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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Burns and Allen, , , George Burns, Gracie Allen, , , , , ,   


    My last post was published on the birthday (Jan. 20, 1896) of GEORGE BURNS. This post is being published on the birthday (Jan. 25, 1759) of ROBERT BURNS. The former lived to the ripe old age of 100, the latter to age 37; a punster might say (0f the disparity) that they Burns the candle at both ends (of course, I would never say such a thing).

    Some of you no doubt remember George Burns as God in the 1977 hit film OH, GOD!, and as the Academy Award winning Best Supporting Actor in THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1975), but we geezers best recall him as straight man to wife Gracie Allen in the comedy team of BURNS AND ALLEN. After she died in 1964, he immersed himself in work, remaining active for another three decades in TV, movies, and as author of ten books.

    Here are Burns & Allen with Fred Astaire in two fun scenes from DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (1937):


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

    Many of you probably do not remember ROBERT BURNS (aka RABBIE BURNS). Even I, ancient as I am, do not recall him. But history tells us he was known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire (Scotland), and as a pioneer of the Romantic movement. Regarded as the National Poet of Scotland, in 2009 the Scottish public voted him the Greatest Scot, evidently as a belated promotion from Great Scot! Among his best known poems are “Auld Lang Syne,” “A Red, Red Rose” and “To A Mouse” (said to have been written when he accidently destroyed a mouse nest while plowing a field). I suspect the mouse would have preferred if Burns had restored the nest, but nonetheless, the poem was a mice gesture.

    In closing, it might be nice to see what the Burns boys had to say in their own words (George’s quotes are in italics, followed by Robert’s in what I take to be post-Old English):

    Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

    Nice to be here? At my age, it’s nice to be anywhere. (Tell me about it!)

    First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up, and finally, you forget to pull it down. (Don’t tell me about it.)

    When I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick.

    It takes only one drink to get me drunk. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the 13th or 14th.

    Oh wad some power the giftie gie us / To see ourselves as others see us!

    Gie me ae spark o’ Nature’s fire, / That’s a’ the learning I desire.

    An’ there began a lang digression / About the lords o’ the creation.

    Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, / O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

    The best laid plans o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley.

    • New England Nomad 12:41 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Interest that you should mention Robert Burns. Funnfact: there is a statue of him in my home city. It seems kind of random to see it since he never resided in Massachusetts and I’m not sure he ever lived in the states. To make a long story short, a Scottish heritage group, called the Scottish clans of America in honor of all of the Scottish people who had settled in the area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:26 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for that interesting info. I wonder if there is a similar statue in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which was a Scottish colony for a brief period in the 17th century.

        I don’t know if you watch JEOPARDY!, but if so, perhaps you’ve noticed that Rabbie (Robert) Burns turns up relatively often as a question (answer).

        Thanks again for commenting.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 6:06 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am bat-sh*t crazy about “back in the day” tap routines — but would you believe that I either didn’t know (or had totally forgotten) that Burns was a tapper? And an excellent one too! I mean, anyone who can keep up with Astaire is NO slouch!!!

      I had to watch this 3 times, putting my attentional spotlight on each of them. BRILLIANT routine! Such lightness in their execution – and CLEAN as a whistle taps.

      I also think that G. Burns was one of the few (besides me, of course) who really appreciated Gracie’s comic genius – in addition to his being able to set her up perfectly – one of the best straight men in the biz.

      Bobby, on the other hand, is my personal guru of oh-well. I am a repeat winner of the Bobbie Burns award, having ganged oft aglee more times than *anybody* can count!

      Thanks for another great post.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:12 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I agree about George Burns. He, like most entertainers back in the day, started out in vaudeville and could do more than one thing. Astaire, for example, was not only a great dancer, but an actor, singer (I personally love his way with a song), choreographer, percussionist, and even wrote a few popular songs. In those days, you had to have talent — you didn’t get to be famous for being famous.


    • Don Frankel 9:05 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse, I remember the TV show from when I was a kid. While Gracie and Harry Von Zell would be plotting, George would be upstairs in his den watching it on TV. I thought that was the coolest thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:01 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Although George wasn’t my favorite comedian, George and Gracie as a pair were “the coolest thing” indeed. If I recall correctly, at the end of the show, he would tell Gracie, “Say goodnight [meaning ‘to the audience’], Gracie.”….and she would repeat, “Goodnight, Gracie.”


    • arekhill1 10:21 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      To return to your favorite subject, Sr. Muse, if God is going to get started with giving out the gift of perceiving how others see us, He could start with Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:40 am on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        You got that right, Ricardo. Even when he does perceive how others see him, it’s through the lens of his megalomania. Talk about a legend in his own mind!


