Hey Arnold Stang!

This piece was originally published January 25th, 2010.

Arnold Stang IconIf ever there was a legend worthy of writing about here at The Mystery Box, then Arnold Stang is one of those legends.

On December 20th, 2009 Arnold Stang left the world for that great comedy club in the sky.

I grew up with such admiration for Stang that I felt the indebted to include Arnold Stang, the 2nd selection for this installment of a regular Mystery Box feature called Great Comedians Of The Past.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you:

GREAT COMEDIANS OF THE PAST #2: ARNOLD STANG

Arnold Stang migrated from his 1918 birthplace of Chelsea, MA to Brooklyn and grew up as as a young kid chasing showbiz, stardom and everything else that a lifestyle in the big city could offer him. He was savvy from the get go, winning an audition for a children’s radio show at the age of nine.

Unlike say, the naive child actors who would become the Brady Bunch kids, Stang had drive, focus and adult ambition.

 

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FRANK NELSON: Comedy’s Original Yeeeesssss Man

This piece was originally published October 5th, 2009

Harpo IconWelcome to a new column feature that I will be often revisiting here at The Mystery BoxGreat Comedians Of The Past.

With this feature, I look forward to paying tribute to the many wonderful actors and actresses of comedy who have helped me to laugh throughout my life, with the hopes that you may find a particular one that you may have not known of before and will add to your own list of favorites.

Warning: Obscure and yet, not so obscure, comedic character actor alert!
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A Tribute to Allan Melvin: Character Actor Extraordinaire and the Voices of Magilla Gorilla and a Banana Split!

This piece was originally published on May 25th, 2009

Greg Brady IconOn January 17th of 2008, Allan Melvin passed away and television lost one of the great and perhaps more unsung character actors to ever traverse the world of sitcoms, animation and commercials; he was always working, always memorable.

Who else could have a list of credits that includes boyfriend to the Brady Bunch’s housekeeper, best pal to both Sgt. Bilko and Archie Bunker, and the voices of none other than a Banana Split and that very large Gorilla for sale in the window ?

Lately, here at Mystery Box Manor, we’ve been watching episodes of The Brady Bunch on DVD. A big green fuzzy shag rug of a box set for the entire series run. These days this is my preferred way of viewing any television show—chronologically, in back to back chunks—which is made easier now that more and more entire shows are available in this way.

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What’s so funny about Peace, Love and …Dioramas??

This piece was originally published February 9, 2009

Japanese Robot Goldar from Space Giants Icon

 

I’m fairly certain that no dictionary definition is needed here for exactly what a diorama is.

Well, just in case there is one person who isn’t quite sure, or isn’t familiar with The Simpsons episode, Lisa’s Rival, here are two simple ones:

1) A three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background.

2) A miniature, three-dimensional scene, often depicting a historical event.

From childhood on, we have all seen and experienced firsthand the modern day examples of dioramas. Be it via the often creepy and slightly upsetting versions, at least that’s what comes to my mind whenever I am viewing say, a taxidermist fueled fest such as the kind of wildlife diorama found in a museum of science or natural history setting – teachers, scientists and tourists just love ’em – or the ones created with ever so cool toys that you want to touch, covet, take home and place into your very own fake grass and plaster over chicken wire creation.

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