The Real Guinan Never Served Synthahol


I’m having waaaay too much fun looking through a pdf of Film Daily newspapers from 1926. It’s 1800 pages. There are thousands more at archive.org - page after page of ads and tiny types about the movies of the days, none of which anyone knows about. The number of films that survived from the 20s are few; the number that survived from the 30s are much greater, so the 30s are knowable. The 20s are locked and lost. The difference between 1926 and 1936 is jarring - things got modern and sleek and clever, and they make the ads and copy of the 20s look strictly bumpkin.

I’ll have a site up about this next week, but for now: it wasn’t all that bumpkin. Perhaps you’ve heard how the post-WW1 generation, the Flaming Youth, were busting out the old societal strictures, experimenting with new ideas, Women could smoke in public and act like men! Scandalous.



Her career faded with talkies, as happened with so many. This next one may surprise a few of you: hello, suckers!


She was the famous Prohibition saloon keeper. of course. Says wikipedia:


Ruby Keeler and George Raft were discovered as dancers at her club by Broadway and Hollywood talent scouts. Walter Winchell credited Guinan with opening the insider Broadway scene and cafe society to him when he was starting as a gossip columnist. Guinan capitalized on her notoriety, earning $700,000 in ten months in 1926, while her clubs were routinely being raided by the police.

Guinan has been credited with coining a number of phrases. "Butter and egg men" referred to her well-off patrons, and she often demanded that the audience "give the little ladies a great big hand". She traditionally greeted her patrons with "Hello, suckers!"


Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Star Trek: The Next Generation is named after her. The OG died in 1933 - one month before Prohibition was lifted. Paul Whiteman was one of her pallbearers.

There’s more. Good Lord, so much more. One issue bulges with tributes to Carl Laemmle, the famous Universal producer. Hundreds of pages of well-wishes from people sucking up paying their respects to the fellow. This one made my eyebrows Spockate:



Mintz? Didn’t we meet a fellow named Mintz yesterday at Disneyshorts? We did. I don’t know if there’s a relation, but they’re in the same industry, ad the same time. More or less the same industry - Cameo Music provided “Thematic Music Cue Sheets” orchestras or keyboardists could use while playing along with a silent picture. As I understand it, the company provided music arranged by pertinent mood - stormy, comic, romantic, martial - and the movie would arrive at the theater with instructions that specified the time, duration, and type of music a scene would require. Okay, boys, Book 34, page 12 through 16, four times. Another industry destroyed by the cruel and relentless march of technology!

Anyway. Here’s the Xmas site I was talking about: highlights from a 1958 Family Circle magazine, including a Disney poem designed to get folks to visit the park. This is why the web was invented: so we could scan old magazines, put them up, and include the audio of the record made of the poem a few years later. IT'S HERE. Have a grand weekend!

Oh: the revised Christmas-card-making column, refashioned from yesterday’s Bleat, is here. It’s completely different. Here I ramble. There, I have 750 words. It concentrates the mind.

Preview of the 1958 magazine: streamlined Tomorrowland Rocket Trees. YES.




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