First, their daughter, Anne, sang. My favorite songs were written by Leonard Cohen. I hadn't heard much of Leonard Cohen before and it's always great to be introduced to amazing songs by a writer I've always read about but hadn't explored much. He has a terrific way with words. And Anne did a wonderful job on them.
We sat close to Mel Brooks, who we'd met very briefly one time before at the late Stan Freeman's one man show about Oscar Levant.
Brief story: That night, our "dates" were (Dear) Abby Van Buren and Lucille Ball. Lucy kept asking us, in her husky voice, "Which one IS she??" Afterwards, we went out to dinner and Jim totally set Abby up. He told her that Stan loves to get comments about his performance. So, she said to him, "You know, Shtan," (she had this lateral lisp, so all her "s"'s were like "sh"), "I have an idea for your show."So, Anne sang. Then Carl sang a couple of songs, jokingly. And then Mel got up and did a few numbers. It was really cool. Very warm and sweet. They even took video of the crowd saying hello to Estelle, so she could "join" us.
Immediately, Jim jumped in and said, "Well, who are YOU to give advice?"
Jim told Mel about "Zero Hour" and the story about how he had auditioned for the musical of "The Producers" and before he even got in to see the main casting director, he was told that he "wasn't right for the part."