December 6th

Dave Brubeck died a year ago yesterday. He would have been 93 today.

Today is the birthday of Tom Hulce. The actor who played Mozart in Amadeus was born in Detroit 60 years ago. (The film came out in 1984.) Hulce got an Oscar nomination for that performance. He shows up from time-to-time, but the only other role that comes to mind is as Larry Kroger in Animal House.

Steven Wright is 58 today.

  • All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.
  • How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
  • Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!
  • Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
  • A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.
  • A friend of mine once sent me a post card with a picture of the entire planet Earth taken from space. On the back it said, “Wish you were here.”
  • I bought some batteries, but they weren’t included.
  • If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?
  • What’s another word for Thesaurus?
  • If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?

Judd Apatow is 46 and has been tweeting about it for hours.

Tony Lazzeri was born on this date in 1903. He once hit for the natural cycle, one of only 14 players to do so. That’s a single, a double, a triple and a home run in that order. (His home run was a grand slam.) Lazzeri was an all-star with the Yankees in the 1920s-1930s.

Agnes Moorehead was born on this date in 1900. She won an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards and had four Academy Award and six Emmy nominations. Ms. Moorehead was in Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and Citizen Kane (she played Kane’s mother). She earned lasting fame in the Suspense broadcast of “Sorry, Wrong Number,” a stunning performance you must listen to! (Listen with the lights out.) Alas, she is probably most widely know now for playing Samantha’s mother Endora on Bewitched.

And there is this from Wikipedia: “Moorehead appeared in the 1956 movie The Conqueror, which was shot near Saint George, Utah– downwind from the Yucca Flat, Nevada nuclear test site. She was one of over 90 (of 220) cast and crew members–including costars Susan Hayward, John Wayne, and Pedro Armendariz, as well as director-producer Dick Powell–who, over their lifetimes, all developed cancer(s); at least 46 from cast and crew have since died from cancer(s), including all of those named above.”

One of America’s great lyricists, Ira Gershwin was born on this date in 1896.

Summertime
And the livin’ is easy,
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high.
Oh yo’ daddy’s rich
An’ yo’ ma is good lookin’
So hush, little baby,
Don’t you cry.

[with Dubose Heyward]

*****

You’ve made my life so glamorous
You can’t blame me for feeling amorous.
Oh! ‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
That you should care for me!

‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous!
That you should care for me!
‘S awful nice! ‘S paradise!
‘S what I love to see!

*****

The way you wear your hat,
The way you sip your tea,
The mem’ry of all that –
No, no! They can’t take that away from me!

The way your smile just beams,
The way you sing off key,
The way you haunt my dreams –
No, no! They can’t take that away from me!

Alfred Joyce Kilmer was born on December 6th in 1886. He published his most famous poem in 1914.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.