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Your mission - which you have no choice but to accept - is to complete the following passages as fully as possible. Points WILL be given for funny. More points will be given for accurate. The actors contained herein were selected through the scientifically precise method of arbitrarily choosing my favorites.
Buster Keaton: Forgotten funny fall guy
Named JOSEPH FRANCIS KEATON at birth, he received his nickname at the tender age of 6 months after he FELL HEADFIRST DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS. By the way, the name was suggested by famous magician and friend of the family, HARRY HOUDINI. After appearing on vaudeville stages for years, he broke into films accidentally with a bit part in "THE BUTCHER BOY," starring FATTY ARBUCKLE. He was drafted in 1917, where he was very popular among the officers - not for his humorous stunts, but for his skill at _________. He was also an avid BASEBALL fan and player throughout his life, and one reporter quipped that even a bad actor could find work at Keaton's company as long as he was a good sport. Keaton is famous as a stuntman and physical comedian who did his own stunts, and even his co-stars' stunts, without using doubles or trick photography. Some of his most famous and dangerous stunts include _____________ (in Doughboys), SWINGING BY A ROPE ACROSS A WATERFALL (in Our Hospitality), and STANDING STILL, AS A HALF-TON BUILDING FRONT TOPPLED OVER ON HIM (HE FIT RIGHT THROUGH A SMALL WINDOW) (in Steamboat Bill).
Charlie Chaplin - The original "Little Tramp"
Christened CHARLES SPENCER CHAPLIN at birth, Charlie's first theatrical role was as A DOWN-ON-HIS-LUCK DANDY in "MAKING A LIVING." Always the fast liver, he was rumored to have had an affair with William R. Hearst's theatrical ingenue MARION DAVIES. In all, this trampy Brit's children numbered EIGHT, the last born when Chaplin was SEVENTY-THREE years old. On March 4, 1975, Chaplin was honored by BEING KNIGHTED. A strange thing happened to his corpse, namely IT WAS DUG UP AND HELD FOR RANSOM.
Gracie Allen.... (oh, and George)
"From my knowledge of what the public wants, I can tell you that it would not accept you as a regular feature. For one thing, Gracie's voice Is too squeaky - absolutely unflt for radio."
Of course, her fuII name was GRACE ETHEL CECILE ROSALIE ALLEN. She became successful on the stage after teaming up with George Burns (originally named NATHAN BIRNBAUM), and, thanks to his writing and encouragement, the pair quickly conquered radio as well. Their American radio debut in 1932, called "THE ADVENTURES OF GRACIE" and sponsored by WHITE OWL CIGARS, featured a popular (though completely fictional) publicity stunt: _______________________. Their first movie, THE BIG BROADCAST, followed soon after. In 1940, Gracie ran for President, featuring the slogan "IT'S IN THE BAG"; her party was known as the SURPRISE PARTY. After twenty successful years on radio, the pair moved to television with a new sponsor, MAXWELL HOUSE COFFEE.
(NOTE: Burns & Allen's first movie was actually "Lambchops" in 1929.
The Marx Brothers
"Never saw so much nepotism or such hilarious laughter in one act in my life. The only act I could never follow." -W.C. Fields
Ah, the Marx Brothers, eldest Chico (whose real name was LEONARD), Harpo (ADOLPH), Groucho (JULIUS), Gummo (MILTON), AND Zeppo (HERBERT). Harpo had schooling troubles early on. After spending two years in first grade and two more in second, he quit shool permanently (at the age of 8) because _________________. Gummo always had trouble on the stage because _______________________. However, he didn't leave their stage act until 1917, when HE ENLISTED FOR WORLD WAR ONE.
"It.... is the kind of humor you find in chimps. It cuts right to the lizard part of our brains."
Born as JAMES EUGENE CARREY in the town of NEWMARKET, ONTARIO, Carrey was doing stand-up at a club called ________________ when he was only 18. At 18, he moved to L.A. and soon got a job in his first TV series, THE DUCK FACTORY. Early movies included "INTRODUCING...JANET" AND "COPPER MOUNTAIN: A CLUB MED EXPERIENCE"; Carrey also had a part in a TV show called "MIKE HAMMER: MURDER TAKES ALL" before he gained recognition on "In Living Color." To handle his own affairs, Jim started __________________. Lately, he has played the part of FLETCHER REEDE in "Liar, Liar"; he has also appeared on "Sesame Street," where he entertained kids by ___________________. This strange 'riddler' has had his share of pain; in his twenties he had nightmares about ______________, and his last marriage to LAUREN HOLLY lasted only 10 months. At his father's funeral, Jim placed a strange thing in the casket- a CHECK FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Currently, his manager claims Carrey is aiming for one thing when it comes to his career: ___________________.
(NOTE: "Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All" was a specific program; Carrey did not have a recurring role.)
Bit Parts: Odd & Ends
- According to George Carlin, the infamous "Seven Words You Cannot Say On Television" are:
Shit, fuck, piss, cunt, motherfucker, cocksucker, and tits.
- Who received the Award for Excellence in Comedy at this years Cinema Expo International?
- And Entertainment Weekly's most recent nomination for Funniest Man Alive?
- What did Rowan Atkinsen major in at Newcastle University? At Oxford University?
Engineering for both.
- Leslie Nielsen's father was a bit of a disciplinarian; not surprising, as he was __________ by occupation.
- Robin Williams' 3 Grammys were awarded to him for what works?
- Who is Melvin Kaminski?
- And who, in this bonus, is married to someone named Sunetra Sastry?
Identify the comedian who played the following roles, and the film in which they appeared:
George Burns; "Oh, God!"
- Stanley lpkiss:
Jim Carrey; "The Mask."
- Zazu (voice):
- Gracie Allen:
Gracie Allen (no!); "The Gracie Allen Murder Case" or "A Damsel in Distress."
Charlie Chaplin; "Limelight."
- Dr. Rumack:
Leslie Nielsen, "Airplane!"
- Batty (voice):
Robin Williams, "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest."
- Dr. Quincy Adams Wagstaff:
Groucho Marx; "Horsefeathers."
- The Insane King of the Moon:
Robin Williams, "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen."
- Detective Axel Foley:
Eddie Murphy; "Beverly Hills Cop(s)."
- Wadsworth, the butler:
Tim Curry, "Clue."
- Archie Leach, barrister:
John Cleese; "A Fish Called Wanda."
- Inspector Clouseau:
Peter Sellers; "The Pink Panther," et al.
- Del Griffith:
John Candy; "Plains, Trains & Automobiles."
- Charlie D. Bales:
And the comedians responsible for the following (real life) quotes:
- "My mother treated us all equally... with contempt!"
- "ON MY WAY FOR OUR WEDDING. PLEASE SET DATE. WIRE REPLY."
- "Radio was like stealing money. You didn't even have to open a door. You
just stood there, held a piece of paper in your hand, and you read it."
- "I was determined to ridicule their mystic bilge about a pure-blooded race: As
though such a thing ever existed outside of the Australian Aborigines!"
Charlie Chaplin (discussing his "The Great Dictator").
- "Nothing like baseball to take your mind off your troubles."
(NOTE: Presumably the second quote is Jim Carrey's and the third quote is George Burns' or Gracie Allen's, if only to correspond with the first section of the bonus.)
In the space provided below, be funny. Jokes, puns, humorous drawings, and
offers of bribery are cheerfully accepted. If you need additional space, feel
free to add extra pages, provided they are written on well-tanned goat's skin
with a blood-based ink.
Q: Why did the moron throw his alarm clock out of the window?
A: Because he was a moron!