Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


From 1928, Sam Coslow and the High Hatters.


(This one's an update of an old Red Skelton joke.)
First seagull:  "Say, have you seen any of the new 2015 cars?"

Second seagull:  "Sure.  I spotted one yesterday."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Stan Rogers.


 Okay, I'm confused.

This show was originally called The Art Baker Show when it premiered on the DuMont Network in December 1950.  That makes sense because Art Baker was the host and the creator of the show.  The show's name was soon changed to You Asked For It.  This also makes sense because it easily explains the concept of the show and perhaps because few people knew who Art Baker was.  (I certainly didn't.  I was four years old at the time and we had had our television set for all of two months.)  But supposedly the title change came in April 1951 -- two months after this particular episode aired.  But this episode is clearly titled You Asked For It.  So either I got the air date wrong or the title change came much earlier.

Art Baker, "your genii with the light white hair," was a popular radio personality.  His L.A. based radio show, Art Baker's Notebook, ran for over 20 years beginning in 1938.  He also appeared in 48 movies, starting with uncredited roles in the 30s and moving on to appear in such films as Spellbound, Abie's Irish Rose, and The Farmer's DaughterYou Asked For It ran through September 1959.  Baker hosted the show for all but the final 20 episodes when replaced by Jack Smith.  Baker continued to act in television and films until his death in 1966.

The question remains, who asked for it?  The show's viewers did, through postcards requesting what they wanted to see,,,from reunions of the Our Gang actors to views of movie stars homes, from secrets of special effects to people working with wild animals, from the eerie Winchester House to modern engineering marvels.  Most of the requests seem humdrum to today's jaded viewers, but to audiences in the early days of television this was pretty heady stuff.

I guess you had to be there.

From (I believe) February 7, 1951, here's the show's (methinks) sixth episode:

Monday, October 20, 2014


Roseanne Cash.


  • Ace Atkins, Robert B. Parker's Lullaby.  Atkin's first take on Spenser.
  • Neal Barrett, Jr., Daniel Boone:  Westward Trail.  Historical novel, fourth in the American Explorers series.
  • Lincoln Child, Terminal Freeze and The Third Gate.  Thrillers.  For more Lincoln Child, see below.
  • Ralph Compton, The Killing Season.  Western the second in the Nathan Stone, Gunfighter series.
  • Glen Cook, Dark War.  An omnibus of the Dark War trilogy, contains Doomstalker, Warlock, and Ceremony.
  • Richard Doetsch, The Thieves of Darkness.  Thriller.
  • Jeffrey Deaver, Carte Blanche.  Deaver's take on James Bond.
  • "Carl Laymon" (Richard Laymon),   Laymon's take on the YA romance novel.
  • Madeline L'Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet.  YA fantasy, the second in her Time Quintet, following A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Cold Vengeance and Fever Dream.  Thrillers in the Special Agent Pendergast series.  For more Lincoln Child, see above.
  • Paricia Wentworth, The Catherine-Wheel and Vanishing Point.  Miss Silver mysteries.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Here's a children's book of British animals, complete with rhymes for each animal.  We start (of course) with the British Bulldog and move on to:

  • The Un-Common Cat
  • The Friendly Hen
  • The Learned Pig
  • The Beautiful Swan
  • The Very Tame Lamb
  • The Toilsome Goat
  • The Lucky Duck
  • Cock o' the North
  • The Simple Sheep
  • The Servile Cow, and
  • The Growing Colt
Purists will note that there is no mention of The Paddington Bear.

The book was designed by Sir William Nicholson in 1896 and first published by Heinemann in England in 1899.  Nicholson was a well-known painter, illustrator, and designer (he designed the sets for the first performance of Peter Pan).  The rhymes are by Arthur Waugh, the father of Alec and Evelyn.  The link will take you to the 1900 R. H. Russell (New York) edition.