I participated in the Bugaloos teleconference years ago and I asked them what it was like working with Martha Raye. Every one of them replied that she was *wonderful* to work with, and you could tell they meant it. They pretty much raved about her. That was one of the more gratifying moments for me in that teleconference, as Martha Raye was one of my favorite comediennes from the sixties. I wasn't surprised at all to learn anecdotally that she was a sweetheart, but then you can never be sure about celebrities. So many celebrity "heroes" have a fall from grace; I was happy to have my regard for Martha Raye validated, and by none other than The Bugaloos.
I grew up watching Red Skelton on TV and Martha Raye was one of the best regular guests he had. When those two got together, it was comedy magic. I have fond memories from my childhood laughing at the ad libs and spontaneous humor as they jousted back and forth. In fact, I only started watching The Bugaloos because I saw that Martha Raye was on the cast. So I owe it to her that I found this wonderful show.
I know this is getting long, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Ms Raye was an incredible American patriot. She was a staunch supporter of our military troops, from WWII and all the way through the Viet Nam conflict where she spent something like 9 months a year out in the theater (Viet Nam) with "her boys." She was so close to the action, she once took a bullet through the arm. Being Martha Raye (aka "Maggie, as the soldiers knew her), she dismissed the whole episode saying, "I've had worse hangovers than that."
Sadly, Maggie's patriotism got her villified at home as a war-monger. Times back then weren't as they are now. Today, soldiers are thanked and lauded for their service. The Viet Nam vets were reviled and, in some cases, spat on when they got home to America. I read once that Ms Raye was essentially blacklisted in Hollywood at the time she did The Bugaloos, and I don't doubt that. The "free love" era was actually pretty intolerant. Many kudos to the Krofft brothers for bucking the crowd and giving Martha Raye such a wonderful role where she could apply her stage magic.
I felt compelled to respond to your question, Bob, because I stand in awe of people like Martha Raye. So talented, so devoted, so principled. There are stories about her with the Nam soldiers that will absolutely bring tears to your eyes. She comforted many a wounded and lonely soldier in a faraway continent at a time when there was little comfort or regard given to them. A gal like her deserves to be spoken of in glowing terms whenever a question like yours is asked, and I'm privileged to do it.
Aww that's a sweet statement Paul, We gotta give Martha a round of applause. Not to meantion the others who put their effort on The Bugaloos Rest In Peace Martha, Thank you so so much for being on... more
Finally getting around to responding here. Thanks, Liz, for the nice comments. About Wayne, I don't remember much specifically about what he said in the teleconference except that he did manage to... more
Thanx for the info on Martha, Paul. I remember hearing Mark Harris speaking about her patriotism on, of all shows, Mancow, and he said basically the same things about her. Considering it was a shock... more
Sorry Bob, I've never met her she died when I was a baby but i heard she was a sweet lady who was very funny. God Bless her though. I'm sure one the the cast members could help. If it helps there's a ... more
Wait a minute Bob, Don't you have the Bugaloos complete series dvd? Well anyways the cast described what it was like working with Martha durning the commentaries and the interviews. Hope this helps... more