Saturday Odds & Sods is back in all its punny glory. Hopefully, that’s a good thing for our readers. If you feel like heckling, cut me some slack, Jack. Life is hard in Debrisville right now.
My pitched battle with FedEx ended with the delivery of the new HP PC on which I’m writing this post. I’m still avoiding FedEx like the plague. I would only be in the same room with them if they double-masked and showed me their vaccine card. Repeat after me: in transit = in trailer.
I was so disgusted by the MSM’s coverage of Afghanistan that I’ve dialed back my cable news viewing. I’m down to The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell because he does not feel the need to hype every story to the limit. That’s why I called him The Last Sane Person On Cable News. Maddow used to be my fave until she morphed from smart ass to sob sister. I could not take the on-air sighing and hand-wringing that now characterizes her show. So it goes.
September has been Todd Rundgren and Utopia month at my house. Hence another Todd tune as this week’s theme song. It’s the title track of Utopia’s 1982 album, Swing To The Right. I reckon you figured that out already. I’m using reckon in the fancy British sense, not the hillbilly American sense. Does that make sense?
We have two versions of Swing To The Right for your listening pleasure: the studio original and Utopia live in Japan.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kasim Sulton on lead vocals.
You probably guessed that Todd is a librul based on the album cover and song title. You are correct, sir, he said in his best Ed McMahon impression.
Now that we’ve swung to the right, let’s jump to the break in utopian unison.
Todd borrowed the title of the next tune from the old Crosby-Hope flick Road To Utopia:
Here’s the trailer for the 1945 movie:
We begin our second act with a piece by one of my favorite Guardian columnists. She’s named after Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. I’m not sure why or for whom the bell tolls.
Frank Oz In Exile: Hadley Freeman conducted an extensive interview with Muppet superstar and crack movie director, Frank Oz. He played Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy as a Muppet and Yoda in the Star Wars series. He no longer muppetteers as Disney does not want him around. The malakatude, it burns.
The last word of the segment goes to Judy Garland and the Munchkins:
Before we say goodbye to this segment how about a little Elton John, Scarecrow?
I haven’t posted anything about the Master aka Gore Vidal in quite some time. Gore’s time has come again because of an article about one of his best novels in the Smithsonian.
Burr Revisited: Yeah, I know the article is dated 2016 but I didn’t see it until recently so cut me some slack, Jack. John Hanc takes a look at the Master’s great 1973 book, Burr. Why? The Hamilton craze. I have no idea what GV would have thought of the play and we’ll never know because he died in 2012.
The last word of our second act is obvious but I’m still going there.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Babe Ruth was a larger than life character: the Paul Bunyan of baseball. None of the movies about him have ever captured his on-field genius and his off-field flair.
Our first pairing is the Sultan of Swat with William Bendix who played him in 1948’s The Babe Ruth Story; a movie so bad that even Claire Trevor couldn’t save it.
In 1992, another fine actor was miscast as the Bambino. This time, my homey John Goodman.
Both movies were from hunger. The producers thought fat guy instead of oddly built guy. The Babe deserved better.
The Movie List: As I pondered this entry, I assumed that I’d done a Fritz Lang list. I had not.
Fritz Lang was a great director but not a nice man. He did, however, reject Goebbles’ offer to make big-budget Nazi epics. Instead, Lang fled to Hollywood where he made several anti-Nazi movies during the war.
My Top Ten Favorite Fritz Lang Movies
- The Big Heat
- The Woman In The Window
- The Blue Gardenia
- Human Desire
- Scarlet Street
- Man Hunt
- While The City Sleeps
Fritz Lang was such a great director that he was able to overcome the presence of the dullest movie star ever, Glenn Ford, in two movies on the list. Bill Holden would have been better in either flick. That’s my solution to all miscast 1950’s movies: William Fucking Holden.
Saturday GIF Horse: Have you ever wondered what Bob Hope and Bing Crosby looked like as skeletons? Me neither. Here they are anyway:
While we’re on the subject of bones, some cartoon skeletons:
The last word of this silly segment goes to the great Fats Waller.
One more Bones joke for the road:
I’m neither. Is that a problem?
Tweet Of The Week: There was a short-lived fire on the Superdome’s roof this week:
— Kelsey Davis (@KelseyDavisNews) September 21, 2021
That, in turn, inspired this bon mot;
I forget, when there’s black smoke coming from the roof of the dome does that mean there’s a new Pope?
— Hell Or Bywater (@HellOrBywater) September 21, 2021
I considered stealing that joke, but HellOrBywater is a hardcore Todd Rundgren fan. We gotta stick together.
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
Saturday Classic: I keep making Road To Utopia jokes so here’s the album from whence it came. Or is that which? Perhaps I should ask Senor Wences.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in (what else?) The Road To Utopia: