The Rat Pack once was the coolest group of entertainers on the planet — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. Oh, yeah, and a stone-faced comedian named Joey Bishop.

Although not as widely appreciated, it was Bishop with his deadpan delivery, dead-on timing and bottomless pit of jokes, who was “the hub of the big wheel,” according to Rat Pack leader Sinatra himself.

Bishop, who also starred on two TV shows throughout most of the 1960s, died Wednesday at age 89. He turned out to be the Rat Pack’s last man standing, having outlived Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Lawford.

“People would go see Frank and Dean and Sammy and everybody would think these guys were going to chew him up on stage but that was never the case,” fellow comedian Sandy Hackett said Thursday from Las Vegas, where he was to portray Bishop that night in the long-running stage revue “The Rat Pack is Back.”

The Rat Packers were a show business sensation by the early 1960s, when they appeared together at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in shows that combined music and comedy in a seemingly chaotic manner.

“In reality, he wrote almost all the jokes they all did,” Hackett said. “He’d come up with something funny and they’d go, ‘That was great, Joey,’ and then the next night one of them would use it and he’d have to come up with another joke.”

With his clever asides, Bishop was asked by Sinatra to be the master of ceremonies at President Kennedy’s inaugural gala, where the Rat Pack performed. When the president arrived, he turned to him and said, “I told you I’d get you a good seat.”

The Rat Packers, who worked together whenever they were free of their individual commitments, also appeared in the films “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Sergeants 3.”

“They were the ultimate in cool,” said film historian Leonard Maltin. “I think guys admired and envied them, women wanted to be with them, and I think Joey Bishop’s deadpan style of comedy suited that group well. He was a combination straight man and comedian.”

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