Recalling the classic glamour of old Hollywood and landline phones, a California auction house is offering the chance to own Sammy Davis Jr.’s “little black book”—a sobriquet for the late entertainer’s address book, and not a chummy nickname bestowed on him by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, back when casual racism was just part of pallin’ around. The Rat Packer apparently had an impressive list of celebrities he could call up at any time of night and laugh indulgently at, which would seem to make it a hot item for collectors. However, as of press time no one has made even the minimum bid of $4,400, possibly because all of the numbers listed in the ’70s-era book are landlines “believed” to have been disconnected for decades. Also, many of the people in it are dead.
Among the famous ghosts we could prank call, if we all pooled our money: Sinatra, Martin, and fellow Rat Packer Joey Bishop, plus Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Kelly, Rock Hudson, Jack Lemmon, Sugar Ray Robinson, Mickey Rooney, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Richard Pryor, and Michael Jackson. But Davis was also friends with some people who are still alive, including Jerry Lewis, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Jay Leno, Rod Stewart, Lily Tomlin, James Caan, and Lionel Richie—though granted, it seems unlikely that any of them still have landline phones. Possibly Burt Reynolds, who probably has one of those old-fashioned gold rotary numbers. That just seems right, right? And isn’t the chance of maybe being able to prank call Burt Reynolds worth the asking price? He might do that laugh!
O.J. Simpson is also listed, alongside Nicole. Good luck with that.
Also included in the little black book are the numbers of Bruce Jenner and Donald Rumsfeld, for some reason. These will come in handy should we want to prank call people who are dead inside. Let’s figure this out.