;

TUESDAY, April 27, 2010

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LAFFS From The PAST    From Our Issue Dated April 4, 2000

GOP Congressional bigwigs rejected a Clinton sponsored plan that would insure that organ transplants would go first to those needing them most.  So much for their so-called "compassionate transplantationism."

Newt and Marianne Gingrich have reached an amicable divorce settlement which will be presented to the Georgia court.  She gets the house, the car and the dogs and he gets the gavel collection, the treadmill and the Super-8 Motel discount coupons he used for mistress trysts during Clinton’s impeachment hearings.
      
London police have arrested a man believed to have stolen the Nazi encoding machine used to send top-secret messages during WW II.   The arrest was carried out with chilling efficiency near Scotland Yard by two OSS officers while a third stood nearby playing a zither.

The family of Joe DiMaggio says a plan to name a San Francisco park after the Yankee Clipper isn't enough and that the Bay Bridge would be a more fitting memorial.  A third group says renaming the Mr. Coffee in honor of the diamond wizard would be more than sufficient.
 

Six hundred people are marching from Charlston to Columbia, South Carolina to pressure the state legislature to remove the Confederate flag from atop the state capitol. For the uninitiated, the out-of-staters are the ones wearing shoes.

Until next time, I leave you with the immortal words of Jules Verne's publisher who said, "We love the book, but ‘How Deep Is The Ocean’ sounds too much like a song."
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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 111)

Actors either like to rehearse or they don’t. Hope didn’t. He felt that over-rehearsing could dull the precise timing and spontaneity that comedy requires. Hope’s propensity to under-rehearse no doubt prevented many guests who preferred more preparation from making return appearances.  Hope’s aversion to rehearsing led to the oft-heard criticism of his television performances — his obvious reliance on cue cards. He was aware, of course, that the audience often caught him glancing off camera to pick up the words being held up by Barney McNulty and his crew positioned in as many as four locations around the set’s perimeter. But for Hope, the alternative — memorizing lines — would have been impractical.  As far as Hope was concerned, appearing on TV wasn’t his primary occupation — appearing live on stage from one end of the country to the other was. He used television as a promotional tool — just a way of keeping the Hope brand in the public eye. As a result, the specials always took a backseat. If Hope was stuck at an airport in Keokuk, preparations for the show simply proceeded without him. When a physical presence was required, his longtime stand-in, Alan Kalm, a former actor Hope had worked with on Broadway, performed the honors. Alan was a real character. He had also been Bing Crosby’s stand-in and inherited Bing’s used toupees, which Alan still wore. Viewed from behind, you’d swear he was Bing.  Alan was yet another example of someone Hope helped whom he had known before he was a star. Property manager Al Borden was another; so was casting director Onnie Morrow.  Often, when Hope’s schedule conflicted, the guests were compelled to rehearse without him; they were assured that he would miraculously appear by the time the little red light on the camera flickered to life.  Hope believed that allowing his guests too many rehearsals would give them more time to come up with objections to their lines. Ideally, he preferred to hand them their script just before the first read-through where the actors sit at a long table and recite their lines precisely as they appear in the script. We stood by in case new lines were needed — heaven forbid. It’s at this point that our guests had the opportunity to voice any
reservations about their lines, but because of Hope’s “living legend” status, few ever did. A nice perk for us, to be sure.

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HONOLULU (AP) - To avoid hefty fines imposed by the FAA, airlines must allow passengers delayed on the tarmac over three hours to deplane.  Ever alert to innovative marketing opportunities, Aloha Airlines will debut their new $29 “Luau Special” -- “Maui Margaritas” served in cocoanut shells, poi in mango leaves, and a pig roasted in one of the engines.  

LONDON (BBC) - The 95,000 scheduled flights canceled over the past week have cost the airline industry an estimated $2 billion and stranded passengers at air terminals all over Europe.  Now the question being asked by travel lawyers worldwide is, “Who should pay?”  So far, the legal consensus seems to be -- Toyota.

GARNER, IOWA (AP) - Elizabeth Rasmunson designed and made her own prom dress out of 500 foil wrappers from sticks of Wrigley’s chewing gum.  When Elizabeth failed to return home on time, her panicked parents called school officials who found her stuck under a metal folding chair in the gym where the prom was held.

SEATTLE (BBC) - Rocker Courtney Love, lead singer with Hole and widow of Kurt Cobain, has petitioned the court to change her name, telling reporters “We don’t like her anymore.”  From now on she’d like to be called either “Courtney Infatuation” or Courtney “Smitten.”

DALLAS (AP)  While 20,000 football fans looked on, a 10-year old boy who’d won an essay contest, had the honor of throwing the switch that leveled the once-heralded domed-home of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Stadium. Broadcast on CNN, Iraqis crowded around their sets, anxious to watch Americans blow up something of their own.
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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 54)

Hope thought that my background as a former lawyer was an interesting angle that might help promote the specials. So he had NBC’s publicist send out a detailed bio with photos inviting newspaper columnists to use me as a subject. When requests came in, Hope’s publicist, Ken Kantor, would set up phone interviews, scheduling them just prior to a show’s air date.  I did eight or ten interviews a season and appeared in papers ranging from the Washington Post to the San Diego Union, and in magazines like The American Bar Association Journal and Writers Digest. As it turned out, I was way ahead of my time. Today, you need a law degree from Harvard even to land an interview for a writing job on Saturday Night Live.  I was always happy to promote the specials, and in the fall of 1978, Hope asked me to help an old friend who had a late-night talk show on the radio in Florida. I thought he meant one of my regular telephone interviews, but this time, instead of working from home, I’d be on the air live from his house in Toluca Lake. To an inveterate ham, it sounded like fun. And I wouldn’t have to wear makeup. When I arrived around quarter of seven (the show would begin at ten in the East), Gig was already there. Hope’s buddy, working without an engineer, had patched a telephone hookup to the studio in Miami and had set up the microphones on a small table in Hope‘s gatehouse. In his horn-rimmed glasses and white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, he looked more like an accountant or an insurance salesman than a radio personality.  His gruff New York accent made him sound more like a cab driver than someone making his living on the radio.  He began the interview, and soon, Gig and I were taking calls from listeners asking the usual questions about working with Hope . About a half-hour into the program, Hope came down from the main house and quietly slipped in through the gatehouse door. He waited until there was a cutaway for a commercial and said, “Well, how are the boys doing?”  “Great, Bob. I’ll introduce you next.”  Then Hope turned to us and said, “I see you’ve met Larry King.”

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HOLLYWOOD (BBC) - Saddled with $4 billion in unpaid debts, M.G.M. has suspended production on its 23rd James Bond picture which had been scheduled for release in 2011.  Preliminary work had already begun on “The Man With the Golden Putter,” in which Agent 007 pits his mistresses against those of the evil Dr. Woodfinger.    

LEXINGTON, KY (AP) - The Colonel’s new “Double Down” sandwich contains 1/3 pound of beef and melted American cheese nestled between two deep-fried chicken filets.  For 99 cents more, you can get the “Double Down DF” which includes a portable heart defibrillator with two all-beef paddles.

TULSA, OK (AP) - Teens at Jenks High School arrived at their senior prom in a rented limousine that was immediately repossessed by the bank for the owner’s failure to make payments.  On a more positive note, the repo man’s girl friend driving the tow truck was chosen Prom Queen of  “A Starlit Night to Remember.”



WINNIPEG (AP) - Churchill High School teachers Adeil Ahmed and Chrystie Fitchner were fired for performing a simulated lap dance that included an approximation of oral sex during a student pep rally.  They claimed they were just celebrating Manitoba’s traditional “Fallatio Festival,” which marks the final snowstorm of winter.     

