File and Remember
The other day, a friend mentioned something that had just happened to him, which in turn reminded me of one of my all-time favorite comic stories, written by James Thurber and given a tremendous rendition when done in the off-Broadway revue A Thurber Carnival in 1960, a show which ran for 223 performances. I realized that rather than tell my friend about it, or try to get him to read the story, which I didn't know the chances of that, I should see if I could track down the cast recording. And indeed, the audio was there on YouTube.
The story is File and Forget, and I will say no more about it, since much of its fun is how the thing develops. The cast of the show, most of whom are in this sketch, are gems. Many of the names aren't well-known today, though some are and all were high quality names at the time. Tom Ewell plays Thurber in the sketch, and others include Paul Ford, Peggy Cass, John McGiver and Alice Ghostley. And there's near-perfect underscoring music to complement it all.
One fun historic note. Fun, but one of those stories that makes me SO wish I could have seen it live, or at least if only there was video of it. The story is that James Thurber was a bit of a ham, and for a few weeks into the run, the producers had the brilliant idea to bring in Thurber to play himself! Because he was legally blind, they built a sort of conveyor belt with a chair on it, to bring him onstage and off. And, of my, do I wish there was a video of that.
Happily, there's audio of the selection.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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