Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Strange bedfellows

Kathy Griffin posted this photo to her Facebook account and wrote

Anybody recognize the guy peaking his head out at the far right edge of the frame? Surprise! We are pals. Or frenemies😎🥰😎#ImpeachmentHearings

She's talking about George Conway, who, I am convinced is the anonymous author of "A Warning" along with his wife Kellyanne and possibly other members of the Trump administration. It's not as crazy as it sounds - it would certainly explain why the Conways haven't divorced. 

I recognize the woman on the left of this photo, E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of rape and is suing him.  Next to her is, I think, Molly Jong Fast, daughter of Erica Jong. And I recognize Michael Ian Black in the back. But who is the standing directly in front of Black - IS THAT PAUL KRUGMAN???

What an interesting collection of people in this photo.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Some fun, and some not so, facts about the clean old man

Paul McCartney, Wilfred Brambell
I just watched the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" recently and became curious about whatever happened to the guy who played Paul's Irish maternal grandfather in the movie.

So after googling Wilfrid Brambell I discovered that he was 52 years old when he played Paul's grandfather. 52! It boggles the mind. 

McCartney's mother Mary would have been 55 at the time the film was made, if she hadn't died in 1956.

Paul's actual maternal grandfather, Owen Mohin was also Irish but was born in 1880 so would have been 84 when A Hard Day's Night was made. I assume he was dead by 1964 but couldn't find anything online about when he died. I didn't really look all that hard.

Wilfrid Brambell, who died in 1985 at 72 was a complete alcoholic and gay:
In 1962, he was arrested in a toilet in Shepherd's Bush for persistently importuning and given a conditional discharge
The contemporary NYTimes review of the HDN by Bosley Crowther said:
With practically nothing substantial in the way of a story to tell — nothing more than a loosely strung fable of how the boys take under their wings the wacky old grandfather of one of them while preparing for a London television show—it discovers a nifty little satire in the paradox of the old man being more of a problem, more of "a troublemaker and a mixer," than the boys."'e's a nice old man isn't "e?," notes one of the fellows when they first meet Granddad on a train. And another replies, with courteous unction, which parodies the standard comment about the Beatles themselves, '"e's very clean."This line, which runs through the picture, may be too subtle for the happily squealing kids who will no doubt be its major audience, but the oldsters may profitably dig.
But there was more to the "clean old man" schtick than just a generational gap. Apparently it was a nod to a British TV character played by Brambell on a TV series Steptoe and Son which was the inspiration for Sanford and Son:
A constant thread throughout the series was Albert being referred to by Harold as a "dirty old man"; for example, when he was eating pickled onions while taking a bath, and retrieving dropped ones from the bathwater. 
So after all these years I finally get the "clean old man" bit from Hard Day's Night. Yah learn something new every day.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Hot Young Comedians

Hot young Daniel Sloss
I discovered who Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss is today by way of The Atlantic story Daniel Sloss Shows How Comedians Should Talk About Rape.

It was an intriguing premise for an article but also, to be honest, there was a photo of Sloss in the article and I thought he was very cute.

And then I found images of him when he was ten years younger. WOW. He's like a cross between  young Malcolm McDowell and young Ewan McGregor. But funnier.

His hair is much shorter now. Why don't more men wear their hair long? They usually look so much sexier.

It made me think of Stewart Lee, one of the most brilliant comedians around.

Lee, whose biological father is Scottish, is 51 and is OK looking, for his age, but when he was in his 20s, he was very hot. 

I also thought of Sloss and Lee together because Sloss gave a mostly-serious TED talk in 2012 in which he defends comedians being offensive by using the standard  "just a joke" defense. 

Hot young Stewart Lee
One of the reasons why I think Stewart Lee is so brilliant is because he was able to critique that defense while being incredibly funny doing it, in his infamous Top Gear bit.

Lee introduces himself as a "frustrated, bitter, politically-correct middle-aged liberal" and I think Lee, more than anybody, demonstrates that you can be hysterically funny and politically correct.

But I am looking forward to seeing Sloss talk about rape.

It's hard to believe now, but even Louis CK was once fairly hot. When he had hair.

It's not all comedians who go so precipitously downhill - Jon Stewart is still handsome - it helps he still has an almost full head of hair.