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August 08, 2010

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woid

Great post, as always by Listener KN, about a great artist. I recently bought a Friedman print of Groucho and the "You Bet Your Life" duck, a typical masterwork. I see it a hundred times a day, and smile every time.

One bit is backwards: Sinatra's last marriage was to Zeppo's widow. So, yes, a Marx brother married Frank's wife, only it was before Frank did. Harpo? He's not talking.

L'Atalante

DC has been reprinting the original runs of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane in black-and-white paperbacks. There have been three volumes of "Superman Family" so far.

Michael Powers

I think Sinatra actually "stole" Zeppo Marx's wife while Zeppo was alive, and Zeppo complained about it to a reporter at one point. (Imagine having Frank Sinatra take your wife away from you.) Whether Sinatra actually married her before Zeppo died, I'm not sure, but I was under the impression that he did (this would be so easy to check if only it were worth bothering with).

Speaking of Sinatra, one of my favorite of Friedman's works was a one-off strip he did for some magazine like Esquire entitled "Frank, Jr.," a poignant meditation on Sinatra's son's uniquely weird lot in life. My other favorite Friedman production was the page he did for a Howard Stern book involving Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz as practicing members of N.A.M.B.L.A., the "North American Man-Boy Love Association," one of the most hilarious creations ever printed this side of Hunter Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." God, the ending with Fred and Ricky feverishly spanking a pair of toddlers as Lucy and Ethel unexpectedly walk in on them has to be seen to be believed.

Kliph, this is another masterpiece of a knowledgeable interview, so refreshing in comparison to, say, the "American Archive of Television" interviews for which they inscrutably choose interviewers (relatives of the people in charge, apparently) who plainly know literally next to nothing about the people they're interviewing, worse than Larry King. Christ, imagine if you were doing those. I have an extremely treasured friend whose favorite book is one about Times Square on which Friedman and his brother collaborated. I've been meaning to swing by the Rose Reading Room at Manhattan's main library branch and read it for more than a decade and I'll do it eventually if I don't drop dead first. In any case, this interview is another valuable joy that you've deftly contributed to the zeitgeist. I know you're around 24 or 25 and I think you've got one hell of a future (and I'd say the same thing if you were 64 or 65, but maybe not 84 or 85).

Bravo!

David Mackey

Nice interview Kliph. I've said this to Drew before, but my favorite Friedman strip of all time remains "Jimmy Durante Boffs Young Starlets". That is when I gained a true appreciation for his photorealistic style.

I also still chuckle at his single-panel take on animation director Paul J. Smith (later Woody Woodpecker cartoons), stating "Yeah.... f**k Disney AND his goddamn mouse."

And the PLONSKY shout out was a great touch - they're about to open up a third PLONSKY group because the first two have hit over 19,000 pictures.

Andrew

I think Sinatra actually "stole" Zeppo Marx's wife while Zeppo was alive, and Zeppo complained about it to a reporter at one point. (Imagine having Frank Sinatra take your wife away from you.) Whether Sinatra actually married her before Zeppo died, I'm not sure, but I was under the impression that he did (this would be so easy to check if only it were worth bothering with).

For the record Sinatra married Barbara Marx in 1976, three years before Zeppo (the last surviving Marx brother) died.

Archive Listener Frank

A couple of Protestant comedians here and there, huh? Like W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton, Dan Ackroyd, Buster Keaton, Bob Newhart, Bob and Ray (maybe), Fred Allen, Sam Kinnison, um, er- OK, I see his point.

John Carney

I always associated "too soon" with Johnny Carson, although my memory may be faulty. I remember jokes like an old girlfriend being named "Miss Lincoln" — actually for Lincoln, Nebraska, but Carson's explanation was that it was Miss Lincoln "because everybody took a shot at her in the balcony." Inevitably, some in the audience would react to this, and Carson would look over at Ed and say "too soon?" or something like that.

Michael Powers

"A couple of Protestant comedians here and there, huh? Like W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton, Dan Ackroyd, Buster Keaton, Bob Newhart, Bob and Ray (maybe), Fred Allen, Sam Kinnison, um, er- OK, I see his point."

Not to mention Cary Grant or Charles Chaplin.

Mike Cullen

Brilliant interview!

Just an FYI, the Gilbert Gottfried bit mentioned towards the end was from the Comedy Central roast of Hugh Hefner. It aired a few weeks after 9/11, and stands in my mind as the funniest and most cathartic moment in comedy, ever. And I can't find a damn link to it.

Andrew

"A couple of Protestant comedians here and there, huh? Like W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton, Dan Ackroyd, Buster Keaton, Bob Newhart, Bob and Ray (maybe), Fred Allen, Sam Kinnison, um, er- OK, I see his point."

A few of those comedians are actually Catholic.

Michael Powers

Instead of Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant (or Muslim, for that matter), all variations of exactly the same theme, we should be concentrating instead on atheist comedians, perhaps beginning with George Carlin (originally Catholic) and Marc Maron (started out Jewish). Both have been as vocal about their atheism as it is humanly possible for anyone to be.

Michael Powers

One thing I'd momentarily forgotten when mentioning Friedman's comic strip about Frank Sinatra, Jr. was that a major film director, and I'm more or less positive it was Martin Scorsese, almost made a movie based on this single one-off strip. If you see the strip, you'll understand why this makes sense. By the way, speaking of Scorsese, I came up with a good mnemonic yesterday for correctly pronouncing his name: it's "Score-says-he" with taking the "h" out of "he."

Michael Powers

The Gottfried "too soon" sequence at the Friars Roast appears in the movie "The Aristocrats."

rent in london

"A couple of Protestant comedians here and there, huh? Like W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton, Dan Ackroyd, Buster Keaton, Bob Newhart, Bob and Ray (maybe), Fred Allen, Sam Kinnison, um, er- OK, I see his point."

Ponholio Corderbrero

Good interview,lots of "actually" in there

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