Friars Club chest awarded to Joey Bishop


Small wooden treasure awarded to Joey Bishop by the Friars Club in 1968. The chest is painted brown with gold detailing. A plate engraved "Friar Joey Bishop" is attached to the top of the chest. The chest has a hinged lid that opens to reveal a King's Ransom Scotch whiskey bottle and has three glasses, one tumbler, and two shot glasses.

The Friars club is a private club for entertainers headquartered in New York City. It is best known for staging roasts of celebrity guests.

A comedian, actor, and sometimes singer, Joey Bishop was a fixture in American entertainment from the 1960s through the 1980s. Bishop was born in the Bronx in 1918 and served in the Army during World War II. After Frank Sinatra saw him performing comedy at the Latin Quarter club in Manhattan, he asked Bishop to start opening for him, and Bishop became known as “Sinatra’s comic.” As a member of the famed “Rat Pack” alongside Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, Bishop appeared in Ocean’s Eleven (1960) and Sergeants 3 (1962). Independently, Joey Bishop was an influential comedian and entertainer known for his affable yet deadpan and dry sense of humor. Bishop's comedy included ad libs and his catch phrase "Son of a gun!" Alongside contemporaries like Mort Sahl and Shelley Berman, Bishop inspired a new generation of observational comics and helped to transform Las Vegas into a major entertainment destination. He appeared with the rest of the Rat Pack during their Las Vegas residency in the early 1960s, which helped bring national attention to the then-fledgling entertainment culture in the city. Bishop starred in an eponymous television sitcom that aired on NBC from 1961-1964 and hosted his own late-night talk show from 1967-1969. Throughout the 1970s, he frequently appeared as a guest star on television and guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson at least 175 times. Bishop died in 2007 and was the last living member of the Rat Pack.

Date Made: around 1968

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York City

Subject: Comedy


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Entertainment, Popular Entertainment


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2019.0291.03Catalog Number: 2019.0291.03Accession Number: 2019.0291

Object Name: chest

Physical Description: wood (chest material)metal (fixtures and bottle cap material)glass (glasses and bottle material)Measurements: overall: 27 in x 8 in x 5 in; 68.58 cm x 20.32 cm x 12.7 cm


Record Id: nmah_1974553

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