Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Man Named Red

Summerfest announced 76 acts this morning. Only one out of the six I mentioned yesterday, Ray LaMontagne will be playing the fest. So much for the rumor blogs. There's still three amphitheater headliners to be announced shortly. You can see the signed acts at

Facebook (FB) announced that it bought another tech company after market close yesterday called Oculus. So far the market hasn't liked the acquisition as the stock is down for the day. CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to be using the Google (GOOG) plan which is to buy young companies for growth as opposed to APPLE (AAPL) which relies mostly on their own design products. All three companies make a boatload of money!

I caught more of the Johnny Carson interviews last night on TMC hosted by Conan O'Brien. It was the best program of the series by far. It started out with a 1977 interview with Lucille Ball. Basically, Lucy and Desi set the foundation for the modern sitcom. She's the original queen of comedy.

It also had interviews with Carol Burnett and a pre- Murphy Brown, Candice Bergen. Both humble and lovely ladies. It also featured Carson's personal favorite Jack Benny and Don Adams from the comedy Get Smart. Adams was a total stitch and had me laughing out loud. I never knew he was such a successful road comic.

TMC closed with my childhood favorite, Mr. Red Skelton. I actually saw a Red Skelton performance in his final year of doing shows at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Il. He was a funny, humble and gracious man. President Roosevelt asked him to help raise money for the war effort and within 2 weeks Red handed the government a new transport plane.

Red was actually his real middle name and he grew up very poor in Vincennes, Indiana. He did his famous doughnut dunker act five times a day during his vaudeville days. Each performance required him to eat nine doughnuts during the act which is 45 a day. After he gained 35 pounds he finally had to put that act on the shelf. My barber actually cut Mr. Skelton's hair once as he was performing in Milwaukee. I actually felt close to greatness as I consider him our nation's Charlie Chaplin. Not bad Red.


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