BERKELEY, CA (AP) - 7-Eleven stores nationwide are debuting their own house brand of “Game Day” beer that the company claims  “offers exceptional quality at a value price.”  As an added bonus, the bullet-proof cans come in handy during holdups.   
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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 182)

 


There were few countries in the world where Bob Hope could walk down the street and not be recognized and, as we learned shortly after arriving in the Chinese capital in 1979, the PRC was one of them. Aside from the officials assigned to oversee our every activity, no one in the city had a clue as to who the 77-year old American comedian was. The average Chinese on the street, either on foot or pedaling a bicycle, had never seen a movie, much less one with Hope in it. At first, Hope enjoyed the anonymity that he hadn’t experienced since he’d become famous. He’d often corral Gig and me to join him on long after-dinner walks through the industrial neighborhoods near downtown where most of our taping was done. He could stroll along freely, unhindered by the curious celebrity-watchers so common back home. We’d stop and peer past dusty parking lots that looked like bicycle burial grounds into assembly plants whose machines ran twenty-four hours a day, operated by hundreds of peasants — men and women all dressed alike in white shirts, gray pants and black cloth slippers. Three shifts, around-the-clock in decrepit-looking buildings that boasted Peking’s version of air-conditioning — permanently open windows. We didn’t spot any Nike labels, but only because China had not yet become the land of the American basketball-shoe.  After several weeks of this nightly routine, we noticed that Hope was growing uncomfortable with his newfound anonymity. Where were the milling throngs — the adoring, autograph-seeking fans? Adrift in a sea of blank stares — glazed unknowing l eyes — he was starting to realize that all he had was us!  But we were still in Peking.  “When we get to Shanghai, the people there will know me,” Hope would say, believing that his English birth would hold him in good stead in British-influenced Shanghai.  He was correct in one respect. Shanghai did look a lot more like London.  Both the architecture and the rich mahogany interiors stood in stark contrast to the sterile marble so much in evidence in Russian-influenced Peking. But, alas, the good citizens of Shanghai were no more familiar with that famous profile than those in the capital had been.  One early evening, while scouting locations in Shanghai’s shopping district, our small group had been walking with Hope for several blocks.  It was obvious that we were noticed by hundreds of passersby, but only as visiting Westerners.  Then from around a corner materialized a group of squealing teenagers waving what appeared to be autograph books. As they ran toward us, Hope said, “You chaps go on ahead, and I’ll catch-up after I take care of these —” The girls rushed past him and into a department store that looked to be having a sale on Junior Miss kimonos. They were waving coupon books.  Watching them rush by him, Hope looked slightly embarrassed.  “Well, Bob,” I said, “now you know how it feels to be a nobody.”  Without breaking stride, he shot back, “How do you stand it?”

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VATICAN CITY (AP) - During his Sunday address to the faithful in Vatican Square, Pope Benedict XVI apologized to ten priest sexual-abuse victims.  He then stared ahead stoically  on the giant Vati-vision screen as Tiger Wood’s father grilled him about “What were you thinking?” 

NEW YORK (AP) - Former TV host turned musician John Tesh tells Kitty Kelley in her new book "Oprah: A Biography," that he once dated Oprah but they broke up because of the stigma of interracial marriage.   Not according to Oprah who says they split because she thought elevators would become less popular and destroy his career.

PHOENIX, AZ (AP) - To demonstrate his desire to win back his wife, Sandra Bullocks’ estranged husband Jesse James checked himself into a sexual addiction clinic.  And to show he really means it, he’s had Roger Ebert’s favorable review of “The Blind Side” tattooed on his back.

MANHATTAN, NY (BBC) - On October 5, 1789, President George Washington borrowed two books from the New York Society Library and never returned them, making them 10,215 days overdue.  Good luck collecting the fine.  He checked them out under an assumed name -- Patrick Henry.   

PHOENIX, AZ (AP) -  Attempting to reduce the environmental impact of prison inmates, Arizona has adapted a program requiring convicts to generate the electricity needed to power their TVs hooked up to an exercise bike.  From now on, Death Row inmates who opt for the electric chair will have something constructive to do instead of just sitting there. 

