Category: classic comedy

April 16th, 2017 by Calvero

On Chaplin’s birthday, I usually watch “Chaplin” (the one directed by Sir…err.. Lord Richard Attenborough and starring Robert Downey, Jr), The Gentleman Tramp and/or Unknown Chaplin documentaries, and the ’42 version of The Gold Rush (the re-edited version narrated by and music written by Chaplin himself. It was released on April 16, 1942). Sometimes an additional short film or two.

But this year I watched (or re-watched) some fan-made videos.  And now I’ll share them here:

Charlie Chaplin Tribute

One of the favrites by my kids is this one, by cldcollector. Great balance of film clips and home movies. Song is Gin Filled Boy by Divine Comedy.

Charlie Chaplin – Filmography/Montage/Tribute (Moby)

This one uses Moby’s Run On.  The beat remains pretty constant throughout the whole video. Hard for me to listen to the song without picturing the video in my head :D.

 

Charlie Chaplin // Birthday Tribute (2012)

This one I just found today.  It was made on his birthday 5 years ago, and somehow I haven’t seen this before. Played it several times today. Reeeaaalllly like it. Song is Light Surrounding You by Evermore

Chaplin, put to the music of Penguin Cafe Orchestra

This is something I wrote about here, but I’ll share again in this post. I’m a fan of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and while listening to the song, Perpetuum Mobile, I pictured the building of Chaplin’s Studio from How To Make Movies. And I matched it up, and, OMG, it strangely fits.

Start the song when How to Make Movies gets to “Hollywood, Cal.”. Ends as Charlie skips off into the background after trying the lemon. Rather fun I think.

 

So ,there we are.  Hope you  enjoyed those little bits of Chaplin delight C|:=:)

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy Tagged with: , ,

March 30th, 2016 by Calvero
Ah, the year 1986.  A big year that became very influential in my life.  I hope to write an entry for each one (I already wrote about how I got introduced to Sherlock Holmes), but here’s a summary (in no real order):

Disney’s Dreamers and Doers

The Disney company here in Florida (for a few years) picked someone from each county in the state from elementary, junior high, and high school as someone showing the “4 Cs” – curiosity, confidence, constancy, and courage. And somehow I was picked for the junior high level for Volusia county!  It was one of the most exciting days of my life!  And I still have my medal, hangs in my living room. May 2 is the anniversary 🙂

Sherlock Holmes

Thanks to reading the classic Hound of the Baskervilles story in my 8th grade English class, I got hooked on the adventures of Sir Author Conan Doyle’s famous detective.  Not because of the mystery genre, but in the characters of Holmes and Watson and how the stories were written.  I found, and still find, that endlessly fascinating!  And for the last few years I have basked in the glow of it being a big thing with the help of the Robert Downey Jr movies, and BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary tv shows.

The Smothers Brothers

Fate has a wicked sense of humor, and so it introduced me to these guys, by accident. And, boy, I had no idea what I landed myself into.  My poor family somehow put up with me either listening to or watching this harmless looking comedic brother duo – a lot. I also got really interested in classic comedy due to these guys (Thanks Tom and Dick!), along with history (particularly the 1960s), folk music, and being politically involved.

Doctor Who

A guy that traveled in time and space in a spaceship disguised as a British Police Box. And he’s not always able to control where or when his ship ends up.

That’s how the show was described to me by a couple classmates in school.  And I was curious.  And the first episode I watched was the very first episode from 1963, An Unearthly Child.  And I have stayed curious for the last 30 years.  And I still haven’t used to the idea that Doctor Who is a big thing now.  I love it, it’s just weird.

 

Highway to Heaven

The Summer of ’86 introduced me to this show.  I have had a long interest in the nature of God and religions in general, it did not really take off until I happened upon this show by accident. Starred the late Michael Landon as an angel, and Victor French as a former Oakland cop (hence the Oakland A’s baseball cap), driving around the country on assignments from “The Boss”.  Had a lot of heart and some laughs.

Posted in classic comedy, Doctor Who, Nostalgia, Religion, Sherlock Holmes, Smothers Brothers, television, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

February 9th, 2015 by Calvero

It’s the greatest thing in the world!

Okay, maybe not, but it’s my first vlog. I did something a little different than most. I just shot some of my books (yes, it’s just a part of my book collection), along with some of my DVD/Blu ray box sets, and a Smothers Brothers record album.

