Comedian Art Metrano died this month. You can see his most famous routine here. The name of the ultra-annoying show-biz tune Metrano hums incessantly in the background is actually a lovely song called “Fine and Dandy.” Anita O’Day shows just how fine and dandy the song can be.
Fun fact: The music for “Fine and Dandy” was written by Kay Swift, but the lyrics were written by Swift’s husband, James Paul Warburg, who was a banker and financial advisor to FDR, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations who wrote about nuclear disarmament issues. He wrote the lyrics to “Fine and Dandy” under the pseudonym of Paul James.
Further Fun Fact: Warburg divorced Swift because she had been having a long-term affair with George Gershwin.
In the early Seventies it was almost impossible to avoid seeing a crazed television performer who did a hilarious “magic” act with his fingers, all the while humming an inane show-bizzy type tune. We school kids would do the act for one another all through class.
Well there are probably lots of people who remember that routine, but don’t know either the performer’s name or the name of that inane tune. So, in the age of the internet, that information is now more readily available: the tune’s name is “Fine and Dandy” and the comedian was Art Metrano, and except for Steve Martin’s Flydini act, it stands for me as the funniest send-up of magicians ever.