We'll get back to the OTN soon, but I experienced something so dismaying yesterday that I think it is more worthy of your attention today.
I was reading the great Mark Evanier's blog yesterday, and he posted about eight minutes of comedian Lenny Schultz's act.
I was vaguely aware of Lenny Schultz, who has been around since the seventies, but this concentrated eight minutes of Lenny Schultz made me appreciate him like I never did before.
And he made me laugh uproariously.
One of the things he did was record pantomimes.
Lenny is obviously a disciple of Jerry Lewis, who turned record pantomimes into an art form.
It's the way he started his career.
And he turned it into a high art form.
He was magnificent at it.
Four examples of it immediately come to mind:
1-His miming of a Carmen Miranda record, fruit on his head and all, in one of his early movies with Dean,
2-His miming of Mario Lanza singing "Be My Love", which I saw him do on "The Colgate Comedy Hour", among other places.
3-His "Chairman of the Board" pantomime to a Count Basie recording in, I think, "The Errand Boy", and, for me, the coup de grace,
4-His pantomiming of Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter Song", which he performed or showed film or tapes of on virtually all of his telethons.
This one was unsurpassed.
It was in a league with the best of Chaplin and Keaton.
After I saw the clips of Lenny Schultz, I got into my car for a long drive to appear at a library here in Michigan to sell my books.
I put a CD in the player. It was a CD of Leroy Anderson's music. He was also known for composing "Sleigh Ride", "The Syncopated Clock", and "The Blue Tango", among others.
They were usually compositions that used novelty elements, such as an actual typewriter in "The Typewriter Song"
So I'm listening, and enjoying, and the orchestra goes into "The Typewriter Song"
And all of a sudden, I get depressed.
Because it is occurring to me that as time passes, fewer and fewer people will have any awareness of what a typewriter is, much less what it sounds like.
Now, it won't matter for posterity's sake that nobody remembers Carmen Miranda. Jerry Lewis's miming of her is still hysterical without that knowledge.
There will always be Chairmen of the Boards.
You don't have to know Mario Lanza to find "Be My Love" hilarious.
But once Jerry Lewis goes, and not that much more time goes by, his ultimate pantomime, "The Typewriter Song", will be as extinct as the dodo bird.
Because NOBODY WILL KNOW WHAT A TYPEWRITER IS!
Except maybe for some younger people who watch "Madmen"
And even there, you don't even hear the sound of the keyboard that often.
So young people probably think that these are simply early computers.
Most comedy is timeless, and it's a drastic shame that Jerry Lewis doing "The Typewriter Song" won't be.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays", and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at email@example.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."