12/2/2010

item 1 >>> Who’s the funniest ever? Wow, that’s a toughie. You start to think of them, and the list just won’t stop…Carson, Gleason, Hackett, Skelton, Benny, Hope, Woody, Mel Brooks, Kovacs….so many. Heck even Prima & Keely would have to be included on my list. Laurel & Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Danny Kaye, geez, on and on. Among the next generation, I always liked David Brenner, Martin Short, Albert Brooks…Billy Crystal is highly under-rated IMHO…Gallagher, Pee Wee Herman, heck, I saw Eddie Murphy in Lake Placid many moons ago, and laughed non-stop for 90 minutes. Well that’s not quite true…near the end, my mouth was still open but nothing was coming out, I had nothing left. BUT…OK…the envelope please: for sheer laugh-power, for me nobody tops Gilbert Gottfried, with Don Rickles a close second. I mention this because among Groovy Geezers my age, Billy Connolly’s routines are gaining a well-deserved notoriety, starting with his “Colonoscopy” routine. It’s actually about the “preparation” you have to go thru the day before, and as Homer Simpson says: “It’s funny cuz it’s true.” Trust me, I know…it’s hanging there in tatters…

item 2 >>> Speaking of the Simpsons, one thing that never fails to kill me is The Itchy & Scratchy Show. I mean, I start to laugh hysterically when they just start to sing the theme…I know, I’m sick…happy, but sick…Well, it’s all about the exaggeration, which is one, tho by no means the only, component of humor. Plus I’m such a cartoon nut, especially “Funny Animals.” My all time-favorite there? Probably Daffy Duck…yeah, definitely, but again, so many…

item 3 >>> Speaking of Johnny Carson, I came across the TV Guide issue when he died in 2005. They did a 12-pages “scrap-book” of photos and quotes, and it was outstanding. See today’s Wicked Ballsy for a fascinating picture you may ever have seen before. Yeah I used to stay up late and watch…during commercials I’d switch over…click click click click…to see what Joey Bishop was up to. When Joey entered the late-night fray in 1967 on ABC, Johnny said: “I wish him great success…in the storm-door business.”

item 4 >>> One other thing about the “Hut Sut Song”…I was told, and I do remember this!, that some people got the end of it wrong, singing “Hut Sut rawlson in a rilerah, and a brawla brawla sewage” instead of “soo-it”…LOL…

item 5 >>> Does using the word “Xmas” take Christ out of Christmas? In the most literal sense, yeah, when you replace 6 letters with an X, the 6 letters are gone. On the other hand, the origin is completely kosher (sorry…) The X represents the Greek letter Chi, the first letter of the Greek word for Christ. Trouble is, most people don’t know this, and we don’t make the substitution anywhere else, like: “X is Lord” for example. I mean no disrespect, using Xmas as a shorthand, like tho, thru, and nite, but I see the point. Altho, see below…

item 6 >>> And the name “Jesus” itself is tricky…I remember when Latin players became more numerous in baseball, and Americans weren’t comfortable with a guy being named Jesus…Jesus “Jay” Alou was the poster child for that. The accommodation of course came when we realized it’s pronounced Hay-soos. The odd thing is that in English-speaking countries, we do name boys after Jesus, we just don’t realize it: Joshua, from the Hebrew Yeshua, which was then translated into the Greek Iesus…or Jesus, once they got around to inventing the J. Actually it’s a lot more complicated than that, but that’s the Cliffs Notes version. So in this case, what it sounds like when you say it is the important thing, not how the name is spelled or what it really means, nez pah?

item 7 >>> Another thing there is no word for: you turn on the Boob Tube, just in time to catch the tail-end of something you wished you could have watched. Happened to me today on the Boomerang Channel, I saw literally the last 2 seconds of a Loopy de Loop cartoon. He is one of the least known Hanna-Barbara characters from the Golden Age, and with good reason. Recall that Bill Hanna and Joe Barbara were famous for the Tom & Jerry cartoons, shown in movie theaters. When MGM shut down its animation studio in 1957, they struck out on their own on TV, starting with the delightful Ruff & Reddy, then Huck, Yogi, all the rest. But they also did a series specifically for the movie houses that still wanted to show cartoons, and that was Loopy de Loop, the French Canadian wolf, or as he described himself: “I am the good wolf.” 49 7-minute shorts were produced from 1959-1965, then syndicated to TV, but also sometimes used as filler on other HB shows.

item 8 >>> And that’s where I saw my 2 seconds…as part of the Banana Splits Adventure Hour, which is watchable only for the cartoon interludes, most of which are lame imitations of Jonny Quest, but occasionally you hit pay-dirt. But those live-action segments, forget it. What made it even worse was the appearance of Robbie the Robot, from the classic 1956 movie “Forbidden Planet” in the role of MIldred the Maid. Well, most of him…his “head” was gone, replaced by what looked like a cigar-box with….no, I don’t want to think about it. Interestingly enough, Robbie has his own page at the Internet Movie Data Base, because he has “starred” in quite a few other shows…remember him with “Robot” on “Lost in Space”?

item 9 >>> The Whole Thing #6: “No L” is now up…web link is below…typical CM w/me & Cool Daddy…CM stands for Craptastic Mishegos…plus Christmas music that isn’t. I must warn you, these cuts are good old-fashioned easy-listening, middle-of-the-road fare…well, we can stand it at Christmastime, right? When else do you listen to Andy Williams? But truth be told, I love this kind of music, plus rock, plus reggae, plus polkas, plus TV themes, plus bubble-gum, plus commercial jingles, plus disco, plus you name it. But if the name Horst Jankowski rings any bells, waaaaaaay off in the distance even, you should be OK with this. Just pretend it really is Christmas music. I don’t think it’ll be too difficult.

item 10 >>> You might be a Baby-go-Boomer if…you misplaced your Knit-Wit Doodle-Loom years ago…fear not, they still make ’em!

Wicked Ballsy

Who knew? Parenthetically, I wonder what it’s like to have a brother who makes 100X what you do…

shameless plugississippi…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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