Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Danny Kaye Conducts an Orchestra, etc.

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is Danny Kaye:

A great performer will leave you breathless. This is how Danny Kaye left me when I saw him conduct an orchestra. And I might add, on the floor laughing. It must have been a Danny Kaye viewer who invented the term ROFL.

Danny Kaye, the group singer.

And who else could have played Hans Christian Andersen other than Danny Kaye.

Not only was Danny Kaye a great talent. He was generous as well. The money he made from conducting went to the musician’s retirement fund. In addition, he was the first Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF.

So it’s my great pleasure today to honor Danny Kaye as Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator.

Carl Reiner’s tribute

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Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964):

Once upon a time there were two great powers in the world. The United States and the Soviet Union, better known by its nickname, “The Evil Empire” or simply the Ruskies. Ruskies is American for Russians. “Dr. Strangelove” takes a fond look at those long-ago times when there was a Cold War.

There are generals, and then there are generals. I love George C. Scott’s general. Especially when he confronts the Peter Sellers’ President. The President is trying to prevent a nuclear war with the Russians. He wants to bring the Russian ambassador to the Situation Room. Scott’s General confronts the President with a national security issue. “He’ll see the Big Board.” Now, we can’t have the Russians seeing the Big Board, can we?

It’s scenes like this that make “Dr. Strangelove” one of the funniest movies ever.

10 Resolutions I’m Making For the New Year

Here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful New Year. Party like it’s 1999 but don’t drive while drinking. Remember there are a lot of amateur drunks on the highway. Better yet, stay home and invite your friends over. Let them face the amateurs. Isn’t that what friends are for? Anyway here is my list of New Year’s Resolutions.

1.Remind people that I am not dead yet. But Elvis is.

2.Start a Bucket List, and make sure the bucket ain’t leaking.

3.Turn on the light at 3 a.m., so I don’t break another toe stumbling around in the dark.

4.Quit throwing the alarm clock across the room. Alarm clocks are like hearts. They break easily.

5.Give up dancing. I have no rhythm. At all.

6.Quit imagining I am a bullfighter. Those bulls have horns, and they hurt.

7.Don’t play with guns. I will shoot my eye out. Ouch!

8.Next Halloween I shall not go as a pumpkin. At least, not without cleaning out the insides.

9.Betting on the horses is no retirement plan.

10.Gotta give up singing “In-a-gadda-da-vida” in the shower. The shower is getting sick of my singing.

Laundrin’ Star

It’s been a bit of a while since I have posted one of my lyrics. So, what the hey. “Paint Your Wagon” is a fav of mine. So, what the hey. I was thinking it needed a parody of its own. Instead of two prospectors showing up in a gold mining town, “Wash Your Wagon” could have two guys who want to start laundromats in the town. They’re competing for business. So here’s the song, “Laundrin’ Star”. (See the lyric below Lee Marvin.)

To be sung to the tune of Wandrin’ Star from “Paint Your Wagon”.

I was born under a laundrin’ star
I was born under a laundrin’ star
Soap is made for washing, scrubbing is made to clean
I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better when it’s keen
I was born under a laundrin’ star

Mud can make you dirty, and the sun can bake you dry
Soap can burn your eyes, but only dirty makes you cry
Clothes are made for washing, for dreams of getting clean
Which with any luck you’ll get to bathe again
I was born under a laundrin’ star
I was born under a laundrin’ star

Do I know where hell is, hell is in the mud
Heaven’s goodbye to dirt, it’s time for a scrub
I was born under a laundrin’ star
A laundrin’ laundrin’ star

Mud can make you dirty and the sun can bake you dry
Soap can burn your eyes, but only dirty make you cry
Clothes are made for washing, for dreams of getting clean
Which with any luck you’ll get to bathe again
I was born under a laundrin’ star
I was born under a laundrin’ star

When I get to heaven, throw me in a tub
Or I’ll begin to roam, and soon you’ll know I’ll be in the mud
I was born under a laundrin’ star
A laundrin’ star

 

The Uglies

Let’s face it. We all have a bit of the Uglies in us. When I say Uglies, I mean Ug-a-lug-lies.

From time to time, those Uglies have to burst loose. There’s no two ways about it. Oh, sure. Later we’ll do a Flip Wilson and say, “The devil made me do it.” That’s ‘cause we’re embarrassed we let our dumbass show.

When we see others do the Uglies, we don’t let them off the hook that easy. We want them to get their just desserts. Either that or some of that instant karma John Lennon sang about.

This goes even more so for fairy tales. We want the Wicked Witch of the West to melt. We want the mirror to shatter on the Wicked Queen. She wanted Mr. Mirror to give her the fake news that she was the fairest in the land. We want He-who-must-not-be-named to have his name stamped on his rear-end. And not just stamped. Branded. Ouch! That’s got to hurt.

Nowhere along the way do we consider that they may not be villains and that they might have a bad case of the Uglies themselves. If we give them a chance, those Uglies might wear off and these folks might turn out to be decent human beings. Who is to say that Harry Potter didn’t have a very good press agent. Once Voldemort was branded with that He-who-must-not-named label, there was no getting off scot free for him.

It may be that Humpty Dumpty woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or that the king had the Uglies and pushed Humpty off the wall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the Dump back into Humpty Dumpty. At least, that’s what the king told the press. And we know the reason the Chicken crossed the road. She was run out of Dodge with her own set of Uglies.

Consider the Cinderella story. We want Cinderella’s wicked step mom to lose. And not just loose, but loose big time. After all, her daughters are real works of art. They’re haughty and persnickety. In fact, that’s their names, Haughty and Persnickety. And Step Mom is not interested in love. She’s only interested in the cash. Bet you’d kick the romantic out of your head if you were as poor as a dormouse and had four mouths to feed.

Let’s just consider Step Mom’s side of things. She marries a guy because he’s got a steady job. Her first husband ran off with the Spoon. He left her with two daughters who were always crying, “Feed me.” She met Cyndi’s dad at the local Parents Without Partners. They hit it off. Before you can say Abracadabra, they did a Vegas and wallah! Problem solved. Then Dad had to go and get himself hit by a truck. Of course, he didn’t have any life insurance. The only income Step Mom had coming in was the alimony payments from her first husband.

Since the girls were about to turn eighteen, Step Mom had to find a new source of income. She got herself a real estate agent certification and started flipping houses. Six months later, the floor fell out of the housing market. About that time, both of her daughters needed glasses.

On top of everything else, Cyndi was a handful with her “just wait till I tell my uncle” attitude. What was a mother to do? This was reason enough for Step Mom to let her Uglies burst lose. There was a ball and she was darned sure that one of her daughters was going to hook up with the prince. Come hell or highwater. And under no condition was she going to allow Cyndi to take their shine away.

For every nickel with a heads, there’s a tails to be considered. After all, it was a rich man who said, “Money can’t buy happiness.” The same fellow who said, “In God we trust. All others pay cash.”

If it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it still may not be a duck. It may be an actor who takes his role as a duck seriously. What else can you expect from a method actor? You never know what a person is going through when they are acting out their Uglies.

And, for God’s sake, do not, under any condition, allow your Uglies to burst through the dam. Best thing is to get ready to duck. That guy, who passed you three seconds ago, may have stolen a leprechaun’s pot of gold. The lep is trying to run him down. If you chase him, you may regret it. He could burst your windshield or run you down.

Either that or he has a gub. “A gub?” you ask. “What’s a gub?” That is a whole ‘nother story.