Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nancy Boy

His thoughts weren't anything fancy
His mind was fixated on Nancy
His passion unstated,
he patiently waited
For someday, she'd be his fi

Image © Dan Zettwoch 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flop Art

The artist named Vincent van Gogh
could not sell his paintings for dough
They deemed his work bad
and then he went mad
And to him a debt we all owe

Top: Van Gogh's Starry Night (1889); Above: Kirk Douglas
Van Gogh in Lust For Life (Vincente Minnelli, 1956)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chiseled Sizzle

It's not that he wasn't polite
but Douglas was wound rather tight
As villain or hero
with countdown to zero
a powder keg set to ignite

Top: Publicity photo: Above: Douglas in Two Weeks in
Another Town
(Vincente Minnelli, 1962); Photos: Doctor Macro

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ace in the Role

Both charming and pushy--a jerk
no actor played nasty like Kirk
He'd curl up his lip
and then let 'er rip
His face bore a snarl or a smirk

Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole (Billy Wider, 1951) Photo: Doctor Macro

Saturday, September 26, 2009

After the Chin Man

Kirk Douglas looked ready to fight
The teeth in his jaw were clenched tight
The cleft on his chin
was deeply etched in
His bark was as bad as his bite

Douglas and Marilyn Maxwell in Champion (Mark Robson, 1949)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Smiling Faces Yell "Lies!"

Health Care, redux

Republicans think they can win it
They just take a lie and they spin it
Spreading fear and confusion
they've reached the conclusion
a sucker is born ev'ry minute

South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson (above) is raising tons of
money because he yelled "You Lie!" during the President's
health care address before a joint session of Congress. Fed up?
Donate to the campaign of his opponent, Democrat Rob Miller, here.
here's a link to our previous limerick on the Republican's
so-called "debate" on Health Care, "Health Scare".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A New Canard

When Humpty fell down and he cracked
repairs to his shell weren't exact
Revealed was a yolk
from which something spoke
Or rather, it waddled and quacked

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cooling Their Heel-lots

He keeps telling hobo John Doe
Let's slip out the door and just blow
Their uppermost goal
is stealing your soul
heel-lots are running the show

Top: Edward Arnold, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper
and Walter Brennan as The Colonel in Meet John Doe

(Frank Capra, 1941). Above: Brennan, Cooper and Ster-
ling Holloway. Git along, little doggies. Walter Brennan
has hit the road at Limerwrecks, pardner.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Little Slight Music

As keeper of musical vault
Walt Brennan's a crusty old salt
Each dusty old ditty
he "sings" isn't pretty
His music ain't country--it's 'alt'

Walter Brennan would have made a mean Vault Keeper.
Brennan had quite a recording career--though he didn't
really sing, he'd recite. Here's a link to a recording of
Walter and the sped-up vocals of the Chipmunk-styled
Space Mice . (
EC's The Vault Keeper, art by Johnny Craig.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tooth or Consequences

The story has often been told
that Brennan was not very old
The thing of it is
his teeth are not his
He'd age when false teeth he'd withhold

Come and Get Her

Since Brennan would seldom play lead
not getting the girl he'd concede
But he was a charmer
and wed Frances Farmer
when playing Swan Bostrom, a Swede

Walter Brennan, Edward Arnold and Frances Farmer in
Come and Get It
(Howard Hawks and William Wyler, 1936)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Committing Atrocity

A wharf rat who navigates docks
avoiding the cops and the rocks
He came from the gutters
and curses and mutters
and probably don't change his socks

