Tagged: Groucho Marx Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 1:17 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: At The Circus, Barnum & Bailey, , Groucho Marx, , , , Ringling Bros., The Big Top, the Circus, ,   

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH 

    Does this melody ring a bell?

    Does the name Ringling Bros. ring a bell?

    If it does, the connection between the two should be clear as a bell, because that melody was used for decades on Hollywood soundtracks to accompany circus footage. The most famous circus of them all was Ringling Bros., which was founded on April 10, 1871, merged with Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth in 1919, and closed on May 22 2017.

    I recall seeing a circus as a young boy (regrettably, I don’t recall if it was Ringling Bros.)…. but this post’s focus is on circus movies, two of which I’ve seen several times since I was a teenage boy: Charlie Chaplin’s THE CIRCUS, and {The Marx Brothers) AT THE CIRCUS.

    THE CIRCUS (1928) is not as well known as such Chaplin masterpieces as THE GOLD RUSH, CITY LIGHTS, and MODERN TIMES, but it is still a great show. Here is the trailer, followed by the closing scene when the circus leaves town with the circus girl he loves:

    AT THE CIRCUS (1939) isn’t one of the Marx Brothers’ best films, but it has one of Groucho’s most famous scenes:

    How this song came to be written is a story in itself, but the history of Lydia actually pre-dates the song. In Germany in the 1920s, an entertainer named Wilhelm Bendow had a stand-up act as Lydia Smith, the tattooed lady, in which he wore a body cast and performed a satirical sketch. It is no stretch to assume that American lyricist Yip Harburg had heard of that act when he and composer Harold Arlen wrote the song in 1939 (yes, it’s the same Harburg and Arlen who earlier in 1939 wrote OVER THE RAINBOW and the other great songs in WIZARD OF OZ).

    As for the song’s lyrics, Harburg was a friend of Groucho, and both were fans of Gilbert and Sullivan. One evening (as AT THE CIRCUS was being developed) at a gathering at Groucho’s house, they were playing G & S records and singing along. Harburg was inspired to show his G & S-like inventiveness with rhyme scheme and verbal dexterity by writing a song for Groucho for the film, and the result was Lydia, The Tattooed Lady.

    But the song ran into trouble with the Breen office censors. Quoting Harburg: “That song was thought to be risquĂ©, and we had a hell of a lot of trouble with it. This was 1939 and censorship was at its full height. We were told we would have to cut it out of the picture. Harold and I were mad. Finally, we got an idea of how to save the song. We put in a final verse to legitimize [it]”:

    She once swept an admiral off of his feet
    The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat
    And now the old boy is in charge of the fleet
    For he went and married Lydia.

    There have been other circus movies (including the 1952 opus with the same title as this post, starring Jimmy Stewart as a circus clown), but that would make a three-ring circus of this post, and two is enough for this old boy.

    The Big Top stops here.

     

     

     

     

     
    • D. Wallace Peach 6:16 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      How fun to listen to that song. I went to the circus a couple of times as a kid and took my daughter decades ago. Now, with greater awareness of the impact on the animals, the circus has lost its luster, but sad too that it’s gone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:33 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You ain’t lion, Diana. We still have zoos, but some people would like to do away with them too. I don’t agree, because I suspect that zoos are the last best hope of saving some on-the-verge-of-extinction animals (and zoo animals are no doubt, on the whole, better treated than circus animals were).

        Liked by 1 person

        • D. Wallace Peach 7:46 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink

          Yes, I agree about the zoos, especially since humans seem committed to destroying their natural habitats or just killing them for fun. Like the Trump boys.

          Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 6:49 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      oh that first tune brought back many fond memories … second video was not available.

      Would love cc’s Circus, think I’ll look for it 🙂
      Lydia packs a punch, the song and it’s fascinating history, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:34 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        You should be able to find viewable clips of Charlie Chaplin’s THE CIRCUS fairly easily, Kate. When I Googled it, I saw various scenes, and even the whole movie, available on Youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 7:52 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Of course I know that melody! It’s one of the background songs of the circus that is my life 🙂 La la la la!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 pm on March 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Now you’re talking my La la la la language, mm! It’s one of those songs that, once you hear it, you won’t forget it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 6:46 am on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I learned a lot from Lydia…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:59 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I wonder if Trump learned anything from Lydia? Even if he did, he wouldn’t give her credit, so kudos to you. 😉

        Like

    • Rivergirl 8:40 am on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I spent my childhood at Madison Square Garden with Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth. As a kid? It was 3 rings of pure magic…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:08 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Barnum came from Bridgeport Connecticut, so he is well known around here. My grandfather introduced us to “Lydia” in 1957, much to the consternation of my grandmother! He always liked innuendo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:11 pm on March 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like Lydia meant SINnuendo to your grandmother, Elizabeth. Bless her heart, I shudder to think how she would feel about today’s culture.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Diary of a Country Bumpkin 5:18 pm on March 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Love the Marx brothers, brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

    • kutukamus 2:01 am on March 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the title of that song before. Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 3:49 pm on March 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m another one who didn’t know the title of that famous circus song.

      As for Charlie Chaplin, I have not yet seen his film, The Circus, and the trailer you posted makes me want to see it immediately. Thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:43 pm on March 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I must confess that I didn’t know the title either….or rather, I knew it at one time but had forgotten it (courtesy of old age having crept up on me). As for The Circus, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it on Youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:06 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Groucho Marx, , , , Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, , , Wicked Witch,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GRAMMAR GIRLS 

    Speaking of distinctive actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, we turn from glamour girls (in my previous post) to a group of gals who made up in individuality what they lacked in allure. There were perhaps no actresses more unique and unforgettable in any category than the so-called character actors. Bring up such names as Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, and Margaret Dumont (apart from their photos) to any classic film buff, and there’d be no problem matching which name belongs with which (or witch) face; same with their immediately recognizable voices. In a manner of speaking, they were vocal gold.

    BTW, I have something in common with That Hamilton Woman. Like my wife, she was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was once a teacher….but unlike my wife, she was unlike my wife (and vice versa….or is it verse vica).

    Character actresses may not be leading ladies, but there’s one who was always the Main attraction :

    My last post started with a birthday girl; this post ends with one….and what a one: Margaret Dumont (born Oct. 20, 1882), the gloriously inimitable foil of Groucho in nine of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen films, as typified by the following story.

    In a play in which she played Mrs. Rittenhouse (and which was later made into an early Marx Brothers film), the brothers abandoned the script during one performance and began improvising scene after scene….from here, I quote from the book THE MARX BROTHERS AT THE MOVIES:

    After some time she decided to take her chances and enter in the middle of it all. At that moment, Chico and Harpo simply walked off the stage, leaving the great dowager face-to-face with Groucho. So Groucho, with his characteristic speed of mind, gestured to a nearby divan. “Ah, Mrs. Rittenhouse,” he proclaimed. “Won’t you…er…lie down?” It had gotten a laugh on Broadway, so the brothers simply took it with them when they traveled to the Astoria studio [to make movies].

    There’s a scene in my favorite Marx Brothers movie, DUCK SOUP, in which Dumont’s character addresses Groucho’s character, Rufus T. Firefly, President of Fredonia, as “Your Excellency!”…to which he replies, “You’re not so bad yourself.”
    To which I can but add, You Bet Your Life!

     
    • calmkate 3:46 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      great history lesson, thanks!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:12 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Kate. The title of the post is admittedly a bit of a stretch, but I couldn’t resist the play on words with HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS (the previous post).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 9:10 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I recognized ‘the witch with the green face’ (one of our daughters always referred to her that way) but the other two were unknowns to me… Well, until I read the post! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:13 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, did you have to remind me how much older I am than you because Marjorie Main and Margaret Dumont were known to me, and unknown to you!!! Nonetheless, I forgive you, so here’s a short clip to give you a better idea of why I dig Dumont (note the “You’re not so bad yourself” remark at the end of the clip which relates to the end of my post):

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 9:33 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A Marx Brothers movie without Dumont is a sad thing indeed…

      I did a piece on Kathleen Freeman, speaking of character actresses. She’s definitely one of my favorites…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:31 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, masercot. I didn’t realize, until I checked, that Kathleen Freeman played (uncredited) the part of diction coach Phoebe Dinsmore in one of my fav musicals, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Here’s a clip:

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:52 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Watching Groucho is one of my favorite childhood memories. I just loved when that duck came down. Great clips.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:16 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m glad you made the connection between the last four words of my post and the name of Groucho’s TV show. I watched it often back in the day.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mlrover 7:59 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      What a wonderful post! I loved all of these ladies and especially the vocal coach clip. Jean Hagen should have gotten an Oscar for the Lamont role.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 8:30 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely! What a “character!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:53 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love the old b&w films. Especially the Marx Bros. Margaret Dumont was priceless!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 5:55 pm on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        The Marx Bros. without Margaret Dumont is like a comedian without a Trump card — except that Dumont is aces and Trump is a jack(ass).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 11:30 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful tributes to all these women. I’m so pleased to see these women made the list, especially Marjorie Main. She is one of my all-time faves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:11 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Marjorie appeared in over 80 films, including some of my favorites, such as MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE HARVEY GIRLS, and FRIENDLY PERSUASION. Truly a wonderful character actress.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:05 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Groucho Marx, , , , , , misfortune, , , , ,   

    WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE 

    When misfortune comes, take it like a man–blame it on your wife. –Evan Esar

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

    Many of us suffer an unanticipated misfortune at some point in our lives. It could be the missed fortune of being left out of the will of a rich cousin you loved like a brother (until the ungrateful s.o.b. left every cent he had to his actual brother)….or it could be distress under duress, like your mistress taking egress, leaving you in a mess, no less, with your wife. Or, if you are a wife, perhaps you got wind of, not only the mistress on the side, but the ‘steady at the ready’ and the ‘wench on the bench’ (otherwise known as having too many loins in the fire). Yes, friends, misfortune is an ill wind which blows no good…

    Now, far be it from mistermuse to blame his misfortunes on his wife. As a matter of tact, if it weren’t for my wife, I don’t know what I would do (or is it, wouldn’t do?). Yes, friends, mistermuse has been a sappily married man for 49 years, 10 months, and 13 days now, and I can honestly say it doesn’t seem like a day over 49 years, 10 months, and 12 days.

    That said, game on. Let’s see what other men have had to say on the subject:

    Wives are people who feel that they don’t dance enough. –Groucho Marx

    How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who treats her as if she were a perfectly natural being? –Oscar Wilde

    If Presidents can’t do it to their wives, they do it to their countries. –Mel Brooks

    No matter how happily married a woman may be, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not. –H. L. Mencken

    My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher. –Socrates

    Some wives are like fishermen: they think the best ones got away. –Evan Esar

    I’ve had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me and the second one didn’t. –Patrick Murray

    A man placed an ad in the classifieds: “Wife wanted.” Next day he received over a hundred replies: “You can have mine.” –Anonymous

    NOTE: The last quote is absolutely NOT mine!

     
    • Paul Sunstone 3:16 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      So far a I know there are at least three or four major religions that each claim their own god created the institution of marriage — and everyone of them say they did it to protect the women, which I find hilarious.

      Liked by 3 people

    • calmkate 4:31 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      lol hilarious .. big 50 celebration coming up, well done both of you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 5:33 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Women are the major cause of mental illness in men…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:12 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        You may be right, Charlie–but I can’t think of a better cause! 🙂

        Like

    • Lisa R. Palmer 8:36 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on making it work!! That is quite an accomplishment for both of you…

      I laughed at almost all of these, being an ex-wife, except one, which I simply didn’t understand. Goes to show that humor targets certain audiences (probably based on common experiences…?).

      What the heck was Oscar Wilde trying to say here, and where is the “funny”? Lol!

      “How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who treats her as if she were a perfectly natural being?” –Oscar Wilde

      P.S. No need to actually explain; it only makes things worse. If a joke needs lengthy rationale, then it already failed. But since I’m not the intended audience, no harm done. Just thought I’d share my ignorance, as it might make it funnier to others. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:28 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No problem, Lisa–I’ve found from long experience that explanations only get me into longer no-win situations. That’s why “Yes, dear” is almost always the better part of valor….and, as you can tell, I’ve become very well trained in almost 50 years. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 8:48 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s the one I like, and which was stuck on our fridge for years –
      “The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother”.

      Almost 50 years! Wow! We’re 9 years behind you, mister muse, which reminds me of another statement I read when I first got married – and it has stuck in my head because of its truth (well, in our case anyway!) –
      “Marriage is a contest of wills.” 🙂

      Congratulations and in my opinion, you brought the very best trait to the union – a kick-ass sense of humour!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:32 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Carmen. Unfortunately, the ass I’d most like to kick is out of reach (not my wife–Donald Trump)! 🙂

        P.S. I like your “statements.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 10:17 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A friend of ours once told a young fellow who was getting married that there were only two responses he needed to know – “Yes, dear” and “That outfit looks lovely on you!” 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 1:26 pm on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats to you and Senora Muse on your upcoming 50th.

      Liked by 1 person

    • inesephoto 1:52 pm on July 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Eternal source of jokes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 2:13 pm on July 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s some advice on the subject that I didn’t take. But I was happy anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:17 pm on July 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Good song, Don. I like toe-tappers which don’t lead to my wife putting her foot down.

        Like

    • floatinggold 10:40 pm on July 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Almost 50 years? That’s impressive. How do people manage to put up with ANYONE for so long?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:50 pm on July 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        First, you have to live long enough. Second, so does your wife. Third, it helps to have a sense of humor. Fourth, if your wife has a strong arm throwing pots, pans and dishes, it helps to have good reflexes. Fifth, when all else fails, either pray for a miracle that she’ll see things your way, or say “Yes, dear.” Or both.

        Liked by 1 person

    • MikeTX 10:49 am on August 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on the half a century of marital bliss Muse.

      I guess you have no wench on the bench; a fact which also keeps a foot from being put down…on your throat. Good luck on your next half-century!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:07 pm on August 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Mike. Sorry about the delayed reply — I just noticed that your comment was awaiting approval.

        Like

    • America On Coffee 1:43 pm on August 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Love this!!

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Eleanor Powell, , Golda Meir, Groucho Marx, , , , ,   

    AGE WISE 

    For the benefit of my fellow geezers out there who may not be aware of it, May is OLDER AMERICANS MONTH (not to be confused with NATIONAL SENIOR CENTER MONTH (September) or NATIONAL ACCORDION MONTH (June). Accordionly, May you and I bask in the recognition which is due us for living long enough to pass along our well-earned wisdom to those who don’t want to hear it.

    To be sure, there is also a slight  drawback about old age: there’s not much future in it….but otherwise, it’s not a bad time to be alive. At any rate, it beats the alternative — or so they say (as if “they” have experienced said alternative).  On the flip side, there are many timely quotes on the age-old subject of age, so let’s put on our reading glasses and see if we can make heads or tails of some of them:

    If  I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. –Anonymous

    An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her. –Agatha Christie

    Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. –Jim Fiebig

    Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. –Susan Ertz

    Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. –Golda Meir

    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. –Chili Davis

    You’re only as old as the girl that you feel. –Groucho Marx

    Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. –Anonymous

    If you worry, you die. If you don’t worry, you also die. So why worry? –Mike Horn

    I was going to use that last quote to close with the song DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY, but on the occasion of the birthday (May 10, 1899) of the never-grows-old Fred Astaire, this song and dance make me happy to change my tune:

     

     

     

     
    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:38 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hysterical first paragraph (even the pun), and I always love the quotes you feature. I heard the first quote, btw, with “my teeth” replacing “myself” – both are apt and only slightly funny once you get old enough to be considered a senior. 🙂

      Love-love-LOVE the tap number – rarely seen in today’s dance shows (unless you want to count the choreography of STOMP or a few contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, where it is rarely featured predominantly). Thank you for making me grin by posting.

      Crazy about Astaire, but must chime in again that it’s a shame that his partners never seem to have gotten the credit they deserve – rarely credited at all, actually, when Fred Astaire numbers are posted (even here). ::sigh::

      ANYWAY, Happy Older Americans Month! Let’s get up out of our rockers and rock the month!
      xx,
      mgh
      (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 7:57 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        And a Happy to you as well, Madelyn! 🙂

        I have to disagree (in part) about Fred’s partners not getting the credit they deserve. I think Ginger got a lot of credit — the whole world knows immediately that when you say Fred and Ginger, you’re referring to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In my opinion, it was some of his other partners who didn’t receive enough credit, even though they were considered better dancers than Ginger (Eleanor Powell, Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse). Of course, Ginger made many more films with Fred than they, and built the sustained magic with Fred that wasn’t possible in one or two films with other partners. But there is magic nonetheless in such clips as his tap dance with Eleanor Powell!

