VIDEO FLASHBACKS: Birthday Boy Joel Grey Razzle Dazzles The Muppets, Goes Pantsless On The Tonight Show and Chats About Coming Out
He made his Broadway debut in 1951, in the very Jewish musical comedy revue BORSCHT CAPADES, starring his dad, the popular comic Mickey Katz. Then came a downtown stint in THE LITTLEST REVUE before really establishing himself on Broadway in a trio of replacement gigs in the starring roles of COME BLOW YOUR HORN, STOP THE WORLD - I WANT TO GET OFF and HALF A SIXPENCE.
Producer/director Harold Prince had a vague idea of what he wanted when he hired him to originate the role of CABARET's Master of Ceremonies. With a role created to showcase his formidable talents, Joel Grey won a Best Supporting Actor Tony Award, an honor that was repeated by the Oscars when he starred in CABARET's film version.
Joel Grey has been one of Broadway's most beloved stars ever since, whether tap dancing with Bernadette Peters in GEORGE M!, being wonderful in WICKED or cavorting with Sutton Foster in ANYTHING GOES. Contrary to what he sang as Amos in the smash hit revival of CHICAGO, you always know he's there.
Joel Grey turns 84 today. To celebrate, let's take a look at a couple of fun videos from his career, and one very inspiring one.
First is a 1976 broadcast of "The Muppet Show," where Joel Grey teaches Gonzo all about "Razzle Dazzle." Then comes a 1979 appearance on "The Tonight Show," where he surprises host Johnny Carson by singing a Gershwin favorite without his pants.
Finally, a touching video from last year, where Joel Grey explains why he decided at this point of his life to come out as being a gay man.