Saturday, June 14, 2014

Now I’ve seen it all. Judy Garland in blackface at age 15 singing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”

It’s weird to be home alone on Saturday night, especially when you’re used to an adorable tall dude in plaid flannel pants eating Clif bars. Sam will be in California for another eight days and I’m on my own at Howdygram headquarters. The silence around here is DEAFENING.

So what am I doing to occupy my time? This, for one thing. The Howdygram. Also old movies, such as the jaw-dropper I watched a couple of hours ago. It was Everybody Sing (1938), a peculiar and seriously off-the-mark MGM musical starring Allan Jones, Judy Garland at age 15 and Fanny Brice plus a fine supporting cast that included Billie Burke, Reginald Owen and Reginald Gardiner.
The characters were a riot. The plot and songs were completely stinko, as evidenced by JUDY GARLAND IN BLACKFACE with her head covered in pickininny braids pretending to be a “po’ chile” — specifically, “one of 12 children and all of us were twins” — belting out a jazz version of  “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
And here’s a video clip in case you think I’m making this up.

Basically Everybody Sing was one of those corny “Hey, guys, let’s put on a show!” plots with the whole family trying to be a hit on Broadway. Judy was brilliant in one of her earliest leading roles and I loved Billie Burke as her screechy, fluttery mother, but apparently MGM didn’t know what the hell to do with Allan Jones — an opera-quality tenor with kinky hair and zero acting talent — because he never really fit into ANYTHING after A Night at the Opera (1935) so they decided to let him reprise “Cosi-Cosa” in Everybody Sing dressed in Rodolpho Lassparri’s old clown costume (see left). Maybe they should’ve thrown in the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont, too. Holy crap.

Sam and I are still having issues with Face Time tonight. The problem is definitely centered around the settings on his iPad but there’s not much I can do about it long-distance. I’m hoping he’ll find time to visit an Apple Store so they can figure out what’s going on and fix it. And in the meantime I want to strangle those ignorant lying turds at for RUINING EVERYTHING [see my earlier post].

Thank you for reading this.

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