        P.S. I didn’t think it necessary to mention Eleanor’s name in introducing the clip because her name appears in the clip photo itself….and, after all, it’s HIS birthday, not her’s!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:33 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink

          Great points. btw – this would be a great post to share on today’s Senior Salon – the little couch at the bottom of May’s Mental Health Calendar has a direct link.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 3:09 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink

          Thanks for the share suggestion, Madelyn, but I don’t think you appreciate what a dufus I am with regard to the internet. I don’t see “the little couch at the bottom of May’s Mental Health Calendar,” and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with it to share this post. I ain’t an old geezer for nothing! 🙂

          Like

    • scifihammy 2:24 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the laugh! 😀 An hilarious post – plus the bonus of Fred Astaire! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michaeline 5:29 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I liked your posts, and especially your quotes while I enjoy the warm, sunny coast of Florida. I think of most poets that you are the most congenial, better than an epidural by far, and I wish on a star that you stay as young as you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:25 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Not only am I better than an epidural, I’m better than an epidemic (though an epicurean might give me problems — it would be an epic contest). 😩

        Like

    • linnetmoss 6:38 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Haha! These were great. I have been watching my scoops of ice cream fall in slow motion for some time now, and I’ve decided that laughter is the only medicine. And a little Eleanor Powell (such a worthy partner for Fred) never hurts…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:15 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Unfortunately, those scoops of ice cream never fall in slow enough motion to catch them before they hit the ground (or your shoes) — leaving you standing there holding an empty cone and looking like an idiot (make that ME looking like an idiot — I’m sure you would look like you were just giving your dog a treat….or your dogs a treat, if the scoop hit your feet). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 7:00 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      How delightful lol 
 Fred and Ginger are my favourites, you got the wrong gal.
      I intend growing old disgracefully … any one care to join me?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:14 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks to all for your comments. Calmkate, I’m not sure there’s any such thing as “the wrong gal” when it came to dancing with Fred — even a non-dancer like Joan Fontaine looked pretty good dancing with Fred in DAMSEL IN DISTRESS. But I agree that Ginger was special.

        As for growing old disgracefully — you go, girl! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 8:18 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink

          “wrong girl” in that it wasn’t me … 😩
          Joan was a hero of mine but last I saw she should have retired .. her partner had to carry her around the stage … it was so sad

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:46 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      A wise man once said. “Don’t look back something may be gaining on you.” He also said. “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind it don’t matter.”

      If you believe that baseball is life as I do then another wise man put it best. “70% of baseball is mental. The rest of it is in your mind.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:31 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Don, for the benefit of the baseball uninitiated, the wise men you quoted were Satchel Paige and Yogi Berra. But there can’t be just two wise men — there must be three. So here’s a quote from Tommy Lasorda: “I love doubleheaders. That way I get to keep my uniform on longer.”

      Whatever happened to doubleheaders, anyway?

      Like

    • MC Clark 12:48 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m still wondering how the heck I got here…I was 25 just the other day. 🙁
      Thanks for the laughs!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 2:57 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We grow old too early and wise too late, Sr. Muse. On the other hand, you can dispense with any effort to acquire wisdom at all, and take comfort in the assertion that there’s no fool like an old fool, and congratulate yourself for being on top of the fool chain.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:19 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Well, at least I’m not on top of the drool chain yet, Ricardo. Hopefully it will never come down to that.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 6:34 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      One good turn deserves another and we can’t leave this guy out on this subject. “The Yankees fired me because I turned 70. I’ll never let that happen again.” Casey Stengel.

      Then there was Warren Spahn who played for Casey before he managed the Yankees and later when Casey managed the Mets. “I worked for Casey before and after he was a genius.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Margarita 10:14 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As I said to a friend recently, I love being an old person! 😉 xoM

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:37 pm on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As Thoreau once said, “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” You obviously haven’t outlived yours, Margarita. 🙂

      Like

    • D. Wallace Peach 12:19 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I love the humor in your intro and these quotes are great. Susan Ertz was my favorite, but the anonymous one about the lousy beautician made me laugh. Great post. Happy Belated Birthday!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:46 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Diana….and I’m sure Fred Astaire, from that great ballroom in the sky, thanks you as well (for the Happy Birthday wishes). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pat 3:04 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Synchronicity . . . love it. I just signed up for Silver Sneakers today and didn’t even know it was Older Americans Month. First time over here and enjoyed the quotes — not done yet in these golden years – just figuring that out. Forever young (Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire) — fun to watch them again. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • M. Talmage Moorehead 4:35 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t believe how much I enjoyed that dance. They must have practiced endlessly to remember all those details. Eleanor Powell blew me away. The guy was good, too. Hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:47 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I had the same reaction as I watched it when selecting it for this post — and I had already seen it probably 5 or 6 times over the years.

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 11:13 pm on May 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Pithy: “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” –Chili Davis

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bette A. Stevens 12:57 pm on May 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Fun and funny! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 2:47 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Magic! What a way to start my day 🙂 🙂 How does he manage such energy and elegance combined? Many thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:25 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        In a word, Astaire was a perfectionist. Such ease and elegance came from untold hours of practice and hard work (not to mention, natural talent)!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zinni 1:40 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      It’s never too late to cherish the disappointment of a scoop of ice cream falling from the cone

      Liked by 1 person

    • Zinni 1:40 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      😍

      Liked by 1 person

    • kertsen 3:30 am on June 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Keep up the good work. Old age is very relaxing I have great difficulty getting out of my chair.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , E. B. White, George S. Kaufman, Groucho Marx, , , , optimist, , , S. J. Perleman, , ,   

    PARDON MY QUOTES 

    It is easier to buy books than to read them, and easier to read them than to absorb them. –William Osler

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

    Now that’s a quote I can relate to — of the near-50 books I bought at that November used book sale I wrote about recently, in 3 weeks I’ve managed to find time to read all of 2 1/2; that’s all of two books (plus half of one) traversed in 21 days, as the crow flies. At that rate, I’ll have bought 50 more books before I’ve read an iota of my quota from the last batch — and I’ve already bought ten more books since then. Nonetheless (actually all the more, both batches combined), rather than completely skip a post as I did December 5, I’ll at least try to save composing-time by posting (aka com-posting) the words of others.

