« Dreams surround our desires with ugliness and dread. » — Mason Cooley
As everyone knows, the early fifties were a more innocent and wholesome era, when the average bobbysoxer would swoon away the nights with fantasies of dishy teen idol Rondo Hatton. I mean, just look at her blissful expression!
Surprisingly, the cover scene does, for once, occur within!
« That’s the conditions that prevail! » — Jimmy Durante
Today, we salute noted vaudevillian, piano player, comedian, singer, film and radio star, raconteur and unlikely comics legend James Francis “Jimmy” Durante, born on this day, February 10, in 1893 (as it was a Friday, the family presumably fasted or had fish for dinner). He truly was a master of all media, as you’ll witness.
« I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. » ― Groucho Marx
In the mid-90s, the always-discerning masterminds* at Rhino Records (they had, after all, picked William Stout to design their logo, back in 1974) called upon master satirist, caricaturist and of course pointillistDrew Friedman (1958-) to gather some perennial favourites on his old couch for the purposes of a three-volume compilation.
In this second entry in the trilogy, Mr. Friedman seems a bit out of his element, as drawing purdy gals and conventionally handsome men is hardly his forte. But he aces Gabe Kaplan, as you’d hope and expect. Judging from his expression, Gabe appreciates it.
This time, our artiste ably succeeds where he faltered earlier: he has no difficulty capturing the likenesses of Ms. Anderson and (5x so far) Mrs. Collins.
From volume 3’s liner notes: « The 1980s may well be remembered as the final decade of the television theme song. The disturbing trend of the ’90s seems to be the elimination of the title song in preference of an additional minute of commercial airtime – a sad state of affairs for fans of the opening anthem. »
Maybe it’s all for the better: I’d rather have an additional hour of commercial airtime than be subjected again to the opening jingle of, say, Charles in Charge. You have been warned.