When Sammy was a teenager he asked himself whether he wanted a job or he wanted to be in show biz and fortunately for us he chose the latter. (When you're a dead ringer for Jerry Lewis these decisions come easy.) After a few years knocking around nightclubs Sammy teamed up with Dean Martin impersonator Duke Mitchell and together they starred in the feral Poverty Row romp Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). Not long after the release of the movie the long arm of Jerry Lewis prevented Mitchell and Petrillo from securing work and the team reluctantly dissolved. In 1961 Sammy took a solo turn in the Doris Wishman nudie Shangri-La (featuring "trick photography by Weegee") and in 1972 he essayed multiple roles in Wishman's abstinence-provoking Keyholes Are For Peeping. Somewhere in there Sammy created the concept for The Munsters TV show and invented the prank phone call record (My Son The Phone Caller). Duke met his reward in 1981 and Sammy kept on being Sammy right up until this past weekend. Beloved by those who loved him and hated by the rest, Sammy's legacy will endure as long as public domain copies of Brooklyn Gorilla litter 99 cent bins at checkout counters across the land.
Here's couple of clips from Shangri-La that feature Sammy at his effervescent best. Whether cavorting with nudists, historic wax figures or Duke Mitchell impersonators, Sammy's off button was nowhere to be found. (NSFW)