Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Zeno Klinker

Before I "post" anything I make it a rule to ask myself: "Will this interest the fewest possible living people?" So today I started watching an Edgar Bergen movie on TCM. Edgar Bergen! A performer so unrelentingly bland he makes you pine for the pyrotechnics of Richard Dix. When Edgar Bergen speaks he sounds like a therapeutic hypnotist. So this movie was called LOOK WHO'S LAUGHING and the answer was "nobody." Ha ha ha, I just did that thing I hate. But when the title popped up the two o's in LOOK became a pair of wacky, rolling eyes, and beneath them the O in WHO'S turned into a hellishly gibbering mouth as muted trumpets in the score went wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah in a disturbing approximation of the laughter that never came. Hey did I mention that Fibber McGee and Molly are in this movie? So you're probably pretty fired up about that. The writing credits were weird. They mentioned who wrote Fibber McGee and Molly's jokes and who wrote Edgar Bergen's jokes. One guy who wrote Edgar Bergen's jokes was named Zeno Klinker, which I thought was either a terrible or perfect name for someone who writes jokes. I should mention that LOOK WHO'S LAUGHING is directed by Allan Dwan, darling of the auteurist set, and good for him. So the movie starts out with Edgar Bergen performing with his famous ventriloquist's dummy Charlie McCarthy. Lucille Ball does a "sexy nurse" bit and the dummy leers at her and makes gross jokes. So it's very clear that within the reality of this movie Charlie McCarthy is a wooden dummy. But suddenly it is announced that Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy are going on vacation together! And that's okay. Maybe he brings his dummy on vacation to practice. But to get to his vacation destination Edgar Bergen pilots a small plane, okay, and he's got one hand up Charlie McCarthy the whole time, and they have conversations! He's up there by himself flying his small plane with his hand up his dummy. I don't like it. Fibber McGee's jokes are terrible. His enemy says something about an "unimpeachable source" and Fibber McGee says "unimpeachable APPLE-source!" It's a pun on applesauce. I don't want to get into it. Then I was like, "I'm going to bed." And I did. I wasn't even tired! It was the middle of the day. Oh yeah and the production design or something was by someone named Van Nest Polglase or something. (Whoa, the same year as LOOK WHO'S LAUGHING he was the art director for CITIZEN KANE.)