The latest rage on television was a show called 77 Sunset Strip. The show debuted in December, 1958 and starred Efram Zimbalist Jr. and Roger Smith, who played government secret agents turned detectives. They worked out of their office on 77 Sunset Strip, located next door to Dino's, Dean Martin's real life lounge. It was a huge hit, especially with teenage girls who had discovered Kookie, the very hip, young valet. Kookie was only about 18 or 19 years old and very good looking. He was also very cool with his wisecracks and hip sayings. He was always combing his hair and every girl my age had a crush on Edd Byrnes, the actor playing Kookie. Teenage girls would get together and watch 77 Sunset Strip just to see Kookie. Then we would all giggle and continue to talk about how cute Kookie was and how we would love to meet him. Boys tried to be just like Kookie, and the sales of combs soared with boys combing their hair constantly. There was even a hit song, sung by Edd Byrnes and Connie Stevens: Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb.
I was a full part of the teenage Kookie frenzy. I watched 77 Sunset Strip on a regular basis, sometimes with my girlfriends, only because of Kookie. I swooned, and fantasized about romance with such a cool guy. I noticed any guy who acted like Kookie, and I picked up some of Kookie's cool sayings. I was a fan.