Story By:James Edstrom

Joe Franklin And Producer Steve Garrin

New York City Legend Joe Franklin has taken his final "Walk Down Memory Lane".

New York City legend Joe Franklin, was the pioneering Radio and TV personality nicknamed King of Nostalgia and credited with creating the modern-day talk show, died Saturday. The star was 88.

I am going to miss Joe. I grew up watching him on late night television on WOR. Very early in my career, he would show up to my parties at Limelight, Roxy, Webster Hall and so many other NYC hotspots. Joe loved to go out. One minute he would be at some fancy high class event, then a hour later he would be at a dingy club, and no matter where the event was, Joe was there to talk. That's what Joe did, he talked.

For some reason, Joe never remembered my name. He knew my face right away, would come over and kiss me, but he always forgot my name.  We were neighbors for years in Times Square. His office was 200 feet away from me across the street. I would run into him almost every day and it was always "what was your name again, you got a card?". It was funny. Don't know if he did it to keep me on my toes, but every time this was the first conversation we had. Then we would chat away.

When I would call Joe at his west 43rd street offices to invite him to a party, he would say, "Oh Yeah, I have a bunch of your cards. It's was funny and we went through this for years. You never knew where Joe would show up next. I went to Hooters parties and there was Joe. I would show up to photograph Marilyn Monroe's dress and shoes for Pat Cooper and there was Joe. Lunch with Cindy Adams, parties at the Friers Club and late night nightclubs, there was Joe Franklin, talking away, because this is what Joe loved and did. He loved people. He loved talk.

In the old days when all the legends hung out at Sardi's Restaurant on 44th street, Joe would walk in and chat with everyone in the front bar. I was usually there with Joyce Randolph and her husband Dick Charles. Joyce played Trixie on the Honeymooners television show. Joe loved Joyce. Funny thing, in all my years, I never saw Joe have a drop of alcohol.

I loved having Joe as a neighbor. Our many conversations on the street were classic. His memories of the old days of television made me wish to go back to the old days. I love the story on how some photographer from my building asked Joe if he could photograph him in his office. Joe thought he was doing the guy a favor, then the guy sent him a bill. Joe was like, " This guy is crazy."

Joe Franklin friend and producer Steve Garrin said, " With Joe's passing, it's the end of a era." Late night talk show queen Robyn Byrd said on her facebook Page, "RIP Joe Franklin... Sweet man, I was on his show a few times. He said I changed the look of television."

Rest in peace Joe Franklin, enjoy your trip down memory lane with all your old friends in the sky.


Anonymous said…
Such a great story.
Anonymous said…
joe was a great man