David Bruce: The Funniest People in Comedy — Education, Food


• Before W.C. Fields left for Australia on a vaudeville tour, he had a bookseller fill a large trunk with classic books. Australia in those days had little to offer in the way of entertainment, and sea voyages to Australia took a long time, so the books were a necessity. Mr. Fields, by the way, became a great fan of Charles Dickens, and apparently was influenced by Dickens’ comedy. It’s impossible for many people to read the words of Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield without hearing those words being spoken by Mr. Fields.

• Gay comedian Bob Smith eagerly read through the J.R.R. Tolkien Middle Earth books in the 10th grade, ignoring his homework for a while, and even reading the books in class. Teachers never became angry at him for reading in class, but they would say, “Excuse me, Bob,” a few times to get his attention, then add something such as, “I know that an English teacher should encourage reading … but, Bob, would you mind putting your book away?”

• When comedian Kate Clinton was a teacher, she bored her class by teaching them how to make plurals of nouns—mouse/mice, etc.—something that annoyed them because an exception seemed to exist for every rule. Finally, she asked one youngster, “Steve, spell the plural of leaf.” He looked at her, then answered, “T-R-E-E.”

• A recent fad is to collect the high-school yearbooks of famous people. Anyone who collects comedian Robin Williams’ yearbook won’t be surprised to see his name listed in a column of students thought to be “Most Humorous,” but they may be surprised to see his name listed in the column of students thought to be “Least Likely to Succeed.”


• Celebrities have an advantage over other people in that they can get into crowded restaurants quickly by mentioning their name. While Groucho Marx and his family were waiting in line to get into a crowded restaurant, his wife asked him to let the headwaiter know who he was so they would be seated quickly. (This was in the days before Groucho grew a real mustache, and so he had not been recognized.) Groucho didn’t want to reveal his name because he didn’t like the kind of restaurants that catered to celebrities. In fact, Groucho had given the headwaiter a fake name: Sam Jackson. However, his wife was persistent, so finally he tapped the headwaiter on the shoulder and said, “My wife wants me to tell you who I am. My name’s not really Jackson. It’s Abe Schwartz, and I’m in the wholesale plumbing business. And this is Mrs. Schwartz, and all the little Schwartzes.”

• Will Rogers had a little son named Jimmy who loved cake—lots of cake. Jimmy was invited to a party, and his parents cautioned him to take only one piece of cake, and he promised to obey. After the party, they asked how many pieces of cake he had eaten, and he said just one, adding that the hostess had wanted him to eat more than one piece: “Mrs. Jones kept pushing it at me, and I kept saying, ‘No,’ and I don’t think she liked it. She said, ‘Why, Jimmy, everybody likes my cake!’” Finally little Jimmy had found a way to keep her from tempting him with more cake: “I thought of what Dad says sometimes, so I told her, ‘You just better take that damn stuff out of here.’”

• Comedian Jay Leno grew up in a working-class family, and he declines to pay excessive prices for food, despite being a multi-millionaire. When he was a struggling comedian in New York, he used to eat at the Stage Deli, where he would buy a hamburger for $1.10, because he didn’t want to spend $4.50 for a roast beef sandwich. After becoming hugely successful, he took his wife, Mavis, to the Stage Deli, where he planned on finally eating a roast beef sandwich. However, the price had changed—the roast beef sandwich was now $9.50. Mr. Leno said, “I’m not paying $9.50! It used to be only $4.50! I didn’t want it that much.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Blue Helix — “Anti-Social Butterfly”


Music: “Anti-Social Butterfly”


Artist: Blue Helix

Artist Location: Seattle, Washington

Info: “Blue Helix is an independent Alternative Rock band based out of Washington State and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Following the hallowed footsteps of the 90’s movement, their music is a perfect blend of melodic rock and powerful heavy grunge, on the cutting edge of modern rock with a uniquely potent blend of the core genre and its many sub-genres. Winners of the 2015 Puget Sound Battle of the Bands.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $5.99 (USD) for six-track album

Genre: Hard Rock


Blue Helix on Bandcamp