JACK CARTER, who starred alongside ELVIS PRESLEY in the iconic 1964 musical “Viva Las Vegas,” died of respiratory failure on June 28, four days after turning 93.
“Jack played himself in the movie,” a showbiz insider told The National ENQUIRER, “and he and Elvis hit it off. Jack made him laugh so much that at one point they held up production for 15 minutes because Elvis couldn’t keep a straight face.”
The Brooklyn-born comic, who was The King’s favorite funnyman, practically invented the late-night monologue when he hosted a series of variety shows at the dawn of network television in the late 1940s.
Back then Jack opened the shows with a stand-up routine based on the then-novel device of using the news to launch jokes in his rapid-fire style.
“This guy was the machine gun of comedy – rat-a-tat-tat,” recalled his friend and fellow comedian, 85-year-old Pat Cooper. “Not just onstage. He’d go into the bank and say, ‘If I’m giving you $10,000, you should wait on line for me.’”
Jack’s jokes earned him gigs at New York’s Copacabana and the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, where he encountered Elvis.
He also appeared on the Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin and Jackie Gleason shows, as well as numerous TV series, and was a guest on five Bob Hope specials.
“But he always said working with Elvis was one of the best things he’d done,” said the insider. “Now he’ll be working with The King again.”