Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This is my go-to Thanksgiving movie. Steve Martin and John Candy are a great team in this comedy. Personally, I think this is John Candy’s greatest movie. I watch it every year and always looked forward to it. The heart warming ending never fails to get to me.

The movie is full of great scenes and some good lines from Candy and Martin. John Candy can make me laugh with just a look on his face. The guy was a great comedian and a really good actor.

John Hughes is the Director and writer. He shot over 3 hours and had to edit it down. Below is a short plot. For those who haven’t seen it…you are missing a funny movie. It was rated R because of a one-minute scene with the F-Bomb used 18 times by mostly Martin. The movie was released in 1987.

By the way….there is a new extended version of the movie that has been released that has over 75 minutes of extra footage…that will be bought. 

Some great quotes:

Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!

Del: You play with your balls a lot.
Neal: I do NOT play with my balls.
Del: Larry Bird doesn’t do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour!
Neal: Are you trying to start a fight?
Del: No. I’m simply stating a fact. That’s all. You fidget with your nuts a lot.
Neal: You know what’d make me happy?
Del: Another couple of balls, and an extra set of fingers?

For those who know the movie…

YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!

Short Plot

In New York, a marketing executive Neal Page wants to travel home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He has difficulties getting a taxi and his flight is canceled. He meets in the airport the clumsy and talkative shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith who has taken his cab and they travel side-by-side to Chicago. However the bad weather shuts down O’Hare Airport and they land at Wichita, Kansas. They both want to go to Chicago and they decide to travel together.  Neal is cursed/blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman and all-around blabbermouth who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company.

Along their journey, Neal changes his viewpoint about Del Griffith and his own behavior.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093748/

TV Draft Round 5 – Pick 6 – Max Selects – The Andy Griffith Show

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Max at https://powerpop.blog

There has been so much written about this show and the writing will never stop. It was a show about the quirky citizens of a fictional town called Mayberry. The Andy Griffith Show is not just another show. The series will be around long after we are gone and still being discovered by future generations.

Some of the love I have for the show is about escapism. The low pressure of living in Mayberry is attractive. A place where you are allowed to live slowly and friends are only a few miles away. Nowadays our lives are so full of technology and rush that it would be tempting to walk through the screen to join Andy and Opie fishing out on Meyers Lake.

andy1.jpg

Mayberry was based on a small North Carolina town called Mount Airey where Andy grew up. Griffith has also said that although the show was in the sixties, Mayberry had a 1930s-1940s feel to it. When I’m asked where I grew up, I’ll say in a town kind of like Mayberry and they get what I’m saying.

The episode that best explains the show is… Man In A Hurry. A businessman’s car breaks down two miles from Mayberry on a Sunday. He has a business appointment in Charlotte the next morning. He walks to town and finds it deserted until church lets out. The garage is also closed on Sunday. Gomer is working but can only pump gas and Wally refuses to repair the car until Monday. The stranger can’t believe the pace of life in Mayberry and everyone’s lack of urgency. Andy tries to talk him into spending the night and getting the car fixed on Monday… he won’t have any of this non-sense… first but then he slowly realizes what great lives these people lead and ends up staying a little while longer than he could have.

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were a great comedy team. I wish they would have made a few movies together. Knotts wanted to do that but Griffith always backed away from it. You can put them up there with other great comedy teams. Andy was a great straight man and Don played off of him well.

I’ve seen parents play episodes to their kids for lessons, schools play episodes for students, and heard of preachers writing sermons around episodes. The humor wasn’t dirty but it wasn’t sterile either. Most if not all of the first 5 season episodes are classics. It’s a show that you can catch at any time. During a rainout, between movies, and a binge-watch.

Dillards

The show offered a little of everything… One of the things I liked was the bluegrass music of The Dillards who appeared on the show as the Darlings. Denver Pyle played Briscoe Darling Jr. and played the jug with the Dillards. They were and STILL are a bluegrass band that tours and releases albums.

Andy had many girlfriends throughout the show. There was Ellie and she gave Andy all he could handle. Ellie, unfortunately, left after the first season. He saw the county nurse Mary Simpson (My favorite), Peggy McMillian, and then he met Helen Crump. Personally, I never liked Helen as much. Her nickname from some fans was Helen Grump because she could be a grump quite often. Andy ended up marrying Helen in the last season.

