Sly Fox is a comedic play by Larry Gelbart, based on Ben Jonson's Volpone (The Fox), updating the setting from Renaissance Venice to 19th century San Francisco, and changing the tone from satire to farce.
It premiered on Broadway December 14, 1976 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Directed by Arthur Penn, the play featured George C. Scott, Bob Dishy, Hector Elizondo, Jack Gilford, and Gretchen Wyler. Scott was succeeded by Robert Preston.
According to his biography at tcm.com, Jackie Gleason was touring in the lead role of Sly Fox in 1978 when he suffered a heart attack and had to permanently leave the show, undergoing a triple bypass.
The play was revived on April 1, 2004 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, again directed by Arthur Penn, featuring Richard Dreyfuss, Bob Dishy, Eric Stoltz, René Auberjonois, Professor Irwin Corey, Elizabeth Berkley, Rachel York, Peter Scolari, and Bronson Pinchot.
The 1967 film The Honey Pot also was inspired by the original Volpone.
Like Volpone, and Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi, this is a story of a con-man who convinces others that he is near death, and turns their greed against them for his own gain.
- "Ah! Gold! "God" with an 'L'!"
- "Never think too little of people; there always a little less to be thought."