Thursday, September 17, 2009

Henry Gibson, R.I.P.: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

I first became aware of actor/comedian Henry Gibson (who regrettably just passed away) prior to his "big break" as part of the ensemble cast of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Gibson had played a character called "Wrongo Starr" on the comedy Western, F-Troop.

Although having heard that he'd passed away at least twice since Laugh-In went off the air, I was always glad whenever I spotted him in a new role... like in The Wedding Crashers, or Boston Legal.

The first time I ever heard of Norwegian poet and playwright Henrik Ibsen was in high school. And when the name was spoken, I did a double-take and replied, "Henry Gibson?"

Well, it turns out that I wasn't the first to see -- well, hear -- that similarity. Years earlier, a guy named James Bateman realized that "if you say [Ibsen's] name with a Southern accent it sounds like Henry Gibson," and chose Henry Gibson for his stage name.

However, having read another quote, years earlier, in an anecdote wherein Gibson told comedy legend Pigmeat Markham that "Henry Gibson" was his real name... I did not know that, nor even suspect it... until today!

Rest in Peace, Mr. G.

Thanks for your time.

Cancer... You SUCK!

In one form or another, cancer -- a/k/a "the C word," as of right now -- has been taking the lives of every effing celebrity it can get its "hands" on lately! Someone with my currently-limited time for writing can't keep up with the tributes I feel I ought to write.

Larry Gelbart, Patrick Swayze, Mary Travers, and Henry Gibson are just the names I can think of at the moment. If time ever permits, I'll try to do a column or two about some of the above.

What a rotten week it's been!

And now, it's back to the "Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup" illo...

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

©Andy Warhol

What's with the Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup illustration above? That's in keeping with an internet tradition begun by Mark Evanier, author of two highly-recommended websites, POVonline and NewsFromME.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Honest, Abe?

This should show you how distracted I've been lately.

A few days ago, I saw an article online mentioning how this year is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and I briefly thought, "Hey, I should see when his exact date of birth was, so I can post about it on my 'Lair of the Silver Fox' blog."

Immediately after thinking that, I said to myself, "Abraham Lincoln's exact date of birth? DUH! That would probably be February 12th, the holiday we called "Lincoln's Birthday" all through your so-called formative years, you freakin' dummy!"

Hell, not only did I suffer that mental lapse, but it took me a few more seconds to realize that I'd already done a 200th birthday post about ol' Honest Abe!

Damn that Alzheimer's.

Thanks for your... your... ummm... I forget.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Stillers: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This isn't exactly something learned, I suppose, as much as something realized.

Very recently, I was making a joke comment on a friend's Facebook posting about actor/comedian Ben Stiller, a comment which also referred to Ben's dad, Jerry...

And it just occurred to me for the first time that father and son are... Ben and Jerry.

But if you think that doesn't count as "learn[ing] something new every day," I was looking at the Wikipedia entry for Jerry Stiller, and although I was sure I'd heard that he and his wife, Anne Meara, had divorced -- and, possibly, remarried? -- during the 1970s or 1980s, they did not divorce. Neither Jerry's entry nor the one for the team of Stiller and Meara mentioned a divorce, so I dutifully checked Anne Meara's entry. They've been married since 1954!

"Ben and Jerry," with Anne in the middle!

Maybe I'd actually heard that they'd "retired" their stand-up act, instead? I dunno.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

David'Z RantZ: Aw, Geez, Did I Kill Another One?

Due to my mother's various medical issues, I've been staying overnight at her place quite often lately. On my twenty-minute drive home early this morning, some old Elton John tunes from his Madman Across the Water album kept running through my mind.

In 1991, an album was released in tribute to Elton called Two Rooms: Celebrating The Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. And although nobody's invited me to sing on anybody's tribute album -- yet -- I couldn't help thinking that if I were to do an Elton John song on an album like Two Rooms, I'd be certain to pick something more obscure than the predictable selections.

So, some of Madman's "more obscure" songs ran through my mind. "Razor Face." "All the Nasties." "Goodbye." I thought, "Goodbye" would be especially appropriate for a tribute album recorded after whenever Elton passes away.

Then I remembered how many times I've "killed" someone just by thinking of him or her after a long period of not thinking about him or her!

And after fifteen solid minutes of my head's being filled with Elton John tunes, I wondered... Did Elton John... die?

Shortly after I arrived home and fired up the ol' PC, I did a Google news search under "Elton John"... and discovered a death, indeed!

But not Elton's. Elton's keyboardist, Guy Babylon, a gent who'd been with Elton's band since 1988. He died.

At that point, my whole "Did I kill another one?" question was eclipsed by a much more important query:

Why the hell would Elton John need a keyboardist???

