Those Amazing Humans, #29, Jonathan Winters and Prefatory Pep Talk

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am enjoying this! Why else would I continue to draw and write, even when it appears that the more I do, less and less people show up to see it. Oh well, like I said, it is fun: dredging up memories and thinking of folks who have meant a lot to me, folks who show promise, folks who disappoint, folks that are just plain weird. I am still fully committed to my random selection method, as endorsed by my one and only fan. Random is my middle name now that I am semi-retired.

At this point in my blogging adventure I am wondering if it will ever get harder to choose the next subject. Things are popping into my head easily for now, my internal to-do list is always shuffling around a few possibilities, hence today’s bonus or tomorrow’s early edition (however it shakes down).

Without further, adieu, mon amis, “Here’s Jonny!”

"I seen one (UFO) fly over the Brainard Cee-ment factory, my stepson works there."- Maude Frickert

When I was a kid, I wanted to be Jonathan Winters. I would beg and plead, do extra chores, anything to be able to stay up late on a school night if he was on Jack Paar or some other late night talk show. Some how he was a little rawer, more out-there on the late shows. On his prime time appearances he was still good, but I got the feeling that he was pulling his punchlines so as not to damage the minds of mainstream America. I would put away funds for the next JW/ LP release. The records gave me the opportunity to listen to his routines over and over till I memorized them and spouted them back to friends. I can still remember snatches of them to this day. When he recorded those routines he was probably improvising or “Winging it” as he described it. But to me these words were the Gospel According To Jonathan. Not till Robin Williams was there any one to match his quickness, fluidity and random bull-goose lunacy.

I went to his official website before writing this. I knew the man was multi-talented  but the volume and variety of his creative output is astounding. He’s an artist (acrylics), cartoonist, best-selling author, Emmy Award Winner, film actor, animated feature voice-over artist. He’s even done an inspirational CD with readings from poetry and scripture.

Dude is 85 years old, was a Marine in the Pacific Theater, WWll; was married to the same woman for more than 60 years; has two “kids”, five “grandkids”; he’s gone through a few “Looney Tunes” stretches, had some problems with the juice back in the 60’s; he’s still working on one thing or another, what more can I say? You can be stone crazy and still have a full productive life. How inspiring is that?

The sketch I did, besides being unworthy, is intended to reflect my boyhood enthusiasm for this young, still “up-and-coming” madman.

Extra! Little known fact about The “Writer”: He wrote a youth column for his church newsletter entitled “Ask Maudie”,  a humorous Q and A/Advice effort. He even posed with a granny wig and spectacles for the header photo. An early homage to Winter’s character, Maude Frickert, or a predictor of future futile forays into funnyland, or maybe both, as if it makes any difference in the grand scheme of things (whatever the freak that is).

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Comments
  1. tsactuo says:

    I’ve always liked Jonathan Winters, even though he kind of lost me a bit for a while in the 1980s. He’s nutty-brilliant, surely.

    • mongrel4u says:

      I certainly appreciate your taking the time to read my stuff and make a comment. You like science fiction and writing and love kids. So do I. Hang in there and you’ll get to Grandparenting, which is a good deal better in a lot of ways. And keep writing. I’ve been an undiscovered major talent for 66 years and change, but as long as “The Secret Seven” (my crack team of regular readers) are by my side, I will continue.

  2. Teri says:

    Yep, Jonathan was totally goofy and really appealing to me when I was a kid also. I like his art… what’s with the hangers?… do you know, Michael?
    Didn’t he do a seagull skit?… I know Red Skelton did, but I thought JW did one too.

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