Posts Tagged Henny Youngman
A Confessional Review of David Mamet’s Homicide
Posted by Keith Spillett in Pointyheaded Highbrow Stuff on October 19, 2011
“A Grandma is at the shore in Florida with her little Grandson. The grandson is playing on the beach when a big wave comes and washes the kid out to sea. The lifeguards swim out, bring him back to the shore, the paramedics work on him for a long time, pumping the water out, reviving him. They turn to the Grandma and say, “We saved your grandson!” The Grandma says, “He had a hat!””
Bobby Gold was born to die a thousand slow deaths. His is the pain of a man without a country. Homicide is his confession. The confession of the man that can never be whole. He is the first through the door, the last to leave the gym. His mistakes must be rationalized or his coat of armor will become tin foil. He has an answer to every question even before you ask it, because he cannot afford to show an ounce of skin. He must convince them of his worth. He must be more than human or else they will see him. Then, they will know.
Bobby Gold, set to wander the desert into eternity. He must be exceptional or he is lost. He is the map of human misery. Bobby the Nomad. Every time he finds a river he drinks a mouthful of sand. He knows that you see him and he thinks you won’t let him forget it.
His is the story of the self-made man. What becomes of the self-made man when he stops creating? What if he gets tired? What if hasn’t the strength to work at the rate to which he has become accustomed? No one will catch him if his arms and legs cramp up. He knows this as surely as he knows how much time it will take him to get there 15 minutes early.
He looks around at people and instead sees the ocean. The ocean is still and never needs anything more than what is given. The ocean is a mystery to him. Who built it? How does it hide its shame? In his hands are a set of tools from which he must construct himself. From nothing. From the ground up. He must explain himself over and over. He recoils, overwhelmed by the fear that they’ll recognize the sadness in him. He explains and explains and explains never making the point that is so obvious to anyone who takes a moment to look. And he hopes his explanations will blind them to the truth. And he hopes they’ll see him and forgive his existence.
He looks enviously at those who have never had to work a day in their life to exist. Some people just wake up and “are”. He must invent. He must create. All of his actions reek of existential survival. Bobby is a reminder of how fast a man must run to not fall down. The faster he runs, the closer the oblivion he gets. It is gaining on him, always.
Bobby Gold, never to know the stillness and quiet of a dreamless sleep. Haunted by his visions of wholeness. Mocked by his own creations and talents. Bobby hears with a third ear. He is haunted by the stumbling footsteps of those who do not belong. The flesh on his neck stands at attention when he is near them. He doesn’t need files and he doesn’t need a map. He knows the look. He is blessed with the curse of understanding. As like is drawn to like, as “a dog goes back to its own vomit”, as pain seeks out pain. He is them and they are he. Outcasts. Alone in a crowded universe.
Bobby Gold, born to see what people pray to have the strength to ignore. Bobby the Outcast. Bobby the Obscure. Bobby the Stranger Among Strangers. Bobby the Donkey. Capable of so much, but unable to hide the absurdity of his being. Imploring the world to see him for what he does and not what he is. Doomed by the pain of the man who can never be more than he can build.
American Burlesque or I Just Flew In From Vaudeville and Boy Are My Arms Tired
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing, General Weirdness, The Politics Of Catastrophe on July 25, 2011
Last Christmas, my wife bought me one of those human cloning machines that they sell on TV for 129.99. At first, I didn’t have much of a use for it and it stayed in the back of my closet. However, I started getting some wacky ideas in June and began sending away for samples of the DNA of famous Borscht Belt comedians. I got an excellent mixture of Milton Berle, Shecky Greene, Mort Sahl, Buddy Hackett, Henny Youngman (his even came in a small violin case!) and a dash of Rodney Dangerfield. At a local DNA shop in downtown St. Paul, I purchased the DNA of several 1960s radicals like Huey P Newton, Abbie Hoffman and George McGovern.
Two days ago, I took all the DNA, threw it into the machine and, as per instruction, simmered for 12 hours. I just wanted to see what the combination would create. I wanted no trouble. What came out of the machine yesterday morning was beyond my worst nightmares. It was around 7 feet tall, had a cheap looking tuxedo and a blown out afro. It looked like a bizarre cross between Strom Thurmond and Julius Erving. It told me that it must find a club and do stand up comedy. I tried to stop it, but it tossed me aside and ran out the door. Minutes later, this creature burst into the VFW Hall located down the street from our home and began doing its routine for the 15 or so semi-drunken patrons. I was able to get there in time for the second half of the act. The following is a transcription of what took place.
Creature: What’s the difference between an American and a gorilla?
The gorilla won’t tell you it’s proud to be a gorilla.
Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.
Woman in the Audience: YOU SUCK!!!!
Creature: Thanks, you’re a dear. I wish I had my hunting license.
Man in the Audience: Get OFF THE STAGE, Idiot!
Creature: All right, all right! What has 600 million legs, over 1 million guns and an IQ under 70?
The American Public
Bartender: Shut UP! Please!!! I’ll call the police if you don’t get off of the stage!!!!!
Creature: How do you get 200 million Americans to vote?
Turn on American Idol
Thanks! Tip your servers!!!
Woman in the Audience: YOU SUCK!!!
Creature: Yeah, George W Bush, George W Bush…..The other day I asked Bush where’s the 20 dollars I loaned him. He said in the other room under the weapons of mass destruction. He went to get it and I never saw him again. But, hey, you re-elected him!!!! I LOVE THIS CROWD!!!!
Audience: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! (bottle smashes behind The Creature’s head)
Creature: What’s the best part of voting in Florida?
Knowing it won’t count
Take My Wife, Please!
Man in the audience: Come back when you’re funny!
Creature: Hey, I forgot you were all Americans. Do you want me to repeat any of these slowly?
Audience: BOO!!!!! (three more bottles smashed against the wall behind The Creature)
Creature: What do you call an American who works 60 hours a week in order to pay off 25,000 dollars in credit card debt?
Free! Ya get it! Free! You guys are the best crowd I’ve had in months!
Man in the Audience: (over a chorus of boos and bottles smashing) SHUT UP! We’ll tear your eyes out!!!!!
Creature: Ahhhhhh….what are you going to do? Invade Iraq again!
A mob of angry patrons began to storm the stage. I ran up and grabbed The Creature by the arm and pulled it out of the bar. A group of three raging men ran after us as we sprinted down the street. After a few blocks, they stopped chasing us. We were both exhausted and safe….for now.
I realized later that night that this creature simply couldn’t exist in our world. It was too jaded, too unwilling to accept compromise, too hateful, too cynical. I had created a monster that did not belong in today’s America. It was just going to cause trouble and incite riots wherever it went. I knew what I had to do. I crept into the room where The Creature was sleeping and pushed a pillow over its face. It struggled and screamed, but after a minute or two, it stopped thrashing around. I went back to my room, turned on the television and fell asleep. The problem had been solved.