    Fittingly, I’ll quote the six Masters of Wit (from my previous post) to whom Groucho Marx dedicated his book GROUCHO AND ME. The last quote below cites another timesaver some people practice, but rarely admit….however, I’ll open with Robert Benchley, who undoubtedly said the following following A Night At The Opera with the Marx Brothers:

    Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.
    –ROBERT BENCHLEY

    I didn’t like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions  — the curtain was up.
    — GEORGE S. KAUFMAN

    An optimist is a girl who mistakes a bulge for a curve.
    –RING LARDNER

    Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?
    –JAMES THURBER

    The fact is that all of us have only one personality, and we wring it out like a dishtowel. You are what you are.
    –S. J. PERLEMAN

    Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.
    –E. B. WHITE

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

     

     
    • Carmen 5:33 am on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I always thought I was an optimist and, after reading that quote, I know for sure. 🙂 Great quotes for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:58 am on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Carmen, your comment threw me a curve until I went back to the quotes, and then it hit me. No problem, though — how appropriate that the “bulge” quote was made by Ring LARDner! 🙂

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:53 pm on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A book a week Muse that sounds about what I do. But this reminds me of a time I bought a book at Barnes and Noble and while I’m paying the woman at the counter she asks. “Would you like to join the Barnes and Noble club?” And, I explain that I buy books here and at other book stores and off of guys on the street corner and just about anywhere and I conclude that when it comes to books the term that applies to me is… and I guess you as well Muse, “promiscuous.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:19 pm on December 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, a book a week is quite a bit more than I usually manage, Don, but I hope to pick up the pace over the winter when I don’t have grass to mow, leaves to rake, and other work around the house. Now if I could only resist buying more books for the next five years!

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 5:11 pm on December 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You may not have gotten through all the books, but you’ve got some great quotes!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:13 pm on December 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I must modestly agree. I like them all so much, I can’t name a favorite.

      Like

    • RMW 6:25 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Over the years I accumulated a large library of mostly unread books. I sold many of the books some years ago but lately I’ve been driving carloads over to the local library… makes me feel really good to donate them… but kind of sad when I think of the money that could have been better spent. I still have a good size library of art books and those are in my will! Now I only buy Kindle books and the deal is I have to finish one before I buy another… that plan almost works most of the time!! Hope you get to read all of yours….

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:08 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know what kind of unread books they were that make you sad to “think of the money that could have been better spent,” but my guess is that the money could also have been worse spent, so if you think of it that way, perhaps you would feel differently. In any case, I thank you for the comment and share your hope for my reading goal. 🙂

      Like

      • RMW 9:38 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        At least the books have ended up in a good place at the library or a book sale to raise money for the library… so in that sense it isn’t sad… and yes, better than a gambling or drug addiction for sure! Happy reading!

        Like

    • mistermuse 7:00 am on December 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, and Happy Holidays to you.

      Like

    • mariasjostrand 6:48 am on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
      –E. B. WHITE
      Loved this one 🙂😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:23 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I agree….and thanks for commenting!

      Like

    • Mary P 12:46 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      WHITE
      Loved this one 🙂😀 I always thought I was an optimist and, after reading that quote, I know for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Broadway, , Groucho Marx, , HORSE FEATHERS, , , MONKEY BUSINESS, , , ,   

    GROUCHO AND M(US)E 

    Although it is generally known, I think it’s about time to announce that I was born at a very early age. –Groucho Marx, Chapter I, GROUCHO AND ME

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

    As long-time readers of my blog know, I’m a big fan of Groucho Marx/The Marx Brothers, so it should come as no surprise that one of the first books I read from my used book sale haul (see previous post) was Groucho’s autobiography, GROUCHO AND ME. And who, you ask, is the ME in that title? (Hint: it’s not me).  It’s none other (says the back cover) than “a comparatively unknown Marx named Julius, who, under the nom de plume of Groucho, enjoyed a sensational career on Broadway and in Hollywood with such comedy classics as Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup [and] A Night at the Opera.”

    Julius Groucho Marx (1895-1977) wasn’t just a comedian — he was a wit who appreciated wit in others and “Gratefully Dedicated This Book To These Six Masters Without Whose Wise and Witty Words My Life Would Have Been Even Duller: Robert Benchley / George S. Kaufman / Ring Lardner / S. J. Perelman / James Thurber / E. B. White.”

    I already owned several Marx Brothers books (written by others) and had at least a whit of an impression of Groucho’s rĂ©sumĂ© before sinking my teeth into this book….but there’s nothing like an autobio for getting it straight from the Horse’s mouth (Feathers and all). At least, that’s what I thought until I got to page 11, where Groucho wrote:

    “This opus started out as an autobiography, but before I was aware of it, I realized it would be nothing of the kind. It is almost impossible to write a truthful autobiography. Maybe Proust, Gide and a few others did it, but most autobiographies take good care to conceal the author from the public.”

    Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. This is a different kettle of soup. You pay coal hard cash for an autobiography, and what do you get? A bit of Cash back, another day older and deeper in debt.

