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  • mistermuse 12:09 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , comedy, Edward Everett Horton, , , , , , Mantan Moreland, , , S. Z. Sakall, Way Out West,   


    “Nobody needs a mink coat but the mink.” –S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, character actor (Feb. 2, 1883-Feb. 12, 1955)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    There have been so many great male character actors in Hollywood Golden Age history that, for this post, I’m going to narrow the field to¬†comedic character actors….and even then, I’ll probably leave out some of your favorites. Of course, if you don’t have any old comedy film favorites, you’re probably not an old comedy film fan, so you’re excused (even though that’s no excuse….actually, you should be ashamed of yourself).

    Leaving that aside, let’s move on, starting with the author of the above quote….a quote which probably didn’t go over too well with most of the Hollywood glamour girls he knew — speaking of which, did you know that Sakall was born in, and is strictly from, Hungary (btw, he was also in Casablanca). Here’s more scuttlebutt about Cuddles but…it’s not a lot:

    Next, Laurel & Hardy fans will remember the trademark ‘double-take’ look of this gent, who appeared in many of their films, including here in one of their best, WAY OUT WEST:

    Remember double features (two films for the price of one in movie houses of the 1930s-50s)? Here’s a double feature of two great comedic actors for the price of one in a scene from SHALL WE DANCE, one of three Astaire-Rogers movies in which they appeared together:

    If you’re a fan of Charlie Chan movies, you may recall the pop-eyed comic who played Chan’s chauffeur in over a dozen films, as well as parts in Preston Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), CABIN IN THE SKY (1943), CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (1944), and many others. Here he is in a scene from THE SCARLET CLUE (1945):

    In closing, I’ll mention several other great comedic character actors I could’ve/should’ve profiled here, but I have to stop somewhere: William Demarest, Edgar Kennedy, Frank Morgan, Franklin Pangborn, Erik Rhodes, Victor Moore, and many more. Thank you, one and all, for bringing character to comedy.

    • masercot 4:38 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fine examples! Might I add Tom Kennedy?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:50 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I remember the name but couldn’t place the face until I checked — how could I have forgotten? I saw him in many a Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges movie. My bad!

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 8:59 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink

          It was a time when any big Irishman could find work in the movies… My favorite line of his? “I feel a poem coming on”

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:28 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the names of any of these actors, though I remember all of their appearances. I loved the banter in the last clip. That comedic timing is priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:00 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I believe that that banter came straight out of an old vaudeville skit which Mantan Moreland probably performed many times previously. An oldie but goody!


    • Silver Screenings 11:37 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      These posts are treats. Thanks for curating these lists and choosing such fab videos to share with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:20 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments, SS. I very much enjoyed doing this series of posts, time-consuming though it was to do the work of putting them together.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Silver Screenings 10:29 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink

          Oh yes, I can imagine the hours spent in this series. The end result is fabulous: A tour through classic Hollywood.

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 11:18 am on December 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Memorable picks! Love them all!!ūüíē‚̧ԳŹ

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , comedy, , , , , , , , , Tina Fey, Virginia Woolf, ,   


    N’yuk-n’yuk-n’yuk! –Curly Howard, The Three Stooges

    April being NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH, I thought I’d humor¬†you with humor-us woids of wisdom¬†from some of my favorite humor-ists. I’d have¬†begun with¬†a self-sample, but¬†thought it best¬†to¬†start on¬†a higher¬†plane¬†—¬†and who in¬†comedic history soared higher than Curly when it comes to¬†debonair¬†comedy? So it is written¬†that I must take second place in my own post¬†(third, if you count¬†comedienne Joan Rivers’ intro to¬†my poem):


    Humor is God’s gift to all of us.
    –Joan Rivers

    Thank God for funny
    because seriously
    we could be
    dying out there.

    Being a comedian is a lonely occupation; you stand on the stage talking to yourself, being overheard by audiences. –Fred Allen

    Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn. –Irvin S. Cobb

    Humor is just another defense against the universe. –Mel Brooks

    When humor works, it works because it’s clarifying what people already feel. It has to come from someplace real. –Tina Fey

    Humor is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue. –Virginia Woolf

    Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. –W. C. Fields

    The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven. –Mark Twain

    Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. –Francis Bacon

    I don’t want to run for office; there’s already too many comedians in Washington. –Will Rogers

    Without a sense of humor, I don’t know how people make it. –Marlo Thomas

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    We close on an upbeat note from this laughing-at-life jazz great whose birthday is April 7:


