About Morey Amsterdam
Amsterdam started in TV early, when his CBS radio series, "The Morey Amsterdam Show" was transferred to the small screen in 1948. He also loaned his talents to such comedy and quiz shows as "Stop Me If You've Heard This One" (NBC, 1948), "Broadway Open House" (NBC, 1950), "Can You Top This?" (ABC, 1950-51), "Battle of the Ages" (CBS, 1952), "Who Said That?" (NBC, 1954) and "Keep Talking" (CBS, 1958-60). Amsterdam made his debut as a dramatic actor on a 1952 segment of "Not for Publication" (Dumont).
But it was "The Dick Van Dyke Show" that brought Amsterdam lasting fame. He and Rose Marie, as Van Dyke's co-workers, brought a fast-paced vaudeville sensibility to the modern suburban sitcom. Insulting Mel (Richard Deacon) or his wife Pickles, or thinking up on-the-spot gags, Buddy Sorrell was a high point of the show. He also one of the first openly Jewish TV characters (in one episode, Buddy treated himself to a belated Bar Mitzvah).
His film career was spotty at best. Amsterdam wrote the screenplay for "The Ghost and the Guest" (1943) and made small appearances in such films as "It Came from Outer Space" (1953), "Machine Gun Kelly" (1958), "Murder, Inc." (1960), "Beach Party" (1963) and "Muscle Beach Party" (1964), and "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1968). He also wrote and appeared in the comedy "Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title" (1966) and had a bit part in the thriller "Sandman" (1992). In later years, Amsterdam appeared on "The Hollywood Squares" (NBC, 1966-81), "Comedy Break" (syndicated, 1985), the daytime soap "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1989-90, as a kidnapper), "First and Ten: In Your Face!" (HBO, 1990) and "Comic Relief" (HBO, 1992). He executive produced a 1970 revival of the show "Can You Top This?" (syndicated) and kept busy on the nightclub and college circuit. He was last seen with "Van Dyke" co-star Rose Marie on an episode of NBC's "Caroline in the City" in 1996.
|Kay Amsterdam. married on December 17, 1941; survived him|
|University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley , California|
|Appeared in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS) as Buddy Sorrell|
|Co-starred in series "Keep Talking"|
|Had regular role on the CBS daytime drama "The Young and the Restless" as a bumbling kidnapper|
|Had three daily radio shows; has never-broken record for doing 75 programs in one week|
|Talk show host of "Broadway Open House" precursor to NBC's "The Tonight Show"|
|Worked for network radio and as a screenwriter at MGM during the 1930s|
|Radio debut as tenor|
|Appeared as musician with Optimistic Doughnut Program and Rube Wolf Orchestra|
|Wrote comedy material for Fanny Brice and Will Rogers|
|Wrote material for Al Pearce Gang|
|Hosted his own show "The Morey Amsterdam Show"|
|TV debut "Stop Me If You've Heard This One"|
|Film acting debut, "It Came from Outer Space"|
|Debut as executive producer, "Can You Top This?"|
|Last TV appearance, episode of NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City" which also featured Rose Marie|