There’s and old wives tale, (I think it’s attributed to a bunch of old wives) that when someone dies, it comes in threes. Seems that way doesn’t it, with the passing of Margaret Thatcher, then Annette Funicello, and now Jonathan Winters all in a weeks time.
OK God….knock it off for cripes sake!!!
For the record, this explanation, I think, from the “Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs:”
“Bad things may be specified as accidents, deaths, or other mishaps; cf. misfortunes never come singly. This is a well-attested folk superstition on both sides of the Atlantic: [1891 Notes & Queries 7th Ser. XII. 489] One of my servants having accidentally broken a glass shade, asked for two other articles of little value, a wine bottle and jam crock, that she might break them, and so prevent the two other accidents. ‥which would otherwise follow. Cf. third time lucky.”
Hope that explained it for ya. I’m still going with the old wives theory.
My memories of Jonathan go back to the Jack Paar television show in the 1950’s. (now known as the “Tonight Show”) Yes, we DID actually have television back in the 50’s. I know it’s hard to fathom, but true. However, no color TV. Just black and white because networks hadn’t discovered how to put an entire box of Crayola Crayons into their cameras to make pictures in color. My theory anyhow.
First, and I really hate to admit this, one of the actual shows I watched. (sigh) Here’s Jonathan on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar doing one of his routines:
Jonathan was the inspiration for many up and coming comedians, most notably Robin Williams, who, as you already know is certifiably nuts, as was Jonathan. A requisite for being a successful comedian. I’m sure you can tell from that first video where Robin Williams got some of his ideas from. Either that, or Robin is Jonathan’s son from a secret marriage. How else can ya explain the similarities.
Here’s one of Jonathan’s best routines. His most famous character, Maude Frickert:
Jonathan could not stay himself when people interviewed him. Give him an open line and it was all down hill for the television host after that. Anything could set him off into an ad lib routine. Here’s Jonathan with a very young-looking David Letterman, and an example of his improv stuff. Watch his ad lib with the chair when he first comes in:
You’ll notice that Jonathan was very good at emphasizing his routines with his own sound effects. It added to the humor. However, he was just as funny even without using those sound effects. In this next video, he appears as Elwood Suggens at a Dean Martin celebrity roast with the roastee, so to speak, Frank Sinatra. It’s hard not to tear up with laughter watching him go on and on with things that just pop into his mind:
In 1981, Jonathan, never missing a beat, appeared as Mearth on the TV series “Mork & Mindy” as Mork’s middle-aged infant offspring after being hatched out of a giant egg. It was a brilliant match-up considering Robin Williams played Mork and a lot of Robin’s antics can be attributed to associating with Winters.
Here’s a scene from Mork & Mindy (Winters appears 8 minutes into the video)
One last short video with yet another Dean Martin roast where Jonathan sticks it to Johnny Carson.
Jonathan………….you will be missed. Thanks for all those moments you kept us laughing.
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