From Glenn Kenny's blog, Some Came Running:
"I think Walter Brennan was the greatest example of a personality I ever used," (Howard) Hawks told (Joseph) McBride (in McBride's Hawks on Hawks). Brennan was 40, an "extra man" on various Hollywood lots, when he was brought to Hawks by a production man for consideration for a small part in Barbary Coast, a Ben Hecht—Charles MacArthur-penned tale of Gold-Rush-era San Francisco. According to Todd McCarthy's biography of Hawks, the director burst out laughing at the mere sight of the lanky, and more grizzled than his actual years ought to have indicated, Brennan. What closed the deal was when Hawks asked him to read some lines.
"With or without?" the actor asked.
"With or without what?" Hawks asked.
And so Brennan won the part of "Old Atrocity." "He was supposed to work three days, and I kept him around a month," Hawks told McBride. In the finished film, we first see him piloting a rowboat... "Sufferin' snakes! A white woman! Jumpin' Jee-hosephat! Whiter than a hen's egg..."

"He worked in six pictures for me, and he only had [written] parts in two of them," Hawks told McBride. "The rest of the time I'd just call him up. He didn't worry about it—he'd do anything you wanted him to do. I'd say, 'Walter, I've got a picture.' 'Fine,' he'd say. 'I'll be over tomorrow.'" Photo: Brennan in Barbary Coast (Howard Hawks, 1935)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Full of Bean

When Judge Roy Bean's gavel was banging
no jail doors would ever be clanging
Judge Bean was the law
as far as he saw
And Roy was most fond of a hanging

In The Westerner (William Wyler, 40), Walter Brennan was
Judge Roy Bean, who had a weakness for actress Lily Langtry.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Foe, My Darling

He's evil and uses a whip
His shoulder bears permanent chip
The Clanton Gang's paw
he spits on the law
The villainous Brennan's a pip

Walter Brennan as one of his rare villains, Old Man
Clanton, in My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get Real, McCoys

"I'm old, and re
placing my hip
is not worth the doc making trip.
So don't make a fuss!
This ornery cuss
will settle for taking a nip."

Walter Brennan as patriarch Amos McCoy on his
TV show,
The Real McCoys. Above and Below: Brennan
with Richard Crenna, who played his grandson, Luke McCoy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grub Stakeout

Each day he cooks beans for our grub
His whiskers like rough prairie scrub
Two months on the trail
we're all getting stale
No water, no soap, and no tub

Brennan as "Groot" Nadine, in Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eddie When You Are

"Was you ever bit by a bee?
A dead one that's marked R.I.P.?"

When dead bees attack
he'd sting 'em right back
Alas, no such stinger has he

Walter Brennan, as "Eddie", with Bacall and Bogart
To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Waltered States

A codger, a geezer, a coot
An ornery, hitch-stepped galoot
The comic relief
who's airing a beef
then cocking his shotgun to shoot

Not many character actors could inspire an entire week of limericks,
but not many character actors are as memorable as Walter Brennan.
Above: Brennan as "Stumpy" in Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959);
Below: Brennan's credit in Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, 1941)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Patrick McGoohan, R.I.P.

He scowled and appeared to be stewin'
The scenery often he's chewin'

Eschewin' cliché
and all things risque
was thespian Patrick McGoohan


Village of the Scammed

Number 6, played by Patrick McGoohan
tried to nix what The Village was doin'
So plans he unfurled
to flee from a world
predicted by Marshall McLuhan


Patrick Joseph McGoohan (March 19, 1928 – January 13, 2009)

McGoohan was that rare breed: a man first and an actor second.
From Wikipedia: McGoohan insisted on several conditions in his
contract before agreeing to do the show
Danger Man: all the fist-
fights should be different, the character would always use his brain

before using a gun, and, much to the horror of the executives, no

kissing. They hired him anyway.

