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February 04, 2007

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krup

Watch "Daffy (El Pato Lucas) Doodles" en espanol!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16NrgerS0GY

Rix

Excellent post.

Parq

Ahhhhhhhh, rather fascinating, isn't it?

Dale Hazelton

Any student of Max Sennet era films knows Ben Turpin invented that persona, for sure!

http://silentgents.com/OGTurpin.html

jamesie

Gurdjeef's brother perhaps?

Listener Kliph Nesteroff

Ben Turpin never screamed to music! He didn't even talk (just sneezed)!

Webhamster Henry

Warner Brothers actually had two cartoons with a Jerry Colonna - based worm character, "The Wacky Worm," directed by Friz Freling! Check out the more interesting of them, GREETINGS, BAIT!, which is not so great except for one scene where he twists a crabs eyes into a knot and then we get a crab's eye split screen view in the next shot! Nominated for an Academy award, which proves ... nothing really.

mmtper

Colonna actually continued appearing onscreen well into the 1970's on the Bob Hope television specials. In the early '70's ones Colonna spoke lines (An annoyed Hope to a heckling Colonna: "What's the difference between you and an idiot?" Replies Colonna: "Well, for one thing, you don't have a moustache!") but his voice was husky and aged, he could no longer produce that crazy sound. So, in later ones he was silent, used as a surreal sight gag. I remember the one where Hope, riding in an airplane, looks out the window and sees Colonna, gliding along like Superman, grinning back at him.
This loyalty was similar to Jack Bennys later specials, where he continued to feature an ailing Rochester, who also had lost his remarkable voice, but was given parts for old time's sake.

:: smo ::

this is a great article! thanks for posting! i was just watching a lot of old looney tunes trying to remember Colonna's name, he was caricatured soooo many times in them, be it direct, or from a fleeting impersonation by blanc. oddly enough they seem to be the strongest showcase of his character today. i'm an animator myself, and i've been pretty interested lately of the strong caricatures of people like colonna and durante that pop up in the 40's so often...and how there's very few people that distinct today. it'd be great to hear some of the old hope radio shows and actually hear him in his element! this record is great too i'm listening now. thanks much!

Bob Colonna

A really fine appreciation, and thanks, on behalf of Jerry, my Dad. I have a book coming out in September about him -- you can e-mail me for info. About his TV show -- it was a little tame even for its time, but there was some cute stuff on it. Usually began with a song and a sketch about an occupation ("A Farmer's Life," etc.), then there would be a visit to "Peppino's Barber Shop" where Jerry would do an Neapolitan immigrant accent (his own father was from Naples) and sing in a barbershop quartet. The final segment was always an elaborate sketch involving actress Isabel Randolph as "Mrs. Van Aardvark," a Margaret Dumont type who would run up against Jerry in the character of everything from a mad caterer to an Arctic explorer. Also on the show were announcer Del Sharbutt and Jerry's brother Red, a vaudeville veteran.
Another collector's item you might hunt down and enjoy is "Here Comes Colonna's Trolley," a 78rpm for kids. Very funny and charming.

Mike White

Thank you for this. I never got the "Ah yes! Not guilty!" joke ending of Daffy Doodles until now!

Michael Powers

Thanks for this fine article about Colonna. You're exactly right about his being Hope's true sidekick. I wonder how much money Hope would actually give Colonna when he was laid up in the movie nursing home--I'm guessing it was in the low double digits.

I believe it was Sherwood Schwartz, a Hope writer you mentioned, who tells a story in his Archive of American Television videotaped reminiscence (available online) about how every night Hope would send Schwartz out to pick up an ice cream sundae for him during late conferences with his writers, which Hope would then proceed to consume in front of his starving staff without offering them anything. Schwartz was on leave from the Army a couple of years later and decided to drop by to see his co-workers, assuming that Hope and the others would be in a typical late-night brainstorming session. He noticed that the drug store where he got the sundaes was still in the same location so he picked one up for Hope to surprise him. He sauntered into the conference, set the sundae down in front of Hope as he'd done countless times before in previous years, and Hope looked up and said, "What took you so long?"

There's only one upside that I can think of to the fact that effervescently memorable personalities like Colonna and Durante are gone and gradually being forgotten: the fact that half the country isn't always trying to imitate them any more. Oddly, there's nothing more blissful than watching Durante perform or more loathsome than seeing anyone (anyone at all) try to do a Durante impression. I vividly remember days when half the children in the schoolyard during recess were trying to mimic Durante and I am here to tell you that there are few interludes in life more disgusting than that---it ranks with watching a parent slowly waste away from cancer or a child suddenly killed in an auto accident for sheer visceral repugnance.

Michael Powers

I mentioned that everyone becomes obnoxious when doing a Durante impression but last week I saw Jackie Gleason do one during the monologue for a 1951 installment of "Cavalcade of Stars" and he was as entertaining as Durante, but then he refrained from the head-wagging that only Durante himself could pull off and basically only did the voice. Gleason in '51 is a revelation, young, not yet fat, and exploding with energy, and the early Honeymooners sketches with Pert Kelton as Alice are shockingly dark and harrowingly realistic, infinitely superior to the "Classic 39" half-hour episodes we all grew up with. If you don't believe me, find your way to the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio and earlier the Museum of Broadcasting) in NYC or LA: seeing is believing.

I have a photo taken in W. W. 2 on a south pacific island of Jerry Colona, Bob Hope, Frances Langford. My dad had it taken when he performed with them. He was in an army air force band. If anyone wants it I can send it via email.
vkyval@yahoo.com

greatroomcamera@gmail.com

I have an original 78 RPB Jerry Colonna record with these two songs, Wake the town and tell the people and When you see a pretty girl. Interested parties please inquire.

greatroomcamera@gmail.com

OOPs I meant, RPM !!

Long John

I'm looking for his song "Cow Pasture Polka"...and any other whacky songs...!!!

Long John - KMUD.ORG

john urbanski

I once heard on radio during Joe Franklin's show-a 'cavalcade' as he put it with Jerry Colonna singing songs about 'Old new York', such as 'On the Sidewalks of New York' along with several others. Was able to get a part of it on tape, but haven't heard it again or been able to get a recording of this 'set'. Anyone have any info about it?

Maurice Crum

I noticed so far all that is written about Jerry there was no mention that in television's early days that he used to appear on the Sunday morning Christopher Club religious program and recite would the rosary.
One funny stunt was also on the old Steve Allen Sunday show, where he brought out a saint Bernard dog and showed Steve his cat, whereupon Steve say's "a cat? thats a saint Bernard!!". Jerry picks up the dog, throws it out the window and calls out after it "Lie ta me willya!!!"

Earl Everhart

Thanks for the memories. Listen to the Bob Hope programs via Sirius radio and feel "cheated" when Mr. Colona is not on. Born in 1945, I grew up listening to Hope, Benny, etc. while sitting in front of the old upright floor model radios (pre t.v.) and later on the small black and white set. Those were the good old days.
Earl Everhart

Brian BaSSETT

Does any one have the song "when Rosa Racula does the hula maboula", by Jerry Colona I don't know if the names are spelled correctly,, as my folks gave me the 78 back in the mid 40s and I played till it was worn out., still remember it just don't remember all the words.

Bob Paine

Colonna as a gold miner: Greetings, Gate - let's spec-u-late! (Groan)

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