What’s shown ranges from childhood (Snoopy!) to recent loves (Warehouse 13! The Fault in Our Stars!), and some are childhood loves that I recently acquired (Dick Van Dyke Show! Mork and Mindy! Doctor Who!)

I also used this video to experiment with a few things.  Some of my goals that I met are:

  • muting the sound of the video
  • having music not start at the beginning, but a few seconds in
  • just basic editing of the video clips and putting them together in the right order
  • just making the thing and uploading it and not letting fear from keeping me from doing so

Those may seem like small things, but it’s all a learning curve.  And a good healthy dose of confidence.

What I liked about it:

  • the accidental recording that I ended up using at the beginning.  When I loaded all the bits into the editor, I saw that and thought “I could use that!”
  • that I did the thing! YAY!

It’s not the greatest thing ever, but I’m glad I did it, and looking forward to all the things I will learn from it :).

The future…

So what have I got for the future?  Taking on the Doctor Who Tag started by YouTuber Luke Spillane. That was one of the things that got me going on finally making a vlog.  And I also plan on talking about Sherlock Holmes, having been born with a cleft lip and palate and all that it entails, and whatever else I come up with.

Oh, and I have another channel as well.  A gaming channel where I have begun to play Assassin’s Creed (the first one). I love the series and thought why not start off with the first one?

Posted in books, Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Doctor Who, John Green, NerdFighters, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Personal, Sherlock Holmes, Smothers Brothers, Vlog, Warehouse 13, YouTube Tagged with: , , , ,

January 24th, 2015 by Calvero

A Native American, Theodore Roosevelt, a night guard, Attila the Hun, a monkey, an Egyptian Pharaoh, and the night guard’s teen aged son walk onto a bus…

A couple weeks ago I went to see Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  I had only seen bits of the first one so I had an idea of what the series was about. And I also went because I was, in a way, paying my respects to Robin. I did not become a sobbing mess like I thought I would be when it got to the scene where Robin Williams’ Teddy says goodbye to Larry. Not going to lie though, I did get choked up.
Backtracking, it was good to see Dick Van Dyke again (another person from my childhood), though only for a couple minutes.  Mickey Rooney makes an even shorter cameo in his last (?) movie (ah, another one lost in 2014!).  Sir Ben Kingsley makes a regal appearance as the father Pharoah,  and Sir Lancealot is played by Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame)

Ben Stiller returns, making an interesting straight man for a group of somewhat historical misfits.

And this was all preceded by a trailer for the upcoming Peanuts movie (seeing Snoopy fighting the Red Baron has always been one of my childhood’s fondest memories.)

Wow. So many bits of my youth all in one afternoon.

Memorable scenes: The bit with Jedediah and Octavius watching a cat video on YouTube.

Seen in the trailer where Sir Lance and Teddy introduce themselves to each other:

Sir Lancelot: Sir Lancelot, at your service.
Teddy Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America.
Sir Lancelot: I have no idea what that means.

The bit in the MC Escher work, “Relativity” was very smartly done..

Hugh Jackman.  Was not expecting to see him in the movie. Loved when he broke into his Wolverine pose. Lance asks what is he doing. The woman says he’s doing “his Wolverine thing.”

Teddy saying goodbye.  That gutted me.  Didn’t cry, but…(heavy sigh) yeah.

It went viral on tumblr.

I did expect, and laugh, when Teddy gives Larry one more scare just like he did in the first movie.

One of the reasons why I like these types of movies is that you have people from various different places on the panet, and from different historical eras, all working together. And saying things that you would not expect to hear, like Larry slapping Attila the Hun and telling him “Huns don’t hyperventilate” (another one of my favorite lines)

Some extra stuff

I came across some videos playlisted on NYT’s site containing clips of the film, interviews, and trailers.  Here’s one of them.

I read a lot of professional critics saying it wasn’t that good, but I enjoyed it. Not the best movie out there, but definitely a lot of fun. A good popcorn movie.  YouTuber movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns made a good video about his thoughts on it:

Behind the Scenes

And for those of you who like behind the scenes type stuff, Movie Bloopers & Making of uploading 3 parts of various raw clips of the making of the movie.

