Friday, December 25, 2020
In our last post of 2020, the most miserably misbegotten of years, the gang at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog wishes a Merry Christmas to all. Batting leadoff: the great Chicago tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons. Sounds like Gene is teamed with frequent collaborator Dexter Gordon for double holiday cheer on this super swingin' rendition of "Jingle Bells."
Another great of 20th century pop culture, Christopher Lee, loved Christmas songs and heavy metal - and combined the genres quite well.
As my family traditions at this point have evolved into a hybrid Christmashanukkah, Chanukahchristmas, Christmaschanukah or Hannukahchristmas, the following two songs are most apropo. Always enjoy hearing them. Thanks, Tom! Thanks, Adam!
When it comes to holiday traditions, polka rockstars Yosh & Stan Schmenge of The Happy Wanderers show us how to do Christmas right.
The following Capitol Records compilation of great songs for the holidays will always be a personal favorite, even given that nowadays hearing this gets me a bit choked up, as I think of family members who are no longer with us. . . Boy, do I miss them!
As always, we're suckers for holiday-related cartoons here at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog. Here's a terrific one from Great Britain's John Halas and Joy Batchelor studio.
Indeed, we love Christmas cartoons. The following 1933 Popeye the Sailor opus is about as Christmasy as getting hit hard with a shovel in the face from Bluto, but remains enjoyable just the same. It even includes Oliye Oyl stranded on the ice floes a la Lillian Gish in D.W. Griffith's epic Way Down East. The inimitable William "Red Pepper Sam" Costello version of Popeye saying "this is a day for peace on oyth" always cracks me up, every time.
At least Popeye in Seasin's Greetinks is a lot more Christmasy than the following Famous Studios opus starring Herman & Katnip, key predecessors of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, in which the unfortunate, unkempt, un-graceful and ungainly Katnip ends up strung up with lights like a Christmas tree and plugged into the wall socket while Herman's irritating mousey pals sing "Merry Christmas To You" irritatingly. One sincerely hopes Fred Rogers never saw this cartoon.
Thrilled to still be drawing breath almost a year into a raging global pandemic. Sincerely hope that there is an end in sight, commencing at the point when the grownups (we hope) officially take over from the toddlers next year.
Sunday, December 06, 2020
It is the natal anniversary of many luminaries we at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog love. First and foremost, celebrating his 65th today is one of this blogger's all-time favorite standup comedians, the great and original Stephen Wright.
As Stephen's standup comedy has, the films of Nick Park and Aardman Animations remain responsible for innumerable laughs over the past 30+ years.
First recall seeing an Aardman Animations film on the big screen in one of the late Prescott Wright's terrific International Tournee Of Animation programs (and shortly thereafter in a Spike & Mike's Festival Of Animation). That was Creature Comforts (1989) and it made quite the impression then. Still does!
The gang at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog could be considered Wallace and Gromit fanboys, but strictly on the proviso that we have some cracking good Wensleydale cheese to enjoy with our movies!
Arguably, our #1 choice of all the superb films by Nick and the gang at Aardman Animations would be Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers.
There are several greats from the world of music who have birthdays on December 6th. One would be ace lyricist from the Broadway stage and Hollywood movies Ira Gershwin, born on December 6, 1896 and responsible for countless standards as part of the best brother team short of the Coen brothers, the Heath brothers, The Brothers Johnson, Dizzy & Daffy Dean, Tommy & Dickie Smothers, The Brothers Karamazov and Tom & Dick Van Arsdale.
Ira Gershwin also contributed his signature witty, inventive and literate lyrics to superb songs by Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill, Harry Warren and Jerome Kern.
It is also the birthday of jazz and progressive rock bassist Miroslav Vitouš, noted as a member of the first version of Weather Report, a mighty multi-genre musical juggernaut.
Along with Stephen and Miroslav, Chris Stamey, intrepid rocker, Man Of A Thousand Tunes and frequent collaborator of Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog favorite Alex Chilton, celebrates a birthday today.
Of the many talented actors and comedians who sequed between sitcoms, radio, stage, recordings and cartoon voice work, it's tough to top Wally Cox, born on December 6, 1924.
Wally's yodeling on the following song is priceless.
We respectfully raise our eggnog glasses and toast all the December 6th birthdays!