    • milliethom 4:18 pm on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      A great post, told in an appealingly humorous way. I remember Gracie Allen well. I was a teenager when they were on TV quite a lot and my mum loved them. George must have done something right to live to a hundred … perhaps he always ate his greens or something. Lol The tap scene is amazing. All three are wonderful dancers.
      In a comment above, you wondered whether there was a Robert Burns’ statue in Nova Scotia. I looked up about statues of Burns around the world, intending to add some to my post, and I know there are a few in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I think there’s one in British Columbia and one in Halifax in Nova Scotia. I didn’t get as far as looking to see whether there were any in the USA. I intend to do another post about Rabbie, this time about his life and poetry. I thought I’d talk about the many statues then.
      Thank you for connecting to my post. I enjoyed reading yours.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:12 pm on January 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the kind words. Anyone who’s interested in more info (along with some very nice pix) about Robert Burns should check out your Jan. 25 post by clicking on your name above.


    • eths 10:57 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      When I was a kid, my family and I listed to Burns and Allen weekly. Loved them!

      Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 1:20 pm on August 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:57 pm on August 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      George Burns thanks you, Robert Burns thanks you, and I thank you (if you don’t believe me, ask them!). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , George Burns, , , , , , , , , , , Victor Hugo   


    May is Older Americans Month (fka Senior Citizens Month). Back in 1963, when the month was established, I was “a young man full of idealism and vigor” (as Barack Obama joked recently at the White House in a different context), a year out of the army with the rest of my life ahead of me. Now here it is 2016, some 53 years later, and I still have the rest of my life ahead of me. Amazing.

    So much for the glass-half-full outlook. In the other hand, the glass is half-empty:


    Old age is a sad estate.
    With it comes wisdom,
    But it comes so late.

    Now recall innocent youth.
    Ignorance was bliss,
    But less than truth.

    Why can’t life be in reverse:
    Born knowing the score,
    Blameless in the hearse?

    The old joke about old age is that there’s not much future in it. Maybe so, but I like to think ‘outside the box.’ One thing for sure: Old age is no place for sissies. –Bette Davis

    Well, never let it be said that this blog is no place for good quotes. Most of the following goodies aren’t funny, but then, old age isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs either. So, until further adieu:

    Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative. –Maurice Chevalier

    Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man. –James Thurber

    A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, “At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.” –Claude Pepper

    Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. –Benjamin Franklin

    Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. –Victor Hugo

    There’s no such thing as old age; there is only sorrow. –Fay Weldon

    Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age. –Sinclair Lewis

    A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. –Robertson Davies

    Not even old age knows how to love death. –Sophocles

    By the time you’re 80 years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it. –George Burns (who, in case you forgot, lived to age 100)

    And now for the BIG (double) FINISH:



    • Cynthia Jobin 12:34 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed listening to both renditions of the Farewell Blues.

      I like Mark Twain’s take on the fear of death: — ‘I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience…’

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:33 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Cynthia. I hadn’t read that Mark Twain quote before (or, if I did, I forgot it in my old age). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • eths 1:45 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Losing a son last year made me look at my life differently. I feel really lucky to be 81 and in good health and to look forward to each day, particularly now that I’ve found the blogging world.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:48 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I can empathize, as I lost my only sister this year. As for your blog, I read it (ir)religiously and I look forward to it each day — or at least each year (just kidding – I wholly recommend it). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • eths 5:46 pm on May 5, 2016 Permalink

          I am sorry about your sister. I hope you are doing well.

          Liked by 1 person

    • ladysighs 7:43 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for informing me that May is Old Age Month. I think. 😦
      One of those things I’d rather not think about, but now that I know about it I can’t stop thinking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:10 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Ladysighs, I’d apologize, but I’d like to think this post inspired your excellent blog post today along the same lines (I’m sure you wrote yours before you saw mine, but that’s just a minor detail). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 2:47 pm on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Old or young, keep in mind the words of the philosopher–“Nobody gets out of life alive.”


      • mistermuse 6:11 pm on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Some people are lucky to get INTO it alive….which seems ironic, when you consider that none of us asked to be conceived, much less born. To paraphrase Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca: It seems that fate takes a hand.


    • Carmen 6:56 am on May 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      mister use-
      I get that comment from a few of my students when they realize I’m the same age as their grandmothers. They’ll blurt out, “You’re OLD!!” I always come back with, “Compared to whom?”
      It’s all relative. . 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:10 am on May 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s all relative until we kick the bucket….and then it’s all relatives (at the funeral). 🙂


    • Don Frankel 5:29 am on May 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I swore I commented on this but then maybe I just came into the room where I have the computer and stared at the screen and forgot why I went into this room. What’s this post about again?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:34 am on May 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Welcome to the club, Don. It’s the only club I know of where, once you’re in, there’s only one way out. 😦


        • Carmen 8:49 am on May 7, 2016 Permalink

          Methinks you two exaggerate. . .there’s lots of mustard left to cut with the pair of you! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:20 am on May 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Carmen, your comment cuts the mustard, whether we exaggerate or not. 🙂


    • blindzanygirl 12:17 am on May 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Love those quotes mistermuse. Looks like I have dug right back into your blog. But it was worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:48 am on May 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        To think that when I wrote this post, Trump wasn’t even the Republican nominee for U.S. President yet. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but judging by the past 3 1/2 years, time flies even when you’re not having fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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