Saturday, February 09, 2008

Silver Medal

Well, like Mitt Romney I won a silver medal, but unlike Mitt Romney this was for displaying a modicum of wit. To wit, I placed second in the Washington Post Style Invitational this week. (Click on Week 752). The “prize” is a Steve Irwin beanbag doll. I know major media corporations are struggling, but this is ridiculous! (Ridicule being the coin of this 15-year enterprise.)

I knew I would win some mention, because I think I know what the “Empress” (the sole judge) thinks is funny. Unfortunately, the entries I get ink for are ones I don’t think were my best and, conversely, entirely brilliant bon mots blush unseen.

This contest was to make up a funny short poem about someone who died in 2007. My 2nd place entry was about the passing of Carlo Ponti, film producer and husband of Sophia Loren:

The Roman figure Ponti made great:

Here are my other entries:

Merv Griffin

What a shame we must bid

A poignant adieu

To the creator of

“Final Jeopardieu”

Merv Griffin

In show biz he never had blundered.

“‘Who was Merv Griffin?’-- for two hundred.”

Bob Carroll, writer for Lucille Ball

Before he made St. Pete’s select few

Bob Carroll had some ‘splainin’ to do

Vincent Sardi, restaurateur

Another openin’, another show

I hope Vince Sardi ain’t down below

Ian Richardson, British actor (and star of American TV commercial)

From Prince Hamlet to King Richard the Second

Richardson’s career became ever more fecund

Until he cashed in and asked as he trouped on,

"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?”

Werner von Trapp

He helped put the Austrian Alps on the map

The hills are now dead as is Werner von Trapp

Warren Avis, how sad that he died,

No matter how much harder he tried

Boots Randolph

Yakkety Saxxety

Musical novelty

Played in the background on

Elvis’s tracks

Blowing his horn on jobs


No knocking Boots, for he

Practiced safe sax

Benazir Bhutto

Ev’ryone from Punjab to Pluto

Knew the future of Madam Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto

The Western world gave her millions of kudos

But couldn’t protect one more of the Bhuttos

Anna Nicole Smith

Ms. Smith’s body chemistry astounded the docs,

MSNBC, Cable News Network and Fox

Bob Evans

Hoggledy Poggledy
Patties of sausages
Restaurant chain linkage
Doing no harm.

Breakfast for travelers
Bob Evans finally
Did buy the farm.

Joey Bishop

Did Joseph Gottlieb ever kiss up?

It’s how he became Joey Bishop!

Don Ho

Tiny bubbles were the prescription primus

For Don Ho -- and, no, I do not mean Imus

Arthur Schlesinger and Robert Goulet

Camelot’s two eminences grise,

Schlesinger and Goulet, did decease

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievelly

Montana born and bred

Jumped over obstacles

Spilling plenty of gut:

The Snake River Canyon,


Broke 40 bones but

None in his Butte

Norman Mailer

He swore like a sailor

Did Norman Mailer

And wrote like a journo

Sometimes as pourno

Charles Nelson Reilly

Flibberty Jibbety

Hollywood Squares wit

Sat in the middle as

O or an X.

Tony Award winner,

Theatricality --

Charles Nelson Reilly of

Middling sex

Yvonne De Carlo

Fred Gwynne played the dad, a monstrous dummy,

But Yvonne starred as the Munster mummy

Don Herbert

Television -- so much bleaker

Without Mr. Wizard’s beaker

Frankie Laine

Dogs may bark, on rolls the mule train

But not, alas, with Frankie Laine

Mstislav Rostropovich

National Symphony

Slava Rostro’povich

Fighting for human rights,

Cellist sublime

Nothing was finer than

Dvorak’s D-minor

Played in tune; sadly, he

Ran out of time

Michelangelo Antonioni (avant garde film director)

Phony, baloney was

M. Antonioni

Making weird cinema

With camera shots deft

Zabriskie Point-less


Blowing up shibboleth

By panning left

Porter Wagoner

Porter Wagoner, who crooned with such ease,

Launched Dolly Parton -- and her double-Ds

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