Sunday, October 2, 2011

Still dragging my tail feathers

I have bunch of personal things to catch up with, so today is another abbreviated posting, hopefully I'll be back on my game later this week.

Today in History:
Three of the past century's finest comedians were born on October 2:

Groucho Marx (1890),

Bud Abbott (1895),

and Mahatma Gandhi (1869).

Groucho and Abbott were funny enough, but they pale beside the towering comic greatness of Gandhi. "Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind," he once quipped: "It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

That a humorist capable of such scathing sarcastic wit should have sullied himself with politics is regrettable, but not much worse than Jesus having gotten into religion.

It should also be remembered that for most of Gandhi's life the Indian subcontinent was occupied by the British, and that for the first few formative decades of his existence the British were ruled by a queen who was famously unamused. Gandhi went to extraordinary lengths to amuse Queen Victoria. It was only decades after her death that his genius came to full flower, however, and one can only hope she was amused posthumously.

(Eventually the British realized they didn't get Gandhi's jokes and withdrew from India to develop Monty Python.)

October 2, 1950 -
The comic strip Peanuts, created by Charles Schulz, debuted in nine newspapers with the characters of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Patty and Sherman. It is now the most-read comic strip in the world.

And yet, Charlie still hasn't kicked that damn football.

October 2, 1955 -
Revenge, the very first story on the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show premieres on this date.

The sponsors, who had great influence regarding the presentation of the show, insisted that for the episodes ending with the perpetrator "getting away with a crime", Alfred Hitchcock provide a statement in his closing monologue that would assure audiences that justice was served.

October 2, 1959 -
...This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area that might be called The Twilight Zone.

Where is Everybody? the first episode of the anthology series The Twilight Zone premiered on this date

Rod Serling thought he had come up with the term "Twilight Zone" on his own (he liked the sound of it), but after the show aired he found out that it is an actual term used by Air Force pilots when crossing the day / night sides above the world.

And so it goes

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