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Vas You Dere, Sharlee?


Meet The Baron (1933) Is Tunnel Through Comic Pyramids

Under heading of things MGM did for boxoffice came Meet The Baron, a screen launch for Jack Pearl of radio fame. Leo brought him and Ed Wynn aboard because free broadcast was too big to ignore. Each got a single starring vehicle at the lot. Metro wouldn't warm to radio like Paramount, but then they weren't invested in radio like Paramount. Somehow producer David Selznick fell on the sword that was Meet The Baron. He wanted no part of the project but did want to be a team player. Selznick spoke to wretchedness of the thing in notes done years later for a proposed memoir. "A horror I produced," he'd recall, "I made the picture with a loathing for it." Selznick confessed he had "never been a devotee of radio comics," indeed had never heard Jack Pearl perform. Hard as DOS labored at movies, I'd not imagine him hearing much radio, what with time off spent gambling and wenching per this dynamo's wont. Only hardest airwave-cores would know Jack Pearl today. Some of his programs can be heard online. Jack mangled words and made malapropisms a found art for schoolboys. They'd spread far/wide his catchphrase, "Vas You Dere, Sharlee?," this Pearl's response when funning partners tried catching him in a lie. "World's Biggest Liar" was in fact his shtick, hence "Baron Munchhausen" as air identity. Here's but sample pearl of Pearl's humor ... I'll spare you more ... Announcer to Jack: What did you have for breakfast, Baron?, to Jack reply: Baseball pancakes, then the announcer again, Baseball pancakes? What do you mean, baseball pancakes? Jack: I don't know, but we used a batter to make them!




The above lobby card from Meet The Baron sold at auction in 2005 for $6900. Can you guess why? Mind you, this was an 11X14 piece of paper. Could be someone bought this instead of paying their child's college tuition, or for that operation so Dad could walk again. Nuts as I was for collecting, I'd like to think I was never this far gone. But hey, it's the Stooges, and Ted Healy, so many might let the family stay lame for such treasure. Would such a card hammer for so much in 2017 as in 2005? It's a cinch there aren't as many Stooge fanatics above ground as twelve years ago. Let that pass, as they say in precode, but I'll add this: Meet The Baron is lush with Ted and his slap-ee boys. He and Stooges are prolific through running time, enough to cull into a solid two-reeler, if one were of editing mind. For most, of course, it's Stooges that make Meet The Baron bearable. I had fun for ardent clowning by not only them, but Jimmy Durante (minus Keaton, could he sustain as lead, or continuing second-lead, comic? --- MGM certainly tried), Zasu Pitts, Edna May Oliver, plus curiosity satisfied on seeing Jack Pearl do his way-back thing. Who knows? There might be a latent Jack Pearl fan within us all. I'm just waiting to spring "Vas You Dere, Sharlee?" on a next person who doubts my veracity. Should I save it for the next GPS reader who tries to factually correct me?


This post first appeared on Greenbriar Picture Shows, please read the originial post: here

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