Sunday, June 29, 2008

George Burns On The Likelihood That W. C. Fields Was Really An Alcoholic:

JD's quotes:

~ One classy monologist, George Burns.

To me, one of the most likable entertainers to ever live was George Burns. The only problem I ever had with him was his irrational penchant for Al Jolson...very irrational. Anyway, I just finished the charming book that George wrote called 100 Years, 100 Stories. The book is George's look back on 100 fairly short show business stories that he had probably repeated to countless people. This is a perfect light reading excursion. I doubt any of the stories take up more than three pages but they're fun. Mr. Burns covers a lot of territory from Groucho Marx annoying George with his amazing stamina for telling the same joke over and over again, to clean sex talk via coffee euphemisms. Here are 10 quotes that I thought I'd share:

1. George on height and anatomy, engaging in frequent name dropping sessions, mentions:

''I never realized how short Dudley Moore was until I saw him dance with Dolly Parton. He looked like he had three heads.''

2. George reflects on his career life before his perfect comic cohort, Gracie Allen came along:

''Before I teamed up with Gracie, I was pretty bad. I had to change my name every week. I couldn't get a job with the same name twice.''

3. George on life's funny deformities:

''Now, Dolores was a pretty girl, except for one thing: she was very bowlegged. Every time she sat down, it looked as if somebody had stolen her cello.''

4. George on whether or not his dear friend and certainly one of my favorite comedic minds of all time- W. C. Fields- was really and truly all that serious a drinker:

''He always wore a specially made vest with pockets that held small bottles filled with martinis. I invited him over to have dinner with Gracie and me one night, and when he came into my bar I had the gin, vermouth, olives, and ice lined up for him. He went to the door, removed his vest, and hollered to his chauffeur, ''Clarence, my good man, you may take this vest. I'm getting my libations from another source.'' ''

5. George on fellow icon Carl Reiner's understanding of bald humor:

''One day, just before lunch, he came up to me a little worried and said, ''George, I'm in trouble. I'm supposed to speak at a luncheon today at the Sportsmen's Lodge, and I forgot my toupee. Can I borrow yours?''

''Of course, Carl, what are friends for?'' So he put on my toupee and left. When he returned I asked him, ''How did your speech go, Carl?''

''Your hair was a riot,'' he said.''

6. George on his unusual history of drug use:

''Now, at this concert some of the kids were smoking grass, so I thought I'd try it. I pulled out a handful of grass, pushed it into my cigar holder, and lit it. It was nothing. The fertilizer was murder!

7. George continuing on his history with drugs, after unwittingly being invited to an, ahem, chemically enhanced party:

''I was hardly in the door when one of the guests came up to me and said, ''George, have you got any junk on you?''

I said, ''No, I give it all to the Salvation Army.'' ''

8. George on his continuing evening at that same party, still supposedly oblivious:

''Later at dinner, this attractive young girl sitting next to me leaned over and said, ''George, do you ever use uppers?''

I said, ''What for? I've got my own teeth.'' ''

9. George on the claim that he still wasn't grasping the situation by the end of his evening:

''At the end of the meal, out came a bowl of white powder, surrounded by a lot of little silver spoons. Well, I like my coffee sweet, so I put in three or four spoonfuls. The next thing I knew, the host was showing me to the door.''

10. George on Gracie's appreciation for his lovemaking prowess:

''She said, ''George, I can't sleep. Make me laugh.'' So I made love to her, and she laughed.''

There you have it. Get a hold of a copy of George's book for the full stories, you won't regret it.

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historylover said...

That's some good stuff.

Fitzgerald said...

Funny stuff, I have to add you to my blog roll.

JD and Lucy said...

Hey, thanks for the add Fitz! I just added you too. Lucy directed me to your blues blog also. I enjoyed it.