~The Towering Stag Party
The ancient and not-quite honorable tradition of the bachelor stag party on the eve of a wedding will never be the same following producer Irwin Allen's prenuptial blowout the other night.
Customarily the groom-to-be gets drunk along with his pals. Songs are sung around a piano-"Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine"-dirty jokes and lies are exchanged. Eventually everyone staggers home, assured tradition has been served.
But Allen is currently the toast of the town with "Towering Inferno," surpassing his "Poseidon Adventure" thriller at the boxoffice.
To Celebrate his real life adventure into wedlock a group of friends chose to send him reeling from the ranks of single men with a stag party to end all stag parties.
A banquet room in Veverly Hill's fanciest hotel was rented. Some 200 guests in their drinking clothes arrived bearing grungy gifts.
Steve Allen was master of ceremonies, abetted by George Jessel, Jack Carter, Jim Backus, George Burns, Bill Dana and others. Most of the celebrants had worked in Irwin's pictures over the years.
After a 14-year courtship of Sheila Mathews, Allen was taking the plunge for the first time. Almost everyone else in the room could count at least two marriages and some even more.
Following liberal applications of potables to all of the assemled, a steak and lobster dinner was dispatched, washed down with vintage red and white wines.
The moment of truth had arrived for Irwin Allen. It was with trepidation, then, that the picture maker took his seat on a dias beside Steve Allen.
George Jessel, looking somewhat bilious, provided Irwin with gratuitous advice on wedding-night etiquette which was both hilarious and vengeful.
Steve Allen took over to announce that two of Irwin's old girlfriends had shown up for the party. The producer paled at the news.
The orchestra played a fanfare. A spotlight picked up a woman in a provocative dress. Then she turned to face Irwin. The dear girl was a genuine bearded lady.
Irwin was only just recovering when Steve called out his second paramour. An emornous albino lady appeared and proceeded to swallow seven swords at once.
Red Buttons and Jack Carter contributed some of the funniest and dirtiest material heard even at a stag party. Henry For(?)da and Fred Astaire, who were sitting on the dias, looked away in embarrassment.
The festivities, despite Steve Allen's masterful attempts to steer things to cleaner waters, were on the point of foundering when a large gift-wrapped box was borne into the room.
Another tradition observed. Surely a nude maiden would leap from the box and cavort around the room. Irwin was called to open the package.
He recoiled and jumped backward. Instead of a nubile girl, the package disgourged the smallest midget imaginable dressed in pink satin, wearing a top hat and smoking a 10-inch cigar.
Mistaking Steve Allen for Irwin Allen, the profane midget belabored Steve in broken English. He was Hungarian and furious about something which never was established.
Irwin Allen's marriage should be long-lasting. Clearly, he could not survive another stag party.~