Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mae West: Toast of the Town

MAE WEST made a rare appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in the month of December. She was in rehearsal in New York City at that time, auditioning for a new cast and preparing for another staging of "Diamond Lil," a production that would open on 5 February 1949.
• • The date was Sunday, 19 December 1948. Mae West sat in the VIP section of the audience during the famed TV variety favorite hosted by Ed Sullivan.  During the program's place in its own line-up [Season 2, Episode 15], it was still being called "Toast of the Town."
• • Also sitting in the audience that evening was actor Michael O'Shea; like Mae, he was hailed by the host Ed Sullivan and the live audience clapped as a roving spotlight picked out the handsome movie star.
• • Michael O'Shea was attached to 31 projects on TV or on the big screen. Born in Hartford, Connecticut on 17 March 1906, Michael O'Shea was promoting his newest film "Parole, Inc." [released November 1948] when he appeared on this vaudeville-styled program. O'Shea died in Dallas, Texas on 4 December 1973. He was 67.
• • On Sunday, 19 December 1936 in Picturegoer • •
• • Picturegoer's issue for the week of 19 December 1936 featured these three: Mae West, Merle Oberon, Alfred Hitchcock.
• • Picturegoer was a magazine published in the United Kingdom between 1913 — 1960. Its primary focus was on contemporary films and the performers who appeared in them. During the silent film era, it started as a weekly movie review, then evolved into a weekly listing of films being shown at UK cinema houses when talkies became popular. Eventually, it became a bi-weekly movie magazine featuring the screen's biggest stars that was sold at all movie theaters in the UK.
• • On Sunday, 19 December 1937 • •
• • Forbidden fruit, unlawful carnal knowledge, the serpent in the garden — — and maybe the real "snake" all along was the self-righteous head of the purity police, the Catholic League.
• • NBC Chairman Frank R. McNinch was still dealing with the fallout after Mae West's appearance on his network. The FCC took the position that, though it had no power to censor radio guests, NBC had a moral duty to shield its listeners from offensiveness. An article about the outraged public outcry and protest letters that NBC had received over the Mae West Biblical skit on radio was published in The Sunday Morning Herald in Washington, DC on Sunday, 19 December 1937.
• • Eventually, NBC would ban Mae for 15 years over this curious flapdoodle.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Sex depends on certain positions. But kissing is good in any position."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book about Janis Joplin mentioned Mae West.
• • Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin attended the premiere of "Myra Breckinridge" together.
• • Myra Friedman wrote: Johnny Winter recalled, "Janis and I were so dressed up. She used to do that all the time, but I do remember that she was wearing her big ole cape and has all these feathers in her hair. I was all in black velvet and stuff. Boy. How many times do you get to see Mae West and Raquel Welch in one evening! So we get to the theater, with all those lights and those Hollywood people. We felt we were just a couple of freaks in the middle of that. So, I remember we walked down the aisle to get our seats, and suddenly there was all this applause. We looked at each other because we knew it couldn't be for us. Then we heard somebody say something and we realized they had thought I was Mae West!"  ...
• • Source: Book: "Buried Alive" written by Myra Friedman [Three Rivers Press]; published 1992 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2520th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
 

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Mae West • 1949
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  Mae West.

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