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Fanny Cradock Cooks: “Mincemeat, the Cinderella of Christmas Cooking!”

Fanny Cradock Cooks: “Mincemeat, the Cinderella of Christmas Cooking!”

Eating With The Stars, Television

“Whenever I watch Fanny’s videos, (which is an activity I by no means confine to the holiday season), I find myself thinking a great deal about her beleaguered assistant Sarah, who in addition to being made to wear a Branch Davidian-chic caftan had to endure the brunt of Fanny’s intemperateness; for when it came to cooking, Fanny would not settle for anything less than perfection.”

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Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”: When a “Song” Becomes a “Copyright”

Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”: When a “Song” Becomes a “Copyright”

Music

What is it about this song that makes it so enduring?  Perhaps it’s the way its simple, relatable lyrical concept is married to its emotionally elegiacal melody.  Like most great songs, it’s hard to imagine the lyrics and melody existing apart from each other—as if they were created as one.  Because “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” translates so well from genre to genre, language to language, and decade to decade, it has become one of the great copyrights—a published song with multiple recordings—of its era (or any era, for that matter).

November 1, 1970: The Night Barbra Streisand Sang for Bella Abzug, By John Richkus

November 1, 1970: The Night Barbra Streisand Sang for Bella Abzug, By John Richkus

Music

“Streisand’s support of Abzug culminated that year in her headlining the “Broadway for Bella” concert at Madison Square Garden’s Felt Forum on November 1, 1970.  My dear friend John Richkus, whom I’ve known since the early 1980s, recently reminded me that he actually went to the “Broadway for Bella” concert.  I was fascinated as he shared his memories of how he attended the concert by himself, not just because it was full of anecdotal theater lore, but also because as he told me the story, I realized it was a turning point in his life; you see John was only thirteen years old in November, 1970.”

D.I.Y. Minnelli! The Liza Box is Completely Restored

D.I.Y. Minnelli! The Liza Box is Completely Restored

Film, Munk's Junk (Everything Else)

“I ended up gifting the finished Liza Box to my little brother Robbie for Christmas that year. To gild the Minne-lily, I filled the box with all matter of Liza loot, including VHS copies of Rent-A-Cop and Arthur 2 from my personal collection and, the jewel in the crown, a customized Liza snow globe that played “New York, New York.” This feature gave me an unexpected thrill because the shaking movement required to activate the snow seemed to push Liza’s already erratic vibrato into previously uncharted tremulous territory.”

Whataburger’s Sexist Brand Messaging

Whataburger’s Sexist Brand Messaging

Munk's Junk (Everything Else)

For International Women’s Day, I thought it might be interesting to drag the Texas-based burger chain Whataburger into the 21st-century and give them a little of the #MeToo treatment. In this case, it should be #Hertoo, because the illustrated history of the brand that adorns the wall of each location is absurdly sexist and factually misleading.

The First Sex Experiences of Celebrities

The First Sex Experiences of Celebrities

Film, Television

Victoria Principal (actress), 17 years old:  “It was a month before my eighteeenth birthday that I finally lost my virginity….We were in the front seat.  To have gotten in the back would have seemed to premeditated and I was still holding on to some vestige of propriety.  It was very short and there was no particular pain or pleasure, no particular physical sensation.  In fact, afterward I thought, ‘Jesus, there’s got to be more than this.  If not, I’m going back to the other stuff because petting was a lot of fun.'”

Comic Totie Fields vs. KISS’ Gene Simmons: Her Wit was Mightier Than His Tongue

Comic Totie Fields vs. KISS’ Gene Simmons: Her Wit was Mightier Than His Tongue

Television

Which leads me back to the great Totie Fields. Perhaps her greatest moment was the time she made mincemeat of Kiss’ Gene Simmons on the Mike Douglas show in 1974. Only during that era could you even have two disparate entities like Totie Fields and Gene Simmons inhabiting the same stage; they were simply from two totally different planets, she from the Catskills and he from Mars. Or were they?

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