Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

Eugene Patton, or "Gene Gene The Dancing Machine" was a Gong Show stagehand who got into the act. He would come out and dance to Milton De Lugg's orchestra playing "Jumpin' At The Woodside" when the show needed a boost. This became so popular that a record was released in 1978:

Click either pic for a larger version. Listen to the music here.

I saw Gene every once in a while on The Tonight Show in Leno's early days. He's had some health problems and is now retired. Go watch him on YouTube and think some good thoughts his way.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vanderbilt Cartoon And Comics Symposium 1972

My freshman year at Vanderbilt, I went to a cartoon and comics symposium that was held on campus right across the field from my dorm room. Check the guest speaker list:

This was supposedly the first time Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had appeared together since Jack left Marvel. I left to go to the Friday night portion of the show.

I was super impressed just to see these guys, much less to hear them talk. Dave Berg came on and talked about Mad Magazine. Allen Saunders was older but very cool, and Stan Lee was Stan Lee. Gahan Wilson was very dry. Someone asked him if he was influenced by Charles Addams, and he looked at him a moment and said, "Yes".

Click either of the pics for much larger versions.

The next morning Garry Trudeau led off. Doonesbury was probably the hottest strip in the country then, and Garry got more questions than anyone else.

I wish I'd taken notes at the talks, cause I don't remember as much as I wish I could. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee both said nice things about each other, and Mell Lazurus drew a lot of his Miss Peach characters on a big easel.
T.K. Ryan was very quiet at first, but ended up showing off a very good sense of humor.

At the end of the talks, we all went out to Curry Field for a barbeque sandwich and questions and answers with the artists. I tried to ask an intelligent question of Garry Trudeau about the state of the Ivy League humor magazines since National Lampoon had all the talent, and he said the state of Ivy League humor was pretty sorry.

A great show, and I'm much more impressed at it now than I was at 19.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Separated At Birth?

I was watching the new movie version of "Hairspray" the other night. Amanda Bynes plays Penny Pingleton, who looks like this much of the movie.

Where have I seen that expression before?

As the man said when asked how many Nashville record producers it took to screw in a light bulb, "I don't know, what do you think?"