    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:13 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love Will Rogers – and his is my fav among the quotes above. I clicked here expecting funnies, but finding the quotes was even better. Thanks for sharing.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:42 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, Madelyn. When searching for good quotes, it usually pays to look in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

    • M√©l@nie 3:22 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      MERCI, Mr Muse: you’ve made my mornin’… ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • linnetmoss 7:05 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      If there is no humor in heaven, I hope at least there is wit…

      Liked by 3 people

    • Garfield Hug 9:11 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:15 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As a dabbler in the humor field for some years now, Sr. Muse, the mystery of it to me is how nobody laughs at the same jokes. Some people love clever puns, others refuse to laugh unless they are watching an old lady being pushed down the stairs.

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:40 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Will Rogers always cracks me up. The Twain one is pretty evocative too. Thanks for the smiles. ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:31 pm on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Some of the quotes (like Twain’s) aren’t exactly humorous, but are just as pungent (such as Bacon’s). Needless to say (so why am I saying it?), I like them all. ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 4:30 pm on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “Look at yourself if you had a sense of humor..”

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:23 pm on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the clip, Don. Until I checked, I didn’t realize (or had forgotten) that this is a Rodgers & Hart song. In all honesty, though, Billie sounds to me like she was past her prime when she sang this. Too bad she didn’t record it when R & H wrote it back in 1937.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 9:30 pm on April 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      FINALLY was home long enough to insert a link here from the Friday Funnies about writers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:59 pm on April 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the Friday Funnies link, Madelyn. I hope to get the work week off to a funny Monday start with my next post.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 11:30 pm on April 8, 2017 Permalink

          I shall look forward to it – and you are most welcome for the link. Next time, drop it with your comment and I’ll move it up – meanwhile it will be there for anybody wanting a bit more humorous inspiration.

          Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 12:08 am on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      These are some insightful quotes on humor.

      Lately I’ve been looking at the political humor of Saturday Night Live and some of the other shows and thinking of them as court fools of old who spoke truth to power.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:17 am on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Nowadays we might think of them as speaking truth to TOWER (Trump Tower). ūüė¶


    • Lavinia Ross 12:08 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That is a great Billie Holiday song!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:43 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed! Billie recorded that song (LAUGHING AT LIFE) June 1940, accompanied by such jazz greats as Teddy Wilson on piano and Lester Young on tenor sax.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , comedy, commercialization, , , , Napoleon Bonaparte, , , , , , , ,   


    Humor must both teach and preach if it would live forever; by forever, I mean 30 years.
    –Mark Twain

    If¬†Webster’s definition of humor¬†as¬†the “quality of imagination¬†quick to perceive the ludicrous¬†or express itself in an amusing way” is on the mark, Twain underestimated the staying power of his humor¬†by nigh onto¬†100 years (and counting). But¬†“staying” is just one of humor’s possible¬†powers, and¬†because (as Lord Acton famously observed) power tends to corrupt, humor cannot absolutely avoid¬†Acton’s axiom.

    My musing on this subject is occasioned by April being National Humor Month — so proclaimed¬†in 1976 by Larry Wilde, Founder/Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor: http://www.larrywilde.com/

    As you might expect, The Carmel Institute of Humor is not without serious¬†competition. A similar¬†entity¬†I’ve come across¬†is The Humor Project, Inc., founded by Joel Goodman¬†in 1977¬†“as the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor”¬†— a claim¬†that suggests¬†a¬†merger of¬†Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking”¬†with funny business. And, from such¬†appealing funny businesses as Goodman’s,¬†have big businesses grown (judging by their “power”¬†promotions): https://www.humorproject.com/

    Now, far be it from me to¬†regard the corporatizing of humor as a phony business¬†— hey, there are worse things to make of humor than a commodity, and worse ways to¬†earn a buck than to commercialize¬†the process. But, purist that I am, I¬†see making¬†humor¬†in the same light as making love:¬†much to be preferred on a human level than as an industry (the virtues of consumer¬†capitalism¬†notwithstanding).¬†Nonetheless, I’m not so¬†doctrinaire as to deny either humor or sex to¬†potential customers when free(?)¬†enterprise¬†comes a-courting.

