THE WORLD OF HIRAM
Welcome! You have just gained entry into the site of one of
show business' most popular entertainers who you think you almost
know: Hiram Kasten.
What's that? You say you know Hiram Kasten but his name isn't
exactly a "household word?" Well, what is a household
word anyway? Charmin is a household word! ...Who the heck wants
that? Believe this: the biggest names in show biz from Jerry
Seinfeld on through are friends and fans of his. Hiram has always
been considered by his peers the quintessential show business
personality. The comedian's comedian.
From the day he was born (Gosh, he looks great for his age!)
in a little log cabin in the Bronx, Hiram Kasten was headed straight
into comedy. The doctor slapped him and he did 5 minutes. Wearing
glasses since kindergarten, and having an overprotective mother
who had him wear a full face ski mask the first day it dipped
below 32, he wasn't cutting the dashing figure he would later
become. But he was certainly learning what was funny. For instance,
every time a bully knocked him down he was certain it was funnier
if he fell on his left side! Studying all the great entertainers
on television, Hiram practiced each day in his room. Take his singing
for instance. Please. Hiram played Broadway Cast albums every
afternoon and taught himself to sing, which was no mean achievement,
if you knew the paucity of musical ability in his family. They
had no rhythm. His father thought a meter was something you put
a dime in. Hi taught himself to dance from standing in front
of the TV and copying the moves of all the greats ....This afternoon
regimen not only prepared him for his career but it also insured
he'd finish school with a D average.
But...Hiram Kasten was ready when he left home. He won the lead
in the first play he auditioned for at CUNY, the first off-Broadway
play he auditioned for in Manhattan ("Line" by Israel
Horovitz - 13th St. Theatre), and one of the leads in the first
sitcom he ever auditioned for in Hollywood ("Dr. Paradise" on
CBS)! He was ready, though not sure for what.
At the Comic Strip on a snowy night
in 1978, he was introduced by the emcee, a young fellow who just
happened to be Jerry Seinfeld! Hello stand-up comedy! From there
to emceeing at Catch A Rising Star and starring in his own Sunday
night show at Dangerfield's for 5 years, Hiram joined that exciting
new generation of comedians and gigged around the country laughing
every day and night (THAT's why he still looks so young!). It
is during these years he developed his unique style of blending
the modern comedic idiom with a healthy homage to the greats
that came before. You watch his act and you say, "He's either
the youngest old guy or the oldest young guy I've ever seen!"
In 1986, by now totally debauched, but still tanned and slim,
he married his long time sweetheart Diana Kisiel (they would
broadcast together on Howard Stern's WNBC radio show) -- who
insisted that it was time to leave the Bronx because Hollywood
beckoned (!) and urged a move by their first anniversary. They
loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly ...Boulevard that
is! Swimming pools, movie stars, and dozens of shuls. Since then,
Hiram has guest starred on some of television's most popular
programs. From Seinfeld (3 times), Mad About You (twice), and
Everybody Loves Raymond to his current recurring role as the
pharmacist, Mr. Piel, on 7th Heaven.
At the fin de siecle (and you scoffed at his education), Hiram
was hand-picked by producers Don Reo and David Cassidy to star
in the Las Vegas production of The Rat Pack is Back at the Desert
Inn. It was voted the Number #1 New Show in Las Vegas.
Hiram directed Bruce Smirnoff's
award winning one man show, "Other Than My Health I Have
is in demand as a private acting coach, a frequent favorite
on the Rubber Chicken circuit, and is currently featured in
the new book, "I Killed."
Hiram's most recent pilot,
Bad Example, was a hoot to tape and we sincerely hope it sells!
...Hiram Kasten is always right where he wanted to be: behind
your TV screen or on the stage of your nearest theatre --
or just talking about comedy -- and it's just what he was preparing
to do when he was a kid.