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Sorry, Mr. Bishop

Nearly a decade ago, back in my days at the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia, a co-worker and I were working late. His phone rang and he picked up.

The caller was screaming. My fellow editor kept saying, “Yes, Mr. Bishop. Sorry, Mr. Bishop.”

Yes, it was the Joey Bishop.

If memory serves (the Web is of no help on this one) we had published a letter from a reader who was upset that the Rat Packer – who died last week in Newport Beach, Cali., at 89 – didn’t stick with his given name: Joseph Abraham Gottlieb. The letter-writer suggested that Bishop must have been embarrassed by his Jewish roots.

The hell he was, Bishop let my fellow editor know. (And, I should add, he had no problem exposing Johnny Carson as a Midwestern Morano).

So, one last time: Sorry, Mr. Bishop.