Monday, January 31, 2011

Adventures in Sunday Culture

If there's one thing to know about me, it's to know how big a fan I am of High Culture.

For example, where did I go yesterday after listening to a Kate Bush tribute concert? Why, the Museum of Television & Radio, of course. What did I see? Why, I'll tell you.

First of all, who knew that Gypsy Rose Lee hosted her own San Francisco-based talk show in 1958? And that one of her guests was Miss Ethel Merman, fresh off her run playing Gypsy Rose Lee's mom in Gypsy. In this pic Ethel is wearing a giant fur hat and Gypsy is putting a bunch of hot dog links around her neck like a scarf. Of course.

Then, here we have Carol Burnett and Ella Fitzgerald doing a medley of duets, including the moment where Carol screams "Harry's dead!" while Ella swings "Mack the Knife." I had seen this before, and I will see it again.

Oh this? Why it's Shelley Winters on Conan O'Brien. She's ostensibly there to talk about her stint as Rosanne's grandmother on TV, but she manages to describe what it would be like to make love to Andy Richter AND calls Gene Hackman "a little bitch" for being difficult when they made Poseidon Adventure together. And she holds her breath for a minute fifteen seconds while Conan times her. And as you can see, she is for some reason wearing a sheriff's badge.

And to end? Miss Bette Davis on the Tonight Show. This shot? She's shaking hands with Richard Pryor.

Here's a crappy taping of that moment in time. It's shaky enough to make you seasick while watching, but definitely worth it to hear Ms. Davis' incomparable reading of the word "Charming."

Charming, indeed. Culture!

1 comment:

David Hazard said...

Wow the Ella and Carol I have been dying to see for a loooong time. I have seen a clip from the 1969 show where they sing I'll Never Fall In Love Again., but wow the 1967.. Those are hard to come by since Bob Banner has the rights to the 1967-1973 Seasons. Anyway to trade or anything for that I would greatly appreciate it.