Cover of Kookie: Star of "77 Sunset Strip"
My Casino Caper
Written By and Performed by
This audio-book was written and performed by Edd Byrnes and directed by Paul Kyriazi. It is available for download at $9.00 by clicking the article title above.
I must be old enough to remember the old radio stations, since I can recall shivering at "Only the Shadow Knows..." but I can remember mostly from early television programs where they acted out a story for radio. You would see somebody ring a telephone, or buzz to pretend that somebody was at the door...or even walk across the stage so that footstep sounds could be picked up at the appropriate time (and actually the sounds were made by a machine behind the curtain!).
Well, the audio books directed by Paul Kyriazi create the type of book that brings back radio days! And the first one I've listened to is My Casino Caper by Kookie Byrnes...yes, I can call him Kookie because I'm old enough to remember his song, "Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb..." and remember the program he starred in on TV, "77 Sunset Strip."
Edd asked his acting friends to re-create what had happened to him 20 years ago. So Alan Young, David Hedison, and Henry Silva recorded as themselves. Kookie's voice was always very distinctive, so it was fun hearing him as if he was talking just to me! Actually, he is telling his story to Alan Young! And, yes, I remember him more for Mr. Ed than for other programs he was in! Well, Alan is not so sure that Kookie is not telling him one wild tale, but he's willing to listen carefully, as was I.
It all started in Las Vegas...
Edd is really not a gambler, but his girlfriend Jessica (he refused to give the star's real name!) talked him into the trip... Now he had earlier steadily dated Jessica but she had broken off with him, so he was hoping that they would "renew" that earlier closeness although Jessica stated they were there to...gamble...
Edd figured he'd played a few machines, but Jessica pulled him toward those at which you could try for a three million dollar jackpot. She was quite willing to have him put high dollars into the machine and Edd tried to be responsive but not lose too badly. Still as he was standing there in front of the machine, he started remembering how some things had "lucked" out for him in the past, so that with each cash entry in, he'd pause a little before placing the next coin...
Well, apparently, his particular touch that day worked, because he won the $3M!
And that's when the trouble started...
As soon as his machine announced a winner and amidst the responsive screaming, a man quietly came up behind Brynes and claimed that the machine was his, he had been playing it for hours, and therefore the money was his...stating that he had placed a chair backwards against the machine and that was known to show that somebody was using it! He looked and acted like a member of the mafia, but Edd quickly stood up against the guy and claimed the money was clearly his and he could prove it.
When the Casino manager came, he, of course, backed Edd's position, especially since Jessica was screaming out her support and disgust with the other man...and so finally Edd received a check for $3M, very quietly as requested by Brynes, and left the casino. Interestingly, Jessica was now quite willing to spend the night "celebrating" with Edd...but the next morning, she quickly started talking about getting her half of the money!
So Edd found himself a lot richer, but now threatened by a criminal and his ex-girlfriend was claiming that she had wanted the trip, showed him the right machine to play and told him exactly how to do it, so she deserved half. And she continued to tell Edd that even after they were back home...calling daily to either threaten or seduce him into sharing!
And the criminal was also making sure Byrnes knew he was around...
I am sure you will recognize the stars that take part in this fun audio tale. The presentation is very informal, with Edd talking as himself to Alan Young, and then playing his own part as he proceeds to perform the story he calls The Casino Caper. Whether true or not, it's a fascinating "could-be" tale that includes humor, a little romance, some great con artists, as well as a couple of actor friends who are willing to help their friend out when he's facing some trouble!
Taking a long auto trip or just wanting to relax and enjoy an afternoon with some unique entertainment, then I know you will enjoy listening to, for instance, Alan Young performing some of his "voices" from movies in which he has played, and other career actors sharing backup to Edd Byrnes in this great audio book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe you will too! Listen to a free sample of Edd winning the 3 million dollar jackpot with the criminal trying to claim it right away (Click please!)
Audio Book tape
provided by Director
G. A. Bixler