Houdini

Harry HoudiniTwo cartoonists where born on this day. Co-creator of Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks was born in 1901. I’m not fond of those early Disney cartoons, but not because of the art, which was fine. They just aren’t written that well. I love when Futurama parodies them! Also born today in 1911 is Joseph Barbera. I’m not a big fan of Hanna-Barbera, but they had their moments. The Flintstones was particularly good, but then, how can you go wrong with a series based on a “modern stone age family”?

Clyde Barrow was born in 1909. He was only 25 when he died. Although he was a very troubled, evil man, I still like him more than Warren Beatty, whose birthday is next Saturday. The great, but old fashioned choreographer Onna White was born back in 1922.

Lots of entertainment birthdays today. The great bass player, Carol Kaye is 78 today. Hardass character actor R. Lee Ermey is 69. Nick Lowe is 64. Louie Anderson is 60.

And because it is a slow day for famous births, today is Harry Houdini‘s day. He was born in 1874. When I was a kid, I read all kinds of biographies of him. It was only later that I learned they were almost all fiction. There was so much mythologizing about him. It is my working theory that he was gay. Or maybe he was just in love with himself. He did have a good body and he was fond of showing it off—especially naked. And then there’s the fact that he never had kids. What’s up with that? Anyway, he was quite an interesting performer. I tend to prefer his brother Theodore Hardeen, who is under-appreciated. He, for example, was the one who figured out that the straitjacket escape was more impressive if done in view of the audience.

Anyway, happy birthday to Houdini!

Afterword

This one goes out to Carol Kaye:

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