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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Today is the 90th birthday of comedy giant, Mel Brooks. I must admit that Mr. Brooks deserves credit for a certain portion of my humor. Brooks is a perfect example of humor as a tool to rage against the system. I honestly don’t remember the first time I saw Brooks’ 1973 movie classic, Blazing Saddles. The […]

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Facebook just reminded me that today would have been Billy Wilder’s birthday. Billy Wilder was a wonderful screenwriter who turned into one of the greatest and most important film director’s in all of history. Back in the 1980s when I was still in my teens and twenties, I desperately wanted to be seen as more […]

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Born Yesterday is a wonderful play written by a fellow native of my hometown of Rochester, NY, Garson Kanin. As well-written as the play is, it owes its great success to the marvelously talented Judy Holliday who would have been 95 years old today. She brought a special kind of native intelligence to “the dumb blonde” […]

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I was very sorry to learn last night of the passing of Ann Morgan Guilbert, the wonderful character actress and comedienne. There are a number of tributes and remembrances of her online for her role  as Yetta on the 1990s sitcom, “The Nanny.” As I was not a huge fan of that particular show, it […]

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Today would have been Dean Martin’s 99th birthday. Next year, at this time, we’ll be celebrating his centennial. It’s quite remarkable how popular Dean Martin remains in today’s culture, more than two decades after his passing. Martin’s enduring legacy is both impressive and ironic. He endures in the culture as a symbol of the cool […]

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