"Why is it that all of the instruments seeking intelligent life in the universe are pointed away from Earth?"
(from Patty Paul)


Arthur Miller's first Broadway play, "The Man Who Had All the Luck", written in 1944 at the age of 25, has received excellent local reviews in its first American revival in over 55 years.

"If you don't think smart actors can invigorate [a] play, just swing over to the Ivy Substation in Culver City [for this] vibrantly acted production... [It's] fascinating to trace lifelong Miller obsessions brother-brother and father-son issues... back to this early work. And there's such zip and commitment in the co-production. Mainly, producer-director Dan Fields has found the actors he needed to make "All the Luck" work on its own terms... rooted in real life."
- Michael Phillips, L.A. Times, 4/19/00

"Dusting off this timeless parable about destiny and hope, and gracing it with the fortuitous combination of Dan Fields' enchanting direction and the efforts of a sterling ensemble, the Antaeus Company unearths a bona-fide treasure."
- Les Spindle, Back Stage West, 4/20/00

You can see me as the father and Melinda as flighty Aunt Belle for the rest of April on Thu. 4/27 Fri. 4/28 (PP only); and in MAY: Fri. 5/5 Sun. 5/7 Thu. 5/11 Sat. 5/13 Fri. 5/19 Sun. 5/21, (8pm weekdays, 7pm Sundays).

The show runs two and a half hours with intermission, at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., just West of Robertson at Culver Blvd., with ample parking behind the building. FOR RESERVATIONS: (818) 506-8462

"The first portal website dedicated to Amish lifestyle, tourism and shopping is now available at http://amish.net.
It's steam-operated..."
(Phil's Phunny Facts)


The German philosophy club? - I. Kant.
The Ford-Nixon club? - Pardon me?
The Arafat club? - Yessir.
The Alzheimer’s club? - Forget it.
The Ebert movie club? - Roger.
The Groucho Marx club? - You bet your life!
The Peter Pan club? - Never, never.
The Japanese Theatre club? - Noh.
The Quarterback club? - I'll pass.
The Compulsive Rhymers' club? - Okey-dokey.
The Spanish Optometrists' club? - Si.
The Antiperspirant club? - Sure.
The Pregnancy club? - Conceivably.
The Procrastinators' club? - Maybe next week.
The Self-esteem Builders club? - They wouldn't
accept me anyway.
The Agoraphobic Society? - Only if they can meet at my house.
The Co-dependency club? - Can I bring my mother?
The Prayer group? - God willing!
The Atheists' club? - I don't believe so.
The Agnostics' club? - I think not.

"Prior to its abrupt conclusion this week, the family in the Elian Gonzales case had appealed to President Clinton to intervene, but he declined since the last time he decided where to put a Cuban, he was almost impeached"
(Internet joke)


Writer Dean Christopher, one of my wildest friends (think of that), sent me this:

"Hey Phil, Now here's my plan. I say we make it an immediate policy to take in ALL kids who wash up on our shores. In fact, we should go out aggressively and round them up. Announce to the world that we're giving away unlimited ice cream, puppies, and backwards baseball caps. That way we'll get the flower of the youth of the world, and in 20 years they won't have anyone left on their own beaches to fight their wars -- which means we can conquer China without firing a shot, and stop the flood of drugs into our country, because all they'll have left in Colombia and Peru is elderly men and zygotes to load their cocaine on the donkeys.

"I plan to refine this strategy and e-mail it to pentagon.gov. Maybe they'll listen this time. They ignored my plan to release the US hostages in Tehran -- brilliant in its simplicity: a fleet of Hueys would overfly the massed 'students' in the plaza outside the Embassy and spray them with Pork Liqueur -- anathema to devout Shi'ites.

"In the resulting confusion and horror it would have been child's play for Delta Force to spirit away the prisoners. This program (code named 'Trafe From Above') was forwarded to important agencies of the US Gov't. I never heard back from them, but at least I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had tried to do my part -- because I'm an American, God... damn... it!"

"This year will go down in history. For the first time a civilized nation has full gun control. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future"
(Adolf Hitler, 1933)


April CDs offered from NARAS for Grammy consideration include: Dame Clara Butt; "Classical Music for your Cat or Dog"; The Mad Professor, Puls Der Zeit presents a "Dub Confrontation in Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie", and from Haysi Fantazee: "Battle Hymns for Children Singing."

Then, from the "Sur La Table" summer 2000 catalogue:

"Green Crackle Plates and Blue Pub Glasses, Fish Pliers and Flounder Plates, Italian Tin Trays, Barn Platters, Galvanized Wine Coolers, Honey and Cabbage Plates, Squeezable Pepper Balls, Chocolate Breaking Forks, Multi-colored Butter Bell Crocks and Bunny Dishes, Air Pots, Anodized Ice Cream Bowls, -- and a Pear Hare Tray." Or, get the "World's Smartest Fork!" with a built-in thermo-meat-ter! Order Now!!

In regards to Kathleen Turner appearing nude in the Broadway adaptation of "The Graduate,"
I have one word for you:


Stan Kegel writes that at the seder table, every Jewish child is retold the story of Moses and the Pharaoh, and how God brought boils, locusts, hail and the other plagues onto the Egyptians.

Yet in spite of this overwhelming evidence of God's intentions, Pharaoh refused to let the Jews go until a tenth plague, the death of the first-born children, was inflicted on every Egyptian home, but passing over the Jewish domiciles. Only after this tragedy did the Pharaoh relent and let the Jews leave slavery and Egypt to begin their journey to the promised land.

