Our small state is swarming with presidential candidates, and not one of them appeals to me. On this Fantastic Friday this post from November of 2008 makes me wish this was 1940 and Gracie Allen was running for president again. She’d have my vote. How about yours?
Gracie Allen, a comedianne from the 1920s through the 1950s, may be old news to you, but she’s a continual current event at our house. Her oddball humor always appealed to me, so in the early 1990s, I brought the movie Damsel in Distress, starring Gracie and her husband George Burns, for a good laugh with the fam.
By the end of the first musical number, our four-year-old daughter began a love affair with Gracie that endures to this day. In fact, Anne became a bit of a Gracie Allen expert when she studied the actress and dressed like her on the evening the fourth grade students shared their findings with the public. To this day, Anne drops Gracie tidbits, gleaned from Gracie and George’s autobiographies and memoirs, into conversation.
“George and Gracie adopted two children.”
“George says Gracie was the brains in comedy team.”
“Gracie was the love of George’s life.”
Right before the recent presidential election, NPR ran a story about Gracie Allen’s 1940 run for the White House as the Surprise Party’s candidate. The piece had barely begun when Hiram came in the room. “Shh…,” I said when he started to speak. “Listen to this.”
We couldn’t wipe the silly grins off our faces while we listened. The announcer explained how the campaign began as a publicity stunt on the Burns and Allen radio show, but took on a life of its own. Gracie even did a whistlestop campaign from California to Omaha, Nebraska where the Surprise Party Convention was held. The article included audio clips of some of G & G’s routines and Gracie’s campaign speeches. Pretty funny stuff.
As soon as the piece ended, I emailed Anne about the program. She’s pretty busy at college these days, so I don’t know if she’s had time to hear it yet. If you’d like to listen in, click on this link and prepare to chuckle. The story is guaranteed to alleviate any lingering post-election stress.
In light of today’s topic, there’s only one way to end this blog. “Say goodnight, Gracie.”