Thought for the day

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who as the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. [Theodore Roosevelt]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Charlie Callas

Charlie Callas was one of the funniest men I ever saw on TV. He passed away last week at age 83.

After a stint in the US Army in World War II, Callas was a Big Band drummer, playing in the Tommy Dorsey orchestra, among others. "I was always clowning around when I was a musician," he recalled later. "They said I played 'funny drums' and should become a comedian." In the 1960s he did, and became known for his rubber face and self-made sound effects. The scrawny comic was a regular on The Merv Griffin Show, Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Mel Brooks called him "a cast of thousands all by himself. He could do a thousand faces, a thousand voices and a thousand sound effects. In 'High Anxiety' he played a cocker spaniel. He cost me a lot of money: it was almost impossible to finish a scene without the whole crew collapsing in laughter."


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