Search results for ‘Comedy’

“Funniest Joke Ever”

10 Oct

The “Funniest Joke Ever” comes from the radio program “Duffy’s Tavern”, as heard on February 16, 1951:…
(Please note that the March 9 show date on this site is incorrect)…

The set-up:

(Archie, a common man who runs Duffy’s Tavern for the never-heard Duffy, has startled all present by announcing that he is writing an opera).

Miss Duffy:

Archie, whaddya call this opera?


I’m glad you reminded me. I ain’t got a title yet. Lemme see… I need something that’s classy, and at the same time has broad appeal…

Miss Duffy:

Why don’t you call it Errol Flynn?


Please, Miss Duffy. With me this is serious business.

Miss Duffy:

With me you think it’s a joke?


Quiet, please. I’m trying to create.

— Gentleman Tim


This Sunday Morning

17 Sep

Posted Sunday, September 16, 2017

A fascinating behind-the-scenes bio of Warner Brothers’ songwriter, Moe Jerome.

From Tin Pan Alley to Tinseltown, from “A Daughter’s Prayer at Twilight” to “Some Sunday Morning”.…

“At Warner Bros. from 1929 to 1949, he wrote, not for the masses, but for a film’s producer who wanted a song for a comedy or a western, or a drama or a musical. Take, for example the 1945 film San Antonio, starring Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith. He and his lyricist partner, Ted Koehler, quickly created a lovely ballad called “Some Sunday Morning.”

“The film was an instant hit. So was “Some Sunday Morning.” It was Flynn and Smith’s romantic theme song. Every time the two appeared on screen, the melody played in the background, courtesy of the film’s composer, Max Steiner. Smith sang it in a large production number set in the local saloon.”

“As early as January 5, 1946, the song made Billboard’s “Honor Roll of Hits,” a list denoting America’s top tunes. It charted at Number 9. Sales of sheet music were also excellent: for 14 weeks, the song was in the top five. And early in 1946, the song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.”

Some Sunday Morning”

What initially brought Jerome great fame and success, however, was “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight”, a song he wrote during World War I – once contemporaneously called “the greatest constructed song ever published.”

“Moe had high hopes for a particular melody he wrote, a kind of lullaby he often hummed when he put his young son to sleep. But he wanted this song to be a statement about the cost of the war, what it did to those left behind.”

“Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For My Daddy Over There)”

— Gentleman Tim


Mail Bag from Manhattan! Errol & Fidel Musical!

16 Jul

Just ending it successful run at the New York Musicic Festival was the musical offering Errol & Fidel from writer producers Boyd Anderson & Guy Anderson; Music by Peter Kaldor, John Kaldor and Doug Oberhamer; Lyrics by Boyd Anderson, directed by Michael Bello … Our own Karl Holmberg, Gentleman Tim, and Donna Juan attended the show and write to us from the theatre stage! I will let them comment on the show itself but here are some wonderful images, and a look at a novelty item soon available to everybody who follows our blog. More about that in another posting …

Some photos:

One adventure, two heroes. Something’s gotta give.

Cuba, 1958: Revolution is in the air! In his final year Errol Flynn has one last adventure. The dashing star of so many Hollywood blockbusters yearns to be a real hero, and Fidel Castro fits the bill. What Fidel craves is fame, and who better than Errol to show him how? At the height of the revolution an explosive encounter beckons – fueled by envy, lust, and vanity – with a mysterious woman calling the tune. Or could the CIA really be pulling the strings? Who knew revolution could be so much fun?

Recommended for ages 13+
Running time: 2 hours
GENRE: Comedy, Drama, History, Politics, Romance

— David DeWitt


The Hell Fire Club, Errol, Patrick and Rex

31 Jan

The original Hell Fire Club (Errol was a member of a watered down Hollywood homage, which he doubtless regretted, as he would have vastly preferred the original) has been the subject of books and films. Its first meeting took place in 1747, under the auspices of Sir Francis Dashwood, rake and dilettante, in the cellar of the George & Vulture Inn in London. The George & Vulture, which in the City, is still open as a restaurant. Shakespeare is said to have stayed there, and Dickens wrote parts of the Pickwick Papers while in situ.

The George & Vulture


The best screen ‘portrayal’ of the Hell Fire Club – which revives its 18th Century ethos – is in The Avengers episode, ‘A Touch of Brimstone’ (1966), starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg as Steed and Mrs Peel.