    Well, two can play that game. This opus began as a book review of GROUCHO AND ME, but Groucho’s bait-and-switch gives me no choice but to turn it into a GROUCHO AND me thing (sorry, readers, no refunds) by invoking the Sanity Clause in my contract….

    As I started to say before me was so rudely interrupted, you will have to be satisfied with some suitable quotes from Groucho’s book, which left me in stitches:

    My Pop was a tailor, and sometimes he made as much as $18 a week. But he was no ordinary tailor. His record as the most inept tailor that Yorkville ever produced has never been approached. This could even include parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx. The notion that Pop was a tailor was an opinion held only by him. To his customers he was known as “Misfit Sam.”

    They say that every man has a book in him. This is about as accurate as most generalizations. Take, for example, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man you-know-what.” Most wealthy people I know like to sleep late, and will fire the help if they are disturbed before three in the afternoon. You don’t see Marilyn Monroe getting up at six in the morning. The truth is, I don’t see Marilyn getting up at any hour, more’s the pity.

    Recognition didn’t come overnight in the old days. We bounced around for many years before we made it. We played towns I would refuse to be buried in today, even if the funeral were free and they tossed in a tombstone.

    After we hit the big time on Broadway, naturally our lives changed. Each member of the family reacted differently. Chico stopped going to poolrooms and started to patronize the more prosperous race tracks. After he got through with them, they were even more prosperous. Zeppo bought a forty-foot cruiser and tore up Long Island Sound as though to the manner born. Harpo, a shy and silent fellow, was taken up by the Algonquin crowd, at that time probably the most famous and brilliant conversational group in America. The quips flew thick, fast and deadly, and God help you if you were a dullard!

    I am not sure how I got to be a comedian or a comic. As a lad, I don’t remember knocking anyone over with my wit. I’m a pretty wary fellow, and have neither the desire nor the equipment to know what makes one man funny to another man. My guess is that there aren’t a hundred top-flight professional comedians, male and female, in the whole world. But because we are laughed at, I don’t think people really understand how essential we are to their sanity. If it weren’t for the brief respite we give the world with our foolishness, the world would see mass suicide in numbers that compare with the death rate of the lemmings.

    And so ( just between Groucho and us) it seems that there is a Sanity Clause after all. 🙂

     

     

     

     

     
    • D. Wallace Peach 10:50 am on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It sounds like an autobio to me, just seen through Groucho’s lens, which is shaded with humor. I get the impression that you enjoyed the book 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:34 am on December 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I did indeed enjoy the book. I think Groucho made his autobio-denial with tongue in cheek — as he does with most of the anecdotes in his book, which makes his autobio much different than most I’ve read. And what’s not to like about making (in many instances) serious points with insightful wit!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 4:22 pm on December 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad to say I’ve read every author on Groucho’s list, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:39 pm on December 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I shall take up your defense against anyone who ever accuses you of being listless, Ricardo.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 10:44 am on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Some people say this never happened and others say it was why he got kicked off TVr. But a little research showed he said it on the radio and they just cut it out before it was aired.

      Sounds real to me. But either way he was a classic.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:42 am on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      In those days, even Groucho couldn’t get away with that one — classic though it was. Thanks for digging up that clip, Don.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 7:18 pm on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Sure am glad film was invented by the time Groucho came around.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:57 pm on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You said it! And so did the movies, in converting from silent to sound just as Groucho and his brothers came to Hollywood from Broadway in the late 1920s.

      Like

    • linnetmoss 7:15 am on December 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I adore Groucho! And S. J. Perelman too. Surprised to find that Wodehouse was not on his list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:09 am on December 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m surprised that Dorothy Parker wasn’t on his list, as Groucho seemed partial to members of the Algonquin Round Table (with which Harpo “was taken up by,” according to one of Groucho’s quotes) — she, Benchley, Kaufman and Lardner being ‘charter members.’ But Wodehouse spent much of his life in New York and Hollywood (as did the Marx Brothers), so I can only guess that P. G.’s humor was a bit too droll for Groucho’s taste.

      Like

    • restlessjo 2:10 am on December 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      We have a boxed set of the Marx Brothers. Thanks for reminding me 🙂 They used always to be on at Christmas. Wishing you a joyful time!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:42 am on December 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, and have a great Christmas!

      Like

  • mistermuse 7:00 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Groucho Marx, HAIL HAIL FREDONIA, , ,   

    STRAIGHT WOMAN, WITH CHASER 

    Today marks (or should I say, Marx) the 133rd birthday of my favorite comedic character actress of all time — a woman so well preserved that she doesn’t look a day over 1933, when she appeared as Mrs. Gloria Teasdale, or 1935, as Mrs. Claypool….not to mention 1929 (Mrs. Potter), 1930 (Mrs. Rittenhouse), 1937 (Emily Upjohn), 1939 (Suzanne Dukesberry), or 1941 (Martha Phelps).

    Yes, thanks to that most wondrous of preservatives called celluloid, those larger-than-life ladies, played by and fka (forever known as) the wonderful Margaret Dumont, live on in blessed memory in two of the funniest films ever made: DUCK SOUP (1933) and A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)….as well as in such other Marx Brothers mayhem as THE COCOANUTS (1929), ANIMAL CRACKERS (1930), A DAY AT THE RACES (1937), AT THE CIRCUS (1939), and THE BIG STORE (1941).

    “Who was Margaret Dumont?” asks Roy Blount Jr. in his book HAIL, HAIL EUPHORIA! Presenting THE MARX BROTHERS IN DUCK SOUP, THE GREATEST WAR MOVIE EVER MADE. “From the book Hello, I Must Be Going by Charlotte Chandler, I got the impression that she grew up in Atlanta in the home of her godfather, Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories. Even though a descendant of Harris assured me that this wasn’t true, I want to believe it because I like to imagine B’rer Rabbit and Margaret Dumont doing a scene together.”

