Friday, June 08, 2007

The Feast of Saint Paul

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,

This week brings us the feast day of Saint Paul. Paul Lynde would have been 81. A stand-up comedian before becoming a character actor and appearing in Bewitched, The Munsters, The Phil Silvers Show, I Dream of Jeannie, the Dean Martin Show, and as the voice of Templeton the rat in the animated version of Charlotte's Web, he got his first big break playing the father in the Broadway run of Bye, Bye Birdie. He is, of course, best known for being the center square on Hollywood Squares where his zingers are legendary.

He was also one of the first major figures to shape the public image of gay men. At a time when homosexuality was not a topic of public conversation, Lynde, while playing on the flamboyant stereotype, was able to humanize gay men in a way that made him beloved.

Here are some of his classics:

Peter Marshall: If the right part comes along, will George C. Scott do a nude scene?
Paul Lynde: You mean he doesn't have the right part?

Peter Marshall: Diamonds should not be kept with your family jewels, why?
Paul Lynde: They're so cold!

Peter Marshall: What is a pullet?
Paul Lynde: A little show of affection...

Peter Marshall: What are "dual purpose" cattle good for that other cattle aren't?
Paul Lynde: They give milk and cookies...but I don't recommend the cookies!

Peter Marshall: Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Peter Marshall: True or false...research indicates that Columbus liked to wear bloomers and long stockings.
Paul Lynde: It's not easy to sign a crew up for six months...

Peter Marshall: According to the World Book, is it okay to freeze your persimmons? Paul Lynde: No. You should dress warmly.

Peter Marshall: It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics. What is the other?
Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Peter Marshall: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
Paul Lynde: Make him bark.

Peter Marshall: Paul, in the early days of Hollywood, who was usually found atop Tony, the Wonder Horse?
Paul Lynde: My Friend Flicka.
He's in comedy heaven now.

Have a great week everyone!

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve