Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ya Gotta Do What Ethel Does

After yet another day of enforced office festivities, this is just exactly what I needed...

And I hope you find it remarkably seasonal, too.  God love the woman, she could put over a number.  Looks damn good in a swing coat, too.

As the years go by, I sometimes wonder if it's not, perhaps, a poor idea to remain so attached to these ever-receding titans.  A Facebook friend recently noted that one of her young colleagues looked puzzled when, for whatever reason, the name Goldie Hawn came up; although rising 30, he'd never heard of her.  When faced with that kind of void, what chance does one have with Lillian Gish, Edward Everett Horton, or even, God help us, the Merm - for decades more or less the biggest theatrical star going?  I can imagine a world, in the not-too-distant future, when it will be a stretch to try and connect with anyone under 40 (and soon enough 50 and beyond) on anything at all other than Favorite Food - and even then, I suspect that blanquette de veau is going to seem hopelessly passé.

Still, when I think of the alternative - feverishly embracing, say, the careers of Jennifer Lawrence in film, Miss Cyrus in pop music, and whomever is starring in the latest Broadway built-to-tour spectacular on stage - I go scurrying back to Garbo, Cher, and - but of course - Merman.  I suppose I could try and bridge the gap and try someone just a tad younger, but I'm afraid that as decorative as she is here, an appreciation for Miss Leslie Uggams isn't going to wow the tots.

Ah, but never you mind.  That's what YouTube and TCM were made for, and this season above all I'm content to wallow for a while in the spectacle of a tough old woman in an improbable hairdo who can go from insulting a rare contemporary who was still working (although, be honest:  Imogen does look like an idiot, no?  I have trouble believing that line was in the shooting script) to belting out a chestnut in a way that almost makes it seem like a carol.


  1. If you haven't heard them already, you must listen to the YouTube recordings of Ethel Merman and Tallulah Bankhead together (from Tallulah's radio show) -- they're hilarious!

  2. not a word that comes to mind.

    We'll not see her kind again. I take this with equal parts sadness and relief.

  3. "Ya look like an idiot," does seem much more Merm-like than Sesameish

  4. She looks disturbingly like an over-the-hill drag queen.

    1. I prefer to think it's more that so many over-the-hill drag queens look like Ethel Merman, but that's just me...

  5. If you ask me, she bears a striking resemblance to Helen Lawson...