    Unlike Larry Wilde and Joel Goodman,¬†mistermuse does not have a Speaker’s Bureau, a three-day¬†Annual Conference (discounted fee for early registration), a five-point humor program, seminars or workshops. But¬†mistermuse does offer an every-five-days discourse on subjects of interest (his, if not yours) — usually with tongue in cheek, and¬†never¬†with hat in hand.¬†Dis course today¬†concludes with ten¬†humorous quotes, which come with a funny-back guarantee if¬†he doesn’t think they’re priceless:

    Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.Oscar Wilde (not to be confused with Larry Рor Curly or Moe, for that matter)
    Conference: a meeting held to decide when the next meeting will take place. –Evan Esar
    You can’t study comedy; it’s within you. –Don Rickles (the Donald Trump of insult-comics)
    Start every day off¬†with a smile and get it over with. –W.C. Fields
    Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else. –Will Rogers
    Culture is roughly anything we do and monkeys don’t. –Lord Raglan
    In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap. –Napoleon Bonesapart (I’ve¬†been waiting a long time for¬†the opportunity to¬†butcher that name)
    Politicians do more funny things naturally than I can think of doing purposely. –Will Rogers
    Humor is just another defense against the universe. –Mel Brooks
    Wit – the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out. –Ambrose Bierce

    Over, and out.


    • Cynthia Jobin 9:52 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do some people have to ruin the best things in life by turning them into a National Month or an institution/organization of some sort? I thoroughly enjoyed this post, and being partial to the more sardonic (sarcastic? satirical?) edges of humor, was glad to see some of my favorites featured…Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields, Ambrose Bierce, and of course, Mark Twain.
      On the distaff side, one of my favorites is Dorothy Parker. I offer this bon mot of hers when she was hanging out with her fellow wits challenging each other to compose a funny sentence using the word “horticulture”….Parker’s contribution was: “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:28 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love Dorothy Parker’s wit and probably should have included a Parker quote, but I’d set myself a limit of ten and liked the ten I’d chosen (plus, I think I already used that great quote before, though it certainly would’ve fit well here, and I thank you for offering it).

      To me, the quote that surprised me the most (in that I didn’t expect such profundity from the likes of Mel Brooks – what’s more, in so few words) was his “Humor is just another defense against the universe.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:03 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I like the Rickles quote. Well, I like all of them, but that one has always struck me as true. I would love to be funny, but just don’t have the gene. Fortunately, we don’t have to be funny ourselves to enjoy good wit and a belly laugh ūüėÄ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:13 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Fat people take heart – the bigger the belly, the more capacity to laugh! No wonder Santa Claus is so jolly! ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:09 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Humor is what separates humans from animals. That, and making tools. And not being afraid of vacuum cleaners.


      • mistermuse 12:21 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Such separation is fortunate indeed, otherwise animals would be laughing themselves silly at what fools we humans be.


    • Garfield Hug 11:26 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great share ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:23 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Share and share a like, I always say. ūüôā


    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:42 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One good belly laugh extends human life by one year ( My daughter the nurse .)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Todd Duffey Writes on Things 11:21 am on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do witticisms always come from people at least two generations before ours? Those people were way ahead of their time…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:06 pm on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As one of those people born more than two generations before this one, I thank you for the tribute. ūüôā Seriously, though, I think there still are such people – they just don’t get the recognition they did in the days before mass instant gratification “re-conditioned” us and became the norm. Wit demands at least a bit of reflection. Who does that anymore?


    • Don Frankel 11:30 am on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Mark Twain. My hero.


    • mistermuse 6:30 pm on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I would stand corrected if I didn’t happen to agree (well, except for politicians – they’ve been withstanding the assault of laughter since most of them evolved from baboons).


    • Don Frankel 7:03 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No Muse you’re right. Laughing at elected officials is actually a healthy sign of a society and poking fun is a good thing too. But when they are cooked and ushered off the stage laughter is the last thing they hear. Think Anthony Weiner here and Nixon too.


    • mistermuse 7:42 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Don. We in the West take our freedom to laugh at politicians for granted. Any North Korean who dared so much as think about laughing at President Kim Jung-un wouldn’t live to think again.


  • mistermuse 3:58 pm on May 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: comedy, , Larry Moe and Curly, Moe Howard, , nyuk nyuk nyuk, , Shemp Howard,   


    ¬†Moe:¬†What’s yer watch say?¬†Shemp:¬†Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. (FRIGHT NIGHT,¬†1947)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    When I¬†found that Moe Howard, of THREE STOOGES fame, died on this day (in 1975), I thought of writing a post celebrating their timeless brand of sophisticated humor — nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    Of course, when you think¬†of role models for how siblings (Moe, Curly & Shemp¬†were brothers) — or how¬†people in general, for that matter — should respect and treat one another, no one set a higher standard than The Three Stooges — nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    Like most guys — and possibly¬†a few gals — I loved The Three Stooges when I was young. Still do, as a matter of fact, but on a more selective basis. For example, I looked at four or¬†five of their short films to find one I thought¬†came close to meeting¬†my high standards and those of¬†my exceedingly discriminating¬†audience — nyuk nyuk nyuk:

