THE WRONG BROTHERS

Friends, as much as I have enjoyed telling you in recent posts of the inspiring exploits of The Wright Brothers, inventors of the aeroplane, things don’t always go the Wright way in this woebegone world. As we all know, friends, the best laid planes of mice and men oft go a-why? Shot down happens. But, ever looking for new girls–make that, new worlds–to conquer, mice and men are not deterred. Onward and upward! Winners never quit, etc.:

But enough of such air-brained schemes. Let us put these proceedings on a higher plane:

Yes, my friends, the moral of the story is when you hit a downer, don’t be a frowner; and when you hit a sour note, don’t let it get your goat. Never despair — there’s music in the air. Go for it!

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MINED MY Ps and Qs

I had to dig deep to come up with a few tunes for this post. When it comes to good old songs with girl’s names beginning with P, the pickings are paltry, so I decided to add Q — which I found to be even paltry-er. But perhaps I’m too particular — after all, if Peggy’s good enough for The Three Stooges, she should be good enough for Mimi and Youyou:

Who knew The Three Stooges sang? I soitainly didn’t — at least, not until I checked THE THREE STOOGES SCRAPBOOK, which has a whole chapter devoted to “The Three Stooges on Record” (“Peggy O’Neil” is from their early 1960s record album titled THE THREE STOOGES NONSENSE SONG BOOK).

If you think Three Stooges singing is Moe-stly nonsense, don’t get miffed. Just get Miff:

Now we come to Q. There is a bygone song called Queenie, but I can’t find a clip of it…or of any old song with a girl’s first name starting with Q in the title. So this will have to do:

And right on cue, this Miss Q is thru. Naught left to do but bid adieu.

FOR YOU, MORE HUMOR

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):

THE DIVINE COMEDY CLUB

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:

 

THE MOE, THE MERRIER

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

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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.

GEORGE (STILL) ON MY MIND

I wonder how many readers of my previous post realized that its title was an old expression dating back over 300 years. According to grammarphobia.com, BY GEORGE dates from a 1694 translation of a comedy by Platus: “By George, you shan’t be a Sowce the better for what’s in it”….but “George” was used in an expression even earlier, as here (from a 1598 Ben Johnson play): “Well! he knowes what to trust to, for George.” Here is a more recent (1964) example of “By George!” by Rex Harrison in the above-average film MY FAIR LADY, starring Harrison and Audrey Hepburn:

My larger point: the small percentage of people who know old adages and expressions  — at least, that is my impression from watching game shows like JEOPARDY!, where supposed broadly-knowledgeable players almost invariably don’t know a familiar (to me) old saying when the question arises. You may say That’s easy for me to say, an old codger who was probably around before most old sayings started. Very funny. I resemble that remark — and I’m not the only one:

So much for idle rumors. If you’re so smart, let’s see how many of these old sayings you know at your tender age. No cheating. Remember, honesty is the best policy (why give insurance companies a legitimate excuse not to pay — they’ll give you a hard enough time on general principles). But just to keep you on your tokus, I’ll throw in several dishonest — I mean made-up — old aphorisms to see if you can separate the wheat from the shaft:

A fool and his money are soon parted.

A day late and a dollar early.

A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.

All work and no play makes Jack an ass.

Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.

Better late than never.

Blood is thicker than tomato soup.

Close but no cigar.

Close only counts in horseshit.

Curiosity killed the cat.

Do unto others before they do unto you.

The rest is yet to come….

….if I do a Part Two.