Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, Day 26: Project: U.S.O.

Whoa, Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos are at the most star-studded U.S.O. show ever! From my vantage point sitting up in one of those palm trees in the distance, I can spot expy celebrity Dino Manelli in panel one. Dino is a Marvel Universe generic version in both looks and mannerisms of Dean Martin, who had his own comic book over at DC. No wonder Dino had to go under an assumed name at Mighty Marvel!

Panels from Sgt. Fury [and His Howling Commandos] #43 (June 1967), script by Dick Ayers and Gary Friedrich, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by John Tartaglione, letters by Sam Rosen

But the real celebs step on stage and the show begins in panel two. We've got Western warbler and cowboy star Gene Autry, accompanied by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra! (Only Dick Ayers knows why Glenn himself is holding what looks liek a bugle or trumpet while conducting rather than his usual instrument, the trombone.) Mister USO himself, Bob Hope brings along the laffs, if not his comedy partner Bing Crosby. And if you don't get the "Marjorie Main in a bikini" joke: Ms. Main was prominently known for playing "Ma" in the Ma and Pa Kettle movie series, and she looks like this:

Panel four features crazy comedian (and frequent Hope sidekick) Jerry Collona, accompanied by the glamorous and no doubt wolf-whistled Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour, and Lana Turner! My little buttons eyes bug out to eight times their size, my heart thumbs through my chest, and steam comes out my ears as I make the AW-OOOOOOO-GAH sound!

And even though that's the end of the show, it's not the end of the real-life cameo appearances in this comic, because Nick and the H.C.s are about to meet the Desert Fox himself, Erwin Rommel! (Disclaimer: Rommel does not actually meet Nick Fury or the Howling Commandos.)

Rommel! I read your comic book, you magnificent guest star!


Dave said...

Small correction, Bully. Ol' Ski-Nose is introducing Glen Miller. Glenn Miller was in England and the European Theatre. Maybe that's his trumpet-playing doppelganger?

Bully said...

I hadn't noticed that, Dave! Holy cow, could this be Glenn Miller's evil twin Glen?