You can see part 2 here, and part 3 here

Recommended movie for just when you want to have a fun time, and good for kids.  I’m planning on taking my kids to see it.

Posted in classic comedy, History, movies, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Robin Williams Tagged with: , , ,

November 4th, 2014 by Calvero

This is the third article celebrating Chaplin’s 125th birthday and 100th anniversary of his films. Read my others here (Doctor Who and Chaplin comic book review) and here (matching music to his unreleased “How to Make Movies”)

Chaplin as Billy, age 14 (though he looks 12 to me.

Chaplin as Billy, age 14 (though he looks 12 to me.

When I became a Charlie Chaplin fan in 1991, one of the *very first things* I learned about him was his role in the 1901 Sherlock Holmes play written by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I had been a Sherlockian for 5 years by then and was thrilled that my new “obsession” had a connection, one of many (and growing!) I would later discover.

William Gillette, in his Holmes garb

Chaplin was born on April 16,1889, in Lambeth, London, England, at the beginning of the Sherlock Holmes publishing era. the year before the publishing of the second Holmes story, “The Sign of Four”. After living for some time in poverty, he gradually got work as a child actor (both his parents were stage performers). He wrote in his My Autobiography (1964) how he lied about his age to get a part in a H A Saintsbury play, A Romance of Cocknaye, saying he was 14, when he was actually 12 1/2. The manager of the production and cast liked him so much they offered him the Billy the Pageboy role. So from July 1903 to February 1906 he traveled the country performing the part. (Holmes trivia: The pageboy in the original stories did not have a name until after the play was made. It would have been interesting if Doyle named him Charlie!)

HA Saintsbury as Holmes

The argument over “Who’s the best Sherlock Holmes?” is nothing new, though the names change over time. Back in his day, Chaplin worked under two of the starring Holmes’: William Gillette and H A Saintsbury. He wrote in his “My Autobiography” that while he liked both, he felt Saintsbury was closer to the “real” Holmes.

 

 

List of the cast (including Chaplin as Billy), as they performed at Duke of York's Theatre, circa 1905

List of the cast (including Chaplin as Billy), as they performed at Duke of York’s Theatre, circa 1905

Want to see the play? Here it is, performed in 1981 for HBO. Frank Langella plays Holmes (very well, I must say!) My favorite scene (Act 3, pt 2), which includes some great interactions with Billy, is embedded below:

(side note – the boy playing Billy in the above performance is a young Christian Slater)

The Great Dictator (1940) - Chaplin as Hynkel (center), Reginald Gardiner (left) as Schultz, and Henry Daniell as Garbitsch (right)

The Great Dictator (1940) – Chaplin as Hynkel (center), Reginald Gardiner (left) as Schultz, and Henry Daniell as Garbitsch (right)

While he had other roles in his early childhood showbiz career, none seemed to have stuck with him later in his life than the Billy role. Decades later in 1939 when he was shooting his Hitler satire, “The Great Dictator”, he would re-enact scenes from the Holmes play in-between scenes for the movie to entertain the cast and crew.

One of the actors in Dictator was Henry Daniell, who later who appear in three of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films: Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943), and The Woman in Green (1945, playing Professor Moriarty, the role I best remember him for.)

Which also brings us to Nigel Bruce. Chaplin hired Bruce for his 1952 film, Limelight. Bruce was hired not only because of his talent but mainly because of his strong connection with the Holmes franchise having famously played Dr. Watson.

Basil Rathbone (left) as Holmes, Nigel Bruce (back, center) as Watson and Henry Daniell (right) from Voice of Terror (1943)

Basil Rathbone (left) as Holmes, Nigel Bruce (back, center) as Watson and Henry Daniell (right) from Voice of Terror (1943)

In the film Limelight, Bruce plays Mr Postant, an homage to the real life who was William Gillette’s stage manager, and who had played an important role of keeping an eye out for the young Chaplin during the Holmesian days.

I have often felt that if he played Watson like he later played Postant, Watson would have been considered less bumbling. Below is a clip from Limelight which not only includes Bruce, but also Claire Bloom (many years later she would costar with David Tennant in Doctor Who, “The End of Time”), and Buster Keaton who plays Calvero’s partner (Keaton’s Holmes connection is making the brilliant 1924 silent film Sherlock Jr.)

