Monday, November 28, 2016

Mae West: Down on Paper

In September 1934, MAE WEST sat down for a series of "Me and My Past" talks with the United Press syndicated reporter Leicester Wagner.  We will post excerpts from Chapter #6 in several installments.  This is Chapter 6, excerpt c-c.
• • "Me and My Past" by Mae West • •
• • As Told to Leicester Wagner, United Press Staff Correspondent • •
• • It's No Lark • •
• • Going to jail isn't a lark, yet I needed a vacation and got it.   The warden's children wanted me to teach them to dance, and I did. They and the warden hated to see me leave.
• • Between instructing the children and other duties, I had time to think.
• • That sentence had not turned down my writing damper one bit. and I struck on the character which shot me to the top of filmdom — — "Diamond Lil."
• • Down on paper, finally on the stage, "Diamond Lil" became one of the theatrical hits of the country. 
• • Park Avenue rubbed shoulders with the Bowery. For nearly two years, I kept "Diamond Lil" in New York [sic], then went on the road and for three years broke box office records with it all over the country.
• • During this time I had Hollywood offers, but could see no reason why I should quit the stage for the movies.
• • "Constant Sinner" • • . . .
• • NOTE: This is the 6th chapter of Mae West's life story as told to Leicester Wagner, United Press.  This syndicated series was reprinted in American newspapers during September 1934.
• • This has been excerpt c-c.  Tuesday's post will be d-d — —  the continuation of Chapter #6.
• • On Monday, 28 November 1932 • •
• • At the MPPDA board meeting on Monday, 28 November 1932, Adolph Zukor made promises to Will Hays that only "suitable material" would find its way into the script and the "Diamond Lil" title was already gone.
• • On Saturday, 28 November 1936 • •
• • Did you spot Mae West in the animated cartoon "The Coo-Coo Nut Grove" [1936]?
• • Take an amusing visit to a Hollywood night club. 
• • The illustrators created caricatures of  Mae West as well as Walter Winchell, Hugh Herbert, W.C. Fields, Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Weissmuller, Harpo Marx, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Clark Gable, Groucho Marx, Edward G. Robinson, etc.
• • The 60-minute cartoon feature was first aired in November — — on Saturday, 28 November 1936.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • It took Mae's "cumup'n see me s'm'time" to bring Prosperity around the corner into the theaters.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm sorry I can't see you in private." [The Hays Office deleted this "objectionable" screen line.]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Illinois daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Chicago Tribune reporter Joanne Kaufman wrote:  The first edition of "Who's Who in America" contained 8,602 listings, and Marquis was besieged by people who wanted to reserve space for themselves in subsequent editions. But Marquis had stern standards. The first book was dominated by profiles of obscure educators, clergymen, and welfare workers.
• • Some took the snub with aplomb. Mae West, when asked why she failed to make the cut, replied, "Well, the old boy who published it isn't in my little black book, either." ...
• • Source: Article: "The 'Big Red Book' And 75,000 Big Shots" written by Joanne Kaufman for the Chicago Tribune; published on Friday, 28 November 1986
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3583rd 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1936

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1 comment:

  1. Mae West was very quick on the uptake and her quip when asked why she didn't make the first edition of "Who's Who" got me laughing our loud. Of course she eventually got included in the publication, and I found it interesting that her address was listed as being her beach house In Santa Monica.