Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"To Sir, With Love" by Lulu

Before she was Edina Monsoon's only client she was a fresh-faced gamine with a taste for interracial (and intergenerational!) hanky-panky; in recent years, Lulu has endured failed marriages - first to a Bee Gee then to a hairdresser - and performances with Take That to become a bonafide fame survivor.

Happy Birthday Lulu!
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Roseanne, Bar None

When she first burst onto the scene in the late 1980s, courtesy of the era's comedy club boom, hers was a decidedly working class shtick; calling herself the 'domestic goddess' and dressed in schlumpy clothes, Roseanne Barr wowed the audience and host alike during her first appearance at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and almost overnight, it seems, she had hit the big time...

PhotobucketAs sitcoms go Roseanne was unrepentantly working class, an ethos which was as evident in the wardrobe and set design as it was in the writing. The blend of family and workplace scenarios on the show was unprecedented, and served to highlight just how hard working class people - especially moms - struggle to balance the two. Plus, the first season of the show features occasional appearances by a young George Clooney - with a head of hair you could lose a hand in!

The show became as famous for its backstage politics and Barr's own tussles with the network as it was acclaimed for the quality of its writing and acting, especially by the likes of Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman; Barr's midseries marriage to Tom Arnold - while it served to amp up the tabloid headlines - eventually threatened to disrupt the success of the show.

After Roseanne had run its course, Barr tried her hand at a variety of other TV formats, including the potentially career-killing talk show; yet two years as host of The Roseanne Show only served to sharpen the lady's perspective. Always a magnet for controversy - who can forget the national anthem debacle? - it's inevitable that anyone that outspoken seemingly without shame will occasionally give offense; for my part, I can't wait to see who she's going to offend next, even if it might be me.

Born on this day in 1951, Roseanne Barr has lately made a return to the stand-up stage, in addition to recording music for kids and appearing as a panelist on the sorts of shows where opinions matter most - from The View to Real Time with Bill Maher.

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Remembering... Marie Rudisill

From my perspective, there's nothing better than a dirty talking old lady - that's comedy gold, right there... Half the fun is in the shocked audience reaction, as if a person could get to the age of 70, 80, or 90 and not have already heard and said everything. Hell, I'd got there by the age of 12; if you think anything I say is shocking now, wait 'til I'm 80 motherfucker.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMarie Rudisill, who passed away on this day in 2006 at the age of 95, was one such lady - a fearlessly outspoken woman with impeccable comedy timing, who began appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2000; what I didn't know until I began researching this post, though, is that Marie Rudisill was Truman Capote's Aunt Tiny, about whom he frequently wrote - not much of it nice. I have to admit, that kinda blew my mind a little bit.

Rudisill wrote a book about life with her famous relative - which is how she came to be invited on The Tonight Show in the first place - entitled Fruitcake: Memories of Truman Capote & Sook; another book - The Southern Haunting of Truman Capote - followed. In all Rudisill published 8 books late in her life, including cookbooks and juvenile fiction.  Her memoirs, however, have been frequently rubbished by others who had been there...
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Happy Birthday Dylan Moran

Irish comedian Dylan Moran spent eight years in the comedy clubs of Dublin honing his conversational, absurdist mumblings before he hit the big time with the BBC's Black Books in 2000. In 1996, he was the youngest person to win the Perrier Comedy Award, the highest honour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and now, as the highlight of his career, a coveted profile on the Pop Culture Institute.

(Okay, so that last one isn't true... But the rest is!) Breithl√° Sona Duit Dylan Moran!
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POPnews - November 3rd

[A few hours after returning from her history-making space flight Laika died from stress and overheating, which fact wasn't made public for decades; while her presence in pop culture has long been felt, now not only does she appear in bas-relief on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space (built in 1964) at Russia's Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics, in November 1997 a plaque honouring Laika was unveiled at the Star City cosmodrome, and since April 2008 a statue of her has adorned the military facility near Moscow where she'd been prepared for her fatal adventure.]

1493 - Christopher Columbus first sighted the Caribbean island of Dominica.

1783 - John Austin, a highwayman, was the last person to be publicly hanged at London's Tyburn gallows.

1793 - French playwright, journalist and feminist Olympe de Gouges was guillotined during the Reign of Terror for criticizing the tyrannical regime of Maximilien Robespierre as well as daring to write Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

1817 - The Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest chartered bank, opened in, of all places, Montreal.

1838 - The Times of India, the world's largest (in terms of circulation) English-language daily broadsheet, was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.

1868 - Ulysses S. Grant was elected 18th US President over Democrat Horatio Seymour.

1896 - William McKinley was elected 25th US President over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

1908 - William Howard Taft was elected 27th US President over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

1930 - The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel was opened to traffic.

1935 - Greece's King George II regained his throne following a plebiscite.

1936 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a second term as US President over Republican Alf Landon.

1954 - Gojira - the first in the Godzilla series of films - was released in Japan.

1957 - The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2; onboard was a dog named Laika, a 6 kg (13 lb) stray abducted from the streets of Moscow.

1964 - Lyndon Baines Johnson was elected 36th US President over Republican Barry Goldwater.

1970 - Salvador Allende was inaugurated as president of Chile.

1978 - Dominica gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1979 - Five members of the Communist Workers Party - Sandi Smith, Dr. James Waller, Bill Sampson, Cesar Cause, and Dr. Michael Nathan - were shot dead and seven were wounded in 88 seconds by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis during a 'Death to the Klan' rally in what came to be known as the Greensboro massacre. One of the gravest miscarriages of justice in American history occurred without the presence of the police, who normally would have been present; of the 40 thugs involved only sixteen were arrested, only six of them were ever brought to trial and all were acquitted.

1986 - The Federated States of Micronesia gained its independence from the United States of America.

1992 - Bill Clinton was elected 42nd US President over Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush and third-party candidate Ross Perot.
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