Posts filed under “Popular Entertainment”


Listen to the loudspeaker as you walk past a store or some such place where the radio is set to a current-pop-hits station. Dr. Boli does not suggest that you spend a long time listening, but just enough time to confirm his observation that current popular music is obsessed with the first three notes of the diatonic scale.

Now ask yourself why that should be. Formulate a hypothesis, and see if you can accumulate enough evidence to elevate it to a theory. Dr. Boli will start the game. It is his hypothesis that sticking mainly to the first three notes of the scale makes composing a serviceable melody the least possible effort, and causes an occasional foray up to the fourth or even the fifth to strike the dulled senses of the casual listener with an unexpected thrill.


According to police reports, rap-jazz fusion artist Felonious Thelonious was arrested last night for driving under the influence of Miles Davis.

Miss Diana Smoulder, the ravishing heartthrob of the hurdy-gurdy, will employ a paid crankist for the rest of her Endless Whine tour, owing to repetitive-motion injuries sustained in her cranking hand.

Bozar the Clown has signed with the Dumont Network to produce a ten-part series tentatively titled Towering Passion, based on the unusual events that brought Daniel Burnham to design a skyscraper in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Taking some liberties with the source material, Mr. Bozar plans to have the role of coal baron Josiah V. Thompson, who commissioned the building, played by Gal Gadot.

The Great Blando has been rehearsing a new act under conditions of the strictest secrecy. Mr. Blando’s manager will not reveal anything to the press about the performance, other than that fans of William Allingham will be pleased.

Theodore Naphtha, the classically trained Shakespearean actor best known for his role as Irv in the 2006 comedy Herb and Irv Hit Themselves on the Head with Hammers, has sold his house in Hollywood and is moving to Ohio. According to his agent, with the proceeds from the sale of his three-bedroom ranch house on North Orange Drive, Mr. Naphtha was able to buy Youngstown.


The management of Heptagon Gardens would like to extend its sincerest apologies to Miss Alexandra Polkska, the famous ballet star from Poland who performed last night. Upon mature reflection, we agree that we ought to have expected that advertising her as a “Pole dancer” might be susceptible of more than one interpretation. At any rate our advertisements seem to have attracted the wrong crowd. In fact, we’ll go ahead and say that some of those people owe Miss Polkska even more of an apology than we do. According to her manager, she is still pulling dollar bills out of her leotard. This is not the sort of behavior we expect in the Cultural District, now is it? You should be ashamed of yourselves.


The Big Problem. The very existence of the entire universe is threatened by an evil so omnipotent, so pervasive, and so grimly set on apocalyptic destruction that only a man with a pretty good knowledge of Chinese martial arts can stop it. Starring Theodore Naphtha as the Lucky Dragon and Anthony Quagga as Evil.


A Victim of the Mormons

Do not tell Dr. Boli that you do not wish to see it, because he will know you are lying. It is called A Victim of the Mormons, and the still above, from a scene “In the Temple of the Mormons,” shows you the kind of scrupulously accurate research that made the reputation of the picture.

Well, you are very fortunate, because you can see the Danish original right now—with the titles translated to Spanish for your convenience.

And although the film is on Wikipedia’s “List of incomplete or partially lost films,” this copy appears to be complete: the caption above specifies that it is a three-reeler, and the file is more than 50 minutes long, which is about as much film as could be crammed on three reels. The scene depicted above begins at about the 38:30 mark. You probably want to skip to that point, and tune out about half a minute later, because the rest of the film simply cannot live up to that set.


Dear Mr. Flounder: I have been thinking of a change of professions, since there seems to be little future in my current career track. Have you any advice to help me sort out the many possible directions for a man in my position? —Sincerely, Charles, Prince of Wales.

Dear Sir: It is always wise to place life-changing decisions in the hands of the spirits. Their direction is always reliable, though metaphorical. In this case the spirits sent me a vision very promptly. I saw a route 91 Butler Street bus outside the Wood Street subway station, and the driver of the bus was an emu. Another emu was trying to board the bus, but the driver emu insisted that no one could board without a proper rutabaga. The passenger emu offered a turnip, but the driver emu turned up his beak and drove off. Then a vendor cart rolled up the street selling rutabagas, and the passenger emu told the vendor, “Fat lot of good that does me now, I just missed my bus.”

Of course this vision requires some interpretation in order to apply it properly to your situation. After some thought, I have concluded that you ought to go into some line of trade involving the letters E-M-U, such as emulators or emulsifiers.


Animatokinetimotographiscope The Latham Brothers invite the public to an exhibition of the marvelous Ani­mato­kineti­moto­graphi­scope, the Wonder of the Age, which causes living pictures endowed with every attribute of movement to be projected upon a screen, at Memorial Hall this Monday evening at 7 p.m. We have prepared a program of picture subjects that cannot fail to meet with the approval of a discerning public:

The Fat Man Who Falls Down and Gets Hurt

The Adventure of the Bent Garden Hose

Launch of the Steam Towboat Queen of McKees Rocks

Look Out Behind You!

The Silly Irishman Who Sees A Ghost and Falls Down and Gets Hurt

The Onions and the Weeping Cook

Presentation of the City Budget to the Mayor by the President of the City Council

The Pompous Society Lady Who Falls Into a Pond

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Falls Down and Gets Hurt

Patriotic Scenes at the Municipal Gas Works

The Funny Vagabond Who Falls Down and Gets Hurt

Remember: Other exhibitors with other devices may project moving pictures on a screen, but only the Ani­mato­kineti­moto­graphi­scope can legally be called an Ani­mato­kineti­moto­graphi­scope. Beware of trademark fraud!


L.C.I.S.: West Newton.—The new spinoff that follows the all-new adventures of an all-new Library Criminal Investigative Service crew in the crime-ridden back stacks of the West Newton library system. Tonight: In a special crossover episode, characters from the original series meet their West Newton counterparts and compare tragic backstories.


All for the Love of Diana. Dramatization of the true story of Albert Cardoon, whose dramatic fall from powerful state representative to member of Grant Borough council followed accusations of corruption involving a musical superstar. Starring Anthony Quagga as Albert Cardoon, Dame Wilhelmina Frimp as the Speaker of the House, Miss Diana Smoulder as herself in stock footage, and Theodore Naphtha as Miss Smoulder’s hurdy-gurdy.