Thelma Lou was one of my favorite characters of the show. She put up with Barney’s shenanigans but was always there for him. Barney was foolish for letting her go but they finally got married. It didn’t happen on the show’s original run but they finally tied the knot in the reunion movie.

Aunt Bee

Then there was Aunt Bee Taylor. She took care of Andy and Opie and made sure they were fed well and came home to a clean house. Aunt Bee had a smile for everyone unless you got on her bad side. She could be stubborn and formidable when angered and she commanded the utmost respect from everyone. She was in a way, everyone’s Aunt.

Gomer and Goober

The two characters from Wally’s gas station were Gomer Pyle and Goober. Goober was a great mechanic and Gomer mostly filled your tank up with a story to go along with it. They were not the sharpest tools in the shed but both had hearts of gold and added to the show’s comedy.

Opie

Andy’s son from his only marriage was Opie Taylor. You never found out how Opie’s mother passed away but she did before we got to meet the Taylors. Opie is a super kid and Andy raised him the right way. He is kind and polite and when he does something wrong he usually had the sense to recognize that and correct the problem.

Otis Campbell

Otis Campbell… Otis was a good guy with only one problem. He was the town drunk. Andy and Barney knew him so well that they let Otis grab the jail key and let himself in when he was a bit intoxicated. During the reunion movie made in the 80s, he had given up the booze and was selling ice cream.

Seasons 1-5 were in Black and White with Don Knotts as Barney Fife. Don’s last season was the 5th season and seasons 6-8 were in color.  I have all of the Griffith Show episodes but I will admit…I don’t really watch the color episodes as much as the black and white ones. Yes, there are some good later episodes but it’s Andy. He walks around Mayberry like he is owed money. Andy later admitted on many of the later episodes he was going through the motions.

He started to get a little tenser on screen in the 5th season but Barney was still there and kept things light. In the 6th season with Barney gone, Andy acted impatient with his fellow quirky citizens where at one time he enjoyed them. The show just changed dramatically with color. It remained at number 1 but it just wasn’t the same.

It was one of the most successful television shows ever. The Series went out on top and had a successful spinoff called Mayberry RFD.

In the early 70s Mayberry RFD and other shows such as  The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Lassie, Petticoat Junction, and Hee Haw were canceled because of the rural purge the network did… everything that had a tree got canceled it seemed. More important shows were coming like All In The Family and others but there was always room for others. In syndication these shows do great.

So follow me to Mayberry and don’t look back.

Bedazzled… 1967

Dudley Moore is probably best known in America as Arthur and Peter Cook is not known much at all which is a shame.

This is one of my favorite comedies. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were always a great team and in this movie, they work very well together. It’s the old story of selling your soul to the Devil for wishes…but as always the wishes are not exactly what the wisher has in mind.

Dudley Moore plays Stanley Moon who is a shy and pathetic figure who pines for a waitress (Eleanor Bron) who works at Wimpy’s Burger and is employed as a cook. Peter Cook is the devil… He is perfect for this part. He is a hilarious devil and at times likable but does the most annoying things like tearing the last page out of mysteries, scratching LPs, and just petty things to aggravate people.

The movie is very British and very funny. The chemistry is great between Moore and Cook and by this time they had been together for a while. There was a version of this movie released in 2000 but it is not as smart and subtle as this one. This is an offbeat quirky film.

This film also features Raquel Welch appropriately as Lust. She is only in it for a few minutes but she plays Lust to the hilt. The film had no name at first and in an interview, Peter Cook said he wanted to name the movie “Raquel Welch”…when asked why he wanted to name it after the actress when it wasn’t about her he said because the Marquee would read “Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Raquel Welch”… The producers didn’t like that.

Eleanor Bron plays Margaret the waitress and the object of Stanley’s desire…she was also in HELP! with The Beatles.

Check this film out if you can. Personally, I think it beats the remake by a mile.

If you want to hear something else by them…check out Peter and Dudley as Derek and Clive.

Below is the trailer…this is the link for the complete movie. 

Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton

Back in the 90s I got into silent films. I would send off for VHS tapes of 1920s classics. The one actress I wanted to see was Clara Bow. After reading about her I started to learn more about Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. I did know of Chaplin but had never seen one of his films. I still love silent cinema from that era.