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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 33)

While Hope sketches were broad, farcical and in the opinion of some, too silly, he had definite ideas about how he wanted them played. Most of the guests followed his directions to the letter, but once in awhile he’d run into a problem case — one like former model Susan Anton.  Susan was cast on one of our football specials as a scientist hired by the NFL to test the safety of the equipment. Hope answers her want ad for a guinea pig and is put through a series of punishing tests. Susan was going with British actor Dudley Moore at the time, and he was never far away during rehearsal. During the read-through, Hope had warned Susan not to laugh at her own lines while putting him through the wringer — literally. In one sequence, he’s in a stretching “machine” we had designed like a magician’s trick. Following our diagram, the prop department built a box with hidden shelves and dummy pants, legs and shoes that would appear to belong to Hope.  But despite his advice, Susan insisted on injecting a series of giggles before, during and after every one of her lines. Bad enough during rehearsal, but later in front of an audience, her giggling if anything, increased.  Repeatedly, Hope stopped the taping, called her off to the side and whispered instructions. Then she’d go over to Dudley who’d give her more tips — apparently to keep up the good work.  Finally, Hope surrendered and finished the sketch, hoping that Susan’s delivery could be fixed in post. But no amount of editing could save her performance, and we lost a perfectly serviceable eight-minute sketch — not to mention an opportunity to introduce the world to a human stretching machine that would have made Dick Cheney proud.

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__________________________________
[]   LISTEN FREE!  Now you can hear THE LAUGH MAKERS read by the author each week on line.  Bob's show "Inside Television" on the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service for the Sight Impaired is airing the audio version through June each Tuesday at 0820 to 0900 PDT.  Just access the web page www.LARRS.org and enter the password "independence."  It's 40 minutes of THE LAUGH MAKERS with no commercials!
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LONDON (AP) - A huge cloud of volcanic ash from beneath an Icelandic glacier is sweeping  across the skies of Europe, causing the cancellation of all transatlantic flights indefinitely.  Scientists have estimated the amount of harmful particulates in the air to be about the same as that unleashed by 25 million San Fernando Valley gardeners with leaf blowers. 
   

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Both Larry King, 76, and his wife Shawn, 50, have filed suit to end their 13-year marriage.  He's alleging “irreconcilable differences” and she, “irreconcilable ages.”  She seeks sole custody of their kids, while he wants permanent custody of the suspenders.

LIMA, PERU (BBC) - An international team of scientists from the University of Peru has discovered a new species of blood-sucking leech with large teeth and small genitalia that can attach itself to both animals and humans and live off them for months.  Scientists describe the Tyrannobdella rex as a cross between Cato Kaelin and Jesse James.  

VATICAN CITY (AP) - An embattled Pope Benedict XVI took time off from his ongoing problems to celebrate his 83rd birthday on Friday at an impromptu party thrown by several cardinals that included ice cream, cake, a pinata stuffed with subpoenas and a party clown who turned out to be a process server.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Complaining that the media never took her campaign seriously, former porn starlet Stormy Daniels has withdrawn her bid for a U.S. Senate seat.  A 2007 sex scandal that arose when the incumbent David Vitter’s name was found on a madam’s list of Johns prompted Stormy to toss her G-string in the ring.  
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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 175)

During our month-long visit to China in 1979, we were allowed to shop during our visit but — officially — only at government-sponsored retail outlets for tourists called “Freedom Stores.”  Here the prices were set and clearly marked. No dickering. Even so, they were reasonable, and I brought home three good-quality wool rugs which still serve admirably.  Longing for a little more adventure, one afternoon Don, Gig and I slipped away from our guide for a couple of hours. In a narrow alley about a mile from the hotel, we discovered a small antique shop, obviously not intended for tourists. The musty interior was piled high with artifacts from estate-sales — rugs, furniture, household utensils, silverware, paintings, photos, lamps, vases, family stamps called chops made of marble or ivory and decorated with dragons, lions, monkeys and other characters from China’s ancient mythology. More items made of ivory — chopsticks, statuary, and finely-carved jewelry. Up a narrow flight of stairs was the clothing — kimonos, men’s suits, jackets, caps, sandals, shoes — all in a pile that said it hadn’t been disturbed in years.  Hanging on one wall of the dimly lit mezzanine, almost unnoticed, were old costumes retired from the Peking Opera — multicolored capes, pantaloons, garments weighted down with gold embroidery. Here was a treasure trove that foreigners weren’t supposed to find! We felt like Sydney Greenstreet stumbling upon the Maltese Falcon. We made a few purchases and headed back to the hotel. 

