Monday, April 9, 2018

Some Funny Re-Casting On The Way To The Forum...

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum opened on Broadway in 1963 starring Zero Mostel, who also starred in the 1966 Richard Lester film version. 

The show has been revived many times over the years with various stars in the lead role, among them Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and recently Frank 

Here are some of the other stars and casts of broadway, touring and lesser-known productions of the show...

Thanks to John Wendler and to Tor Lier, John Schrank, Frank Santopadre and James Mulholland

Dick Shawn...

Jerry Lester...

Sterling Holloway...

Sam Levine

Frankie Howerd...

Roy Hudd...

Dave King...

Lars Ekberg
(a 1965 Swedish Production)

Danny Dayton...

Dom DeLuise...

Phil Silvers...

Reginald Gardiner, John Carradine

Milton Berle...

Jack Carter

Phil Foster

Stubby Kaye...

Iggie Wolfington

Alan Young

Al Lewis

George Gobel, Regis Philbin, Henny Youngman, Dagmar...

Phil Leeds...

Eddie Bracken

Ray Rayner

Godfrey Cambridge...

Sally Rand

Jose Ferrer...

Christopher Hewett

Frank Fontaine...

Sonny Bono...

Jan Murray...
Mickey Deems

Nipsey Russell

Louis Criculo

Dick Woody...

John Kelso...

Mickey Rooney...

Artie Johnson...

Artie Johnson, Dave Madden

Avery Schrieber

Rip Taylor...

Ronny Graham

Mickey Dolenz...

John Schuck

Eddie Mekka


  1. Having just done the show...I particularly love this, Drew. I see that Justine Johnston billed in the Jerry Lester production you cite played the role of Domina. She was Mrs. Rittenhouse opposite my Capt. Spalding in Animal Crackers in '88. There was a 40 year age difference between us but she was indomitable.

    1. She was my aunt, and you’ve picked the perfect word to describe her!

  2. I saw several of these. The Phil Silvers version also featured (when it was in Los Angeles) Nancy Walker, Lew Parker, Carl Ballantine, Larry Blyden and the lovely actress Charlene Ryan, who is now married to some guy named Sergio Aragones. Absolutely wonderful production.

    Danny Dayton starred in and/or directed this show more than anyone else. I saw him do it was he was pretty damn good.

    Weirdest casting I've seen: Alan Young as Pseudolus in a Las Vegas production with Irv Benson as Erroneous.

    And Frank Ferrante was terrific in it. Hope he does it again and again and again and I'll tell him that to his face tomorrow when we have lunch.

    1. Mr. Ryan is best known for his cartoons in MAD magazine.

      Paul Duca

  3. I notice Avery Schreiber (presumably as Hysterium) in a production with Arte Johnson. Unless they top-billed Hysterium over Pseudolus. I saw Schreiber as Pseudolus the previous year at Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre in Illinois.

  4. Mickey Rooney -- the personification of the liveliest corpse you've ever seen.

  5. Dick Shawn comments about his time in the play on this episode of PASSWORD posted on YT just today!

    1. Thanks, for the info. We named our family dog Pseudolus after my dad's role in Forum. He was a little grey poodle.

  6. Ray Raymer was a legendary Chicago children't TV personality,

    Paul Duca

  7. For those who don't the MC of BROADWAY OPEN HOUSE in 1950, Jerry Lester was TV's first late night show host.

  8. NYT theater critic Clive Barnes’ glowing review of the Phil Silvers 1972 Broadway revival of AFTHOTWTTF.
    Carl Ballantine must have been a scream as Marcus Lycus. (I’m surprised he never took a crack at Pseudolus, a seeming glove fit for that glorious trickster The Great Ballantine.)

    Neal Rosendorf

  9. I absolutely love this post. My father was in Forum and played the role of Pseudolus. He always spoke of the respect and admiration he had for Zero Mostel.