Charlie and Buster were two of the best screen comedians ever to walk the earth. They both had similar upbringings. Buster and his family in American vaudeville. Charlie worked in British music halls. Charlie rose to stardom in silent movies in the 1910’s beginning with Keystone, Mutual (where he made his best short comedies) Essanay and then he confounded United Artist with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and W. D. Griffith. After that Charlie went into full feature films.

Buster started silent shorts in 1917 with Roscoe Arbuckle. After Roscoe broke out on his own so did Buster….he did some more short films which were brilliant. He then went into full features. Buster was just so different than anyone else. He was so still while the world moved into chaos around him. He was a brilliant actor-director and also writer which he often didn’t take credit for doing. If Buster would have just made “The General” his place in film history would be cemented. The same can be said of Charlie Chaplin and his masterpiece “The Gold Rush.”

There was no competition between the two in popularity. Charlie won hands down over Buster and probably everyone else in comedy and drama. His character “The Tramp” was internationally loved. All in all, I’ve always thought Keaton was a better filmmaker but Chaplin the better character. The most recognized character in movie history.  They were two different comedians. Chaplin would reach for pathos…sometimes a little too much. Keaton seemed much more real.

Keaton’s sight gags were incredible and sometimes dangerous to his health…like have a front of a building that weighed a ton (so it wouldn’t twist in the wind) fall on him with the upstairs opening clearing him around 2 inches on each side. He never smiled because it would have ruined his character. Both are worth watching and with Keaton’s films like Sherlock Jr…you wonder how he did some of the things he did with the primitive camera’s they used.

Both were funny men. The other big comedian was Harold Lloyd but he was more of an actor playing a comedian….he was really successful though… second to Chaplin in making money.

Charlie and Buster older both appear in Charlie’s Limelight. This is the only time they ever appeared together in a movie.

Comedian Quotes IV

Some more comedians this week and next week we will be wrapping this up. Thank you for the suggestions…some will appear next week including my favorite talk show host.

RIP Robin Williams - Peter McGraw

Robin Williams

You know the difference between a tornado and divorce in the South? Nothing! Someone’s losing a trailer, number one

Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs

Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’re making too much money

Marriage is a triumph of imagination over intelligence

A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills, no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while

The only reason Mickey Mouse has four fingers is that he can’t pick up a check

Being a famous print journalist is like being the best-dressed woman on the radio

Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready

People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the white house

Robert Klein Stripey sweater 2 - What To Do

Robert Klein

In the fifties I had dreams about touching a naked woman and she would turn to bronze or the dream about hot dogs chasing donuts through the Lincoln Tunnel.

And the only studies were – Rodney Dangerfield was my mentor and he was my Yale drama school for comedy.

Fear is the greatest salesman.

In the book of things people more often do wrong than right, investing must certainly top the list, followed closely by wallpapering and eating artichokes

Comedy is still alive, and there are still funny people. Jews are still overrepresented in comedy and psychiatry and underrepresented in the priesthood. That immigrant Jewish humor is still with us.

I learned more at The Second City than I did at Yale for all that high tuition.

40 Behind-the-Scenes Photos from the Set of Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”

There [are] just two things I’d need to find out everything I want to know about everyone: 1) Let me see them drive; 2) let me hear them talk about marriage … That’s going to tell me exactly your relationship to the world.

The IRS! They’re like the Mafia, they can take anything they want!

Men don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV

If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success

Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you’re comfortable with

What’s the deal with Ovaltine? It comes in a round container, you put it in a round glass, why don’t they call it Roundtine?

Dave Allen At Large – Nostalgia Central

Dave Allen

If it’s sent by ship then it’s a cargo, if it’s sent by road then it’s a shipment.

We spend our lives on the run: we get up by the clock, eat and sleep by the clock, get up again, go to work – and then we retire. And what do they give us? A bloody clock.

My church accepts all denominations – fivers, tenners, twenties.

Am I the Irish comedian with half a finger? No, I’m the Irish comedian with nine and a half fingers.

I don’t go out of my way to be outrageous, I just go out of my way to look at things.

Brother Dave Gardner - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

Brother Dave Gardner

The South may not always be right, but by God it’s never wrong!

Rock music sounds like an octopus making love to a bagpipe

Let them that don’t want none have memories of not gettin’ any

Love your enemies and drive them nuts

BBC Four - The Undiscovered Peter Cook

Peter Cook

I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly

I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly

As I looked out into the night sky, across all those infinite stars, it made me realize how insignificant they are.

You realize that suicide’s a criminal offense. In less enlightened times they’d have hung you for it.

