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Cinema Clown Comedy Film History Interview Video

TV Interview with Peter Sellars – 1980

One of the funniest, if not the funniest comedic actor of all time being interviewed on network TV by Gene Shalit in 1980. So much fun watching him change accents and talk about his career.

He is best remembered for his role of inept French police Inspector ‘Jacques Clouseau’ in the “Pink Panther” series of films (1964 to 1982). The last of that series, “Trail of the Pink Panther” (1982) was made after his death, using film clips and unseen footage from his earlier “Pink Panther” movies. Born Richard Henry Sellers in Southsea, Hampshire, England, his parents worked in an acting company run by his grandmother. During World War II, he enlisted in the British Army, where he met future actors Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Michael Bentine. Following the war, he set up a review in London, which was a combination of music and impressions (he played the drums), which led to his doing impressions on BBC television’s “The Goon Show.” Moving rapidly into a series of British comedy films during the mid-1950s, he quickly caught widespread audience appeal, and each successful role led to more and better films. Following British comic tradition of doing multiple roles in the same play, he was adept at performing multiple roles in his movies, including his hilarious “The Mouse that Roared” (1959) (playing three different parts), the black comedy, “Dr. Strangelove” (1964), (playing an pragmatic RAF officer, a wimpy United States President and a weird German scientist), and “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1979) (playing the roles of Rudolf IV, Rudolf V, and Syd Frewin). In 1959, he won the British equivalent of an Oscar for his role of ‘Fred Kite’, a labor leader in “I’m All Right, Now,” (1959), and in 1979 he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role of ‘Chance Gardiner’ in his film, “Being There” (1979). He was married four times, to Ann Howe (1951 to 1961), to actress Britt Ekland (1964 to 1968), to Miranda Quarry (1970 to 1974), and to actress Lynn Frederick (1977 to his death in 1980).

Britt Ekland and Peter Sellers. Married 1964 to 1968.

July 24, 1980: Pink Panther actor and former Goon Show star Peter Sellers.

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Categories
Photography Quotes

British Philosopher Bertrand Russell “Quote”.

From Wikipedia

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl RussellOM FRS[65] (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate.[66][67] At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had “never been any of these things, in any profound sense.”[68] Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.[69]

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British “revolt against idealism“.[70] He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians.[67] With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy”.[71] His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logicset theorylinguisticsartificial intelligencecognitive sciencecomputer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of languageepistemology and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism.[72][73] Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would “welcome with enthusiasm” world government.[74] He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I.[75] Later, Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany was a necessary “lesser of two evils” and criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament.[76] In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought“.[77][78]

For more information on Bertrand Russell!

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Categories
Book Shelf History Sideshow Vaudevisuals Bookshelf

Vaudevisuals Bookshelf – “Inseparable” by Yunte Huang

With wry humor, Shakespearean profundity, and trenchant insight, Yunte Huang brings to life the story of America’s most famous nineteenth-century Siamese twins.

Nearly a decade after his triumphant Charlie Chan biography, Yunte Huang returns with this long-awaited portrait of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), twins conjoined at the sternum by a band of cartilage and a fused liver, who were “discovered” in Siam by a British merchant in 1824. Bringing an Asian American perspective to this almost implausible story, Huang depicts the twins, arriving in Boston in 1829, first as museum exhibits but later as financially savvy showmen who gained their freedom and traveled the backroads of rural America to bring “entertainment” to the Jacksonian mobs. Their rise from subhuman, freak-show celebrities to rich southern gentry; their marriage to two white sisters, resulting in twenty-one children; and their owning of slaves, is here not just another sensational biography but a Hawthorne-like excavation of America’s historical penchant for finding feast in the abnormal, for tyrannizing the “other”―a tradition that, as Huang reveals, becomes inseparable from American history itself. 28 illustrations.

 

“Excellent… Mr. Huang compellingly makes his case that racism was a factor in these two self-made gentlemen landowners still being considered, late in life, as nothing more than a Barnumesque “freak show”… It’s not difficult to find in this, as Mr. Huang most definitely does, a comment on the times in which we live.”
– Melanie Benjamin, Wall Street Journal

“Engrossing…. give[s] an unvarnished look at the degradation and disparagement the brothers had to endure.”
– Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

Inseparable, Yunte Huang’s exuberant and vivid account of the ‘original Siamese twins,’ examines 19th-century American attitudes toward race and sex that resonate today ― a time when immigrants, people of color, those with disabilities and others are denied their stories and denied their humanity… By sharing his own experiences, [Yuang] reveals the poignant commonalities of immigrants across time and place, strangers making sense of a strange land, determined to make a better life for themselves and their children.”
– Vanessa Hua, San Francisco Chronicle

You can purchase the book here!

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Categories
Barrow Street Theatre Comedy Performing Arts Puppetry Variety Arts Vaudevisuals Interview Ventriliquist

Nina Conti returns to New York City – Dec 12 – 23rd – “In Your Face” at Barrow St. Theatre

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Ventriloquism for a new generation… edgy, outrageous, and off the charts! Direct from her run at The Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, NINA CONTI, Britain’s voice-throwing queen, leaves the crowd speechless without even opening her mouth. Using face masks to turn her audience members into live puppets, Nina creates a hilarious new show nightly.

PRESS

“Nina Conti is a stellar talent!”
– UK’s The Mirror

“Devastatingly witty and full of daring flights of fancy!”
– London’s The Times

“Pure genius and timeless – the best thing I’ve seen.”
– UK’s Arts Award Voice

“This is possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life!”
– UK’s BroadwayBaby

“She is a master of comedy. I laughed so much I couldn’t breathe, as did the entire audience. I honestly can’t think of one person who wouldn’t love Nina Conti.”
– UK’s BroadwayBaby

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Here is an interview I did with Nina during her last visit to NYC in 2011.

Tickets can be purchased here!

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