    “But no. Margaret Dumont was born Daisy Baker in Brooklyn, New York, in 1882. Her father was an Irish seaman, her mother a French vocalist. Daisy became a showgirl. In 1915 she married an heir to a sugar fortune. In 1918 he died. She was presumably not left as well off as Mrs. Teasdale [Groucho’s  straight woman in DUCK SOUP] because she went right back to work.”

    Which brings us to the reel Margaret Dumont, the indispensable straight woman/comedic foil to Groucho’s lecherous leerings who (quoting Wikipedia) “played wealthy high-society, posh-voiced widows whom Groucho alternately insulted and romanced for their money.” Never has an actress been more perfectly typecast….as evidenced by these scenes:

    HAIL, HAIL EUPHORIA is, of course, a play on HAIL, HAIL FREDONIA, Fredonia’s satirical national anthem in DUCK SOUP, with Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly and Margaret as Mrs. Teasdale:

    HAIL, HAIL MARGARET DUMONT! RIP.

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 8:32 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The Marx Brothers, along with Monty Python, helped me overcome an enjoyable but time-consuming habit of getting stoned every day in my youth. When I realized I had memorized the punchlines in all of them, I quit.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:04 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      HAIL, HAIL THE MARX BROTHERS AND MONTY PYTHON!

      Like

    • Joseph Nebus 12:56 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It really isn’t until you see the Marx Brothers movies with someone else trying to play the Margaret Dumont character that you realize how excellent she was in the part.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:43 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      HAIL, HAIL JOSEPH NEBUS!

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:15 pm on October 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing how these type of films are done all the time and most of them forgotten but these live.

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:59 pm on October 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The great comedy stars (Chaplin, Fields, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Marx Brothers) stand the test of time, but so do the great character actors like Margaret Dumont, the great writers, and the great directors like Leo McCarey, who directed DUCK SOUP. Put them together and they make MAGIC!

      Like

  • mistermuse 8:07 pm on July 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , funniest films, Groucho Marx, , Nobody's Perfect, ,   

    NOBODY’S PERFECT AGAIN 

    Among my favorite books are biographies or autobiographies of long-admired writers, directors, actors, musicians and vocalists. One of the most interesting and intelligent bios I’ve read is that of director Billy Wilder. Yes, I’m finally done reading NOBODY’S PERFECT, of which I wrote a piece on June 22 and promised to write a review when I finished it. My take? Imperfection was never more worth recommending.

    Unlike some biographers, author Charlotte Chandler knew the subject of her book personally and well (for almost 30 years). Her first book, HELLO, I MUST BE GOING, was a best-seller about — who else — Groucho Marx. She has also profiled Mae West, Tennessee Williams and Alfred Hitchcock, among others, is on the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and is active in film preservation. So the lady knows — and loves — what she is doing.

    Perhaps the best thing about this bio is that after reading it, you feel as if you know the real Billy Wilder. For example, he learned early on not to shoot excess footage because the more you gave the studio (Universal) to play with, the more they could recut the picture in ways he disliked. It was his movie, and with careful planning and tight shooting, he did his damnedest to give them no choice.

    One also gets a feel for the man in his views of other directors, telling Ms. Chandler: “I admired Preston Sturges. He was a writer who became a director, and he had respect for words. His work was his life. He would have worked free. The last time I saw him was in Paris. He was sitting in an outdoor cafĂ©. Old friends would stop and have something with him, and they’d pick up the check. It seemed he was hard up. He’d had a great life, but it didn’t end up great. He didn’t know how to write a third act for his own life.”

    Another director he admired was Ernst Lubitsch, of whom he speaks in this clip:

    Let’s close with a quote from one of Ms. Chandler’s last interviews with him in Dec. 1999: “I don’t like to look back. You could drown in what-ifs, especially if you make it past ninety, which I have. If you’re going to say , ‘What if?’ you might as well save it for something like, ‘What if Hitler had been a girl?’
    “At ninety-four, there aren’t many goals to work for except longevity. Maybe trying to make it to a hundred as long as my mind is good, and I look forward to each day.”
    “I could never imagine myself being old. An old man was someone who was forty, then fifty, then sixty. When I was a young man in Vienna, if someone had offered me a deal to guarantee I’d make seventy, I’d have grabbed it. Seventy would’ve sounded pretty good to me.”
    “At ninety-four, it’s not long enough. It seems short. Too bad. But it has to end sometime.”

    For Billy Wilder, it ended March 27, 2002, leaving behind a legacy of 21 Academy Award nominations and five films on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 funniest films, including #1: SOME LIKE IT HOT. I like it any way he made it.

     
    • Joseph Nebus 10:55 pm on July 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s interesting seeing directors come down on either side of whether to shoot only exactly what they expect they’ll need, or to shoot everything they might imaginably need so they can extract what’s best. (Kubrick’s the poster boy for that side of things.) Each side is so perfectly reasonable about it, is the baffling part.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:32 am on July 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent observation. And with a director like Orson Welles, it apparently didn’t make any difference what he shot – he blamed studios for doing whatever they pleased with his pictures regardless.

      Like

    • arekhill1 7:02 am on July 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I’m starting to long for the live-forever pill myself. They’ve already invented the boner pill. It’s the next logical step.

      Like

    • mistermuse 12:32 pm on July 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That would complete the Holy Trinity of pills: the live-forever, the boner, and the stupid pill. Hopefully, the stupid pill takers won’t find out about the live-forever pill, although it seems like they’ve been taking it forever.

