Monday, October 28, 2013

Gender and Humor and Gender

Dr. Theresa and I had dinner with Laraine Newman last night! We talked about THE SENTINEL, of all things, which, like us, Laraine had just seen for the first time for some reason. Much discussion of Chris Sarandon's moustache in that film. Did we also discuss GENDER AND HUMOR, the topic of our upcoming panel? MAYBE! And maybe Laraine Newman said - surprisingly? you be the judge! - that she much prefers the comic persona of Jerry Lewis to the comic persona of Lucille Ball. Laraine Newman had some sharp insights, as might be expected, on the difference between what Jerry Lewis's character and Lucille Ball's character usually wanted. But if I told you that, it would be a spoiler. All I can tell you is COME TO THE PANEL. Overby Center. 6 PM. Tomorrow. Oxford, Mississippi. I can tell you that Richard Burton didn't care for Lucille Ball, because I read it in his diary. He called her "a monster of staggering charmlessness" and that's just for starters! "There's a chance that I might have killed her," is another little thought he throws out there. He says that Joan Crawford was frightened of her! Joan Crawford! Joan Crawford? Yes, Joan Crawford! Joan Crawford. When Megan Abbott and I were reading these passages out loud at Square Books, Megan reminded me exactly how tough a woman had to be in those days to make it up the ladder the way Lucy did. Megan was seeing things from Lucy's point of view! A lot of times you had to stop in the Richard Burton diaries and think what the other person's diary might be like. Richard Burton really hated the expensive alarm clock that Frank Sinatra gave him!