Sunday, March 30, 2008

"So, what do you do for a living?"

An easily answered question, but in 1950, producer Mark Goodson answered the question most eloquently with a pioneering panel show called "What's My Line?". For seventeen years, and another seven in syndication, a parade of people with the widest variety of jobs you could imagine passed by a panel of four whose job it was to ask questions to find out what they did. "No" responses caused the questioner to lose his or her turn; ten "No"'s and the contestant won $50.

In 1975, ABC (of all networks, since "WML" remained CBS property) mounted a 25th anniversary special for the show, featuring Mark Goodson, panelist Arlene Francis, and original host John Daly. Thanks to the good offices of Mike Klauss, you can see this special. Part 1 is embedded below, and you can easily get to the other eight parts from there. Enjoy.

On the same subject, J. Keith van Straaten is currently mounting his What's My Line Live Onstage show in New York City on Monday evenings - check it out!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pat In '08!

Pat Paulsen is running for president again,, in spite of his current status.

Mets No-Hitter Watch Update!

Fervent as we are in our desire to see one New York Mets pitcher toss a no-hitter, we've found an entire website devoted to it... No No-Hitters has blithely taken up the mantle. Wish they would have given a little credit to us for originating the idea, though.

UPDATED: We put our counter back. What if goes down? Then you can come here for it. Regardless, tomorrow the season starts. What better way for Johan Santana to begin his Mets career than a no-hitter against the Marlenes?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Plea for Donors

An old friend of mine from back in the days of BIX needs your help.

Emru Townsend, who with Harry McCracken was one of the moderators of the BIX animation conference, also editor of FPS Magazine, and now a technology blogger for PC World's website, has been diagnosed with leukemia. A complicating condition called "monosomy 7" does not guarantee that the cancer will be completely gone, even with successful chemo.

Bottom line is that Emru needs a bone marrow transplant, and there are not enough black donors in the bone marrow registry (Emru is black) to ensure a match from existing donors.

Although Emru's best chance at a match comes from anyone who shares his ethnicity, I would urge you to join a registry, no matter your color. It is quick and (almost) as painless as getting a blood test. Chances are, you may be a match for Emru.

I would urge you to visit and see how you can help.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Clampett vs. The World

About ten years before he died, Bob Clampett seemed to be everywhere, promoting (and some say puffing up) his role in creating the Warner Bros. cartoons, wearing those jackets Sody made for him and that Roy Orbison haircut. And all the other creators were up in arms.

None was more so literate on the matter than Chuck Jones. And one day in 1975, as Clampett-soaked projects like "Bugs Bunny Superstar" and "Camera Three: The Boys From Termite Terrace" clogged the psyche of adolescent cartoon fans, he decided to vent to Tex Avery. (Tex, by the way, would have celebrated his 100th birthday last week.) Jim Engel, longtime cartoon and comics fan, has scanned a copy of the letter with Tex's notations on Scott Shaw!'s Oddball Cartoons website. It's interesting reading and you get a good picture of the cameraderie most of the WB cartoonists shared. You've read the excerpts, now get the whole picture.