Comedy, Security Converge At The Friars’ Club
On the last day of ISC Solutions the Dark Restaurant Society met once again, this time for lunch at the famed Friars’ Club, in the Milton Berle Room. Our gracious host -- Frank Defina, vice president of sales at Samsung Techwin America and a member of the Friars’ Club -- treated us—members of the press -- to the experience of a lifetime.
The location on 55th Street was once the house of a physician. Now it serves as the “Monastary,” the name the Friars give to their clubhouses. During the luncheon, Defina recounted the history of the club, as well as hilarious stories about some of its members.
One such story was about Phylis Diller, who in 1983 disguised herself as a man to attend the roast of Sid Cesar at the then-exclusively male club. In 1988 though, Diller, Liza Minelli, Barbara Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Eydie Gorme, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Dinah Shore and Martha Raye were the first female members of the club. My favorite story was about Gilbert Gottfried. Upon the birth of one of Gottfried's children, Defina sent him a Samsung catalog and asked him to pick out a gift. Defina received a call from Godfried, who said he wanted, of all things, a drill!
Surrounded by black-and-white photos of Milton Berle posing with other celebrities, such as Billy Crystal, Brooke Shields and George Burns, we ate, we laughed, and we snapped pictures of the Lucille Ball Room and a billiards room on the third floor where the Rat Pack would play. It was another elegant meeting with dear colleagues.
Sherleen Mahoney is a Web managing editor at 1105 Media.