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Jimmy Durante, aka 'The Schnozzola'Schnozzola - The showbiz nickname of James "Jimmy" Francis Durante, a popular Italian-American singer/comedian with the big nose ("Schnozzola") who starred on the comedy variety program THE JIMMY DURANTE SHOW/NBC/CBS/1954-57 (set in a small nightclub called Club Durant). At the end of each weekly performance, Jimmy paused to say "And Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are" and then slowly exit offstage following a pathway made from overhead spot lights.

Mrs. Calabash was Jimmy's first wife, Jeanne Olsen. The word "Calabash" referred to one of their favorite places. (reported as being a reference to Calabash, a suburb in Chicago and Calabasas, California where Jeanne Olsen was hospitalized before her death in 1943).

Jimmy career spanned vaudeville, radio, movies and finally television. On TV, he appeared as a regular on the musical/variety shows ALL STAR REVUE/NBC/1950-53; BUICK CIRCUS HOUR/NBC/1952-53; THE COLGATE COMEDY HOUR/NBC/1953-54; TEXACO STAR THEATER/NBC/1954-55; and JIMMY DURANTE PRESENTS THE LENNON SISTERS/ABC/1969-70.

Jimmy also provided narration and song to the perennial favorite  Christmas cartoon "Frosty the Snowman" produced by Rankin and Bass in 1969.

Jimmy Durante in 'Frosty the Snowman'
Scene from "Frosty the Snowman"

In 1972, Jimmy ("The Schnoz") Durante suffered a stroke (leaving him wheelchair bound). He  died in 1980 and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City in  California.

Durante's catchphrases were "Everybody wants ta get inta da act!", "I'm mortified!", "It's a catastrophe!", "Surrounded by assassins!", and "Hotch-cha-cha-cha-cha!" His trademark song was "Inka Dinka Doo."


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