Today marks the anniversary of Jack Benny’s 39th birthday and Roger Ebert has a nice tribute posted. I love old time radio shows and had subscribed to XM Radio for years just to get XM 164, the station devoted to old time radio shows. I love The Shadow, The Green Hornet, anything Sherlock Holmes, but the show that still holds up well is The Jack Benny Program.
Sir Christopher Lee will receive the prestigious Bafta Fellowship at the academy’s film awards on Sunday. In a career as varied as it is long, the 88-year-old is still probably best remembered for his title role in the 1958 film Dracula, one of many Hammer Horror films in which he starred.
Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, John Barry and Stanley Kubrick are among those who have previously been honoured with the fellowship.
Sir Christopher said: “It’s avery unexpected but very great honour to find myself in such distinguished company to receive the fellowship.”
In 1926, Forrest Ackerman, a nine-year-old misfit in Los Angeles, visited a newsstand and bought a copy of Amazing Stories—a new magazine about aliens, monsters, and other oddities. By the time he reached the final page, he had become America’s first fanboy. He started a group called the Boys’ Scientifiction Club; in 1939, he wore an outer-space outfit to a convention for fantasy aficionados, establishing a costuming ritual still followed by the hordes at Comic-Con. Ackerman founded a cult magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and, more lucratively, became an agent for horror and science-fiction writers. He crammed an eighteen-room house in Los Feliz with genre memorabilia, including a vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi and a model of the pteranodon that tried to abscond with Fay Wray in “King Kong.” Ackerman eventually sold off his collection to pay medical bills, and in 2008 he died. He had no children.
But he had an heir. In 1971, Guillermo del Toro, the film director, was a seven-year-old misfit in Guadalajara, Mexico. He liked to troll the city sewers and dissolve slugs with salt. One day, in the magazine aisle of a supermarket, he came upon a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He bought it, and was so determined to decode Ackerman’s pun-strewed prose—the letters section was called Fang Mail—that he quickly became bilingual.
BUCHAREST, Romania – There’s more bad news in the cards for Romania’s beleaguered witches.
A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country’s soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true.
Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.
Witches argue they shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of their tools.
“They can’t condemn witches, they should condemn the cards,” Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone.
It’s the poor workman that blames the tools. However, I won’t be surprised to see a newt outbreak in Romania soon as the witches strike back.