Lazzi Come Home: George Carl

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Last week I saw the wonderful New Vaudevillean Bill Irwin perform as an opening act for the showing of a charming Buster Keaton film, The Cameraman, at Town Hall. It was really heartwarming to see the children in the audience respond with such delight to both Irwin and Keaton.

By happy coincidence, while watching an old Johnny Carson episode last night, I came across George Carl, a truly funny clown who was a great influence on Irwin. Carl, who was born in Ohio, and seventy years old in this 1986 performance, is a joy to watch.

Thanks to YouTuber Funnystuffcollector

Magic Royalty: Ricky Jay and Fred Kaps

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Here’s some unusual footage of magician Ricky Jay when he was young, which I hadn’t seen before. He’s on the British variety television show, The Michael Parkinson Show, and Parkinson’s other guests included the well-known Dutch magician Fred Kaps.

The video is of poor broadcast quality but I thought aficionados might enjoy watching Jay perform some of his evergreen effects as Kaps and Parkinson react.

I extracted this video from an hour long video posted by YouTuber World Greatest Magicians

 

 

Buster in Love

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While Buster Keaton was called The Great Stoneface, he actually was able to portray a wide range of nuanced emotion in his movies. Here is a love scene from The Cameraman (1928). Buster has just messed up his job interview for a movie newsreel company, but Marceline Day, one of the company’s employees, sees something special in him.

Thanks to YouTuber Andrea Lombardo

In The Port of Amsterdam

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Jacques Brel works himself up into a lather singing about the Port of  Amsterdam.

Sometime in the late 1960s, Mort Shuman and Elly Stone got together a quartet of performers and created a show comprised completely of Brel’s songs, translated into English by Shuman and Eric Blau. Titled Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, it played at a little cabaret in Greenwich Village and became an unlikely hit, winning awards and playing for four years and thousands of performances in revivals.

Shuman sang this song in the original show, and was very impressive, but it was nice to run across this video of Brel himself singing it. As I remember it, the show had a cast album consisting of two LPs, which as far as I know was a first for the time.