This has been known for generations. What has not been known is why the Pharaoh, in the face of such overwhelming evidence would refuse to release the Jews after the first nine plagues. It took eight years of research studying the Dead Sea Scrolls by innumerable Talmudic scholars before discovering the answer, and once found, it was obvious: The Pharaoh was still in de Nile.

"Vinton G. Cerf is generally credited with being the "father" of the internet. That may have something to do with the common description of "surfing the net"
(Jeff Levy, L.A. Times)

"My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That's almost $7.00 in dog money"
(Joe Weinstein)

"He is so powerful, he had final cut on his own circumcision"
(Robin Williams on Hollywood Titan
Steven Spielberg)

[Go to next column to continue reading]



A contest was held (somewhere - help!) for people to submit their theories on ANY subject, and these are the winners:

Probability Theory: If an infinite number of hunters riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.

Bio-Mechanics: Yawning is contagious because one yawns to equalize the pressure on the eardrums and the pressure change outside the eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

Symbolic Logic: Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no phonetic alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate technical ideas at a faster rate.

Newtonian Mechanics: The earth spins faster on its axis due to deforestation, since just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees is causing planet Earth to spin increasingly faster. Soon, we will all be launched into space.

Linguistics: The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant, and when omitted in one place, turn up in another. For example, when a New Englander "Pahks his cah," the lost R's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells." Q.E.D.

And finally, the Grand Prize Winner:

Perpetual Motion: It is widely known that when a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down, so it was proposed to strap giant slabs of hot buttered toast to the back of a hundred tethered cats. As the two opposing forces will cause the cats to hover, spinning inches above the ground, one could employ an array of buttered toast and cats to power a high-speed monorail that could easily link New York with Chicago.


According to a column entitled "Bringing up the Rear" by Robert Sherrill in The Nation magazine, 1/24/00, the state of Texas, under the leadership of Governor George W. Bush, is ranked 50th in spending for teachers' salaries, 49th in spending on the environment, 48th in per-capita funding for public health, 47th in delivery of social services, 46th in spending on police protection, 45th in spending on public libraries, 42nd in child-support collections, 41st in per-capita spending on public education - BUT -- 9th in spending on prisons, 5th in percentage of population living in poverty, 5th in births to teenage mothers (but 45th in supplying prenatal care), 2nd in prison population, and FIRST in air and water pollution, percentage of poor working parents and children without health insurance, and in executions -- averaging one a week, every two weeks, over his five-years in office.

"You know, the Washington Post just reported that I got Cs and Ds in my sophomore year, but they failed to report that that was also the year I invented the bong"
(Rejected quip for Al Gore by presidential joke-writer Mark Katz, as reported in The New Yorker, 4/24/00)


A few weeks ago in Havana, Fidel Castro painted a vivid image of the earth as a massive liner before more than a 100 leaders of the Third World, representing 5 billion of the world's 6 billion people:

"Trifling minorities are traveling in luxurious cabins furnished with the Internet, cell phones, and access to global communications networks while 85% of the passengers in this ship are crowded together in its dirty hold, suffering hunger, diseases, and helplessness. This vessel is carrying too much injustice to remain afloat. And if it sinks, we would all sink with it."

He's truly a titanic speaker.

"The camp of the hamburger is that of planetary liberal-socialism, when man is only an object of production and consumption, the elementary unit of the consumerist planning of markets"
(French spokesmen for the anti-McDonald's movement of Le Pen's radical National Front)


Edna and Bill were two residents of a nursing home who had been carrying on a love affair. They were both 96 years old and wheelchair bound. Every night they would meet in the TV room. Edna would passively hold Bill's pecker and they would watch TV for an hour or so. It wasn't much, but it was all they had.

One night Bill didn't show up. He didn't show up for the next two nights either. Edna assumed he was dead, but when she saw him happily wheeling about the grounds, she confronted him and said, "Where were you these past couple of nights?"

He replied, "If you must know, I was with another woman."

"Bastard!" she cried. "What were you doing?"

"We do the exact same thing that you and I do," he said.

"Is she prettier or younger than I am?" she asked.

"Nope, she looks the same, and she's 98 years old."

"Well then, what does she have that I don't?" Edna asked.

Bill smiled and said, "Parkinson's disease."

"Dr Alex Comfort, author of 'The Joy of Sex' has died, after a series of strokes"
(London Times, March 28th)

Broadway producer Alexander Cohen wheezed his last at the age of 79 after 60 years of mounting plays on the Great White way. I had the pleasure of working with him as one of the Morgan brothers in the musical adaptation of the heart-breaking Welsh mining classic, "How Green Was My Valley," in "A Time for Singing." He is survived by his dynamic partner, Hildy Parks.*

[*In Phil’s emailing, this name was reported as "Hildy Brooks." This was changed as a result of the following note to Phil from "LB:" "Please correct Hildy Brooks to Hildy Parks in your mention of Alex Cohen. Davina and I met while in Alex's employ, she as chief fund raiser and bottle washer and me as fledgling press agent. His death is a major blow to us. Davina jets to America tomorrow for the funeral and there is a memorial planned for New York in about a month. David Merrick will be a no-show. Love from us to both of you."]

And Edward St. John Gorey, an artist celebrated for his macabre sense of everything, and who I, at least, always thought was English -- he actually lived a hermitic life in Yarmouth, Mass, amongst books and cats -- passed over at the age of 75.

In response to a question regarding his fascination with the Dark Side, he quipped, "I write about everyday life..."

"Autopsy Planned on Boy, 15, Who Died"
(L.A. Times Headline)


And as we approach the brink of an AFTRA/SAG strike against the Ad industry, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that Melinda and I were called in last week to make out together for a Dot Com that caters to silverbacks.

She got a call back...


(C) 2000 by Phil Proctor

Published 7/8/00