Friday, January 09, 2015

Hollywood Hoopla

Started out a cold, cloudy morning with another vintage episode of The Red Skelton Show. This one went all the way back to the 50s - it was only a half-hour and was sponsored by Pet Milk. (According to Wikipedia, they were then a national brand and are now only found in the southeastern US.) George Appleby and his wife are running a garage. George thinks a serial killer has left his car at the garage for repairs. He and his wife hatch a plot to catch the guy in the act, but he figures it out and almost makes them his next victims!

Today was my early, 10 AM work shift. Work was mildly steady for most of the afternoon, nothing overwhelming. It started picking up at rush hour. By that time, the sun was out, and it had gotten a little warmer, more than it has been. It was still quiet enough that I was able to shut down without a relief and get out on time.

I went in the back and got my schedule after I finished. My hours have been cut this week, which I was expecting. It's mid-January. Most people are hiding from cold weather or recovering from the holidays. Things won't pick up again until Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend. I have one late day, otherwise nothing that'll be a problem. Monday, Tuesday, and next Saturday off, Tuesday for counseling.

I did have a lot of grocery shopping to do. Needed to restock fruit (grapefruit, bananas, and apples) and some basic pantry staples like brown sugar, oats, eggs, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and canola oil. The sink in my bathroom has been running really, really slow. I needed Drano rather badly. Picked up two more packages of the limited edition Betty Crocker Gingerbread cookie mix I love so much, green candied cherries, and the Bigalow "Egg'noggin'" tea from the Christmas food clearance shelves near the bathroom. I had a coupon for Blue Diamond Touch of Honey Almond Milk; thought I'd give almond milk a second shot.

When I got home, I made tilapia with the last of the stir fry vegetables while watching Merton of the Movies. Red Skelton is the title character, a small-town usher in 1915 who dreams of making it big as a dramatic actor in Hollywood. When he accidentally stops a robbery, he claims he did it using the methods of his favorite detective actor Roland (Leon Ames). Roland invites Merton to Hollywood. Merton thinks he has it made...but Roland has no interest in him and avoids him as soon as he arrives. He does make friends with Phyllis, a smart stunt girl (Virginia O'Brian), but can't seem to get anywhere. When rushes make the studio heads realize that Merton's better at comedy than drama, Phyllis suggests that he takes over Roland's current production and make it into a comedy. Now Roland's not happy about being spoofed, and Merton's not being told that he's about to make his name in Hollywood as its foremost comedian!

While most people regard the 1932 original Make Me a Star to be better, this version from 1947 has its virtues. O'Brian and Skelton are really sweet together. Some of the sequences are hilarious, especially the Civil War epic Merton makes a mess of. This is double-billed with its original at the Warner Archives if you're a fan of Red or movie-making spoofs. 

Finished out the night with an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures that also spoofed Tinseltown. "Hollywood Plucky" from the first season takes the egotistical mallard and his porcine sidekick to California to sell Plucky's life story to Cooper DeVille. Plucky's attempts to get to DeVille, from working as a waiter to sneaking into the studio (watch for an early appearance by Ralph the Guard from Animaniacs), get him no further to DeVille. When Plucky does finally makes it to the master director, it seems two certain bunnies may have already gotten there first...

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