Wednesday, August 16, 2023

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Summer

Started off the morning with breakfast and two new episodes of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. "Daniel Helps Take Care of Margaret" when his father can't come and pick him up from school. They spend the afternoon with Jodi Platypus and her nana, helping to amuse Margaret and Jodi's twin toddler brothers. Daniel is thrilled when his mother is a chaperone on his school trip to "The Dinosaur Playground." He's not as happy when she takes over a group that doesn't include him, but Teacher Harriett assures him she'll do just as good of a job watching over him.

Daniel and his dad have "An Important Job at the Market" when they help Prince Tuesday stock spaghetti. Daniel wants to work the register, but his dad reminds him that if they don't stock the food, customers can't buy it. "Important Jobs at the Enchanted Garden" include pulling weeds and digging holes so Queen Sarah and Prince Wednesday can plant a new flower bed. After that, everyone helps clean up the dirt and weed mess.

Karen was supposed to pick me up at 10 AM, but she had problems with a previous client and had to push it back to 10:30. That was fine. As it turned out, we weren't at the Haddon Township Library for very long, anyway. We mainly discussed possible questions Voorhees Township may ask at the interview and when she'll pick me up next Tuesday. I was home by 11.

Spent the rest of the morning working on writing off and on. Patti tells Ira that he won't be getting the shoes or Joyce, and he ought to leave, before a shed falls on him, too. Joyce claims she's not afraid, but Ira knows that isn't true. After he takes off, Papa Munchkin says she's welcome in his kingdom, but really shouldn't stay long. Patti directs her towards the glittering Golden Road to Televisia City and the Wizard of Match.

Threw on Charlie & Lola as I had lunch and got ready for work. "I've Got No One to Play With" Lola laments when Charlie goes to the local sports arena with Marv. All of her friends are sick or busy, and it's no fun playing alone. She finally gets her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson into playing with fuzzy stickers.

Thank heavens, work was no trouble at all today. We were dead almost the entire afternoon. The only time we were busy was during rush hour, and then because I was alone at that point. Otherwise, I was in and out with no problems. Not only was the weather too nice for shopping (mid-80's and sunny, if humid), but it's the middle of the one month of the year with no holidays. The only things going on right now are baseball and exhibition football.

Went straight into Match Game '79 and dinner when I got home. Gene keeps mixing up where a kindly grandmother grew up and where she lives now. (And I loved her cat's eye glasses!) Patti has to help the champ figure out "__ Tender" later in the Head-to-Head. 

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is currently free there. After eight people discover a dying gangster (Jimmy Durante) who hid $350,000 in a suitcase and buried it in Santa Rosita State Park. Best friends Dingy Bell (Mickey Rooney and Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett) end up chartering a plane they can't land. Honeymooners Mellville (Sid Caesar) and Monica (Edie Adams) Crump first charter a rickety vintage plane, then find themselves trapped in a hardware store's basement.

 Seaweed salesman J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) gets so fed up with his wife Emmaline (Dorothy Provine) and her loudmouth mother Mrs. Marcus (Ethel Merman), he dumps them and hooks up with Englishman Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas). After hearing his mother was abandoned, her spoiled, lazy, mother-loving son Sylvester (Dick Shawn) tries to come to her rescue. There's also con man Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers), sweet truck driver Pike (Johnathan Winters), and two cab drivers (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Peter Faulk) who get caught up in the madness. And then the cop in charge of making sure they don't cause too much trouble, Captain Culpepper (Spencer Tracy), finally decides he wouldn't mind having that treasure for himself...

Holy moly, this is a wild one. If you love slapstick or the comedians of this era, have I got a treat for you..if you can handle the more than two and a half-hour run time. Along with those named above, other comedians I spotted in brief cameos included Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Allen Jenkins, Leo Gorcey of The Bowery Boys, Stan Freburg, Andy Devine, Joe E. Brown, Buster Keaton, ZaSu Pitts, Edward Everett Horton, William Demarest, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, and in one of the film's funniest gags, the Three Stooges. 

Yeah, this is a long, strange film. Not all of the gags work, but if you don't like one, they'll switch over to another group in a minute who might have one you will enjoy. Merman walks away with the honors in the ensemble cast as the monster mother who never stops screaming at everyone, Also look for gorgeous cinematography across the California countryside and the surprisingly lush score for a wacky comedy. Both were Oscar-nominated; the goofy sound effects won. Highly recommended for those who love vintage comedy or the cast and have a spare couple of hours on hand. 

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