Everything I’ve ever told you, including this, is a lie

Dudley Moore - British Comedy Guide

Dudley Moore

I’m always looking for meaningful one-night stands

Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we’re not poets

When I think of Canada I think of tonic water.

Masturbation is always very safe. You not only control the person you’re with, but you can leave when you want to

The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it

Comedian Quotes III

This week we are going to feature some Comedians from the 70s and 80s. My personal favorite is  Bill HIcks…the darkest comedian I have listened to but funny. Steven Wright takes the quotes to a different level.

Make us laugh – East Bay Times

Steven Wright

If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there, is he still wrong?

Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.

The other night I was lying in bed, looking up at the stars, and I wondered, ‘Where the hell is my roof?

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.

Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it?

I have an inferiority complex, but it’s not a very good one.

Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?

My Correspondence with Bill Hicks | The New Yorker

Bill Hicks

I loved when Bush came out and said, ‘We are losing the war against drugs.’ You know what that implies? There’s a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.

We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.

I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.

When two or more people agree on an issue, I form on the other side.

On the theft of his material by Denis Leary: “I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.

It’s all about money, not freedom, y’all, okay? Nothing to do with fuckin’ freedom. If you think you’re free, try going somewhere without fucking money, okay?

The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. That’s the message we’re brought up with, isn’t it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.

Hear 10 Minutes of Sam Kinison From Final Show - Rolling Stone

Sam Kinison

If I get married again, I want a guy there with a drum to do rimshots during the vows.

Folks, I’ve been straight for seventeen days… Not all in a row.

My view of life is, ‘If you’re going to miss Heaven, why miss it by two inches? Miss it!

Rock Against Drugs, what a name. Somebody was high when they came up with that title. It’s like Christians Against Christ. Rock created drugs.

I don’t worry about terrorism. I was married for two years.

I look for women I know are gonna bust me up good. Come on, man, who can resist that? Who can resist that emotional pain? Yeah, they all have the same line, they’re so sweet: I’m not gonna hurt you like all the others. Really I’m not. I’m gonna introduce you to a whole new level of pain!

Jesus is still up in Heaven, thumbing through his Bible, going ‘Where did I say build a water slide?

I called a detox center – just to see how much it would cost: $13,000 for three weeks! My friends, if you can come up with thirteen grand, you don’t have a problem yet.

Eddie Murphy: Delirious (TV Special 1983) - IMDb

Eddie Murphy

I spent my 30s fixing everything I broke in my 20s.

The best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.

The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone’s advice.

Getting divorced didn’t sour me on the institution of marriage. I’ll tell you what I’ll never do: I’ll never get divorced again.

As you get older, you get different, and I’m a mushier, softer person as I get older.
Steve Martin Wild and Crazy Guy - BrandStory

Steve Martin

You know that look that women get when they want to have sex? Me neither

I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.

Boy, those French! They have a different word for everything

I gave my cat a bath the other day…they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that…

Thinking too much also creates the illusion of causal connections between unrelated events.

The George Burns One-Man Show (TV Special 1977) - IMDb

George Burns

There’s an old saying, ‘Life begins at forty.’ That’s silly. Life begins every morning you wake up.

I get up every morning and read the obituary column. If my name’s not there, I eat breakfast.

You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.

I’d rather be over the hill than under it.

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

Comedian Quotes II

I did this last week with the earlier comedians….this week I’ll concentrate on the 60s-70s.

George Carlin to Receive Two-Part Documentary From HBO and Judd Apatow -  Rolling Stone

George Carlin

Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit

Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity

That Richard Pryor Biopic Is Back, And Headed To Netflix |  Birth.Movies.Death.

Richard Pryor

Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

I’m not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells

I had to stop drinking, ‘cause I got tired of waking up in my car driving ninety

Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings… and lawyers

There’s a thin line between to laugh with and to laugh at

No Respect: The Rodney Dangerfield of the Investment World | Core Compass

Rodney Dangerfield

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

My marriage is on the rocks again. Yeah. My wife just broke up with her boyfriend

My wife has to be the worst cook. In my house, we pray after we eat

When I was born, I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother

Marriage. It’s not a word. It’s a sentence

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

Remembering Lenny Bruce, 50 years after his death - Los Angeles Times

Lenny Bruce

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God

Alright, let’s admit it, we Jews killed Christ – but it was only for three days

I am influenced by every second of my waking hour

It’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness

Emmys history: One-season winners starring Bob Newhart, Julie Andrews -  GoldDerby

Bob Newhart

I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down’

Stammering is different than stuttering. Stutterers have trouble with the letters, while stammerers trip over entire parts of a sentence. We stammerers generally think of ourselves as very bright

I think you should be a child for as long as you can. I have been successful for 74 years being able to do that. Don’t rush into adulthood, it isn’t all that much fun

Phyllis Diller "Mother-In-Law" on The Ed Sullivan Show - YouTube

Phyllis Diller

The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

I spent seven hours in a beauty shop… and that was for the estimate.