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Robert E. Lee: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!
Today I was reading a "biography" of General Robert E. Lee -- you've all heard of him, right? -- which was more like a little pamphlet, and discovered that Lee's father was a Revolutionary War general known as "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Somewhere along the way, I'm sure that I had indeed heard of "Light Horse Harry," but didn't know he was Robert E. Lee's dad. But the "something new" of note which I learned was that Harry Lee was the man who originally uttered the immortal phrase "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen" about his friend George Washington.


Thanks for your time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Joint Communique

This just in:

"After 17 years, David M. Lynch and Skip Simpson have announced through their respective spokesmen that they will rejoin as a writing team through their new site, Simpson/Lynch Studios. Not since Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis oh-so-briefly reunited on the 1976 Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon (check this one on Google and/or YouTube) has the world been enthralled by such an event. The new site will be a collaboration by the team of Simpson/Lynch, which will be independent of their respective sites. This new site promises a lot of fun and creativity."

Thanks for your time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Ending!

(No, no, no! Get your mind out of the massage parlor! This is my third and -- for now -- final Nazi-related post.)

After all my recent talk -- as well as many comments left on my last two posts -- about the Nazis and World War II, I wanted to share this borrowed photo ("borrowed" from ) of Hitler's remains, purportedly locked away in Russia. (And if you're wondering, the two similar shots out there showing "Hitler" with a bullet through his forehead have been pretty much discredited.)

Good enough for him.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thor: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

There's been a lot of talk about Marvel Comics' Thor character being adapted for the big screen. I've been joking that they already made an excellent Thor flick, 1988's Adventures in Babysitting. I found out something today that I missed then: The character that so resembled Thor was played by none other than Vincent D'Onofrio. Wonder whatever happened to him?

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Beginning of... (A "Theme Thursday" Post)

As I mentioned in my previous post, September 1st, 2009 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. World War II. "The Big One." Or, as I prefer to think of it, "The War to End All Wars: The Sequel."

(Hm. All things considered, that whole "the war to end all wars" concept didn't really take, did it? Never mind.)

Anyway, I'm going to tell you a little story about the very first casualty of that war. You may already know this story; I myself only learned of it a few days ago.

(The tone of today's post -- until the very end, at least -- is a tad different from Tuesday's playful little "gotcha" post about WWII's beginning, by the way.)

In the early evening of August 31, 1939, seven SS officers disguised as Polish citizens burst into a radio station in the town of Gliwice (Gleiwitz), a German town on the border of Poland. Ordering the station's guards and three engineers to offer no resistance, Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks and five of his six elite SS men watched as their seventh member, Polish-speaking Karl Hornack, spoke the following into the station's microphone: "Uwage! Tu Gliwice. Rozglosnia znajduje sie w rekach Polskich." (Attention! This is Gliwice. The broadcasting station is in Polish hands.)

The "news" that made its way across Europe was that the "Polish invaders" were eventually repelled by German police.

As "proof" that the attack on the station had been carried out by Poles, the SS had shot and killed a 43-year-old unmarried farmer named Franciszek (Franz) Honiok. A drugged Honiok had "accompanied" the seven SS men after having been arrested by the SS on the previous day, having been casually chosen for his fateful part in the Germans' ruse.

They left Honiok's body on the station steps, with a bullet in his forehead. He had been dressed in a Polish uniform which the Germans had stolen.

Franciszek (Franz) Honiok, the lamented,
first casualty of World War II

Hitler used this "attack" -- and other ridiculous stories -- as his excuse to invade Poland on the very next day.

In 1958, nearly twenty years later, when confronted with the details of the raid on the radio station, Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks admitted his role: "Yes, I started it all. I don't think anyone will bother about me now."

Unfortunately, Naujocks was right. In a severe miscarriage of justice, Naujocks was never to stand trial for war crimes. He died in 1960 (although some claim he died as late as 1966).

Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks (or as I prefer to call him, "motherf***er")

(If you're interested in reading more about this incident, you can click here and/or here.)

So, in "honor" of Uncle Adolf, Alfred Naujocks, and all the rest of those Nazi bastards, let's have a little singalong, shall we (with Thanx and a Tippo to Skip Simpson, who did the same type of thing in last week's Theme Thursday post on his blog)?

(To the tune of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band")

It was sev'nty years ago today,
Hitler needed an excuse to prey.
Seems he wanted to attack the Poles,
An' justify it by reversing roles.
The attack by Poland was a lie,
And Honiak was 'Dolf's fall guy!
But Germany still overran the laaaaand!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, Baby!

Awww, what a cute little baby!

Don't you agree?


Little creep is more like it.

Sure, he looked all sweet and innocent then...

...but a little over fifty years later...

...when the "cute little baby" was -- naturally -- fifty years old...

...the bastard started something known as...

World War II!

This post, published on the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, is in tribute to those whom Tom Brokaw has called "The Greatest Generation," both here and abroad.

Thanks for your time.

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