That night over dinner, we mentioned our find to Mikhail Baryshnikov — Mischa to his friends, thank you — and he went giddy with excitement. Peking Opera costumes? Authentic ones? Immediately we had to draw him a detailed map so he could check them out next day.  A few days later, Mischa’s manager asked me if I’d be willing to lend his client some money. He had run out of cash and he had arranged to buy five of the costumes for around $300 apiece. I said, “Like I’m gonna lend money to a Russian defector who’s in show business? This is a joke, right?”  Actually, I had about tapped out too, but suggested he ask our production cashier, Wil Oborn — we were issued a daily per diem in yuan — for an advance.  I’m told the five priceless costumes are now on display in his Manhattan brownstone.

Order your copy of The Laugh Makers online:
 
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 __________________________________

[]   LISTEN FREE!  Now you can hear THE LAUGH MAKERS read by the author each week on line.  Bob's show "Inside Television" on the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service for the Sight Impaired is airing the audio version through June each Tuesday at 0820 to 0900 PDT.  Just access the web page www.LARRS.org and enter the password "independence."  It's 40 minutes of THE LAUGH MAKERS with no commercials!
__________________________________



 
LAFFS From the PAST        From our issue dated April 5, 2000

Private investors have launched a plan to save the Mir space station, abandoned by the
Russians, by sending two cosmonauts to refurbish it.   They'll spend their first week removing the graffiti and replacing the broken windows.

The Maine Legislature has voted to rename everything in the state containing the word "squaw."  If the trend catches on in California, the rich and famous may soon be skiing at Indian's Wife Valley.

Doctors now advise against teaching swimming to children under four.  If that rule is ever extended to mental age, Baywatch is finished.

Lufthansa aircraft will soon carry handcuffs for use in restraining unruly passengers.  If they prove popular, they'll add whips and chains and inaugurate their new “Kinky Class.”

Logging companies and off-road vehicle enthusiasts are leading the opposition to Clinton's
plan to protect 400,000 acres of Southern California, home to giant redwoods.  Just as well. SUV owners should restrict their use to that for which they were designed -- exploring upscale supermarket parking lots.

Until next time, I leave you with the immortal words of UN Secretary General Butros Butros Ghali who, when asked if he was born in Bora Bora, Pago Pago or Walla Walla, replied "Minneapolis-St. Paul."
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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 257)



     But even with our problems in Stockholm, I do have one a great memory of the trip.  One night, after a long day of rehearsing, we returned to the hotel around nine o’clock. It was about 40 degrees below outside, and there was a nice fire going in the lounge, so Glen Campbell asked Gene and me if we’d like to join him for a nightcap. There was a fairly good jazz quartet — drums, two guitars, bass — that played there every night. We had noticed them before but were always too busy to stop. We sat at the bar for a few minutes and were recalling our day in Birdseye-ville when one of the guitar players asked Glen if he’d like to sit in for a number.
     Usually, professional musicians hesitate to take anyone up on an offer like that since it’s what they do for a living and is a little like asking Picasso to sketch something on a bar napkin. But Glen isn’t your usual pro. He loves to practice chords with his own guitar and often does — in airport lounges, television studio dressing rooms, and maybe even while showering.  Glen just loves the guitar. I suspect the guy in the quartet was a big fan, knew this, and also knew that Glen would have a hard time turning him down. 
     He was right. “Okay, just one number.” Glen took the instrument, fine-tuned a couple of strings and began picking the melody of “A Foggy Day” — the house musicians were British.
Now the bartender is on the phone — “You’re not gonna believe this... “ in Swedish, of course, but you could tell what he was saying by the excitement in his voice. Several couples who had been sitting in the lobby drifted in and took a table near the bandstand. As other guests arrived,
they could see and hear that something special was occurring in the bar.  
     Nobody headed upstairs and nobody left. Glen, as usual, was doing some astounding riffs. I asked him once how he got so damn good, and he said that as a kid, he would dream guitar chords and play them as soon as he woke up. That, my friends, is genetic. Even the owner of the guitar Glen was playing couldn’t believe the sounds he was getting out of it. Glen’s “one number” was soon three and then five. The crowd had grown to thirty or forty people — some sitting, some standing, all mesmerized.  When he finally handed the Gibson back to its owner, the applause was enough to wake up guests in their rooms who had missed Glen’s impromptu concert.
     It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments you just never forget.

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LONDON (BBC) - Charged on the floor of Parliament with "premature sexualization and unprincipled advertising," clothing chain Primark has withdrawn the sale of its falsie-equipped bikini tops for girls as young as seven.  The suit came in two models:  the candy pink  “Roman Polanski” and the black and white polka-dotted “Parish Priest.”
 

LOS ANGELES (BBC) - Putting a bit of a damper on the LA Dodgers opening day 9-5 win over Arizona, team security officials broke up the traditional pre-game parking lot tailgate parties, prompting loud complaints from long-time regulars.  Most suspected the raid was timed to drive customers to Tommy Lasorda’s new “O Solo Mio Pizza, Pasta, Salad & Discount Armani Suits” kiosk beside the players entrance.

LOS ANGELES (BBC) - Twenty-three year old personal assistant Kayden Nguyen has sued actor Steven Seagal for sexual harassment, claiming he used her as a “sex toy.”   Steven has counter-sued Kayden, claiming she failed to warn him that some assembly was required and that he would have to provide the batteries.

PORTLAND, ORE. (BBC) - A jury found the Boy Scouts of America negligent and awarded $1.4 million to a scout who was sexually abused by a Scout Troop leader who was a well-known  pedophile.  On a brighter note for the sex offender, he’s been invited by the Vatican to discuss his possible priestly vocation.  

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The bank holding the Octomom’s mortgage has given her another  six months to come up with the missed payments before eviction proceedings will be commenced.  County Welfare officials don’t hold out much hope and have already begun searching for a larger shoe in a less upscale neighborhood.  



HOLLYWOOD (AP) - Putting damper on rumors that have swirled around her for weeks, Elizabeth Taylor told reporters that she is not about to marry a ninth husband named Jason Winters.  Seems the rumors got started after a misunderstanding during a “Bride’s Magazine” interview when Liz was reviewing the short list of men she never married that included Jason Alexander and Jonathan Winters.

LUQA, MALTA (BBC) -  Mayor John Schembri has demanded the removal of a large sculpture depicting a male reproductive organ that  will be visible to Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit, calling it “vulgar and embarrassing.“  Worse, the male appendage could violate copyrights on a similar symbol used in Vatican-sponsored anti-birth control ads.


CAIRO (BBC) - Archeologists digging in the Bahariya Oasis unearthed a well-preserved mummy of a woman dating to the seventh century, Egypt’s period of Roman rule, dressed in a tunic, head scarf, necklace, bracelet and shoes.   Based on several past due sales slips from Neiman-Marcus Aurelius, the body is believed to be Princess Choptl-u-dhrop, second wife of Emperor Bloomingdalius.      

NEW YORK (BBC) -  In a direct challenge to Apple’s i-Phone, Microsoft has launched their new “Kin” phone targeting the young teen wedded to social networking and instant access to Facebook, Twitter and My Space.  Expected to become a “must have” among the bubble-gumsters, it offers a “Sarah Palin” app that allows the user to instantly post palm-written notes to the internet.