One of the reasons why I picked using the name Calvero on the internet, and have kept it for almost 20 years, is the Holmes connection (along with Keaton, and the later Doctor Who connection,

To Modern Times

RDJ as Chaplin

In 1992 came Robert Downey Jr playing the title role in Sir Richard Attenborough’s “Chaplin”. Absolutely brilliant! And he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor (he was ROBBED! ROBBED, I tell you!). Downey did such a great job, that most of the time I forgot I was watching someone else playing Charlie.

Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes with violinFast-forward 17 years and he was picked by Guy Ritchie to play the lead in Sherlock Holmes, which, honestly, sounded a little weird. For Chaplin, he played someone who was about 5’4″. And years later he plays someone who is described by Watson as being at least 6 feet tall. Either way, I did (and still do) enjoy his take on the Great Detective.  He did win a Golden Globe for “Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy” for his portrayal of Holmes (a category I still don’t understand how he won, but he won it.  So, YAY!)

Chaplin and Holmes meet once again

Chaplin vs SherlockOn season 2, episode 1 of BBC’s excellent show Sherlock, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, John Watson’s girlfriend Jeanette is played play by Charlie’s granddaughter (Geraldine’s daughter), Oona Chaplin. When I was first watching the episode, I didn’t know who the actress was but there was something about her… I couldn’t put my finger on it. She seemed familiar, and at the same time not familiar.  When I immediately re-watched the episode for the second time (because it was so mind blowingly awesome), I paid more attention to the ending credits, and the name “Oona Chaplin” jumped out at me. I threw my arms up in the air and shouted “WOOOOOOOHOOOO!!!” and did a happy dance. And so a new Chaplin comes face to face with the great detective.

Close encounter of a Sherlockian/Chaplinesque kind: Aidan Quinn

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), and Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) from Elementary

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), and Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) from Elementary

Another recent connection (though not as strong as the above ones, but still there) is CBS’s newest take of the Holmes and Watson interpretations in Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes, and Lisa Liu as Joan Watson (that’s right, a female Watson…a very good one), which premiered during Holmes’ 125th anniversary (2012). Co-starring is Aidan Quinn who plays Captain Thomas Gregson of the NYPD.

Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), Sam (Johnny Depp), and Benny (Aidan Quinn)

Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), Sam (Johnny Depp), and Benny (Aidan Quinn)

Almost 20 years earlier (1993), Quinn played in an adorable movie that also starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Matherson, Benny and Joon (released just a few months after Downey’s Chaplin.). Quinn plays the older, and pretty protective brother, Benny to Matherson’s Joon who slowly falls in love with Depp’s Sam who is a eccentric person who is obsessed with Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

To Tumblr!

The comparison between Benedict Cumberbatch and otters is well known (even to BC), but a lesser known comparison is him and Chaplin. Tumblr user lenoesque compared facial expressions of ol’ Benny and the Little Tramp.

The Future…

What kind of connections will show up later?  Who knows.  What I do know is that they keep popping up from time to time.  And if I notice them, I’ll create a “Part 2”.

Are there any that I missed? Just leave a comment

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Nostalgia, Sherlock Holmes, television Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

September 14th, 2014 by Calvero

MorkandMindy1Today marks the anniversary of the first episode of Mork and Mindy, one of my all time favorite tv shows.

How it started

It was inspired by Garry Marshall’s (creator and executive producer for Happy Days) son who saw Star Wars and wanted to know about an alien being put on Happy Days. And Jerry Paris (who directed many episodes of Happy Days) remembered an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show (which he sometimes co-starred as Rob Petrie’s neighbor, Jerry Helper), “It May Look Like A Walnut” where Rob thinks a walnut eating alien has invaded Earth and taken over.

Out of that came the idea of Mork from the planet Ork.  There was a casting call and one of those to respond was Williams, who entered the room using a helium type voice and sat on his head.  Here is Marshall telling how he was introduced to Williams:

Marshall gave him the role right away because “he was the only alien who auditioned”.

In the Happy Days episode “My Favorite Orkan”, Richie sees a UFO, but none of his friends believe it. Here is part one (Mork shows up at 4:25):

Part 2:

The creation of Mork and Mindy

The episode was a hit, so when coming up with a new show idea, he remembered Mork, and an actress named Pam Dawber.

