You wouldn’t believe the toys Firestone sold. I have a hard time figuring out why they sold toys at all, but they did; the ad shows the usual collection of dolls and wagons and tea sets and cowboy outfits. There weren't a lot of toys back then, it seems - this is a mid-40s ad - but it got so much better by the 60s. As you know, if you check in on Lint.

If you don't . . .

Why not?

I'm curious about these things. I suspect that my tumblr audience is different from my blog audience; likewise, Twitter. The latter I understand, somewhat, since Twitter is a hellstream of chaff, and the people who navigate its twitchy currents aren't always the sort to read the classic old long-form blog post. That's what the Bleat has always been and will be forever. Delivered every morning like the paper. Well, M-F. Unless I forget.

Lint is just a mid-day shot of Institute-of-Official-Cheer style stuff. (I suppose I should do the good tumblr thing and reblog, but I like to keep the material original.) Tumblr is an immense thrift store. I love it.

Anyway. Today I wrote. I did not repair the garage door opener, which broke again. I'm just going to let it sit there for a while and think about what it's done. Last night I stayed up past two revising the novel, having a great time, listening to music on the Winnowed-Down iPod Mini. Almost tweeted something that would have led to many askance looks, but it just seems obvious: Prince, while not as popular as Michael Jackson, is ten times the artist. People knock on him because he's wee, peculiar fellow, but as a guitarist? A songwriter? Better. And he didn't have Quincy Jones on the knobs, either.





Today's Christmas show:



Man. This is a rough one.



From 1968. Horrible. All the way. The first skit is a kid punching Santa (Dom DeLouise) in the stomach because the previous year’s gifts were insufficient. The second skit concerns a woman who informs Santa (Bob Newhart) that she wants a divorce.



Ho ho ho 'tis the season.


Then we get the Golddiggers - I think - dancing in the worst, most terrifying Clown-Clause masks imaginable. They're wearing the death-masks of Chinese emperors.



Let's watch them dance.



(Note: I screwed around with that - basically, did a screengrab while moving my finger back and forth on the mouse to make it repeat and speed up - and added music by "The Residents.")

The real Santa, Dean Martin, is brought in under a boom mike, up there on the right.



Then there’s actual humor, as Bob Newhart does the toupee sketch. Again. When he did it alone it was funny. Here he does it with Dean. It is not funny. There’s a bit with his pianist, Ken Lane . . .



. . . a fellow who wrote a little song called “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.” Then, according to the iron-clad laws of the show, he would open the closet door to find a cameo guest.



Joking references are made to Dean’s alcoholic intake, and Bob leaves. Then follows a mostly silent routine about an office party where all the cool people get the uptight clerk drunk for the first time; he loses control and bites the breast of one of the secretaries:



When the boss (Dean Martin) joins the party, and discovers the drunken employee attempting to pitch woo at a secretary the boss fancies, he pushes the drunken clerk’s fingers into his typewriter, causing great pain:



And then, on the eve of the most joyous holiday of the year, he terminates the employee with a rubber-stamp tailor made for the humiliation.



Then Dean sings a song about how Christmas is for kids, while the camera pans around an empty room decorated with the saddest collection of lousy toys you’ve ever seen:



The song lasts long enough each shot to be repeated at least twice.


Then some stars deliver Christmas wishes for various children’s hospitals around the country. This goes on for about four minutes. Hey! It’s that person! It’s like a 1968 Pop-culture literacy test. Can you name them all?



That's about one tenth of the number of guys.

Hey, I hope comments are working - I've been tearing my hair out. Things work and then shazam, they don't. But that's life.

Really, when you think about it, it is.







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