, often fascinating and moving piece of work. In a rare example of networking actually working, she built up a huge following and saw sell-out crowds at her film screenings. Though in a wheelchair, the self-described “old broad” was her lively, raucous self, fielding audience questions along with the famous friends on stage with her, Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner. 

    After her death, Rose’s daughter kept up the Twittering, and pushed the DVD release to #1 in the documentary category.  Since the torrent monkeys tend to be Eurotrash who want to give away the latest Marvel super-hero shit, none of the “freedom of speech is giving away movies” bunch carved into the profits via bootleg downloads. Then again, Rose Marie’s audience is mostly made up of older people who’d say “torrent? You mean my adult diaper is leaking? How am I supposed to notice?”  Cleverly, the DVD includes a lot of bonus material so that those who saw the movie in its brief selected theater run have plenty of reason to buy the package. What, color footage on the set of the Van Dyke series…and on the set when she made her dramatic TV debut on “Gunsmoke?” Great! 

    The documentary underlines that “Baby Rose Marie” was not just a child star.  She was a BIG child star, in the Shirley Temple category, only her dominance was on radio and on stage, not in films. People flocked to see this pint-sized girl belt songs like Durante, and some thought she was a midget in disguise. Although her creepy father took ALL the money, Rose didn’t care because she simply loved to perform and enjoyed the attention…which included doting Al Capone. 

    “The mob” was always very good to Rose Marie, and she admitted it. Bugsy Siegel began building up Las Vegas from nothing…and yes, chose Rose Marie to be a major attraction. Since she was more of a talent than a looker, the gangsters didn’t demand she sleep her way to top billing. She would’ve probably smacked ‘em if they tried. She only had eyes for a trumpet player who, despite threats from her father, married her, gave her a memorable honeymoon, and become the love…and heartbreak of her life. He died of a rare blood disease when she was at the height of her fame on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” 

     From “Baby Rose Marie” to a bombastic Las Vegas entertainer, to the co-star of the Phil Silvers “Top Banana” musical, Rose Marie already had an incredible ride before she played the Selma Diamond-inspired female comedy writer Sally Rogers. Nobody could’ve sparked the show better, not even laid-back Selma. Rose Marie later co-starred on “The Doris Day Show” and  teamed with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O’Connell and Margaret Whiting for sold out tours when so many others from that era couldn’t get a booking at all. 

    One thing Rose Marie didn’t have was a recording career like her friend Jimmy Durante. She guested on a few tracks of Morey Amsterdam’s indie album, “Funny You Should Ask,” and put out an album of comedy and songs when the Van Dyke show was topping the ratings....

      Rose Marie Mazzetta (August 15, 1923-December 28, 2017). Below is the audio from a film performance done in 1952. “My Mama Says No No” may have been inspired by “Yes My Darling Daughter,” which had been a hit for Dinah Shore among others. Only instead of mama weirdly saying “yes” to an anxious daughter’s first forays into dating and sex, THIS mama is saying NO! Well, didn’t Rose save herself for her wedding night? YES. 

MAMA SAYS NO NO... to dopey links from spyware sites, to jerk-ass PASSWORDS or Paypal tip jar requests. Listen online or download free. 

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