The episode caused outrage when it was shown on television, including protests in Parliament, and was banned in America. It concerns a degenerate aristocrat, The Hon. John Cleverly Cartney, who revives the club, its period dress, its orgies and its anarchic spirit. He takes the anarchy a bit far however, when he tries to blow up three visiting heads of state.

Cartney is played by one of the most interesting actors of the period, who also appeared in ‘The Innocents’ (1961), with Deborah Kerr. His name was Peter Wyngarde and despite his on screen roles as a homme fatale, he was gay.

Peter Wyngarde as John Cartney

What made the episode so infamous, however, was the orgy scene, in which Diana Rigg is dressed in a leather S&M outfit, with boots and a dog collar, pictured below.

It is not all orgies. Patrick Macnee does some very fine fencing in order to foil, as it were, the dastardly plotters.

The incomparable Patrick, who would have made the second best James Bond after Errol, was a sort of cousin of mine, his maternal grandmother Frances being the granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Huntingdon. So back we go to Robin Hood!

Patrick worked with Christopher Lee, who was also a friend, and Lee, of course worked with Errol. Patrick never met Errol, but they had certain similarities, apart from being dashing, charming, erudite, gentlemanly and able to carry off period costumes.

They both had very difficult relationships with their mothers. Patrick’s mother, Dorothea, decided to become a lesbian, which, not surprisingly, led to the breakup of her marriage. Patrick was raised by Dorothea and her ‘partner,’ Evelyn, whom he called ‘Uncle Evelyn.’

He was then sent to Eton, but expelled for selling pornographic photographs and acting as a bookie for his classmates.

Macnee appeared in a minor role in Olivier’s film of ‘Hamlet’. His big film break came with a rather mediocre musical comedy called ‘Les Girls’ (1957), in which he played a barrister. The highlights were Macnee and the wonderful Kay Kendall, who was married to Rex Harrison and already ill with the leukemia that was to kill her at the age of only 32.

Kay Kendall in Les Girls

Interestingly, two years before, Kendall had co-starred with Robert Taylor in ‘The Adventures of Quentin Durward’, which was supposed to have been a vehicle for Errol.

Kay made two films with Harrison, the British comedy ‘The Constant Husband,’ and ‘The Reluctant Debutante,’ which also featured American teen queen, Sandra Dee.

Harrison remains a contentious figure. Yes, he could be astoundingly rude and unpleasant, but he could also be heroic in private. Kay Kendall had been his mistress, and though he was in love with her, he remained very attached to his then wife, Lili Palmer.

When Kay’s doctor told Harrison she was dying, he and Lili had a discussion. It was agreed they would divorce so he could marry Kay and look after her during the time she had left. He did this devotedly and never told Kay she was ill, which must have been a great strain on him. When she died, he was genuinely devastated.

Of course he spoiled it slightly by telling people what a marvellous and selfless thing he had done, but he did it just the same. Rex went on to marry a friend of my father, Elizabeth Harris, the former wife of roistering actor Richard Harris. The marriage was not an unqualified success, with Rex reverting to hype. One day Elizabeth came down to breakfast and Rex said: ‘That’s a fine cavalry moustache you have this morning.’

Notwithstanding his lack of tact, Harrison was a joy as an actor, with his astringent rasp of a voice and sheer panache. (He even made cardigans look sexy, though not as sexy as Errol did.) He would have been a major Hollywood star in the 1940s, had it not been for the Carole Landis scandal.

Carole Landis

Yet was his behaviour towards Landis as deplorable as all that? Rex was married to Lili when he met the blonde actress, and Carole was no blushing innocent, having been thrice-married herself and rather generous with her favours, as well as being mentally unstable. Or, as we say over here, a complete basket case.

When she started her affair with Rex, she must have known he was not going to leave Palmer. Almost a year later, in 1948, she took an overdose. Rex found her while she was still alive, but there was a delay in calling an ambulance. Apparently, he had been searching through her address books hoping to find the telephone number of her private doctor in order to avert a scandal.

Shocking as this was, there have been other cases of famous men doing the same – even when the women who had overdosed were their wives! Greek tycoon Stravros Niarchos acted in precisely the same manner when his wife Eugenie overdosed and then died, and John Paul Getty Jr likewise, after spouse Talitha Pol ingested too much heroin.

Rex had signed a contract with Fox, which was dropped ‘by mutual consent.’ Perhaps this made him bitter and thus increasingly choleric. I wonder if he ever met Errol? He certainly knew Errol’s chum David Niven, who was very dyspeptic about Rex in his memoirs, but kept inviting him to dinner, just the same.

