Elvis Concert Comedians

Following are profiles on comedians Sammy Shore and Jackie Kahane, who were opening acts for Elvis during the 1969-1977 concert era of his career:


In 1969, when Elvis began to perform live concerts again, his show was rounded out with opening acts performed by The Sweet Inspirations (his female backing vocal group) and the trumpet playing stand-up comedian Sammy Shore, whom Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker had seen Shore opening for singer Tom Jones.  Shore had reviously worked on TV and in movies.  He opened for Elvis from 1969 until 1972,  when he opened a club on the Sunset Strip called "The Comedy tore."  The club became famous as a showcase for young comics.  Later, his wife Mitzi gained control of the club in their divorce settlement and Shore returned to TV and movies, including  roles in such films as the Mel Brooks omedy "History of the World: Part I" and  the television show "Ed."  Today, he tours with his comedy act.  Sons Pauly Shore and Peter Shore are in showbusiness.  Pauly is best known as a stand-up comdedian and comedic actor and Peter as a producer/director/writer.


For a brief time Nipsy Russell and then Bob Melvin replaced Sammy Shore as Elvis's opening comedian.  Then Colonel Parker spotted Jackie Kahane opening for singer Wayne Newton.  It was Kahane's clean, family-friendly jokes that inspired Colonel to offer him the Elvis show opening spot.   Kahane fit in well in the Elvis circle.  The then 45-year-old Montreal, Canada native had begun professional life as a druggist before he found his niche as a comedian.  Other than Wayne Newton, Kahane worked with many stars such as the Will Masters Trio and Sammy Davis, Jr., Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett.  In 1961,  Jackie Kahane, along with Bill Cosby,  were named as Outstanding Comedians by "Time" magazine, an honor he cherished.  Kahane opened for Elvis from 1972 until Elvis's death in 1977.  It was Jackie Kahane who delivered the eulogy at Elvis's funeral.  He then went on to form his own production company and to produce TV comedy shows such as "Off The Wall" and "Honeymo
 on Haven."  He died of cancer in March of 2001.

Both Sammy Shore and Jackie Kahane joined the Elvis bandmates reunion cast for Elvis in Concert '97 (an Elvis-video-interactive concert with original Elvis concert cast members live on stage) presented at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on the twentieth anniversary of Elvis's passing.