"This story illustrates who, in Mort's mind, his audience was.

On one of our visits to Mort while he was living in Paris, He took us to dinner and then to a club called ALCAZAR.  The club presented one show in an evening.  It would start at about 11:30 and end up at about one AM. It was an awesome performance by all kinds of acts coming on  and off the stage.

I remember one by two male dancers with fans.  It began with one man dancing across the stage with the fans for about 5 minutes and then suddenly, in the middle of the stage, you would see two dancers. All that time the other man was behind the first dancer who seemed to be all my himself on the stage.

The three of us had a ringside table and were provided with a never ending supply of Dom Perignon and cigars. Mort was a star. People would come to greet him.  He would wave to others.  All in French.  We didn't understand but we were proud to be at his table. All during the night and while the show was going on, a gentleman dressed in all white tails and tie would circulate through the club. He was Alcazar.  He would stop at and shout to the whole room who was sitting there and there would be applause.  He would stop several times at our table and announce Mort. In French, he would say something to the audience.  

Mort would stand, wave his hand, shake his head and say something. And everybody would applaud. I asked what was up. Mort said  "He is trying to get me to perform. Screw him. No way". 

The show ended at 1:30,/2:00 and people would stop at our table and talk with Mort. He would say a few words, shake his head, laugh and be gracious. Alcazar sat with us. The place was emptying. The musicians had left and the piano was wheeled out on the stage.  

The staff (about 30 men and women, waiters, busboys, etc.) were cleaning the place.  The  finale of the show was a shower of confetti over the audience.
Mort suddenly got up and went up on the stage.  He took off his jacket, removed his tie and sat at the piano. For over an hour, Mort played and sang "jazz".
The waiters and other help put down their brooms and sat at the tables. 

Mort said later, He was playing for his audience..."

AARON SCHECTER, Mort’s New York accountant for many years.

Paris Skyline Image