      Like

  • mistermuse 5:03 pm on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Crowfoot, famous last words, Groucho Marx, Lady Astor, last words   

    HU/FAMOUS LAST WORDS 

    I’ve done a post or two in the past on humorous and/or famous epitaphs, but there’s a quote and a song that remind us that famous (and not so famous) last words aren’t always written in stone:

    “I’ll show you that it won’t shoot.” –Johnny Ace, R&B singer (died playing with a pistol in 1954)

    So this post will pay its respects to the utter-ly unchiseled last words of a sampling of those who have gone before us….and may those who died at the hands of axe murderers and body hackers rest in pieces.

    Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. –Somerset Maugham

    This is no way to live. –Groucho Marx

    They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance. –John Sedgwick (Union general just before being killed by Confederate sharpshooter during U. S. Civil War)

    If this is dying, I don’t think much of it. –Lytton Strachey

    I knew it! I knew it!  Born in a hotel room and, goddamn it, dying in a hotel room. –Eugene O’Neill (died in a Boston hotel at age 65)

    Good. A woman who can fart is not dead. –Louise-Marie-Therese de Saint Maurice (upon passing gas as she lay dying)

    Am I dying, or is this my birthday? –Lady Astor (awakening on her deathbed to find her family gathered at her bedside)

    Why not? After all, it belongs to him. —Charlie Chaplin (to a priest’s “May the Lord have mercy on your soul” while giving the last rites)

    Oh God! Here I go. –Max Baer (former heavyweight boxing champion)

    What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. –Crowfoot

     
    • Don Frankel 5:47 pm on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      One good turn deserves another Muse.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:12 pm on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      ….or you could say, “One good TUNE deserves another.” If I recall correctly, MISS OTIS REGRETS is by Cole Porter, so it could hardly not be a good tune. Good find, Don.

      Like

    • Joseph Nebus 9:52 pm on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t help wondering if Groucho had thought out his words ahead of time, or if it was a spontaneous line. It’s so perfectly crafted.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:46 pm on May 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I wouldn’t put it past Groucho to have thought of it ahead of time….speaking of whom, the quote which struck me as most Groucho-like was Lady Astor’s. Unfortunately, some of her other traits were not up to the level of her wit.

      Like

    • arekhill1 9:09 am on May 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Samuel Upham had been a professor at Drew Theological Seminary for years and as he lay dying, friends gathered about. The question arose as to whether he was still living or not. Someone advised, “Feel his feet. No one ever died with warm feet.” Dr. Upham opened an eye and said, “Joan of Arc did.”

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    • mistermuse 9:31 am on May 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love it….col (chortled out loud)! Joan turned out to be one hot broad.

      BTW, I’d just learned that the word “chortle” was invented by Lewis Carroll from “chuckle” and “snort,” so I couldn’t resist using it above. One can never know too much trivia.

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  • mistermuse 3:18 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aristotle, , Groucho Marx, , , quotes. Dick Gregory, self-control,   

    I AM IN CONTROL HERE 

    March 30 is I AM IN CONTROL DAY. According to holidayinsights.com, the genesis of the day goes back to March 30, 1981, when chaos reigned after President Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt in Washington D.C., and Vice President Bush was out of town. Secretary of State Alexander Haig (in an attempt to calm the nation) famously and injudiciously announced, “As of now, I am in control here” — in a manner which suggested a putsch.

    Well, when putsch comes to shove and a situation seems to be spinning out of control, obviously someone needs to get a handle and do something, otherwise you’re just going around in circles:

    So, when it comes to control, we may benefit from what these wise guys and gal have to say:

    If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs — maybe you just don’t understand the situation. -Evan Esar

    If I was meant to be controlled, I would’ve come with a remote. -Unknown

    Taste cannot be controlled by law. -Thomas Jefferson

    If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you. -Dick Gregory

    The difference between want and need is self control. -Unknown

    Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset. -Unknown

    Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him. –Groucho Marx

    I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it. -Mae West

    1 + 1 = 3 (if you don’t use a condom). -Unknown

    What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do. -Aristotle

    Sorry to say, I must close for now. Please control yourself.

     
    • arekhill1 3:40 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And if we can’t control ourselves, the best thing to do is emulate that concrete grinder by wrapping ourselves in the plastic tarp of self-importance and continuing to spin madly on.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:27 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never heard the state of Earth described better, Ricardo.

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    • Don Frankel 5:39 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      They may have subdued that one but…

      It’s not like they didn’t warn us.

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      • mistermuse 8:29 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        “I’ll be back” sounds like the warning cry of a believer in reincarnation, Don. Why a believer in the afterlife would want to come back here is beyond me, unless heaven is full-up or isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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    • Joseph Nebus 6:03 pm on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To be fair, sometimes just having anyone push in any direction is what’s needed to get the right person doing the right thing, even if it’s just so that that first push doesn’t succeed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 12:32 pm on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love the quotes.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:27 pm on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Pardon my doubletalk, but I tend to be very choosy in choosing quotes to quote, so I appreciate that you appreciate them .

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:55 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I was going to say that I love the quotes but someone quoted that before I did.

      Liked by 1 person

    • MĂ©lanie 1:56 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I like Groucho Marx’s quotes, in general… 🙂 the condom one is funny and it does exist in French, too… btw, “condom” comes from this French village: 🙂
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom,_Gers

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:54 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I once wrote a post on humorous place names (mostly towns), but I wasn’t aware of Condom at the time. Now that you’ve educated me, I’ll have to include it if I ever do a sequel (I’m not sure if the original still exists, as I may have posted it on SPEAK WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, which unceremoniously dumped most of my posts in a space-saving purge).

      Like

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