Geezer Test

by wjw on October 28, 2007

Me-Day has dawned.

Since it’s now my birthday, and the whole day is entirely about me— making it not unlike other days, actually— it’s only appropriate that I devise a test to discover if you guys are as wise as I am.

The following questions are devised in order to discover if your brain is as old and filled with trivia as mine. It’s no fair looking this stuff up on Wikepedia, you just have to know.
1. The Flintstones were basically the cast of The Honeymooners set in the Stone Age. The characters in Top Cat were also based on those of a popular live-action sitcom (and in at least one case were voiced by the same actor). What was that show?
2. Why does Charlie the Tuna wear a beret?
3. What program featured the Nairobi Trio performing to the tune of Robert Maxwell’s “Solfeggio?”
4. The “Here come the Judge” routines performed on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In are a tribute to which legendary comic?
5. The character of Foghorn Leghorn in Warner Brothers’ cartoons are a parody of what character in what popular radio show? (This question predates me, actually, but what the hell.)
NewMexiKen October 28, 2007 at 8:24 pm

1. The Phil Silvers Show (Sergeant Bilko).
2. To show he’s got good taste.
3. Ernie Kovacs.
4. Got me on this one.
5. A senator on Fred Allen’s show, but I’m enough of a geezer myself that I can’t remember the character’s name.

dubjay October 28, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Hey, NMK, how come you didn’t mention my birthday on your birthday page?

halojones-fan October 28, 2007 at 9:06 pm

1. “Gunsmoke”
2. He’s displaying his utter distaste for the hidebound conservatism of contemporary social conventions.
3. “Suspense”
4. Ambrose Bierce
5. Benny Hill

Janice October 28, 2007 at 9:38 pm

1. No idea
2. To show he’s got good taste
3. Ernie Kovacs
4. Pigmeat Markham?
5. Rochester on the Jack Benny show?

Brian Borchers October 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I’m 44 and completely clueless about this stuff, so the cutoff age is somewhere above 44…

qtera31 October 28, 2007 at 10:34 pm

I don’t believe you are old enough to know the answers firsthand to any of these questions….today is your 39th birthday right.

Happy Birthday Walter! You looked quite the swashbuckling conqueror of Egypt last night.

Trivia …I love trivia….

1. The Phil Silvers Show

2. Because he has “Good Taste”

3. Ernie Kovacs

4. Pigmeat Markham often on the Ed Sullivan Show

5. Senator Claghorn on the Fred Allen Radio Show


Janice October 29, 2007 at 12:06 am

On the tram on the way to work I realized I was concentrating so hard on the trivia questions that I forgot to say happy birthday. Happy birthday! Best wishes for many happy, healthy more!!!

dubjay October 29, 2007 at 4:47 am

Gosh, you guys are smart.

Ken’s got most of them, as does Janice, but Patricia nailed them all.

The point I was trying to make about Charlie the Tuna was that he wore a beret because he was a beatnik. Which made him undesirable, at least as far as middle America and the Starkist company was concerned.

The whole stereotype of the beatnik as someone with big shades, a beret, and a goatee came from the young Dizzy Gillespie, who wore all three. This was the young, earnest, hipster Dizzy, not the avuncular, puff-cheeked personality with the tilted horn that came later.

The secret about all these questions, is that they are are all about objects in which the signifier has broken free of the sign. I grew up with Foghorn Leghorn, not Senator Claghorn; with Charlie the Tuna, not Dizzy Gillespie; with the Nairobi Trio, not Robert Maxwell. And I don’t think I ever saw Pigmeat Markham before Rowan & Martin began doing his schtick.

Though the thought of Markham on the Ed Sullivan show appeals. Just think of Ed Sullivan with his distinctive voice saying, “Now here’s Pig-meat Mark-ham.”

halojones-fan November 4, 2007 at 4:08 am

“The point I was trying to make about Charlie the Tuna was that he wore a beret because he was a beatnik.”

Holy schniekies, my crappy joke turns out to have been the right answer!

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