18 Reasons Sammy Davis Jr. Beats Michael Jackson in Heavenly Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived Smackdown

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Barry Gordy eulogizes Michael Jackson.
At Michael Jackson's moving memorial in the Staples Center Tuesday, Motown founder Berry Gordy eulogized that the title "King of Pop" was not big enough for Jacko, calling him "simply the greatest entertainer that ever lived."

Somewhere in Heaven, Sammy Davis Jr. fumes.

See, it's been universally accepted that Sammy was the greatest entertainer who ever lived. Now that both he and MJ are sharing the bill at the Great Rendezvous Ballroom in the Sky, it behooves God, Thor, Vishnu, Devi Mahatmya or whichever non-mortal entity is in charge of the joint to organize a Supreme American Idol competition between the two. Shakespeare, Flo Ziegfeld and Judy Garland (the original Paula Abdul) can be the judges.

However, before such a competition is held, it behooves a thinking person to concede the many reasons (18 to be precise) that Sammy out-entertains Jacko. It's really no contest.
1) Jacko was brutally pushed to perform by his father, but Sammy was brutally pushed to perform by his father in the mid 1920s. Do you know how audiences and promoters treated black entertainers in the mid 1920s? And to get around child labor laws, Davis had to live with being billed as "Silent Sam the Dancing Midget."

2) Jacko performed with the disadvantage of one glove, but Sammy performed with the disadvantage of one eye.

3) Jacko sustained serious injuries while filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984, but Sammy was almost killed in an automobile accident--the 1954 crash in San Bernardino that resulted in that lost eye.

4) Jacko was a devout Jehovah's Witness, but Sammy was a devout Jew. Count the number of great Jehovah's Witness entertainers, the number of great Jewish entertainers and call me in the morning.

5) Jacko amazed audiences with his moonwalking skills, but Sammy amazed audiences with his tap-dancing skills. Do you know how hard it is to amaze anyone tap dancing?

6) Jacko's pals were Corey Feldman, Macaulay Culkin and Emmanuel Lewis, but Sammy's pals were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford.

7) The Jack Pack's honorary chick was Brooke Shields, but the Rat Pack's honorary chick was Shirley MacLaine.

8) While Jacko and Sammy both won two NAACP awards for their off-stage humanitarian efforts, Davis was alone in being an actual NAACP award himself, which happened during an infamous "Summit at the Sands" show where Dean Martin picked up Sammy and announced to the crowd, "I'd like to thank the NAACP for this award."

9) Jacko tried to acquire the Elephant Man's bones, but Sammy boned Kim Novak.

10) Jacko broke the color barrier that had prevented MTV from showing videos by black artists in heavy rotation, but Sammy's refusal to play at venues that forbid African-American entertainers from occupying their dressing rooms, restaurants and bars led to the integration of Miami nightclubs and Las Vegas casinos.

11) Jacko infamously faced more judges than he ever wanted to, but Sammy was a judge--complete with white wig, black robe and Good Book under his arm--during several Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In skits in the 1960s.

12) Jacko famously kissed Lisa Marie Presley at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, but Sammy famously kissed Nancy Sinatra on the 1967 NBC Movin' With Nancy special--possibly the first black-white kiss in U.S. television history.

13) The Jacko-Presley kiss was mocked as awkward and disturbing, but it had nothing on Sammy's awkward and disturbing kiss on Archie Bunker's cheek on All in the Family in 1972--and Sammy and Archie kissed each other years later on Archie Bunker's Place. Ew!

14) Jacko sang the sappy theme song to Ben, but Sammy sang the sizzling theme song to Baretta.

15) Jacko hung out with Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House in 1984, but Sammy not only hung out with Richard Nixon there in 1973, Dick let him the spend the night, the first time it is believed an African-American had been invited to do so (excluding whoever Thomas Jefferson was secretly banging, of course).

16) Jacko sang the embarrassing "Say, Say, Say" with Paul McCartney, but Sammy appeared in the embarrassing Cannonball Run II with Burt Reynolds.

17) Jacko was portrayed in a TV miniseries by Jason Weaver, but Sammy was portrayed in an HBO movie by Don Cheadle.

18) Sure, Berry Gordy called Jacko the greatest entertainer who ever lived, but 42 years earlier Sammy was forever immortalized as "The Greatest Entertainer in the World" in the I Dream of Jeannie episode of the same title. See, Tony needs Sammy to perform at Gen. Peterson's 10th anniversary at NASA, but because Davis is previously booked Jeannie must create a duplicate of the greatest entertainer who ever lived . . .

Okay, so maybe that was more embarrassing than Cannonball Run II.

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