I’ve tried Buddhism, Scientology, Numerology, Transcendental Meditation, Qabbala, t’ai chi, feng shui and Deepak Chopra but I find straight gin works best

I never made `Who’s Who,’ but I’m featured in `What’s That?’

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them

Redd Foxx | Walk of Fame

Redd Foxx

If you can see the handwriting on the wall… you’re on the toilet

I feel sorry for people who don’t drink or do drugs. Because someday they’re going to be in a hospital bed, dying, and they won’t know why

You make me wish that birth control was retroactive

Beauty may be skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.

Lily Tomlin Biography - Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline

Lily Tomin

The best mind-altering drug is the truth.

The road to success is always under construction.

I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.

Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.

Comedian Quotes

I’ve been watching some older comedy movies…I thought I’d pick out some quotes by these early great comedians.

W. C. Fields (Creator) - TV Tropes

W.C. Fields

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.

I like children. If they’re properly cooked.

I never hold a grudge. As soon as I get even with the son-of-a bitch, I forget it.

I was in love with a beautiful blond once. She drove me to drink. That’s the one thing I’m indebted to her for.

The Case for Duck Soup as the Greatest Monologue in Movie History | Den of  Geek

Groucho Marx

A man is only as old as the woman he feels.

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?

I married your mother because I wanted children, imagine my disappointment when you came along

Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member

Stan Laurel (Comedian and Actor) - On This Day

Stan Laurel

You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led.

If any of you cry at my funeral I’ll never speak to you again.

I had a dream that I was awake and I woke up to find myself asleep.

Humor is the truth; wit is an exaggeration of the truth.

Off The Rails: When Buster Keaton Pulled Off Silent Film's Most Expensive  Stunt - Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Buster Keaton

A comedian does funny things. A good comedian does things funny.

Charlie Chaplin and I would have a friendly contest: Who could do the feature film with the least subtitles?

If one more person tells me this is just like old times, I swear I’ll jump out the window.

Harpo Marx | American actor | Britannica

Harpo Marx

The passing of an ordinary man is sad. The passing of a great man is tragic, and doubly tragic when the greatness passes before the man does.

If things get too much for you and you feel the whole world’s against you, go stand on your head. If you can think of anything crazier to do, do it.

The Real Charlie Chaplin' Review: A Telling Look at the Tramp - Variety

Charlie Chaplin

It isn’t the ups and downs that make life difficult; it’s the jerks.

You’ll never find rainbows, If you’re looking down…

A day without laughter is a day wasted.

Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.

Modern Times

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my comedy entry.

This was/ the first feature length Chaplin movie I ever watched. It was his last “silent” movie. The year was 1936 and “talkies” had been around for almost a decade and certainly the most popular movie format in the 1930’s. Chaplin stubbornly decided to carry on with another silent movie and I’m glad he did.

Chaplin was a smart man…he knew the little tramp could not talk on screen…the character was over with if he did…finished. That was part of his mystic. Another reason was the beauty of silent film at the time. He had perfected the art and talkies were full of clumsy lines delivered with immobile cameras and primitive microphones. They were improving but when silent movies ended…an art was lost forever.

Other actors at the time didn’t have the power or clout to try this but it worked brilliantly for Chaplin.  It was one of the top-grossing films of 1936. This after being told no one would want to see a silent movie in 1936…Charlie was once again right.

Chaplin did like the fact that he could insert sound effects into the movie with the technology. He wrote, directed, acted,  produced and also wrote the music for this movie. Modern Times has Chaplin’s finest music score. His most recognizable and commercially viable song, “Smile,” emerged from a melody used by him in this movie.

The film is very relevant today. Charlie takes on the machine age as humans are treated like cattle. Chaplin takes a swipe at  capitalism , industrialization and human exploitation.

