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Zero Mostel Forgets to Eat

Nov. 9, 1963 - A funny thing happened to Zero Mostel the other day — he forgot to eat. This, plus the fact that he had been dieting strenuously, was the cause of his collapse during Thursday’s performance in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” The rotund comedian became ill during intermission and had to be replaced by Danny Dayton. Before returning to the show Friday night, Mr. Mostel explained what had happened. It did not have anything to do with malnutrition, he said. “I can live on my fat for another 40 years,” Zero declared. He had been running around all day Thursday and simply forgot to eat. “I did a stupid thing,” he remarked. Mr. Mostel said he decided to start dieting when he found it difficult to tie his shoes. Mr. Dayton, incidentally, is about half the size of Mr. Mostel. The gag backstage at the Alvin Theater is that “two Daytons equal one Zero.” Mr. Dayton requires special costumes to play the part.


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