Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Happy 100th Birthday, Frank Tashlin!
Born on February 19, 1913, film comedy producer-director-writer-animator and the author of The Bear That Wasn't, the most satiric children's book ever penned, Mr. Frank Tashlin.
Tashlin could well be the single greatest cartoon director who ever lived, or at the very least, neck-in-neck with Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett, if the following comic gems from Warner Bros. are any indication.
Tashlin carried that subversive sense of humor from animation to live-action, first as screenwriter (The Road To Utopia, The Paleface), then as director. Paramount comedy stars Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in particular benefited immensely.
As the 1950's progressed, Tashlin smuggled even more of that unique satiric edge into the mix while directing and writing starring vehicles for Martin & Lewis, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Randall, Terry-Thomas and Jerry Lewis.
The following commentary on Tashlin's delirious 1956 musical The Girl Can't Help It, by a subversive filmmaker of a later generation, John Waters, says it all.
Thanks, Frank - like Little Richard and Sweet Gene Vincent, you rocked!
Author/historian Mike Barrier rocked as well with his 1971 interview with Mr. Tashlin.