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
More

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.

51 Ronald Reagan becomes a Republican, 1962.

53 Walt Disney opens a theme park in California, 1955.

The Graduate soundtrack asks: “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” The retired ballplayer is living quietly in the Bay Area and coaching for the Oakland A’s, 1968.

54 Christopher Columbus dies in Spain, 1506. A year after his death, a German mapmaker names the New World after somebody else.

56 The now-nearly-forgotten Victor Flemingdirects both Gone With the Wind and The Wizardof Oz, 1939.

57 Richard Nixon receives the velvet-suited Elvis Presley in the White House, 1970.

58 Abraham Zapruder makes a keepsake film of John F. Kennedy’s motorcade as it passes the book depository in Dallas, Texas, 1963.

61 Orson Welles performs card tricks on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, 1976.

62 Aristotle Onassis marries 39-year-old Jackie Kennedy, 1968.

63 Walt Disney secretly acquires land from orange growers in central Florida, 1964.

65 Jack Welch retires after 20 years as chairman and CEO of General Electric, taking with him a retirement package paying for telephone and computer service at his five homes; flowers, food, wine, and waitstaff when he’s in New York; memberships at three country clubs; Red Sox, Yankees, and Knicks tickets; a box at the Metropolitan Opera; very nice seats at Wimbledon, the French Open, and the U.S. Open tennis tournaments; and dry cleaning, for the rest of his life, 2001.

66 Hunter S. Thompson invents “shotgun golf” at Owl Farm, in Woody Creek, Colorado, 2004.

67 As a guest on The Dick Cavett Show on PBS, Mary McCarthy says that her fellow writer Lillian Hellman is overrated, and then says, “Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the,” 1979.

70 Long-range photos of a still-svelte, seminudeGreta Garbo sunning herself appear in Peoplemagazine, 1976.

Robert Frost gets the young Truman Capote fired from his job at The New Yorker after he walks out of one of Frost’s poetry readings, 1944.

72 On his birthday, Albert Einstein has his picture taken while he sticks his tongue out, 1951.

Mao Zedong launches the Cultural Revolution, 1966.

75 George Plimpton appears as a corrupt spelling-bee emcee in episode 303 ofThe Simpsons, 2003.

77 Retired senator and former astronaut John Glenn becomes the oldest man to orbit Earth, 1998.

After exhibiting some of her paintings at Thomas’s Drugstore in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., Grandma Moses is discovered by art collector Louis Caldor, 1938.

80 Poet Marianne Moore throws out the first pitch at the Yankees’ season opener, 1968.

84 Dame Agatha Christie complains that Miss Marple is nothing like Margaret Rutherford, who portrays her in the film versions of Christie’s novels, 1974.

86 Robert Frost recites his poem “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, 1961.

87 Sir John Gielgud plays his first nude scene, in the film Prospero’s Books, 1991.

88 Walter Cronkite maintains an office and a staff of four at CBS headquarters in New York. He has a consulting contract with the network, but is rarely consulted. He thinks about writing a blog, 2005.

89 Julia Child decides to give her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen to the Smithsonian, 2001.

90 John D. Rockefeller Sr. watches as half of the family fortune is lost in the stock-market crash of 1929. But there’s still enough Rockefeller money to found the Museum of Modern Art, build Rockefeller Center, restore colonial Williamsburg, and buy enough of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a national park.

91 On his deathbed, W. Somerset Maugham asks a friend to reassure him that there is no afterlife, 1965.

93 After having four car accidents in a month, George Burns hires a chauffeur, 1989.

94 Bandleader Artie Shaw dies, 2004. His obituary in The New York Times bears the byline of a reporter who died in 2002.

95 Titian writes a letter to Phillip II of Spain, to bug him about a portrait that hasn’t been paid for, 1571.

96 Philip Johnson is still seen occasionally at Table No. 32 at the Four Seasons, the ground-floor restaurant located in the Seagram Building, 2002. He designed the building with Mies van der Rohe.

98 Rin Tin Tin dies at his home in Los Angeles, 1932. In human years he was 14.

99 Bob Hope has amassed an 85,000-page joke file, digitally scanned and broken down into categories, which he stores in file cabinets in a theft- and fire-proof walk-in vault in the office next to his North Hollywood home, 2002.

100 Dr. Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, celebrates his 100th birthday, 2006.

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.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In