Sunday, April 10, 2011

a thousand worlds

My father is greatly given to shouting “Everybody on stage for the Hawaiian number!”

I've never been entirely sure why, but now I have stumbled on this:

If you do not know A Thousand Clowns, your life is a sad and incomplete thing and I pity you more than I have contempt for your woeful ignorance. Tomorrow rent the 1965 movie version, then we can talk.

For those of you familiar with the piece I need say nothing more than “Everybody on stage for the Hawaiian number!” to evoke the character of Murray Burns, an unemployed television writer who lived in a New York walkup apartment with his eleven-year-old nephew who was named Nick, most of the time.

Murray Burns, who never answered letters from large organizations, who threw open windows to complain to his neighbors about the poor quality of their trash requesting they throw out more champagne bottles and empty caviar tins, who was so witty and so charming women adored him at first encounter, this Murray Burns was my generation’s Peter Pan, Walter Mitty and Don Quixote, only with better material and a stronger sex drive.
I need to see it, but it doesn't seem to be available.
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