Hello Dere! This living
legend is better than ever! He's appeared on every major television program
(including over 40 times on Ed Sullivan!), and has headlined virtually
every major venue! His all-new show has been receiving amazing reviews
by sold out audiences throughout the United States, and features the lovely
and talented Karon Kate Blackwell. Their newest incarnation of the show
still features their hilarious comedy, and Kate's amazing musicianship,
but has an added element of audiences taking a walk down memory lane to
through Marty's photo scrapbook via video technology.
During the 1950s, Marty worked
in many of the top nightclubs in the country as opening act for established
stars such as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme and many others, including the
legendary Nat "King" Cole. It was during this time that he became part
of the great comedy team of Allen & Rossi.
That association produced
a string of hit comedy albums, dozens of television appearances, including
40 visits to the Ed Sullivan Show, and the theatrical motion picture "The
Last Of The Secret Agents." Eventually, Marty decided to try his hand at
some strait dramatic roles. His debut as a serious actor came on "The Big
Valley" TV series. In an episode titled "The Jonah," Marty played a character
who was considered a jinx and blamed for a run of bad luck at the ranch.
"I met two great ladies doing that show," Marty said, "Linda Evans was
very nice to me, and when Barbara Stanwyk complimented me on my acting,
I was in heaven." Marty appeared in several other dramatic productions,
including the TV movie "Mister Jerico," and "The Ballad of Billie Blue"
and a Rod Serling "Night Gallery" segment.
Helping others, who are less
fortunate, is part of his personal credo. In 1968 he made a "Hello Dere"
tour of military hospitals in the United States, paying for his own transportation
and hotel costs. A commendation for his good deeds was placed in the Congressional
Record. He repeated the tour yearly through 1972. On each tour, he spent
long hours talking to and entertaining the wounded soldiers who had just
returned from Vietnam. He is also involved in a number of charitable causes
including American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, March Of Dimes, Fight
For Sight, Cerebral Palsy, and is on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.
"I believe that if you have a talent and you use it to become successful,
you should give back in return for the good fortune you've had," he said.
Throughout the 1970s and
into the '80s, Marty made hundreds of TV appearances. "I went up and down
the dial. I did all the talk shows and even became a regular on 'Hollywood
Squares." He also appeared on "The Circus Of The Stars," "Password" and
many other game shows plus 10 movies for television. " They used to call
me 'the darling of daytime television.' I did everything except 'Sermonette.'"
It was during this time he met Karon Kate Blackwell. The two began performing
together, combining "Katie's" music and Marty's comedy.
The scene was almost as wild
as Marty Allen's hair.
It was 51 years ago, Las
Vegans Marty Allen and Steve Rossi were at the epicenter of the Beatles'
U.S. debut, an earthquake in pop culture.
"It was total pandemonium,
pure electricity" recalled Allen. Every time Ed Sullivan tried to introduce
the British boy band on Feb. 9, 1964, "all those girls went bananas. You
knew this was going to sweep the country."
At the time, Allen and Rossi,
six years into their act, were one of the hottest comedy teams of their
era. They were making their 12th appearance on Sullivan's Sunday night
TV show, then the entertainment world's greatest launching pad.
After the Beatles' five-song
set before a then-record 73 million viewers, Allen and Rossi's dilemma
was immediately apparent: How do you avoid bombing when you're following
the most explosive act ever?
With a screeching teeny-bopper
crowd drowning out Sullivan, Allen and Rossi stepped into the swirl.
"If we had done our comedy
bit, we would have died," Rossi said.
The big-haired Allen, who
earlier cracked up John Lennon backstage with, "A lot of people mistake
me for you," went with his trademark opener, "Hello dere," and added, "I'm
Big applause. Then Rossi,
an accomplished singer, launched into the Beatles' hit song "I Want to
Hold Your Hand" as Allen ran up the aisle, dancing and clapping.
"Marty got them hand clapping.
We won 'em over," said Rossi, who teamed up with Allen for almost 30 years,
including 44 appearances on the Sullivan show.
Since 1999, Marty and Karon
have revamped the show biz act that made him famous. Marty has added
new material to include present day events while Karon sings, plays the
piano, and plays the "straight man" for Marty during their on stage comedy
Marty and Karon still love
performing. They travel extensively, routinely performing to sold
out shows. After 31 years of marriage, Karon brings a new spark to
the show with her Jerry Lee Louis style piano playing, remarkably gorgeous
outfits, and lovely presence. Marty still has the wild hair, albeit,
looking more like a human troll doll these days... but still bringing down
the house with style and flair!
Marty and Karon prove during
every show that great comedy and entertainment is timeless.
Mike Weatherford, Las Vegas
Review Journal - "When Allen & Rossi made their mark as a duo in the
Ed Sullivan era, it was Steve Rossi lobbing the soft serves that set off
Allen's drunken wine-taster or addled football player. For years now, his
wife has served up the punch lines, adding a new dimension to the old routines."
Norm Clark, Las Vegas Review
Journal - "If you aren't already a fan of Marty Allen and his dynamic wife
- vocalist/pianist/straight man Karon Kate Blackwell - you will be by the
time you leave the showroom. ... Allen is as funny as he ever was, but
for those who haven't seen the show the big surprise may be Blackwell and
how talented she is singing the songs of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Ray
Charles and Tina Turner. "
Today in Las Vegas Magazine
- "After wowing the audience, Ms. Blackwell introduced the Godfather of
comedy, Marty Allen. Marty is living proof that talent is ageless. The
self-proclaimed "love child" of Phyllis Diller and Jackie Mason wasted
no time in getting the audience laughing to the point of tears. ... One
of the best things about this performance was its testament to humor. Hello
Dere! demonstrated without a doubt that a show can be absolutely hysterical
without resorting to vulgar humor - a point Mr. Allen made quite proudly."