Lost talent

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
Every now and again I run across someone like Oscar Levant. He was well known in his time, is completely unknown to me and most other people today [I think], and is perhaps worth noting for one reason or another. A few of his quotes are probably familiar. Also, it turns out that he was quite an accomplished person in many ways.

The strength and beauty of his musical accomplishment has long been overshadowed by his public personna. For Oscar Levant, his own music has been silenced by his presumed character: the acerbic crank on the Jack Paar Show; the Broadway showman and Hollywood star; the author of preposterously acute and funny books; the radio and television ringmaster; the concert pianist and Gershwin specialist. No kaleidoscope could serve these many split images.

Two decades after his death, the time has come to re-examine his work as a composer of strong and original music.
http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/acc/levant.html

Some quotes:

Oscar Levant said:
Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.
Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.
I am no more humble than my talents require.
I don't drink. I don't like it. It makes me feel good.
I envy people who drink - at least they know what to blame everything on.
I have given up reading books; I find it takes my mind off myself.
I have no trouble with my enemies. But my god damn friends... they are the ones that keep me walking the floors at night.
I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
I'm a study of a man in chaos in search of frenzy.
Once Dwight Eisenhower makes up his mind, he's full of indecision.
Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision.
Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
So little time and so little to do.
Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you will find the real tinsel underneath.
The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
There are two sides to every question: my side and the wrong side.
There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character.
What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.
 

Danger

Gold Member
9,564
244
I'd forgotten about him, but certainly recognized the name when I saw it. Used to hear his stuff all the time when I was a kid. (Of course, unlike some, not only radio, but also Oscar himself, already existed when I was a kid... :uhh: )
 

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,093
174
Some of those quotes cracked me up! The one about Doris Day didn't hit until I read it a second time.

I remember listening to my parents LPs as a kid. They had quite a few that were comedy routines, and one that I got a kick out of was done by Shelley Berman, whom I have never heard mentioned in the public domain. ....did a quick google and behold!

Celebrated humorist Shelley Berman has taught at USC College's Master of Professional Writing program for 22 years. Berman gives his signature lesson at 24th Street Theatre near USC.

...Shelley Berman was wrapping up a lecture about the history of comedy when the unspeakable happened.

A cell phone rang in the audience, halting the fluid 2-hour presentation in its tracks. The packed 24th Street Theatre near USC held its collective breath.

Berman fans may recall how the father of modern monologue blew his stack back in his 1963 NBC documentary, “Comedian Backstage”. His career suffered after viewers witnessed that memorable outburst.

The trigger? The annoying ring of a backstage telephone[continued]
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/news/february_2006/shelleyberman.html [Broken]

Perhaps Michael Richards will end up teaching as USC. :biggrin:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related Threads for: Lost talent

  • Last Post
4
Replies
91
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
4K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
2
Replies
25
Views
6K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
77
Views
7K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
2K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
56
Views
5K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
68
Views
18K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K

Hot Threads

Recent Insights

Top