This special, hosted by Jimmy Durante, stars Ed Wynn and Buster Keaton, and features performances by Eartha Kitt, Roger Williams, Nanette Fabray, Fabian, Dorothy Provine, as well as cameo appearances by several film and television stars. Keaton and Wynn play a couple of silent movie-style tramps who sneak into the studio lot where the dress rehearsal for this special is taking place. Along the way, Keaton and Wynn hitch a ride on David Janssen's convertible; are chased by studio guards who think they've stolen the March of Dimes coin collection can; walk into a taping of "This Is Your Life," with Ralph Edwards and his guest, a high-strung fashion designer (played by Fritz Feld); wander into the filming of a Civil War program starring James Garner; and wind up costumed as Native Americans on the set of "Bonanza" to the surprise of Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker. Highlights of the "March of Dimes" "rehearsal" include the following: Durante, surrounded by a bevy of chorus girls, performs a song that explains the reason he learned to play the piano; Rosemary Clooney sings "Why Shouldn't I?"; Jack Lemmon makes a contribution to the New March of Dimes in a brief cameo; The Limeliters perform "If I Had a Hammer"; on the set of the television series "Hennesey," Jackie Cooper and Abby Dalton discuss the objectives of the New March of Dimes -- to focus on the fight against birth defects, now that the battle against polio appears to have been won; and they introduce Debbie Sue, the current poster child for the Foundation; Eartha Kitt then performs "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," accompanied by dancing waiters on a cruise ship; Dr. Frank C. Baxter, of the National Foundation, outlines the structure of the New March of Dimes and its plan of attack; pianist Roger Williams performs with a jazz combo; Nanette Fabray's medley of three songs, including "On the Sunny Side of the Street," takes a comical turn when a nervous cue-card boy mixes up the cards; Fabian sings a love song; National Foundation president Basil O'Connor says some words of thanks to the stars of the show and to the public; Dorothy Provine sings and dances to "Swanee"; and Durante thanks special guests Wynn, Keaton, and re-introduces March of Dimes poster child, Debbie Sue. Commercials deleted.


  • NETWORK: Syndicated
  • DATE: 1962/04/xx
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:56:57
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:08807
  • GENRE: Music/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: Syndicated - TV, 1962


  • Edward A. Franck … Producer
  • John W. Swallow … Associate Producer
  • Jack Shea … Director
  • Michael Caffey … Direction (Misc.), Assistant Director
  • Johnny Bradford … Writer, Based on an idea by
  • Ray Brenner … Writer, Based on an idea by
  • Jack Barnett … Writer, Jim Durante special material by
  • Jerry Fielding … Composer, Conductor, Music composed & conducted by
  • Jack Bunch … Choreographer
  • Jimmy Durante … Host, Performer
  • Jim Ameche … Announcer
  • The Limeliters … Performer, Music Group
  • Rosemary Clooney … Singer
  • Fabian … Singer
  • Nanette Fabray … Singer
  • Eartha Kitt … Singer, Dancer
  • Dorothy Provine … Singer, Dancer
  • Roger Williams … Instrumentalist, Pianist
  • Ed Wynn … Cast, a Tramp
  • Buster Keaton … Cast, a Tramp
  • Dan Blocker … Cast, himself
  • Jackie Cooper … Cast, Charles J. "Chick" Hennesey
  • Abby Dalton … Cast, Martha Hale
  • Ralph Edwards … Cast, himself
  • Fritz Feld … Cast, the Clothing Designer
  • James Garner … Cast, himself
  • Lorne Greene … Cast, himself
  • David Janssen … Cast, himself
  • Jack Lemmon … Cast, himself
  • Frank C. Baxter
  • Basil O'Connor