— PW


“My Favorite Year” revisited

27 Jan

Otoole-FlynnRichard Benjamin reminisces about the making of the Flynn-inspired comedy classic “My Favorite Year” with Peter O’Toole as swashbuckler Alan Swann. (Which resulted in an Oscar-nomination for O’Toole.) It includes interesting insight into O’Toole’s training for the sword scenes. Oh, to have watched those rehearsals.…

— zacal

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The Errol Café Society

16 Nov


Dear fellow Flynn fans,

There is a mention of Errol in the new Woody Allen film “Café Society”. It is fine movie overall with a genuine Hollywood of (G)old feel to it.

Best line: “Life is a comedy written by a sadistic comedy writer”.

And woodyn’t you know it, Flynn is in this lovetriangle-homage-farce about real and made up movie stars, panicky producers and go for it gaffers.


— shangheinz


Farewell To Would-Be Errol Flynn Swashbuckler, Gene Wilder

30 Aug

scene from film


‘Gene Wilder with sidekick Marty Feldman is ready to take on all opponents!’

Movie comedian Gene Wilder died yesterday at age 83.  He left behind a legacy of 26 films including two swashbucklers.    The first is the forgotten comedy classic ‘Start The Revolution Without Me” (1970) where he delightfully co-starred with Donald Sutherland as two pairs of mixed-up, identical twins in the French Revolution of 1789.  One pair the wealthy, arrogant Aristocrats the Corsican Brothers, and the other,  two cowardly Paris paupers.  This beautifully shot costume, period film even has Orson Welles as an on-camera narrator.  The second is the hilarious “The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” (1974) with Wilder as the great detective’s jealous and insecure kid brother, Sigerson.  This forgotten Holmes case has climatic duels with one between rapidly traveling coaches in the London fog, and a climatic rooftop swordfight to the death between Sigi Holmes and his brother’s arch-enemy Professor Moriarty played by Leo McKern.   Thanks Mr. Wilder and God bless you.  Ralph Schiller

— rswilltell


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Flynn’s Film? Errol’s Oscar?

27 Feb

Was Norman Maine based in part on Errol Flynn?
(and/or perhaps John Barrymore and/or Norman Kerry?)…

Was Errol offered the role, but rejected it?…

Would Errol have been a better Norman Maine?…

Or, did Jack Warner “blackball” him from getting it?……

Was this Errol’s best chance to win an Academy Award for Best Actor?

— Gentleman Tim


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Errol Flynn’s TV Appearances over the Years!

18 Nov

“I wonder if anybody has seen this and furthermore knows of equally little known TV appearances of our Hollywood hero. Blog away dates, titles, co-stars and most of all… memories!” — shanghenz

Karl Holmberg cites the following:

Errol Flynn TV/ Documentaries


Here’s at least some of the non-dramatic stuff that has appeared on TV over the years:

“The Colgate Comedy Hour”

In the early 1950’s, NBC welcomed Bud and Lou to their new hour long live variety show, as guest hosts. Abbott & Costello boosted the show’s ratings as they performed their staple of routines, including the still popular and in demand, “Who’s On First.”

“The Colgate Comedy Hour” 1/13/52 with Errol Flynn, Bruce Cabot, Rhonda Feming, George Raft

“The Name’s the Same”

An American game show broadcast by the ABC television network from December 5, 1951 to October 7, 1955. The show’s premise was similar to What’s My Line?, but the panelists here had to guess the name of the person, which also described something (e.g. “A. Lap”, “A. Table”, “Ruby Lips”, etc). Other contestants had the same names as well-known personalities of the past and present, such as Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Arturo Toscanini and Clark Gable. In a few cases, actors and other celebrities were brought out at the end of the guessing round to surprise the contestants who were their namesakes.54

“The Name’s the Same” Robert Q Lewis, Host, 8/20/1952: The first player is Errol Flynn. Panelists Jane Alexander, Abe Burrows and Bill Cullen.

NOTE: I ran into this crediting early on  in my research but  later, could not find Flynn anywhere in the celebrity credits of the various “historic logs” on the show. Therefore,  the actor Errol Flynn DID NOT appear on this program, but a young Master Errol Flynn did (…}

“Toast of the Town”

Ed Sullivan’s show was straight out of old vaudeville; brief acts of every description, from slapstick comedy to operatic arias. At least once, he showed a film, the only known film of Anna Pavlova (doing her Swan Dance). The Muppets’ first TV appearance was on Ed Sullivan. Stiff and expressionless, with a peculiar voice and a talent for mispronunciation, Sullivan was at least as recognizable as Cronkite to early 60’s viewers. Panel show.

