Marty Roberts, of Legendary L.A. Lounge Act Seen in ‘Swingers,’ Dies

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Marty & Elayne, via their Facebook page

Marty Roberts, who teamed with his wife Elayne as lounge duo Marty & Elayne at the Los Angeles nightclub The Dresden for over 40 years, died January 13, 2022. The pair were showcased in the 1996 feature film, Swingers, that starred Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn as two bachelors looking for love in the big city. The news of Roberts’ passing at age 89, of cancer, was shared on the couple’s Facebook page on Jan. 18 by their daughter, Hali.

For six nights each week, Marty & Elayne performed their old-school, show business set at the club, he on his drum kit, upright bass and vocals; she on piano, synth or flute. The Dresden has set up a GoFundMe page to help Elayne with expenses.

As the Los Angeles Times wrote in his obituary, “They wore matching jumpsuits with space-age flair. The married couple never seemed part of a wave of hipster kitsch; instead, the times had finally come back around to them.” He was roughly 20 years her senior. The couple met in 1970. “We are creatures of the night,” Marty told the paper in 2004. “By the time most people are ending their Friday, we’re just getting up.”

Their repertoire included hundreds of songs like The Doors’ “Light My Fire” and they even appeared in the Tom Petty video for “Yer So Bad.”

In Swingers, Favreau and Vaughn’s characters enter the Dresden with their pals and head to their prime booth. Marty, in his un-ironic manner, is singing the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

Favreau, who wrote the screenplay, plays a struggling comedian, Mike Peters, who has moved to Los Angeles from New York, still pining for his long-time girlfriend who dumped him. His “swinging” and more traditionally handsome friend, Trent Walker, portrayed by Vaughn, is constantly trying to beef up his friend’s confidence with women.

After Trent and their pals keep telling Mike, “you are so money,” Mike spies a girl, Nikki, at a bar and proudly tells his friends that he got her phone number.

Not wanting to appear over-anxious, the debate ensues as to how long he should wait to call her. When Mike decides what to do, he makes a series of cringe-inducing calls to Nikki.

Watch the legendary “Answering Machine Meltdown” scene… “Hi, this is Nikki… leave a message…”

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