Who was Jimmy Durante’s "Mrs. Calabash"?
—J.W. Knox, Schenectady, N.Y.
Durante, whose career as a singer, actor and comedian stretched across much of the 20th century, frequently signed off his radio and TV appearances¬† saying, "Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are." As author David Bakish explained in the biography Jimmy Durante: His Show Business Career, the famous big-nosed comic started using the name to close out his shows after he saw producer Phil Cohan smoking a calabash pipe. For years afterward, he gave a variety of explanations about the name, finally admitting that it was his way of saying good night to his late wife, Jeanne.