Question: How big a pencil-neck trivia geek are you?
Answer a series of forehead-slapping anecdotal factoids. It’s up to you to weigh each fact in each anecdotal factoid. They’re tricky. One might seem like total B.S. until it’s revealed to be strangely and disturbingly “True.” Another anecdotal factoid might seem to contain all solid and verifiable facts until it’s revealed to be yet one more big fat garden variety “Bald-Faced Lie.” And here’s the trickiest part: an anecdotal factoid might even be “Half-True“; in other words, a mishmosh of truths and bald-faced lies, where you don’t know where one ends and the other begins, much like the usual slop served by Madison Avenue, Washington D.C., and the Internet in its entirety.
Category: The Frank, Dino, Sammy, and Joey Quiz
Decide for yourself, and mark “T” for “Truth”, “F” for “Bald-Faced Lie” or “TF” for “Half-Truth” in the blank slot next to each factoid.
The answers will be revealed on the next page.
1) __ In 1960, Frank Sinatra introduced Marilyn Monroe to then-Senator John F. Kennedy at a Las Vegas “Rat Pack” show. At the time, Marilyn was also the girlfriend of Chicago mob boss, Sam Giancana. After Kennedy became President, he used Marilyn as a secret courier between the White House and Giancana in a plot to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
2) __ The Rat Pack began as a social gathering in the Holmby Hills home of actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. At its beginning, Bogart was the Rat Pack’s leader, not Sinatra.
3) __ Frank Sinatra originally wanted to call his group of friends “The Clan”, but decided against it because he didn’t want anyone to confuse them with the Ku Klux Klan.
4) __ Frank had a falling out with fellow Rat Pack member and JFK’s brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, when Kennedy distanced himself from Sinatra after becoming President. This was because of Frank’s alleged association with organized crime.
5) __ Joey Bishop, the sole surviving Rat Pack member, currently has a successful one-man-show in Las Vegas called “The Rat Pack is Back.”
Here are the answers for The Frank, Dino, Sammy, and Joey Quiz
A reminder: “T” is for “Truth”, “F” is for “Bald-Faced Lie” or “TF” is for “Half-Truth”.
1) F: It’s false that Frank Sinatra introduced Marilyn Monroe to JFK at a Las Vegas “Rat Pack” show. It’s also false that Marilyn was the girlfriend of mobster Sam Giancana. Sinatra, however, did introduce Kennedy to Judith Campbell Exner, who was Giancana’s girlfriend. While it’s never been conclusively proven as fact, some political pundits including Seymour Hersh have said that Exner indeed was a secret courier between the White House and Giancana in a plot to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
2) T: It’s true that the Rat Pack began as a social gathering in the Holmby Hills home of actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It’s also true that Bogart was considered the Rat Pack’s leader, not Sinatra. It was only after Bogie’s 1956 death that Frank became Chairman of the Board.
A side note: Lauren Bacall gave the group its name. After seeing Sinatra and Dean Martin return from a late set in Vegas, she said, “You look like a goddamn rat pack.”
3) T: It’s true that Sinatra originally wanted to call his group of friends “The Clan”, but decided against it because he didn’t want anyone to confuse them with the Ku Klux Klan.
4) T: It’s true that Frank had a falling out with Peter Lawford, when Kennedy distanced himself from Sinatra after becoming President. As a result, he cut Lawford out of the Rat Pack movie, “Robin and the 7 Hoods.”
A side note: Because Sinatra believed that the President would use his Palm Springs home as a winter White House, he had special guest quarters and a heliport built on his property.
To add insult to injury, when JFK would visit Palm Springs, he stayed at singer Bing Crosby’s house.
5) F: It’s false that Joey Bishop is starring in a one-man-show in Las Vegas. “The Rat Pack is Back”, however, is a real Vegas show with “Rat Pack” impersonators. As for Joey, he’s retired from show biz and refuses to discuss his years with the Rat Pack.
“AKA Frank Sinatra”, Jeff Leen, Washington Post, URL: (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/march99/sinatra7d.htm)
“Chairman and his pals”, Steve Hedgepeth and Alan Sepinwall, Newark Star Ledger, URL: (http://www.nj.com/sinatra/ledger/index.ssf?/sinatra/stories/ratpack.html)
“Still their kind of town”, Ian Belcher, Guardian, URL: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2001/dec/16/unitedstates.observerescapesection)