    So, nyuknuckleheads, that concludes my film presentation….but¬†you say you want¬†Moe? Soitenly! Nyuk nyuk nyuk. There’s lots¬†Moe quotes¬†(and Curly and Shemp quotes, not to mention Larry Fine quotes)¬†where that¬†opening quote¬†came from. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    Burnt toast and a rotten egg? Whatta ya want that for?
    I got a tapeworm and that’s good enough for him.
    Moe and Curly, PUNCH DRUNKS, 1934

    Why don’t I come up and see you sometime when you’re in the nude…I mean mood.
    -Shemp, ART TROUBLE, 1934

    What’s that for? I didn’t do nothin’!
    That’s in case you do and I’m not around.
    -Moe and Larry, HOI POLLOI, 1935

    Soitenly I’m sound asleep.
    Then why are you talkin’?
    I’m talkin’ in my sleep!
    -Curly and Moe, MOVIE MANIACS, 1936

    Are you sure this work will be in competent hands?
    Soitenly, we’re all incompetent!
    -Mr. Morgan and Curly, SLIPPERY SILKS, 1936

    You mean I’m um-day in pig language?
    You’re um-day in any language.
    -Curly and Moe, TASSELS IN THE AIR, 1938

    Oh boy! I can see it now —¬†I come home from a hard day’s work….I whistle for the dog….and my wife comes out.
    -Curly, YES, WE HAVE NO BONANZA, 1939

    Why don’t you get a toupee with some brains in it?
    -Moe to Curly, THREE SAPPY PEOPLE, 1939

    Good morning, sir — I’m the census taker. Are you married or happy?
    -Moe, NO CENSUS, NO FEELING, 1940

    Them’s fightin’ words in my country!
    Well then, let’s fight.
    We ain’t in my country.
    -Shemp and Icabod Slipp, HOLD THAT LION!, 1947

    You know fish is great brain food.
    You know you should fish for a whale.
    -Larry and Moe, PARDON MY CLUTCH, 1948

    Whale, I think I’ll quit now, because I resemble that remark.

    • arekhill1 9:39 am on May 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Quotes of note, Sr. Muse. Hardly noticed them when I was a kid, though. I only followed the eye pokes and the head-knocks.


    • mistermuse 10:49 am on May 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know why, but that stuff still cracks me up. Maybe Dr. Don can explain the psychology of it. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.


    • BroadBlogs 1:26 pm on May 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply


      btw, I just realized that while I knew the names Moe and Curly I couldn’t remember the name of the other brother: Shemp. Wonder why that was?

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:02 pm on May 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Although Shemp was part of the original comedy act (with Moe & Larry) called Ted Healy and his Stooges, he left the act in the early 1930s. Then Moe, Larry & Curly performed as The Three Stooges until Curly suffered a stroke in 1946, when Shemp returned. So the short answer to your question is that Shemp wasn’t one of The Three Stooges during a good portion of their heyday.


    • Don Frankel 9:40 am on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hey I’ve been busy for a little while, so I’ve been away from the net. But I remembered Moe, Larry and Curly and of course as a kid I used to think, doesn’t that hurt. Great memories Muse.


    • mistermuse 2:00 pm on May 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To tell the truth, I was always a bit queasy about the eye pokes, but I guess I thought the knocks on the head were just too over-the-top to take seriously.


  • mistermuse 2:43 pm on October 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: comedy, , ,   


    Rodney “I get no respect”¬†Dangerfield died on this day (Oct. 5) in 2004. Now that’s a¬†comedian I can relate to, the¬†more the years pile on me. As the English novelist and playwright¬†J. B. Priestley once said, “There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that¬†I am old, there is no respect for age — I missed it coming and going.”

    Well, better “late” than never,¬†Rodney. I respect you, and I can think of no better way to show it than with these Dangerfield dandies:

    Some dog I got. We call him Egypt. In every room he leaves a pyramid.

    My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.

    I’m taking Viagra and drinking prune juice — I don’t know if I’m coming or going.

    When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.

    I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

    I had so many pimples as a kid, one day I fell asleep at the library and when I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.

    I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.

    I close with¬†this (click the following):¬†Rodney’s classic stand-up comedy routines.

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