Sammy Shore lost his keys, and then he was futzing with his three dogs, and that’s when I phoned him, and he told me not to get old.
“How old are you?” Shore said.
“Forty-seven,” I said.
“I’ve got a bathroom that old. That’s nothing,” Shore said. “At 47, I was still with Elvis. I was hot as a firecracker, working all over the place. Now it’s 87, it’s like, ‘Can I get out of bed?’ ”
Shore, if you don’t know, was Elvis’ opening comedian. Shore founded the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. He fathered Pauly Shore. He divorced Mitzi Shore and married Miss Alabama 1970 Suzanne Dennie Shore (an “incredible woman”). Despite his bedridden jokes, he’s a gym rat.
On Sunday, he will host his fifth annual “Funny Bones” fundraising show in the Orleans Showroom to pay for medical treatment for Nevada SPCA animals.
“Why did you call me? We’re doing our Nevada SPCA show Sunday,” Shore said.
“That’s why I’m calling you,” I said.
“Oh,” Shore said and joked, “I thought you wanted to get together, you wanted to go dancing, or you wanted me to introduce you to a couple of girls. You’re not married, are you?”
“No, but my girlfriend lives with me and her cats,” I said.
“Women today,” Shore said. “All they do is talk. ‘Why did you leave the cheese open? Just close the top of the package so it doesn’t rot.’ They never stop.”
“Well, Sammy, why did you leave the cheese open?” I said.
“Because I’m dumb,” he said.
I told him I dig how much he likes animals.
“I don’t kill anything. Flies. Bugs. Whatever it is,” Shore said. “I’ve been reading a lot about Mark Twain, and Mark Twain was the same way with animals and bugs and all that (expletive).”
Shore even saved a roach that got stuck in his casita commode.
“I wasn’t going to flush him down,” he said. “I put down the lid. I came back the next day, the cockroach is still swimming around. Third day, the same thing. I said, ‘This cockroach is something.’
“I whipped out a piece of paper. He crawled on it. I took him outside and put him on a rock, and said, ‘Good luck. See you next time.’ ”
“Wait,” I said, because Shore knew Elvis so well. “Did Elvis have dogs or cats?”
“Horses,” Shore said. “He had a dog or two. But his main thing was horses. He rode horses in the backyard. That was his animal thing.”
Sunday’s “Funny Bones” show features Pauly Shore, Pete Barbutti, Paul Shortino, Lance Burton, Geechy Guy, Vinnie Favorito and cast members from “Raiding the Rock Vault,” “Rock of Ages” and “Shades of Sinatra.”
Visit vegasfunnybones.wordpress.com for tickets.
“We raise money for dogs that are really sick,” Shore said.
“When we finished the show last year, an elderly woman stopped me and said, ‘Sammy, what do you think you guys took in this afternoon?’
“(The total was) $30,000,” Shore said.
“She said, ‘Wait a second.’ She took out her checkbook from her purse and wrote a check for $30,000.
“That shows me there are people with hearts, people that mean something to our world. Those are the people I try to surround myself with. When I see someone who’s bigoted and doesn’t have an animal, I walk away.”
Shore advised me to be good to my girlfriend.
“Don’t open up the cheese package, or you’ll be in deep (expletive),” he said.
THERE’S ALSO CATS
So what can you do Sunday morning before Shore’s doggy event? Glad you asked.
At 7:30 a.m. Sunday is the shotgun start of the Poppy Foundation’s golf tournament fundraiser to save ailing cats at Bonanza Cat Hospital, the saintly no-kill vet’s office that foots its own bills to keep discarded cats alive.
Entry fee is $100, which buys a round, lunch and drinks at Siena Golf Club in Summerlin. Visit poppyfoundation.org.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.