Red Buttons

Dean Martin – Sinatra roast

Red Buttons born Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919 was an American comedian and Academy Award winning actor.

Red Buttons was born Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919, in New York City, to Jewish immigrants Sophie (née Baker) and Michael Chwatt.  At sixteen years old, Chwatt got a job as an entertaining bellhop at Ryan’s Tavern in City Island, Bronx. The combination of his red hair and the large, shiny buttons on the bellhop uniforms inspired orchestra leader Charles “Dinty” Moore to call him “Red Buttons,” the name under which he would later perform.

Later that same summer, Buttons worked on the Borscht Belt; his straight man was Robert Alda. Red Buttons was working at the Irvington Hotel in South Fallsburg, New York, when the Master of Ceremonies became incapacitated, and he asked for the chance to replace him.

In 1939, Buttons started working for Minsky’s Burlesque; in 1941, José Ferrer chose Buttons to appear in a Broadway show The Admiral Had a Wife. The show was a farce set in Pearl Harbor, and it was due to open on December 8, 1941. It never did, as it was deemed inappropriate after the Japanese attack. In later years, Buttons would joke that the Japanese only attacked Pearl Harbor to keep him off Broadway.

He became a nationally recognizable comedian, and his “Never Got A Dinner” routine was a standard of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast for many years. He was number 71 onComedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.

Buttons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, his star being located at 1651 Vine Street.

Red Buttons Loved Life

Everybody that Loves Red Buttons, Loves Life 

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Red Buttons – Sinatra Roast

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