The little tramp is finding it difficult to survive in the modern mechanized world. Failing as a worker on a factory assembly line, he gets into a series of adventures and misadventures, which leads him meeting a young recently orphaned “gamine” who ran away rather than end up in an orphanage. They try to survive in the world together, both on the run from the law, although his previous stints behind bars… were to him more appealing than life outside in the cold modern world.

The question becomes… can Charlie and the gamine individually or together  find their place in the modern world with all the odds against them?

Some famous scenes are in this movie. Chaplin in the automatic feeding machine, Chaplin and his boss in the gears of the machinery, and Chaplin going insane trying to tighten bolts on every thing.

It is a great film to start watching Chaplin if you haven’t seen any of his previous movies. One of the many remarkable things about Charlie Chaplin is that his films continue to hold up, to attract, and entertain audiences…you will enjoy this one!

The Three Stooges

Whenever I watch the Three Stooges it feels like I’m getting ready for school again. My sister would get me up in the morning and I would dress while watching the Three Stooges and get ready to run to catch the bus just at the end of our driveway. 

I do like them at times. My dad never liked them…he said “they make me nervous as hell son.” I must admit when I got older and found the Marx Brothers, Chaplin, and Buster Keaton more in line with my comedic tastes BUT sometimes I just have to watch the Stooges!

I just watched one episode at random today. A Ducking They Did Go…they were all in a boat and Curly accidently shoots a hole in the boat…water starts coming up and the boat is sinking….so Larry gets the gun and shoots another hole in the boat. Moe asked him why…Larry says “I made another hole so the water will run out.”…ahhhh….the Stooges logic! I found a clip of that scene

The 1934 short, ‘The Woman Haters’ marks the first of 190 theatrical short films made by Columbia Pictures, which starred, ‘The Three Stooges’ between 1934 and 1959.

The culture impact of the Stooges was huge through the decades. They have been parodied by everyone from SNL, That Seventies Show, Simpsons, and so many more references. 

Parents were concerned about kids copying the Stooges…they probably had a right to be. When I was in school I would hear the nyuk, nyuk but we didn’t hit each over the head with lead pipes. 

Their 1940 short, You Nazty Spy!, was the first American production to openly make a mockery of Adolf Hitler’s regime. (Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator opened nine months later.) The short was perceived as a great insult by Hitler, who listed the Stooges on his own personal death list…Here is the episode colorized. 

As popular as they were they never got paid what they deserved. They were in “shorts” which played before and between feature movies. They worked for Columbia who was ran by the notorious cheap Harry Cohn. Columbia’s shorts department thrived throughout the late ’30s and ’40s. Keeping its biggest stars in the dark as to their true value was a deliberate ploy to ensure they worked cheap.

Cohn kept the Stooges on one year contracts and claimed that the department lost money.

Here in a link to a short history of the Stooges.

https://www.liveabout.com/three-stooges-4587473

Here is a bio of the Three Stooges introduced by Curly’s grandson.

Andy Kaufman…An Original to Remember

I like original people…Andy was that completely. This post is a little long…for me.

He covered the bases…Mighty Mouse, Foreign Man, wrestling women, Elvis Impersonator (I think the best), Tony Clifton, bongo player, Great Gatsby reader and generally pissing people off, boring them or making them laugh. He was a performance artist – a comedian who sometimes was uncomfortable to watch but great as well. He was not a joke comedian…not remotely close.

I remember seeing him on a clip from the Tonight Show… as the very innocent childlike foreign man talking for a while and doing terrible celebrity impersonations and then suddenly shedding that character like a used coat and did Elvis impersonation…no, he WAS Elvis… I’ve read where Elvis said that Andy was his favorite impersonator but whether that is true or not I don’t know.

His first SNL performance… All he did was to get on stage with a record player playing the “Mighty Mouse” theme and mime along in certain spots. He made it work. He was only doing what he did growing up alone in his room as a child…he translated that to a national audience.

He loved to be the bad guy… At his performances, he would sometimes threaten to read the Great Gatsby…the complete book…just to piss everyone off…He would read a chapter or so and then ask the crowd if they wanted to hear some music from his record player….the audience, thinking of Mighty Mouse would applaud and he then would start playing a record of him reading The Great Gatsby from where he left off right before.

Andy grew up loving wrestling. After he achieved his fame he started to wrestle…wrestle women. I’m sure many people at the time were baffled.