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.36) May 11, 1952

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.37) May 18, 1952

“Toast of the Town” playing “Himself” (episode # 5.39) June 1, 1952

“The Martha Raye Show”, June 7, 1955, with Errol Flynn] / NBC.

Regulars: Martha Raye, Rocky Graziano, Carl Hoff and His Orchestra, The Danny Daniels Dancers. Comedy/variety.

“The Martha Raye Show”, January 3, 1956, with Errol Flynn] / NBC.

Regulars: Martha Raye, Rocky Graziano, Carl Hoff and his orchestra, the Danny Daniels Dancers. Comedy/variety

“The Steve Allen Show”, January 6, 1957, NBC.

Steve Allen, Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Dayton Allen. Announcer: Gene Rayburn.

Music director, Skitch Henderson.

Guests: Errol Flynn, Guy Mitchell, Polly Bergen, Alan Young.

“The Big Surprise”, February 5, 1957, NBC.

Mike Wallace: Host

Announcer: Jack Clark, Easy Question Girl: Sue Oakland, Hard Question Girl: Mary Gardner

Celebrity Guest: Errol Flynn

Answers $30,000 question 2/5/57

This show was intended as NBC’s answer to CBS’s enormously popular “$64,000 Question.” When it boosted the maximum prize, it became known as “The $100,000 Big Surprise.”

In this NBC primetime game show, contestants who were judged “worthy” because of good deeds or hardship answered a series of questions, worth progressively more from $1 to $100,000. If the contestant missed one of the first four questions, he or she was out of the game. Later, if they missed a question, someone else could answer a different question, in an early version of a “lifeline.” If that person answered correctly, they received ten percent of the winnings. The questions were unique in that they had to do with an individual contestant’s friends, family, hobbies or hometown.

The ‘easy question’ girl and the ‘hard question’ girl brought out the questions. If the contestant missed an easy question he or she would lose all the money; if a hard question was missed, he or she only lost half.

Later, after a format change brought newsman Mike Wallace on as host (in his TV game show debut), contestants answered encyclopedia-like questions in different categories.

Note: Flynn apparently made only this one appearance; subsequent TV listings and related news report nothing further. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NEWS whether he’d won or lost!

“What’s My Line?”, May 26 1957, CBS.

Moderator: John Daly. Mystery guests: Sammy Davis, Jr. Guest panelist: Errol Flynn.  Panel show.

“Toast of the Town Panel Show” playing “Himself” (archive footage) (episode # 10.48) [August 25 1957]

“What’s My Line?”, December 1 1957, CBS.

Panel show. Moderator: John Daly. Mystery guest: Errol Flynn.

“The Steve Allen Show”, December 1 1957, NBC.

Comedy/variety. The Steve Allen Show (1956-1961). Steve Allen, Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Dayton Allen. Announcer: Gene Rayburn. Music director, Skitch Henderson.

Guests: Martha Raye, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Dean, Jennie Smith, Don Adams, Army-Navy football team members.

“The Arthur Murray Party”, October 27, 1958, ABC.

Ballroom dancing, plus comedy, songs and dance contests on one of the few programs to air over all four major commercial networks. ABC premiered it on July 20, 1950 and it closed on NBC on September 6, 1960. It varied between a half-hour and one hour in length.

…. Himself – Guest aka “Arthur Murray Party Time” 
… aka “The Arthur Murray Show”

Jack Paar Show, 1/6/59 French singer Genevieve and American television show host Jack Paar (1918 – 2004) listen as Australian-born American actor Errol Flynn (1909 – 1959) talks about a bird during a segment of ‘The Jack Paar Show,’ New York, New York, 1959. And at one point Flynn is wearing the Cuban flag

Note:  I have found neither an officiall date for this show nor any record of its having survived. There does exist some photos of the appearance and there was an item in the newspaper of 1/7/59 in which the headline reads “Actor Accuses Batista Forces” and that it was said the previous night, so likely it was during the Paar Show appearance as where else might he have been to have been quoted? In IMDB it is stated that not until 1/12/59 was the first Paar show videotaped… hence no surviving record?

“Front Page Challenge”: Jan. 13, 1959. Host: Fred Davis, Panellists: Pierre Berton, Toby Robins, Gordon Sinclair. Guest(s): Errol Flynn, Scott Young Errol Flynn became a guest on Front Page Challenge after producer Jim Guthro read in a newspaper that Flynn had been in Cuba during the revolution. When Guthro tracked him down in New York, Flynn agreed to appear on the show — if the CBC paid for his “secretary” (who was, in fact, his mistress) to fly to Toronto with him.

