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The Coolest People in the Arts: 250 Anecdotes and Stories By David Bruce
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Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes and stories about people in dance, literature, movies, music, and theater, including this anecdote: Actress Drew Barrymore comes from two fine,... More > well-loved theatrical families: the Drews and the Barrymores. John Drew’s sister, Georgie, married Maurice Barrymore, and they produced three children: Ethel, Lionel, and John Barrymore. All of them became famous actors. In his autobiography, “My Years on the Stage,” John Drew tells of his niece, Ethel Barrymore, appearing in an important role on the stage for the first time. She was nervous, and because she was nervous, she was inaudible. A member of the audience called out to her, “Speak up, Ethel. You’re all right. The Drews is all good actors.”< Less
The Funniest People in Neighborhoods: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Paperback edition. This book is one-half of my previous book "The Funniest People in Sports and Neighborhoods: 500 Anecdotes." This book contains 250 anecdotes, including this one: When... More > children’s book author Sid Fleischman started going bald, his kids made him a hairpiece—they clipped hair from the family pet dog and glued it to fabric. Mr. Fleischman writes in his autobiography, "The Abracadabra Kid," that he was very happy with the gift—“It gave me a punk pompadour decades before spiked hairdos became trendy.”< Less
The Funniest People in Relationships: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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This paperback is one-half of my previous book "The Funniest People in Comedy and Relationships: 500 Anecdotes." It includes 250 anecdotes, including this one: When Alyene Porter was a... More > little girl growing up early in the 20th century, a man named Brother Mahoney in her church had a distinctive and chronic case of the sniffles: He would make one big sniffle, pause, then make three small sniffles in a row. There was never any variation in his snif-fling. On Christmas Eve, little Alyene was getting ready to talk to Santa Claus at the church when she heard Santa give a sniffle that sounded just like the sniffle of Brother Mahoney. To make sure, she listened closely: one big sniffle, pause, then three small sniffles in a row. Shocked and disappointed, she ran crying to her mother, who explained that anyone can be Santa Claus as long as they like children and spread joy at Christmas. That night, Alyene’s parents woke her so she could be Santa and help fill the Christmas stockings while her siblings slept.< Less
The Coolest People in Art: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about art and artists, including this anecdote: New York artist Raphael Soyer visited the Sistine Chapel, where he marveled at the paintings —... More > Michelangelo had painted the ceiling when he was in his thirties and many years later had painted The Last Judgment on the wall. After Mr. Soyer had seen the Sistine Chapel for the first time, he and some friends saw an exhibition of European and American non-objective paintings. A young woman who was connected with the exhibition asked him (a friend translated the Italian) what he thought of the paintings. Rather than criticize them directly, he merely replied, “Tell her that I saw the Sistine Chapel this morning.” The young woman understood. The friend translated her reply: “True, this [exhibition] does not speak to the heart."< Less
Poetry's Greatest Hits By David Bruce
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This is a short collection of classic poems that are in the public domain.
The Funniest People in Television and Radio: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Paperback edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about television and radio, including this one: Humorist Frank Sullivan had a sister named Kate, who bought a TV in the days when TVs were rare.... More > Very quickly, she called a TV repairman, who asked, “What seems to be wrong with it?” She replied, “Well, for one thing, a lot of the programs are lousy.”< Less
The Funniest People in Theater: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Paperback edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about the theater, including this one: Actor John Neville was unhappy in the late 1950s Old Vic production of “Measure for Measure,” so... More > he used to escape to the nearest pub as often as possible. In fact, just before the pub opened at 5:30 p.m., he would lean against the door. When the door was opened, he would fall inside and say, “Sorry I’m late.”< Less
Don't Fear the Reaper: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about living and loving life, including this one: When Sam Kinison died, lots of comedians showed up at his funeral and talked about him. Richard... More > Belzer emceed, and Pauly Shore talked about how Sam used to be his baby-sitter. Comedian (and Sam’s best friend) Carl Labove had been with Sam when he died, and he spoke—but briefly, as he started to cry. Mr. Belzer helped him from the podium and led him to a chair, but suddenly Mr. Labove broke away from Mr. Belzer, ran back to the podium, and announced, “By the way, I’ll be at Iggy’s all week! Two shows Friday, three Saturday!” I’m sure that Sam would have loved it.< Less
Create, Then Take a Break: 250 Anecdotes and Stories By David Bruce
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A sample: John Barrymore was as noted for his dissipation as much as for his acting. While acting in "Hamlet" after a night of revelry, he began the “To be or not to be”... More > soliloquy, but in the middle of the speech found it necessary to retire to the side of the stage so he could vomit. Later, he was complimented for this innovation: “I say, Barrymore, that was the most daring and perhaps the most effective innovation ever offered. I refer to your deliberate pausing in the midst of the soliloquy to retire, almost, from the scene. May I congratulate you upon such imaginative business? You seemed quite distraught. But it was effective!”< Less
The Coolest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes By David Bruce
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Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes, including this one: While in France, William Donaldson bought a pornographic novel and started reading it in public, first taking the precaution of... More > putting a different book jacket on the novel. The book jacket was for a compilation of essays against the A-bomb, including essays by Bertrand Russell, Philip Toynbee, and other intellectuals. Peter Ustinov happened to be walking by, and seeing the book jacket, he asked Mr. Donaldson if he could look at the book. Mr. Donaldson readily gave him permission and handed the book to him. Mr. Ustinov read one filthy paragraph, and then looked at the book jacket. Then he read another filthy paragraph and again looked at the book jacket. Finally, speechless for once in his life, he handed the book to Mr. Donaldson and exited.< Less