That led to the infamous guest shot on The David Letterman Show with wrestler Jerry Lawler in 1982. Jerry slapped Andy off a chair who had a neck brace on already…at the time people really bought into it. Lawler says he still gets hate mail to this day from people who think he caused Andy’s death. Of course, both planned this and they were friends.

A couple of years before his death he made a film with Fred Blassie… a wrestler Andy admired. He filmed it at a restaurant and called it “Breakfast with Blassie.”

Andy once played Carnegie Hall and took the entire audience out afterward for milk and cookies. Being Andy, some probably didn’t believe it but he had 20 buses waiting outside for them and they all went to have milk and cookies.

He will be remembered best for Taxi and his character Latka Gravas. It amazes me that he was on Taxi…that he was on any normal show…though Taxi was great…It worked out well that they found a place for Andy’s foreign man character…but Andy wasn’t always happy being on the show.

He also had an alter ego character he played called Tony Clifton. Tony was a loud, obnoxious. sleazy lounge singer that would rip the audience. Usually, the person getting ripped was Andy’s writing partner and friend Bob Zmuda. Later on, to really mess with people’s minds…Andy had Bob to play Tony Clifton and they would appear together. “Tony Clifton” even got himself thrown off of the Taxi set.

Some people loved Andy, some hated him, some thought he was irritating and some all three. I just appreciated the fact he was different.

Andy died in 1984…or did he? Bob Zmuda has said that Andy did say he was going to fake his death and said that he actually helped Andy plan it. More people have come forward saying the same thing. Every few years we get an Andy sighting in Albuquerque or somewhere else. No, I don’t believe he did fake it…but hey I would love if he popped up well and alive anytime in the future. The world needs original people. You know he would be loving the rumors about him being alive…if he is alive or not.

REM had a song that was based on Andy called Man on the Moon. It was about questioning everything like the Moon landing, Elvis dying, religion, Andy dying and etc… from REM’s bassist Mike Mills “He’s the perfect ghost to lead you through this tour of questioning things. Did the moon landing really happen? Is Elvis really dead? He was kind of an ephemeral figure at that point so he was the perfect guy to tie all this stuff together as you journey through childhood and touchstones of life.”

In 1999 a movie called Man on the Moon starring Jim Carrey was released about Andy’s life. I went to see it when it came out and enjoyed it. I’m not sure how close Carrey got to Andy’s non-public side because of course, I didn’t know him. Marilu Henner said that he was a warmer person than the movie portrayed and Judd Hirsch said that while not performing, Andy was a very normal, quiet guy but Judd admits he really didn’t know him. I do think Carrey did a good job portraying him.

I like one of a kind people like Andy Kaufman and Keith Moon. Expect the unexpected…it keeps life interesting.

First SNL Appearance

Andy on Letterman

Milk and Cookies

Elvis

REM…Man on the Moon

Groucho Marx…August 19, 1977

43 years ago Groucho Marx died on August 19, 1977 and the news of his death was swallowed up by Elvis dying 3 days before. Groucho was 87 years old and still was popular among college kids partly due to a resurgence of the Marx Brothers movies. He was constantly photographed with Rock Stars (Alice Cooper, Queen) and movie stars in the mid-seventies. 

The Marx Brothers remain my favorite comedy team hands down. All of them were talented and Harpo and Groucho in particular never fail to make me laugh.

I’ll leave you with some Groucho Quotes.

He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There’s no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance, your wife is bound to interfere.

I have nothing but respect for you — and not much of that.

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

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.

A man’s only as old as the woman he feels.

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.

I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.

I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.


My Top 10 favorite Stand Up Comedians

I had a lot of comedy albums growing up and these were my favorites.

10: Steve Martin – His Wild and Crazy album, Let’s Get Small, and Comedy is Not Pretty stayed on my turntable forever.

Steve Martin 1977/Norman Seeff

9: Sam Kinison – His routine of Are You Lonesome Tonight is worthy enough to have him on this list.

RIP Sam Kinison (@samkinisonrip) | Twitter

8: Chris Rock – I followed him from SNL on.

Hire Chris Rock - Speaker Fee - Celebrity Speakers Bureau

7: Eddie Murphy – His eighties standup videos are still staples of the era.

Eddie Murphy : Red Leather Suit | Julietchin's Blog

6: Bob Newhart – If you like dry humor…this is your man.

