Monday, August 31, 2009

924th Post - A Shakespearian Post

I fondly recall watching the Wayne and Shuster specials on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation when I was a youngster. Even then, there was something old-fashioned about their humour, and their approach to it. I had no idea that their act went all the way back to World War II. I had no way of knowing that their main claim to fame for Americans was the fact that they had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more times than any other act. The story went that Sullivan just liked the guys. They would show up at the studio with their suits slung over their shoulders, just the same way Sullivan did. No pretension.

W&S were responsible, indirectly, for reforming the Canadian parliament. In the 1970's and earlier, it was the custom of Members of Parliament, as a form of heckling, to remove one shoe and bang it on their desks. This silly tradition went on for decades until W&S did a parody song called "Question Time" wherein the participants rapped shoes on their desks. Almost immediately, this dumbass practice ceased.

One other trivia note, as I don't think I've mentioned it here before: Frank Shuster was a cousin to Joe Shuster, who was the co-creator of Superman, and whom I discussed as a desperate pornographer here a couple of weeks ago!

I am linking two videos this evening, recorded 20 or more years apart. They are of my very favourite W&S skit, "Shakespearian Baseball". It is fun to see what they did with the skit all those years later. References are updated. Actors are replaced. Scenes are reblocked and restaged. But the politically-incorrect references to mental illness remain. Some things never change!

Here is the 1950's version:

Here is the one from the late 1970's or so:


Transcribe time!!


No comments: