Humor October 2008

Innocence and Experience

Casanova’s first orgasm, Hitler’s famous mustache, Bob Hope’s last jokes: for every thing, there is a season. Herewith a compilation of great moments in precocity, endurance, and procrastination, organized instructively by age

Illustrations by Eric Hanson

1 Keith Richards is evacuated from suburban London to escape German buzz bombs, 1944.

3 Sigmund Freud sees his mother naked, 1859.

6 Alfred Hitchcock’s father sends him down to the police station with a note instructing the officer in charge to lock him in a cell for five minutes, circa 1905.

9 Proust suffers his first asthma attack, circa 1881.

10 Martin Luther King Jr. sings in a boys choir at the premiere of Gone With the Wind in Atlanta, 1939.

11 Giacomo Casanova experiences his first orgasm, 1736.

12 Joan of Arc begins to hear voices, 1424.

Adolf Hitler attends a performance of Wagner’s Lohengrin, 1901.

13 Spanky McFarland retires from Our Gang, 1942.

William F. Buckley Jr. takes up sailing, 1939.

14 Marie Antoinette is packed off to be married to the heir to the throne of France, 1770. She is stripped naked and carefully inspected at the French border.

15 After twirling lassos in Disney’s Frontierland and pricing hats in Adventureland, Steve Martin gets a job doing magic tricks in Fantasyland, 1960.

16 Allen Stewart Konigsberg changes his name to Woody Allen. He sees his first Bergman film, Summer With Monika, 1952.

17 Kurt Cobain leaves home and finds work as a hotel cleaner but is fired for sleeping in the rooms, 1984.

19 Zsa Zsa Gabor is chosen to be Miss Hungary, 1936.

Joan of Arc is burned at the stake, 1431.

20 Clyde Barrow meets Bonnie Parker, 1930.

21 Alice Waters visits France for the first time, 1965.

22 Dwight Eisenhower misses a crucial tackle on Jim Thorpe, and the Carlisle Indians go on to defeat Army, 27–6. Before the game, Carlisle coach Pop Warner told his players to remember Wounded Knee, 1912.

23 Neil Young joins Stephen Stills, David Crosby, and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 1969.

24 Newlywed Sylvia Plath consults a Ouija board with her husband, Ted Hughes, 1956.

Bob Dylan goes electric on the first side of his album Bringing It All Back Home, and is booed at the Newport Folk Festival, 1965.

25 Anne Boleyn marries Henry VIII, 1533.

26 Ho Chi Minh is working as a pastry cook at the Carlton Hotel in London, circa 1916.

27 Alice Waters opens a restaurant called Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, 1971.

28 Thomas Lanier Williams shuttles from New Orleans to California, Missouri, and New York; along the way, he adopts his college nickname of Tennessee, 1939.

30 Adolf Hitler grows his famous mustache, 1919.

Jerry Lewis parts ways with Dean Martin at the end of their 10th-anniversary show at the Copacabana, 1956.

31 Charles Schulz gives Linus a security blanket, 1954.

32 Lizzie Borden is found not guilty of giving her stepmother and father 40 and 41 whacks, respectively, 1893.

33 Gertrude Stein meets Alice B. Toklas, 1907.

34 Sigmund Freud is given a couch by a grateful patient, circa 1890.

Charles Manson buys a copy of the Beatles’ White Album, 1968.

35 In the midst of the Depression, Walt Disney spends a million and a half dollars to make a feature-length cartoon about a young woman living with seven men, 1937.

36 Einstein completes his General Theoryof Relativity, 1915.

Marilyn Monroe dies in her Brentwood, California, home of an overdose of barbiturates, 1962.

Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car accident in Paris, 1997.

37 Coco Chanel introduces Chanel No. 5 perfume, 1921.

Marie Antoinette is guillotined, 1793.

38 For a television special, broadcast from Hawaii, Elvis Presley commissions a special patriotic caped jumpsuit with a sequined eagle, 1973.

39 Ian Fleming vacations in Jamaica with his mistress, 1948. While there he purchases a copy of Birds of the West Indies, by the ornithologist James Bond.

40 John Lennon and Yoko Ono have a session with Rolling Stone photographer Annie Leibowitz. The most famous image is of John nude and in the fetal position embracing Yoko, who is fully clothed. That evening, Lennon is shot dead by a deranged fan, 1980.

Winston Churchill is forced out of the Admiralty after the disastrous Dardanelles campaign, 1915. He retreats to the country and takes up painting.

41 Columbus sails the ocean blue, 1492.

42 Elvis Presley dies on the floor of his bathroom, 1977.

44 Ronald Reaganco-hosts live coast-to-coast TV coverage ofthe opening day at Disneyland, 1955.

45 John F. Kennedy is serenaded by Marilyn Monroe at a large birthday party held at Madison Square Garden, 1962.

Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo, 1815.

47 White House sage Henry Kissinger is dating JillSt. John, 1970. The red-haired soon-to-be Bond girl is reputed to have an IQ of 162.

48 Paul Newman’s name turns up on President Nixon’s secret enemies list, 1973.

Mick Jagger becomes a grandfather, 1992.

50 Former ’60s radical Jerry Rubin is organizing networking seminars on Wall Street, 1988.

Presented by

Eric Hanson is an illustrator and the author of the recently published A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100 (Harmony Books), from which this has been adapted.

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