Set in (what was then) present day, Mork from the planet Ork is sent to Earth by Orson, his superior, as an observer of Earth customs and also so he would not be a bad influence on Ork. A sense of humor, as well as all other emotions, are banned on Ork “for the good of the race”. And Mork meets Mindy, who had just had a rough experience with her boyfriend who drove off in her jeep.

An unexpected hit

Very few people gave the show much of a chance before the first episode aired, but Mindy and Mork - with helmetafterwards, it was a ratings smash, with an average of 60 million people watching, nominated for 2 Emmys and winning Golden Globes and People Choice Awards. And it was ranked #3 for the 1978-79 season, sometimes weekly beating the show that gave it’s start, Happy Days. (Many years later Williams won Nickelodeon TV Land’s “Most ‘Out of This World’ Character” for both 2005 and 2006.)

The show would run into problems with censors. Robin would slip in things, sometimes in another language. The studio would have a censor who spoke 4 languages to the set to prevent him from causing trouble.  And the network messing with what made it a hit to begin with.

For many fans of my generation, the show plays a big part of our childhood.  And a week ago I finished re-watching the whole series (a few of us on tumblr were all doing the same thing, ending the series at the same time), and it was a wonderful stroll down memory lane. Oh, did I say stroll down memory lane? I mean a skipping-break-into-a-frantic-run-so-fast-I-get-dizzy down a 5 lane interstate highway (look out for that car!!).

While the show makes me feel like a kid again, I also am able to appreciate the characters more. Robin is still awe-inspiring, but Mindy is equally amazing.  From the get-go she stands up for herself when her boyfriend tries to attack her, then later dealing with her loving but over protective father, and being patient and understanding with Mork though she isn’t afraid of setting him straight. And later standing up to Mork’s boss, Orson.

It was great to see both Robin and Pam together earlier this year on The Crazy Ones:

My 7-year-old watching an episode of Mork & Mindy. Here, it's Dr. Morkenstein (anyone got a tissue for the ending?!?)

My 7-year-old watching an episode of Mork & Mindy. Here, it’s Dr. Morkenstein (anyone got a tissue for the ending?!?)

It’s also great to see younger generations watching and becoming fans.  One of the youngest is my 7 year old daughter who loves watching it with me.

Thanks to Robin (wherever you are!) and Pam (you’re awesome!) for making many people’s childhoods funnier.

Posted in classic comedy, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, television Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

September 3rd, 2014 by Calvero
Morks Mixed Emotions

Mindy consoles Mork who is stressed out about his uncontrollable emotions.

I am currently going through all of the Mork and Mindy episodes chronologically, currently in season 3. I had previously jumped around with my memory overloading on hilarious scenes that I haven’t seen in 3 decades.

So far my top favorite is “Mork’s Mixed Emotions”. It is a great episode to see how many different types of characters (in this case, emotions) Robin Williams goes in and out of and back in again at the speed of light.

It’s Mindy’s birthday and she is planning a special night out, just her and Mork. Meanwhile Mork had a nightmare and has trouble dealing with confusing emotions from it (Orkans are banned from having emotions) and, afraid of what they will do to him, he locks them up. Unsuccessfully.

It really is hard for me to watch this without laughing, and I have seen it several times in the last couple weeks. Really liked him using a Peter Lorre imitation for the voice of Fear. Very clever. Though there is a bit of a dark second in the restaurant scene… if you blink you’ll miss it but I got a little lump in my throat when I saw it.

Also I must no forget the amazing Pam Dawber who plays Mindy. Her actions and reactions to what Mork does andd says are always a treat.  The reaction to the disco guy in the record store always makes me giggle.

There are plenty of other great episodes to see that are hilarious. Pretty much all of season 1 is top stuff. I might just write a review of each episode for the whole series. At some point. There’s a total of 91 episodes (or 95 depending on how you count) so that would take some time to accomplish. But you never know ;).

Posted in classic comedy, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, television Tagged with: , , , , ,

August 18th, 2014 by Calvero

Last Monday, my daughter and I were sitting in the living room, she on her laptop and me reading or playing a game, I don’t remember which.  Then she says “Robin Williams died.” The news hit like a ton of bricks.  I was dazed, confused, and saddened.

Wait, Wait…What?

I hoped that it was a hoax (like Bill Cosby’s rumored death a few years ago).   So I immediately checked the internet.  The more I read, the sadder I got.