McGoohan then conceived The Prisoner. Again from Wikipedia:
McGoohan not only produced, he also wrote, directed and starred
in the show.
The Prisoner was a completely new, cerebral kind of
series, stretching the limits of the established television formulas.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Take a Number, Man

This man, who lives life full of danger
unlike Al Camus, is no stranger
Yes, spying's his game
a secret's his name
And no, he is not Stewart Granger

Photo: Patrick McGoohan as Danger Man, aka Secret Agent Man

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gardner of Eden

Yes, four out of five men will favah
the dish with the flavah named Ava
They'll try and resist her
pretend she's their sister
but soon their resistance will waivah

This one's for Ava ravah Brian Churilla.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Everyone Knows It's Windy City

Come out to the Con, Windy City
Meet artists, both scary and pretty
They'll do you a sketch
and maybe they'll kvetch
or possibly say something witty

Everyone who went to the con last year loved it.
Gene Ha, Tony Moore and Geof Darrow are just
three of the over 70 artists, writers and comics
creators who will be at the show. Read all about
this years' show, here

2009 WCCC Poster art by Skottie Young

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


On heath care the mirrors and smoke
are getting so thick you could choke
Conservative channels
cite scary "death panels"
and fires of ignorance stoke

The Right sells a pig in a poke
"Your right to your life, they'll revoke!"
"A bureaucrat chooses
who lives and who loses!"
Don't fix it--they like how it's broke

Scare Fare

On planes eating pastry's a pain
One tries to stay neat but in vain
Crumbs drive to distraction
star Samuel Jackson
So don't serve him cakes on a plane

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Drive, She Said

A trucker hauls freight late at night
The daylight, it seems, is too bright
He speeds and he swerves
'round feminine curves
till one tries to frame him from spite

Ida Lupino is driven crazy by jealousy and steals the show
from George Raft, leggy Ann Sheridan and Humphrey Bogart
in the Raoul Walsh classic, They Drive By Night (1940).

Monday, September 7, 2009


Exhausted, my eyeballs have bags
Each eyelid grows heavy and sags
All night without sleep
I'm taunted by sheep
and write tired limerick

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eye a Duck?

A fact is a fact is a fact
And facts, point of fact, are exact
But certainty's twaddle
with only the waddle
It isn't a duck till it's quacked

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What rhymes with Picasso?

So great with the ladies, Picasso
once dated the late Signe Hasso
But Pablo would fret
being bit by her pet
He hated the breed, lhasa apso

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Balk This Way

Ted Kennedy's seat needs some filling
Said ex-BoSox pitcher Curt Schilling,
"Hey, I'd fill the bill,
I've been on the hill!"
(It turned out his spirit weren't willing)

Cardboard Lovers

The camera cannot conceal
that bricks in the wall aren't real
From cardboard they're made
and don't make the grade
The gal has a much better feel

Gloria Grahame and Vittorio Gassman
The Glass Wall (Maxwell Shane, 1953).
Click on photo below to enlarge the image.

Muddied Waters

Down deep, my occult crystal ball
holds answers you seek, big and small
Oh my, it's bad news
You, sir, have the blues
A mule, it seems, kicks in your stall


The eyeballs roll up in my head
with visions of what lies ahead
I see your best pal
and two-timing gal
predicting their future in bed


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Westward, Woe

Out West blows a wasteland of weeds
which tumble at various speeds
Through emptiness vast
the ghost towns roll past
and civilization recedes

Photo: Fred Miranda

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pork Belly Up

While riding my hog on the lam
I ran over spiral-cut ham
This pork in the road
a semi had mowed
and spread on the asphalt like spam

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finding Namor

The prince of Atlantis is lost
On turbulent seas he's been tossed
Against his dad's wishes
he swam with the fishes...
for Marvel, by Disney, is bossed

Thanks to Robert Hobbs for the title.

Brrrrr Oak

Pure greed is the thing that explains
dismembering human remains
These grave-robbing ghouls
used back-hoes as tools
to dig up their ill gotten gains

Carolyn Towns, Keith Nicks, Terrence Nicks and
Maurice Dailey have all been charged with dismem-
bering bodies in Burr Oak Cemetery, located outside
Chicago. Here's the story. This makes The Body
(Robert Wise, 1945) look quaint. At least
Boris Karloff just used a shovel.