The Funniest People in Television and Radio: 250 Anecdotes
by David Bruce
Some Samples: 1) Late in life, Fanny Brice—radio’s Baby Snooks—enjoyed interior decorating, often decorating her friends’ houses for free (and disregarding their advice while doing so). She acquired her good taste in decorating through asking questions constantly and not pretending like she already knew everything. She also began talking about where to leave her money after she died. One day, when one of her little grandchildren was making more racket than usual, she said, “One more crack out of you, kid, and the money goes to UCLA.” 2) George Burns and Gracie Allen had years of experience performing in vaudeville before they started doing their radio show. This long experience came in handy when mishaps occurred on their show. One day, the lights in the studio went out, and no one could read the script. On another occasion, Gracie accidentally dropped her script, and the pages scattered everywhere. Both times, they ignored the script. George simply asked, “Gracie, how’s your brother?”—and Gracie started one of their well-memorized and very funny vaudeville routines. 3) Archeologist Brian Rose lectured in 1996 at Ohio University, where he told this story about excavating the site of Troy in Turkey: At the site is a huge wooden horse that was built by the BBC for a documentary on the Trojan War. Today the horse is a tourist attraction, as people can go inside the horse and look out through shuttered windows. One day, members of Mr. Rose’s crew were inside the Trojan horse smoking with the shutters closed. This alarmed the Turkish security guards because they noticed smoke coming out of the horse’s nostrils.
- David Bruce, November 2011
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