Shazbot.

Suicide. Due to severe depression. A nasty arch-nemesis.

Robin in his Orkian uniform.

Robin in his Orkian uniform.

My first memory of Robin was on “Mork and Mindy”. One of the earliest life memories I have, actually. (I’m just old enough that it seemed like Robin always was and always would be around.) I was 5 when the show started and I don’t remember exactly when I started watching it.  I do remember watching when it went into reruns.  I watched a number of sitcoms, both old and new, and if I missed those it wasn’t a real big deal.  I miss Mork & Mindy and it was “Oh no! I have to wait another 7 days (or) 23 1/2 hours until it’s on again! Heavy sigh!”

I’ve kind of viewed him as a distant, crazy, but lovable uncle.

I was a big fan of the show. While The Dick Van Dyke show is my favorite sitcom, Mork & Mindy is tied in second place with The Cosby Show as my second favorite. Back when I watched the reruns, I was visiting one of my happiest types of stores (BOOKS!) when I came across the novelization of the pilot episode of Mork and Mindy. I snatched it up and read it in just a couple days,  It was hilarious to read, and funnier to watch.

The show probably also helped me be more interested in how and why people behaved the way they do.  At the end of every episode, Mork would telepathically report back to his boss, Orson on the planet Ork about what he had learned about Earthlings that week.

A couple of my personal favorites are “Mork’s Greatest Hits” where Mork deals with the town bully:

And when Mork naively joins racists in “The Night They Raided Mind-ski’s”

Since that sad Monday, I have watched a lot of the show again.  Sad to say that I had not watched the show in several years, but when rewatching it, it made me feel like a kid again, remembering characters and catchphrases (“KO”, drinking with his finger, and Mearth! RIP Mr. Jonathan Winters! Also Tom Poston !).  And it surprised me how much I remembered as an episode would start rolling.

AladdinOther memories were watching Aladdin.  When I first met (face-to-face) my future ex-husband in the mid 90s, we went to (what was then) Disney-MGM Studios and then to a special showing of Aladdin. Years later when it was released onto DVD, it was on our wedding anniversary, which also was the anniversary of our first date from the previous year.  Had to buy it. It didn’t matter if we already had it on VHS.

Another memory was when I was playing Battlefield Vietnam on my computer.  You had the option of putting mp3s in the game, so whenever I turned on the in-game radio, it would play whatever I put in the game.  Somewhere along the line I had downloaded all the bits of Robin behind the mic from “Good Morning Vietnam”.  For some reason, there was no noise when playing it in-game.  I had turned up the volume rather loud and didn’t hear anything.  So I thought “Okay, not working” and continued to play the game.  Was in it a couple minutes when, all of a sudden I heard screaming through my earbuds “GGOOOOOOODDDD MOOOORRNNING VIETNAAAAAMMM!!!!“, and I almost fell out of my chair, both from shock and from laughing so hard.

The last thing I watched of his was when Pam Dawber guest star on “The Crazy Ones” just a few months ago. For some reason I had not gotten into watching the show but meant to, but when I happened to turn on CBS that night, and saw Pam and Robin in a scene, the kid in me just shouted for joy and I made my daughter watch it, and quickly explained the whole significance of them in a tv show together. Which was probably the reason why she told me about his passing.

Depression

A few years ago I was told by one doctor and two counselors that I showed signs of mild depression.  Of which I don’t dispute.  While I have never felt suicidal, I have had plenty of moments of feeling like “things don’t really matter. why bother even trying? It’s just a waste of time”.  I have done better recently. But I have felt for many years that loving to laugh which began with Mork and Mindy, the Peanuts comics, and the Dick Van Dyke Show when I was a little kid, to later becoming a fan of just about every classic comedian from Charlie Chaplin to the Smothers Brothers (especially Charlie and Tom & Dick), protected me from going to those type of deep black holes of despair that Robin had trouble escaping.

Robin Williams - then and most recent

My copy of the Mork and Mindy book published 1979 that I’ve had for about 30 years.  And the most recent issue of Time, a cover that I was hoping not to see for at least 20 years :'(

Hello, Mr. Williams.

Posted in classic comedy, television Tagged with: , , , , , ,

June 29th, 2014 by Calvero

Continuing on with Chaplin’s 125th anniversary of his birth and 100th anniversary of his first film! HUZZAH!

