David Bruce: The Funniest People in Movies — Work


• Al Boasberg was a wonderful comedy writer, but he didn’t like to be rushed. Once, producer Irving Thalberg rushed him. Mr. Thalberg wanted a scene written for the Marx Brothers — now. Finally, Mr. Boasberg said that he had written the material that Mr. Thalberg wanted. Then he told Mr. Thalberg that he was leaving his office, but would leave the scene behind. The Marx Brothers and Mr. Thalberg rushed to Mr. Boasberg’s office to read the scene — and found it cut into many pieces and nailed to the ceiling. According to Groucho, “It took us about five hours to piece it together.” But the scene was worth all that work — Mr. Boasberg had written what eventually became the famous scene in A Night at the Opera in which many, many people crowd into a small room.

• Being a successful actress can be very difficult work. While filming the movie Scream 2, Sarah Michelle Gellar was also starring in TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For a while, she worked on the TV series Monday through Thursday, then worked on Scream 2 Friday through Sunday. Sometimes, she would work on Buffy until 2 a.m., then show up in three hours at 5 a.m. to start another workday. One morning, Sarah was driving to work with the controvertible top of her car down. She noticed people staring at her, then looked down and saw that she was only partially dressed — she was so tired that she had forgotten to put on a dress.

• Famous cartoonist Chuck Jones’ father failed time after time as a businessman, but this turned out to have an advantage for Chuck and his siblings. When his father started a new company, he would buy lots of business stationery with the company’s name and letterhead on it, and lots of pencils, also with the company’s name on them. When the business failed, Chuck and his siblings had lots of paper and pencils to draw with. Chuck said, “We Joneses were rolling in tons of lovely white bond paper.” As an adult, Mr. Jones worked on cartoons featuring Wile E. Coyote, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and other Looney Tunes characters.

• Charles Lederer became a famous screenwriter in Hollywood, but in early life he seldom worked. Instead, he slept until noon and spent a lot of time in swimming pools. This was something that his girlfriend didn’t like, so she took him out to eat at the Colony Restaurant, where she encouraged him to stop loafing and to find work, etc. Mr. Lederer listened to everything that his girlfriend had to say to him, then he stood up, took off his pants, and handed them to her, saying, “Here, you wear them.” Then he walked out of the restaurant.

• Comedian Joe E. Brown’s father was a house painter who took pride in his work. One day he was taking his son to a baseball game when they passed a house he had painted a few weeks before. However, as he looked at the house he noticed a spot on the porch that he had forgotten to paint, so the baseball game had to wait until he got some paint and finished the job. Mr. Brown writes, “I was a grown man before I realized examples such as this were the foundation of my desire to give my best in every job.”

• Tex Avery, the director of many classic Bugs Bunny cartoons and the man who gave Bugs his distinctive personality, was a perfectionist who worked long hours to make his cartoons funny. In fact, he once worked so hard that he delayed urinating for so long that he ended up in a hospital, where a catheter had to be used to empty his overfull bladder. Despite his hard work, he was insecure about his job, and when he was away from his desk he carried around a timing chart for cartoons so it always looked as if he were working.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Shirley Horn — “Day by Day”


Music: “Day by Day”


Artist: Shirley Horn

Record Company: Moochin’ About

Record Company Location: England, UK


“Celebrating the achievements of 15 FEMALE JAZZ SINGERS of the 20th century: Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Shirley Bassey, Sarah Vaughan, Blossom Dearie, Helen Merrill, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn and Nina Simone.” 

“The title says it all. This nostalgic collection looks at how female jazz singers were able to use their virtuosity and poise to transcend their turbulent times. A celebration of resilient womanhood.”

“Launched 2011 by Producer & DJ Jason Lee Lazell, the world/jazz buyer for the biggest record store in Europe, Tower Records, Piccadilly Circus, after 15 years as manager at Discovery Records — one of the biggest distributors for Jazz, world & music. The critically acclaimed label has gained admiration from Cerys Matthews, Huey Morgan, Giles Peterson, Jamie Cullum, Stuart Marcone, Johnny Trunk, Robert Elms.”

Price: €1 (EURO) for track; €8 (EUROS) for 176-track album

Genre: Jazz Women Vocalists.




Moochin’ About