Gerald Nachman

Gerald Nachman is the author of Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s, Raised on Radio, and Right Here On Our Stage Tonight!: Ed Sullivan’s America. His new book, Showstoppers!: The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway’s Most Remarkable Songs, will be published on November 1.

Late Life Face-Lifts for Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum

 

It would be hard to come up with a more extreme example of San Francisco political correctness run amok than The Lamplighters’ — the city’s venerable Gilbert & Sullivan company — recent production of The Mikado, which, under duress, switched the classic musical from a make-believe Japan to Renaissance Italy so as not to offend […]

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Father’s Days

 

One summer in 1953, seven years before his death, my father and I went on an unlikely coast-to-coast odyssey. The first I heard of our journey east by train was a night in early May when I noticed him at the dining room table, his downstairs desk. He was bent over a sheet of graph […]

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Avast, Me Hearties! Luncheon Is Served

 

Except for two weeks aboard ship in the Naval Reserve, chipping paint and swabbing decks, and a three-day movie junket to Acapulco promoting Valley of the Dolls with Jacqueline Susann and Patty Duke, I have neatly avoided taking any cruises, a major pastime of the retired, or just plain tired.  For decades, luxury cruises were […]

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And the Award Goes to… Sleep

 

It appears that Oscar season is once again upon us. Actually, Oscar season was upon us months ago when newspapers began printing their annual dope sheets on who would win best actor, costume, short subject, yadda-yadda. Oscar season is forever upon us. Half the year now seems taken up with Oscars and Golden Globes and […]

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Auld Acquaintances to Be Forgot

 

1. Alec Baldwin: He’s in a movie a week, every third commercial, and once a month hosts Saturday Night Live. If that’s not exposure enough, he regularly goes viral on YouTube blowing his stack. You need a long vacation next year, Alec — as we do from you. Why not give a few of your […]

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I’m Chucking My List

 

There are 12 days of Christmas but I’ve managed to isolate the five or six stages of Christmas shopping, in which I go from anger to grief to acceptance. I begin in my annual Scrooge-like denial — the grumpy vow that I haven’t got it in me any longer to fight the crowds and to […]

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When J.D. Salinger Met Julia Child

 

The little known (but long rumored) affair between J.D. Salinger and Julia Child is alleged to have taken place in March of 1952, just after The Catcher in the Rye came out at the same time Julia Child was gathering material for her landmark 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  It was inevitable […]

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Beware of Redskins on Pennsylvania Avenue

 

As long as everyone is kicking around the idea of getting rid of the Washington Redskins’ moniker as offensive to Native Americans and others (while we’re at it, how about ticket “scalpers”?), it’s time to seriously reconsider other team names that seem, if not actually outmoded or offensive, downright confusing, inept, or silly. Let’s start […]

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Double Frappuccino, Hold the Pistol

 

(10:22 a.m.) Tony, our head barista, tells me that Frank Miller is gunning for me and plans to meet me at high noon at Starbucks. I consider myself a peaceable man who doesn’t look for trouble, but Miller is after me for supposedly crowding into line ahead of him for my morning frappuccino. He vows to […]

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Double Frappuccino, Hold the Pistol

 

(10:22 a.m.) Tony, our head barista, tells me that Frank Miller is gunning for me and plans to meet me at high noon at Starbucks. I consider myself a peaceable man who doesn’t look for trouble, but Miller is after me for supposedly crowding into line ahead of him for my morning frappuccino. He vows […]

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