I was listening to a song, Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and it popped in my head of a scene from a not-so-well-known Charlie Chaplin film that was never released (until a few years ago).  The song itself does not necessarily remind one of Chaplin, but the tempo reminded me of the stop motion building of his studio from the film, How to Make Movies (a kind of “behind the scenes” type movie).  And other things just fell into place.

Below are embeds of the film (no need to adjust the volume, there is no sound at all for the film), and two different places to listen to the song (your choice). I start the song right after the “Hollywood, Cal.” title card (about 0:14), and the song ends as Charlie finishes eating the lemon and skips away from the camera.

Here is the song on YouTube:

Have Spotify? (Where I first heard the song.)

It’s not a 100% match, but it does match quite a bit of it especially since it’s not an obvious song choice (Maple Leaf Rag always reminds me of Chaplin), and ends at a good spot. Fun to watch 🙂

Some thoughts on the film:

Although the film was never released to the public, Chaplin did release the beginning part of it when he put together three of his silent films together, A Dog’s Life, Should Arms, and The Pilgrim, in 1959 for The Chaplin Revue. He added music (which is wonderful! Especially for guy who couldn’t read or write music) and narrated short intros before each of the three films. Right before A Dog’s Life, he narrates parts of HTMM.

Such as the scene where the 1918 Charlie arrives at the studio, older Chaplin says “Now you see my arrival. (Charlie gets out of car) That’s me. I looked much younger there. (laughs) That was at least ten years ago” he says, 40 years later! Always makes me chuckle.

I just tried looking for it online, and (as of right now) it’s been removed and I cannot find another one.

It is an amazing look (albeit staged) at how he worked at that time of his career. And a lot of fun to see him, for a good amount of the film, as his own person, no costume. Interacting with his cast, directing, going over gags, putting on, and later taking off, his famous tramp costume, and some golf outtakes from The Idle Class.

And like many of his other films, he wrote, produced, directed it, and starred in this one.

The lemon that Chaplin eats is from citrus trees that grew on the lot. The land was covered with them, and when Chaplin build his studio, he kept a few standing.

And now I’ll head off and watch one of The Chaplin Revue collection movies, Shoulder Arms…

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Silent movies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 23rd, 2013 by Calvero

MR900432558I have been trying to get my Comedy Classics Forums working, ad there seems to be some programming conflict with this blog being on the front of this site. So I am just moving this blog to a sub-directory, and maybe (just maybe) my forums will work.

(Did the above make sense? I hope so. It’s late. It made sense in my head)

Sherlock Holmes Tweet-along update…

Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke

Also wanted to remind those Sherlock Holmes fans out there that we are still doing the Thursdays tweet-along. You can read more about that here.

This coming Thursday, we’ll be watching The Sign of Four. At 10:30 EST (old time was 8pm EST. I hope they change it back to that, cause 10:30 is kind of late for me)

Unfortunately, Netflix discontinued the Granada series on their streaming service, though they have done this before and brought it back. So hopefully they’ll do it again!

We follow WETA’s (Washington DC’s PBS channel) schedule, so be sure to check to see what episode is coming up.

And, yes, this will interfere with another Sherlock Holmes show, CBS’s Elementary (I like it, not as much as Granada’s or BBC’s, but it’s getting better and growing on me).  I probably will be live tweeting during the new season.

BBC Sherlock Pajama Party…

facebook_sharegraphic_wide_pajama

Also for the next couple weeks we’re watching BBC’s Sherlock, on Wednesdays at 10:30.  Only two are left, Hounds of the Baskerville, and The Reichenbach Fall.  Since we also following WETA’s schedule for this too, this is also the PBS edited version.  So you may want to consult my list for Hounds and Reichenbach on what was cut so you can keep up.

Note; This chat is done in a chat room (with optional video… I wear my deerstalker 🙂 ), rather than Twitter.

You can find out more by going over to SherlockDC’s blog 🙂

 

 

And it’s nice to have sooo much Sherlock Holmes around.  In the many years that I have been a Sherlockian, I never thought I would have to miss one Holmes for another and go…uhhh…I CAN’T DECIDE!

That’s it for now.  Time will tell if the move and fix-around works…

Posted in classic comedy, Sherlock Holmes, Twitter, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

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