Sep. 25th, 2011 12:04 am
kip_w: (tree)
I was watching a movie with Frank Morgan in it, and at one point, he sadly says, "There's no place like home... no place like home..." and I chuckled at the in-joke. Then I checked and found that the movie was made in 1933. (HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM, for the curious)

Well. The guy's a wizard.
kip_w: (tree)
I was reminded today of a Superman episode where a clown goes bad (yeah, yeah, I know) and falls off of a roof. Superman gets there a minute too late, and the police fill him in on it. I always wanted to rewrite the cop’s speech:
“Yes, Superman. He was a clown who went bad. But I want to tell you: I’ve been a cop in this town for twenty years, and I never saw anything like it. He stood up on that roof, four stories above the street, and when he felt his balance going, he met the challenge, faced it like a true clown.

“His back was to the street. First he leaned in as far as he could, with his arms whirling like two windmills in a hurricane. Then he leaned back and those arms went even faster. Then his butt stuck out what seemed like a mile, and we could see he was going down.

“He went feet first! He went head first! He went butt first! He tried flapping his arms! He mimed like he was praying, on his knees and everything. He reached up and grabbed his hat and planted that tiny little thing back on his head. And it stayed! He pulled an itty-bitty umbrella out of somewhere and held it over himself until it turned inside out, and then he threw it away.

“Then he gave a big sigh. It was just as if you could hear what he was thinkin’. He shrugged his shoulders and looked sad and waved bye-bye. And he put on a brave little smile.

“And when he hit that street, he made the loudest HONK any of us ever heard and bounced up about six feet with a big BOI-OI-OING. We were still clapping when you showed up.”
And where were you, anyway, Man of Steel? Getting popcorn?

also posted to NEW PALS and the Comics Curmudgeon


Nov. 1st, 2010 08:07 pm
kip_w: (Default)
Turner Classic Movies is having some real goodies tonight. "The Films of Thomas Edison" will be a bunch of his short movies. Possibly not for all tastes. "Silent Shakespeare" will be seven short silent movies based on the immortal Bard. I'm expecting to find something good there. Possibly the strongest draw for the largest number (5) of people reading this, however, will be "Films of Georges Melies", with sixteen shorts by the genius who made "A Trip to the Moon" (or as a younger generation says, the video for "Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins*).

I'm setting my timer for these.

[*I know, the video was a remarkably well-made pastiche on Melies. I make the joke, yes?]
kip_w: (Default)
With the media scrutiny Christine O'Donnell's dad is getting as the result of her claim that he was Bozo on a Philadelphia TV station (which was not included in the Wikipedia article on Bozo or Bozos, possibly because O'Donnell Senior was a fill-in Bozo when the regular clown was away), I've noticed an omission in the Wikipedia entry that should be fixed.

Based on information from the book Hi There, Boys and Girls! America's Local Childrens TV Shows by Tim Hollis, the Bozo of Richmond, Virginia up until the show went off the air in 1974 was Jerry Harrell.

My friends back in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia should recognize Mr. Harrell more quickly as Dr. Madblood, beloved local horror movie host whose mad persona operates from Pungo, former home of illustrator Kelly Freas. Harrell started that gig in 1975, originally as a one-shot Halloween special (which means his 35th anniversary is coming right up).

I was lucky enough to view a museum show of Madblood props and memorabilia while living in Virginia. Oddly enough, you never see Madblood exhibitions in Massachusetts or New York. Some of his original props were made by Dave Merriman, a peerless crafter of miniatures for the movies.

But I'm wandering off the track. I have the book that mentions Harrell's Bozo stint, and as fortune would have it, the excerpt that mentions is is viewable at Google Books (see link above). So just now I went to Wikipedia and entered Harrell's name in their list of local Bozos, and inserted a mention of it in the entry for Dr. Madblood as well.

Of course, maybe the man is modest and didn't want this mentioned. But if I'd been a local TV Bozo, I would think I'd at least mention it. (As Harrell does on the bio at his own web page.)

Just doing my job. So to speak.
kip_w: (Default)
One of my favorite TV comedy sketches of all time is finally up on YouTube: The Smothers Brothers' "Honey House". In fact, it seems to be my copy, which I've made available on a file-sharing site a few times. No idea who actually posted it.

This particular story takes us along on a tour, guided by "the actual Honey husband" of the house where Honey lived, Honey played, and Honey grew up. Dick is the husband. He plays it about 90% straight, and sings better than Bobby Goldsborough. The set is a character itself as it reveals each aspect of itself in perfect synchronization with the guide. You'll also see Bob "Super Dave" Einstein (brother of Albert Brooks and son of Parkyakarkus) as one of the tourists ("I bought the record.").

I've learned that Bobby Goldsborough appreciated this sketch, and that he is on record as denying that it was ever his idea to record the song. Good for him.

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