Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stanwyck helps George Gobel

Barbara Stanwyck
Noted for her help to newcomers in Hollywood, has climbed right on the bandwagon for a guy who has never appeared in pictures – he’s George Gobel of television. Right now he’s the most talked about new personality in town and everyone seems to have discovered him at the same time. Finding a movie vehicle for his particular brand of comedy talent might prove to be a difficult task.

George Geobel (May 20, 1919 - Feb 24, 1991) was a hilarious comedian and actor. He started out as a child star on the radio. This only child initially intended to be a country music star, but that didn't quite work out, so he opted for comedy and excelled at it. During WWII he was a flight instructor which he famously made fun of in the fantastic Johnny Carson clip above. It makes me long for the days when late night comedians were actually funny. This clip feels like one big party.

Many people are most familiar with George Gobel's appearances on Hollywood Squares, where he made over 200 appearances. In 1954, he had his own show, The George Gobel Show, which is quite hilarious. The company he helped found, Gomalco, produced the first four years of the beloved TV show, Leave It to Beaver. Unfortunately, his talent did not translate to the movies as Barbara Stanwyck and many others wished. George had a wife, Alice, whom he was married to from December 13, 1942 until his death. They had three children together. Alice was often used as a topic of George's humor, as you can see in the clip from The George Gobel Show below.

Although I didn't realize it, I first encountered George Gobel in the Rankin Bass 1974 classic, Twas The Night Before Christmas. He voiced the lovable Father Mouse in the Christmas classic. Some people might also remember him as Mayor Harper in the 1981 TV series Harper Valley PTA.

A great George Gobel quote: "I've never been drunk, but I've often been overserved"

A bit of trivia, the "Lonesome George" is named after him (Gobel's nickname was "Lonesome George"). There is only 1 of this subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise. The tortoise is anywhere from 60 - 90 years old. There is a $10,000 reward for anyone who can find a female of the same species, so keep your eyes open!

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