AUGUSTA (AP) - Dan Jenkens, 80 year-old columnist for Golf Digest Magazine, apologized to his readers for telling a reporter at the Masters over the weekend that “I think we ordered dinner from K.J. Choi last night.”  He would have seemed a lot more sincere, though, if he hadn’t arrived at the clubhouse in a rickshaw.  

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From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 239)

 
During our five-day shooting schedule at West Point, most of the cast and crew were
assigned rooms in the Hotel Thayer, a comfortable, old, ivy-covered building on the Academy grounds that’s used primarily to house visiting family members.  It had recently received national publicity when it became the first U.S. stop for the Iranian hostages immediately following their release. It was an eerie feeling to gaze out of my fourth floor window at the historic brownstone buildings of the Point, ringed by cannon guarding the banks of the Hudson, knowing that scarcely a week before, the scene had been someone’s first look at American soil after over a year in captivity. I felt so insignificant. I was merely being held hostage by a dictatorial comedian who only acted like the Ayatollah.  But I jest.  There was a gift shop in the lobby that offered academy-themed items.  I bought a poster-sized print of an oil painting of a black, fur-plumed
drum major’s parade helmet. I carried it around with me all week, collecting the autographs of our guest stars. I managed to nail them all and didn’t realize until later that I might have a collector’s item. It’s no doubt the only document in existence signed by a Bush and George C. Scott.  We often brought back souvenirs from the bases and ships we’d visited, usually gifts from the command — such as my collection of logoed caps from the Iwo Jima, the Lexington, the Saratoga, Pope Air Base, Ft. Bragg, and even one given to us by NASA when we helped celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary. Hope appreciated the gifts, too, and whenever he received something, he’d scribble his name in some inconspicuous place as insurance that it wouldn’t end up in someone else’s locker. We, of course, adopted the custom.  While on a USO tour with Hope to the Persian Gulf, Gene Perret received a handsome flight jacket from a carrier fighter squadron. (Hope and a few other staffers got one, too.) So Gene quickly inscribed his name under the label in the neckband.  A few days later, after the souvenir had gone missing, he spotted one of the guests on the special wearing just such a fine jacket. “Here,” he said, “... let me show you a little trick we learned from Mr. Hope.”  Reaching under the guy’s collar, he said, “He always writes his name on everything — usually in some inconspicuous place, like right here, under the label where my name is.”

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COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY

Members of Yarmy’s Army, the fabled troupe of comedy professionals from days of yore, is staging a fund-raiser for Lonny Chapman’s Group Rep Theater!  On stage:  Shelley Berman (Boston Legal), Pat Harrington (One Day at a Time), Steve Landesberg (Barney Miller), Jack Riley (The Bob Newhart Show) Jim Mac George (Stan Laurel) and special guest, Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares).

When:  April 21, 2010
Where:  Group Rep Theater, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood
Time:  7:30 PM (reception follows)
Tickets:  $30 (tax deductible)
Phone orders:  (323) 822-7898   www.thegrouprep.com
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ORLANDO, FL (BBC) - Wizard of Oz Munchkin Meinhardt Raabe, who, announcing the death of the Wicked Witch, uttered the immortal words "As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."  In accordance with his final wishes, he was buried beneath a marble gravestone inscribed:  “Here the Coroner of Oz Does Lie.  I Hope They Were as Sure As I.”

HOLLYWOOD (BBC) - Actor Charlie Sheen told reporters that the final season of his hit sitcom “Three and a Half Men“ may be at hand  after rumors circulated that he was demanding a salary increase its producers aren‘t willing to meet.  According to industry insiders, Charlie now gets $825,000 per episode, or as he refers to it, “three nights with a hooker.”


BURBANK (AP) - To the total dismay of most discerning viewers and critics, NBC has renewed the prime-time spousal dispute reality game show “The Marriage Ref,” produced by Jerry Seinfeld who agreed to several changes that will be executed next season.  To add a much-needed element of tension, excitement, and a wider appeal to non-Christians, the losing spouse will be publicly stoned.  


WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Newseum will display the tan Armani suit that O.J. Simpson wore on October 3, 1995, the day he was acquitted of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.  The exhibit, which contains memorabilia from the notorious trial, had hoped to obtain the knife O.J. used but he’d already sold it to Ginzu, who have it on display in their Tokyo headquarters.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Reported to be the only oil painting that Michael Jackson ever posed for, “The Book” by Australian artist Brett Livingstone will soon be sold to the highest bidder on E-Bay.  Which could turn out to be the Vatican.  In the painting, Michael is wearing  a Roman collar while doing the Moon Walk for a group of alter boys.      
 

_______________________________
From THE LAUGH MAKERS (Page 113 )
 

We were in Honolulu to tape a special that featured guests Tom Selleck, Mr. T and Loni Anderson. The scripts were delivered to their suites in the Honolulu Hilton so they’d be waiting for them when they arrived.  Gene Perret and I had written a spot for Loni and Hope that centered on a recent made-for-TV movie of Loni’s that had gotten high ratings. In the film, she played a high-class call girl who somehow raises a teenage daughter while concealing from her the less-than-wholesome nature of her profession. Gene and I assumed — wrongfully, as it turned out — that, since she had done the movie, she wouldn’t mind having a little fun discussing its interesting — if totally implausible — premise.  Our make-believe conversation contained exchanges like this:

HOPE: So tell me, how did you ever manage to have all those men sleeping over without your daughter getting suspicious?

LONI: Oh, that was easy. I just convinced her that she had a hundred-and-fifty uncles.

While unpacking, Loni reads the material, concludes that we’ve made light of a serious topic and decides not to do the routine. But she doesn’t voice her complaints to anyone connected with the show. Instead, she calls her agent in California. (That’s how things like this are often done in Hollywood.)  The agent then calls our producer, Carolyn Raskin, who’s quickly on the phone to Hope who hangs up and dials us. We’re dispatched to extinguish the artistic brush fire. We somehow convince Loni that we’re paid to make light of serious topics and that call girls raising teens wasn’t as yet a national scandal. Loni agrees to do the spot, and we breathe easy again.  We also decide never to write another routine about hookers.

Order your copy of The Laugh Makers online:

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[]   LISTEN FREE!  Now you can hear THE LAUGH MAKERS read by the author each week on line.  Bob's show "Inside Television" on the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service for the Sight Impaired is airing the audio version through June each Tuesday at 0820 to 0900 PDT.  Just access the web page www.LARRS.org and enter the password "independence."  It's 40 minutes of THE LAUGH MAKERS with no commercials!
__________________________________
 

COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY-COMEDY

Members of
Yarmy’s Army, the fabled troupe of comedy professionals from days of yore, is staging a fund-raiser for Lonny Chapman’s Group Rep Theater!  On stage:  Shelley Berman (Boston Legal), Pat Harrington (One Day at a Time), Steve Landesberg (Barney Miller), Jack Riley (The Bob Newhart Show) Jim Mac George (Stan Laurel) and special guest, Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares).

When: 
April 21, 2010
Where:  Group Rep Theater, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood
Time:  7:30 PM (reception follows)
Tickets:  $30 (tax deductible)
Phone orders:  (323) 822-7898   www.thegrouprep.com
___________________________________



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BOB HOPE'S 1983 U.S. COLLEGE CAMPUS TOUR: Your Alma Mater Here?

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Compiled from Bob's newsletter "Funnyside Up" published in 2000. This is a yuck and chuckle-filled stroll down memory lane to a time before the Bush administration had inflicted its damage -- a time before the search for WMDs and Osama bin Laden. See what we were laughing at back then, who was in the news and who had yet to enter rehab -- which NFL stars had yet to do time in the Gray Bar Hotel.

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