Thursday, March 13, 2008

About "Jim."

I try to work Jim, the anonymous offstage pair of ears to which one can direct comments (usually complaining, despairing or sarcastic), into my act whenever I can.

He's had one hell of a history.

I'm not as versed in the world of Old Hipsterism as I'd like to be, but I know Jim was out there during performances by Redd Foxx, Lenny Bruce and several other comedians. He didn't work with Moms Mabley as far as I know, but she had a rich cast of her own.

Likewise, I have reason to believe he sat in on some Cab Calloway sets, probably when Cab was feuding with Miles Davis.

PARENTHETICAL DAMN-I-FEEL-ELDERLY-THIS-MORNING THOUGHT: Are you hip to any of these people? Do these names ring any bells in your consciousness? They all helped make me who I am today, and are as unknown now as Earl "Madman" Muntz and eight-track audio cassettes. Feh.

I know Jim didn't hang with Samuel ("a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on") Goldfish -- formerly known as Schmuel Gelbfisz; later Sam Goldwyn -- but he should have.

You can't imagine what it's like to have a dumpster of a mind that is never emptied of trivia. Some of what's in there, such as my fluency in 1920s-1930s "jive" talk and its subset, musician slang, and Yiddish -- have atrophied from non-use. If I could hang out with the studs who spoke that way again, it'd all come back. But I can't, since they're all gone to the big Nite Club in the sky.

So much color, gone forever.

I only mention this because my friend JohnO blamed Jim for some typing errors in comments he left here, and I know damn well Jim never claimed to be able to type.

There was a guy who had an invisible white rabbit named "Harvey" to talk to. I've got Jim. And if I'm the last cat to keep Jim in his routine, so be it.

Gotta tell you we're playing to a tough audience here, Jim.

6 comments:

emd said...

I haven't even figured out yet if I'm supposed to be "hep" or "hip".

But I do dig Cab Calloway.

John0 said...

Jim's connected, but shady. He got into clubs I couldn't and never paid a cover.

MrScribbler said...

emd -- My suspicion is that we will only learn the answer to the "hep versus hip" dilemma when we get to Heaven and St Peter lays it all down.

emd said...

And, we don't want to rush THAT, do we Scribbs?

MrScribbler said...

emd -- It'd almost be worth it to know for certain if Hep is better than Hip. Or vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Hep, hip, groovy, cool, bitchin, outstanding, boss, bad...

All same pidgin - just different times -- spills your age, though....

Everybody needs a Jim now and then... Right, Wilson?

DjU