A Couple of Plugs For OH MY GOODNESS…IT’S PAUL LYNDE! Starring Michael Airington

Airington - Lynde

My talented friend Michael Airington will be performing his awesome one-man show Oh My Goodness…It’s Paul Lynde! in Palm Springs at The Purple Room January 22nd – 24th and in San Diego at Martinis Above Fourth January 28th and 29th. I’ve posted previously about Michael’s show here and here….and am always happy to give him a shout out whenever he is appearing somewhere. I believe very strongly in Michael and his show….I have said this before and I will say it again – Michael doesn’t just portray Paul Lynde….he channels him!

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If you will be in the Palm Springs area January 22nd, 23rd or 24th, click here to get more information and to purchase tickets.

OMGIPL....SD

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If you will be in the San Diego area January 28th or 29th, click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Oh My Goodness…It’s Paul Lynde! is not to be missed! Here’s a promo for a previous version of this hilarious show:

 

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Farewell to Some of Those We Lost in 2014

It seems like a lot of notable people in the field of entertainment in 2014. As they do every year, the folks at Turner Classic Movies put together an “In Memoriam” reel in honor of those in front of and and behind the camera….and, inevitably, a notable person died after this compilation was put together, that person being Luise Rainer, who died on December 30th at the age of 104. UPDATE: Actor Edward Herrmann died on December 31st at the age of 71.

Those who stand out immediately in my mind include James Garner, Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Joan Rivers and, most of all, Robin Williams. His death is going to hurt for a long time to come.

TCM Remembers 2014:

 

Video of the Day

 

Back in 2000 Noel Blanc teamed with Warner Bros. to create this tribute to his dad, “the man of a thousand voices”, Mel Blanc. This “living” artwork was called a Power Picture and it moved to a synchronized soundtrack of sound bytes of Mel speaking about the characters and clips of the characters.

Of special note is the final statement from Mel in which he says, “Life is a great thing. You live once, love what you’re doing….you’ll live to a long, healthy life.” That came from a May 1984 conversation that my best friend Walt Mitchell and I had with Mel while visiting with him in his hotel room in Schenectady, NY where he was appearing to deliver one of his college talks. Walt and I were honored when Noel asked us to contribute a sound clip to this wonderful project.

Celebrating 15 Years of Being Online

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15 years ago today I went online for the first time, thanks to the Webtv unit that my mother gave me for Christmas….by the time I got it hooked up and then signed up for the service, it was the wee hours of December 26th, 1999.

webtv logo

 

webtv plus unit

Webtv was a service from Microsoft that allowed you to use your tv set to connect to the internet using dial-up “technology”. Rather than try to explain how it worked, watch this video instead.

Yeah, it was primitive but it was a way to learn about using the internet before I eventually graduated to a laptop in October 2001. By that point Microsoft was allowing Webtv (which was rebranded MSNTV) users to access their MSN and/or Hotmail accounts on both their Webtv units and their computers at no extra cost. I did this until a little more than 5 years in December 2006, when we subscribed to Time-Warner’s high speed internet service, which I continue to use to this day. MSNTV, by the way, was discontinued on September 30th, 2013.

I have enjoyed being on the internet during these past 15 years….I’ve met all sorts of people online and used so many different services from banking to shopping to YouTube, MySpace (remember them?), Facebook and Twitter. Oh yeah….I also went from blogging on TypePad to WordPress….a definite improvement!

Anyway, I just wanted to observe the anniversary of the beginning of my access to the internet. The technology has expanded at such a breakneck speed since then and some day I’ll catch up with it all. Until then, whenever I become frustrated with my 8 1/2 year old laptop, I’ll stop and remember what things were like in the dark ages when dial-up and Webtv were state of the art technology.

Scary, ain’t it?

 

Remembering a Legend….Jack Benny

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Jack Benny February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974

 

40 years ago today the world lost one of the greatest comedians who ever lived when Jack Benny died at the age of 80….of course, Jack would have insisted that he was 39.

Jack Benny’s career ranged from vaudeville to radio to movies to television to concert stages to personal appearances….and he continued to perform almost until his death from pancreatic cancer. He was even set to co-star with Walter Matthau in the film The Sunshine Boys….that role would played instead by Benny’s best friend of 55 years, George Burns. I’ll bet that Jack would have been pleased that George’s career was revived by his Oscar-winning turn in the movie.

NBC aired a half-hour tribute tribute on December 27th that was hosted by Tom Snyder and CBS aired the following hour-long tribute on December 29th, the day of Benny’s funeral. Hosted by Charles Kuralt, this special includes comments from Benny’s co-stars Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Frank Nelson, Don Wilson, Dennis Day and Mel Blanc, plus Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Danny Kaye, CBS founder/chairman William S. Paley, Bob Hope’s eulogy at the services and a wonderful clip to end the broadcast….Jack and Gisele MacKenzie with their classic violin duet of “Getting to Know You”.

Today’s Christmas Video

today's christmas video

Today’s Christmas video, Happy Xmas (War is Over), features John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir….aside from being today’s video, it also is posted in memory of the 34th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.

 

A Halloween Treat….The Transylvania Twist

Baron Daemon

When I was growing up we had a local tv program here in Syracuse, NY called The Baron and His Buddies, which aired from 1963 until 1967. It starred Mike Price as a vampire named Baron Daemon and his fans were nicknamed his “Bloody Buddies”. The Baron originated as a Saturday night horror movie host but the character proved to be so popular with children that the Baron was given a daily program so parents didn’t have to let their kids stay up late to see him. The show featured the Baron and his sidekicks Very Hairy (Dennis Calkins) and Boris (the late Bill Eadie)….in between comedy bits there would be cartoons or a serial such as Flash Gordon.

Baron Daemon 2

The above photo is an example of a typical studio audience for the show….quite often the audience would be comprised of kids from various groups, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and, on one occasion, my Brownie troop. I remember this set very much and, as I recall, if you were a member of the audience and turned to your right you would see this….the Baron’s “space ship”. (This was the mid-60s, after all.)

Baron Daemon 3

About the only other thing that I remember from my visit to the show was that we all were given goodie bags that contained candy and a photo of Baron Daemon. My photo disappeared long ago but thanks to the internet, I believe that this was what we received:

Baron Daemon 4

Now for the treat. Somebody at WNYS decided that the Baron should record a novelty song, The Transylvania Twist, which featured local recording artists Sam and the Twisters and the Bigtree sisters. (Both acts were collectively billed as “The Vampires” for the record.) A wonderful piece about how the record came to be can be found here.

Trasylvania Twist

And now, from a tv special about the Baron, here is The Transylvania Twist:

 

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