Bob Newhart on The Dean Martin Show - Sir Walter Raleigh - YouTube

5: George Carlin – Carlin was just so cool. His routines are well known now. He was topical and many of the things he expressed are true today. He was also on the first SNL episode.

George Carlin was right: other drivers are 'idiots' and 'maniacs'

4: Woody Allen – He had a wit as quick as you could get. His stand up from the sixties is outstanding. I had a friend with a lot of his standup routines that we listened to in the 80s.

Woody Allen - Stand up comic: Second Marriage - YouTube

3: Robin Williams/Jonathan Winters – Williams and Winters were very similar because Winters was a huge influence on Robin Williams. They could pick any subject and make it funny.

Lunch with Jonathan Winters

2: Bill Hicks – NOT family-friendly. Bill was as dark as they come but he made you think whether you agreed with him or not. He will offend EVERYONE… I like Denis Leary but Leary got a lot of his material from Hicks and cleaned it up. It can get uncomfortable listening to Bill…maybe that is the reason I liked him.

Bill Hicks: 25 years on from the cult comedian's big break • The ...

1: Richard Pryor – Richard was a game-changer…I had his albums growing up and he changed stand up comedy. He can make me laugh at any time.

Scarred Richard Pryor returns to film stand-up comedy show: Part ...

 

Honorable Mention: Albert Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Klein, Joan Rivers, and Denis Leary.

***One comedian, I never understood…maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in his time. He had an interesting story but I just never got Lenny Bruce. I find his material once in a while funny but many lists have him as number 1 or 2. Yes, he did make a huge impact on his profession like few others but I just don’t get him like some do.

 

Classic TV Episodes – SNL – Steve Martin/Blues Brothers

This Emmy-nominated episode has acquired a reputation as the best of all Martin’s hosting gigs. Its not my favorite episode…I do like it though… but it’s probably one of the most important in the show’s history.  It was a turning point for SNL. It went from a cult hit to a major player in the ratings during this period. Many people have picked it as the best episode.

Saturday Night Live has always been hit or miss in any era. The difference in the 70s is they would take more chances and Lorne made sure everyone had a chance in the cast.

The show introduced a lot of comedians and some unknown musical artists like Redbone and others that would not have gotten coverage on a network show.

Related image

 

 

Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Blues Brothers

The Cast: Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, The Blues Brothers, and Don Pardo

The host for the episode is Steve Martin (his fifth appearance), and the musical guest is The Blues Brothers (their second appearance). The skits for this episode are as follows: Concert promoter Don Kirschner presents footage of an old club performance by The Blues Brothers. For his opening monologue, Steve Martin talks about the inspiration for his comedy ideas, then does a magic act that ends with him tackling and beating a member of the audience.

The Festrunk brothers prepare their apartment for the two girls they believe are on the way, but their neighbor Cliff tells them they’ve been stood up. Medieval doctor Theodoric of York treats a series of patients by draining their blood. A man and woman catch each other’s notice in a crowded club, and dance together romantically as the rest of the club freezes in place around them. During the Weekend Update, Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd debate abortion, Jane reports on Carter’s energy policy and a new nasal contraceptive, and Dan berates Garrett Morris for short-changing him on the weed he bought. Steve performs a song about King Tut. The Nerds Todd and Lisa prepare their science fair projects. The Blues Brothers perform “I Don’t Know”.

 

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This is my go-to Thanksgiving movie. Steve Martin and John Candy are a great team in this comedy. Personally, I think this is John Candy’s greatest movie. I watch it every year and always looked forward to it.

The movie is full of great scenes and some good lines from Candy and Martin.

John Hughes is the Director and writer. He shot over 3 hours and had to edit it down. Below is a short plot. For those who haven’t seen it…you are missing a funny movie. It was rated R because of a one minute scene with the F-Bomb used 18 times by mostly Martin. The movie was released in 1987.

Short Plot

In New York, a marketing executive Neal Page wants to travel home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He has difficulties getting a taxi and his flight is canceled. He meets in the airport the clumsy and talkative shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith who has taken his cab and they travel side-by-side to Chicago. However the bad weather shuts down O’Hare Airport and they land at Wichita, Kansas. They both want to go to Chicago and they decide to travel together.  Neal is cursed/blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman and all-around blabbermouth who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company.

Along their journey, Neal changes his viewpoint about Del Griffith and his own behavior.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093748/