Friday, October 13, 2006

"Omnia Cafeteria Rex"

At long last, I present the newly-renovated Clark and McCullough Database. I can't believe it has been seven years since I first opened the site on Geocities (before Yahoo! got their mitts on it). Also, I can't believe that I left those "speculation" and "assessment" essays unchanged since 1999. That's just embarrassing. In TC&McCDB v.4, you'll find:
  • New essays about Clark and McCullough
  • New images of Clark and McCullough
  • Links to all my Third Banana blog entries about Clark and McCullough
  • A complete history of Clark and McCullough by Paul's great-nephew Mike Brick
  • A tasteful new index page... featuring Clark and McCullough
  • and, most importantly, an off-site gallery I've set up featuring over 100 unimaginably rare photos and news clippings about Clark and McCullough culled from Paul's mother's scrapbook (courtesy Mike Brick)
And that's not all. Within the next few weeks, hardware/software problems pending, I'll be adding some actual Clark and McCullough shorts to the site, including Odor in the Court. If you like Clark and McCullough, you're in luck. If not... meh. Who knew?

On a related note, I recently realized that the George Shelton pictured among the cast of the Clark and McCullough-produced burlesque revue Monkey Shines is the same George Shelton who was a long-time panelist on It Pays to Be Ignorant, the 1940s radio gag quiz show hosted by vaudevillian Tom Howard (Joe Cook's bespectacled foil in Rain or Shine (1930)) and which I personally happen to find hilarious. As revealed in a review from the aforementioned scrapbook, Shelton, a long-time friend and former comedy teammate of Howard's, appeared in Monkey Shines alongside comic Al Tyler as Clark and McCullough imitators, performing routines C&McC had made famous. According to this page, Shelton once replaced Clark in a vaudeville act entitled "The Merry Wives of Windsor", of which I've seen no trace in these clippings. Anyway, Shelton is funny (in a very Joe E. Ross kind of way), and you can hear him here, for free, in six episodes of It Pays to Be Ignorant. "Mr. Shelton, a halfwit must have given you a piece of his mind!" "Yeah, and you're not gonna get it back, neither!"

addendumb 10/21: Refreshing my memory, I went back to Stanley Green's The Great Clowns of Broadway and noticed that "The Merry Wife of Windsor" (or "That Merry Wife of Windsor") was a skit written and performed by Clark in Michael Todd's Star and Garter (1942-3). I assume that the skit predated Star and Garter by many years and may have been one of Clark and McCullough's vaudeville turns. If this is the case, I find it more plausible that, rather than replacing Clark in this skit at any time, Shelton was allowed the use of it in vaudeville. Green notes that the skit involves Clark hiding in a trunk from Gypsy Rose Lee's jealous husband. A similar situation can be seen in C&McC's In the Devildog House (1934), in which Clark hides in a trunk from Dorothy Granger's jealous husband Tom Kennedy.. the same skit, perhaps?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Greg G. said...

Aaron: I love what you've done with the C & MC site! I wish there was enough intrest for you to write a book about them - nobody is more qualified.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

Thanks, Greg. One of these days I hope to do just that, public interest or not. The team has a hell of a story.

6:33 AM  
Blogger East Side said...

And when you're finished with C & McC's bio, why not take a stab at Ted Healy's? Your site's certainly made him sound more interesting than I ever thought he was. You can do for these guys what others have done for Wheeler & Woolsey.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

I'd love to. I'd imagine that there's more of an audience for a Healy bio, although I have less of a drive to write one as his life has been pretty well mined by stoogephiles. I wonder if McFarland would be interested in either book.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the account that Clark left a bio. or extensive diary manuscript as mentioend in the New Yorker seris of articles on him? Is it "lost"?

11:00 AM  
Blogger Aaron Neathery said...

I've wondered about that.. I've long thought that it might remain in the possession of Bobby's in-laws. Alternatively, it could have been archived after his death. I haven't run across any evidence of it yet, though.

9:20 AM  

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