“The Red Skelton Show”, September 29 1959, CBS.

Comedy/variety. Red Skelton, Errol Flynn, Scott Engel, Beverly Aadland. Director, Seymour Berns.

Originally broadcast on CBS, two weeks before Errol Flynn’s death at age 50.


In a sketch, Skelton portrays hobo Freddie the Freeloader and Flynn his friend, “The Duke.” After a group of beatniks (which includes Flynn’s teenage girlfriend Beverly Aadland) mistakes Freddie’s shack for a coffee bar, Freddie is informed by a policeman that all bums have been ordered by the city council to leave town by sundown. Freddie and the Duke decide that the only way they will be able to stay in town is to open their own beatnik coffee bar. Singer Scott Engel (who later went on to fame as Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers) sings “Paper Doll.”

“Hollywood and the Stars:

The Swashbucklers”, 1964. Fairbanks Sr. and Flynn, featured stories, with minor coverage of others. Joseph Cotton narrator. 25 minutes.

Hollywood Goes to War, 1964  Everyone from Astaire to Wayne (and of course…) . Joseph Cotton narrator. 25 minutes.

“The Hollywood Greats: Errol Flynn”, 1978. Barry Norman narrator. 50 minutes.

“HBO: The Legend of Errol Flynn”, 1979. Robert Vaughn narrator. 23 minutes.

“Errol Flynn: Portrait Of A Swashbuckler”, 1983. Christopher Lee narrator. 50 minutes.

“Australians”, 1988, Episode 12, “Errol Flynn”, Drama, 13 minutes.

“A&E Biography: Robin Hood – Outlaw of the Forest”,1995, (TV) …. Himself

“Secret Lives: Errol Flynn”, 1996 (Channel 4 of England), 50 minutes.

Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory (1998) (TV) (uncredited)

“It’s Only Talk: The Real Story of America’s Talk Shows”, 1999, excerpt from the Steve Allen Show with Errol and Steve Fencing (January 6 1957)

“Informal, El” playing “El Burlador Caliente” (archive footage) April 21 2001

Raoul Walsh and Errol Flynn, 2002, Documentary Short, French TV.

“A & E’s Hollywood Home Movies”, 2004. Brief snippets of Flynn: EF smoking/ talking with shirt off on Zaca in color (2 seconds); EF playing tennis in color (4 seconds); and Bogart, Kay Francis (?), and Flynn in gathering at private home, outside, pan shot,  b & w (5 seconds).

“The Adventures of Errol Flynn”, 2005, Documentary (V & TV)

Tasmanian Devil: The Fast and Furious Life of Errol Flynn, 2007, TV Movie documentary

Cuban Story, The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution, 1959/2010, Documentary. 50 minutes

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, 2010, Documentary, 86 minutes


Tip O’ the Hat, to Karl! Read the rest of this entry »

— David DeWitt


Mailbag! New Novel with A Robin Hood Twist!

26 Oct

Thanks to author James Bradford Taylor for the news about his novel which has one of my favorite kinds of themes: time travel, finding yourself transported back to a much earlier era which leads to all sorts of complications, drama, comedy and action …

Robin Hood1Click the image to check out the free Preview on…

I’m told by the Author that this is a Robin Hood story, not an Errol Flynn story but “his presence is felt in a most unusual but satisfying way,” and the review on Amazon highly praises the writing. In part, it reads:

“I recommend this for all lovers of swashbuckling fiction, the action scenes are very well done but there is just as much romance of both the conventional and screw-ball variety. But like a Raphael Sabatini novel the adventure here is unleavened by any dismissal of the real consequences of violence. There are some very sobering scenes of things ‘going medieval’ that keep the mood from getting too giddy. In fact the most impressive effect Taylor brings off several times in the book is the deft key changes, in mood, atmosphere and attitude. There is certainly as much tragedy as triumph in this tale of 1215 and I found my elation was matched by sadness for the stories of these well-drawn characters.”

We tip our hat to Brad Taylor, and thank him again for letting us know about his book. Taylor is a longtime fan of Errol Flynn, and his films, particularly The Adventures of Robin Hood which inspires this book. 525 Kindle pages. Published June 25, 2015. You don’t have to own a Kindle device to read this book. The Kindle app is free for several kinds of devices, and computer operating systems.

— David DeWitt


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