Yul Brynner, PDQ Bach, and Me #socs

Mary and I decided to spend our first anniversary at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Since I was working, we decided it would be easiest if she met me there after work. When I got there, she told me that, while she was sitting there waiting on me, Yul Brynner walked through the lobby, wearing the cowboy hat he wore in Westworld.

A couple of years later, I was in downtown Chicago late at night (I got called in to fix a production problem), and what do I see, rounding the corner of Adams and Wells, but a limousine carrying Yul Brynner? Typical of Crazy John, I waved to him, and he waved back.

I think both times he was doing The King And I at the Shubert Theatre, now called the CIBC Theatre. According to the Blogger’s Best Friend, it started out as The Majestic Theatre, was bought by The Nederlander Group in the Forties and renamed the Shubert, and it’s been The LaSalle Bank Theatre, The Bank of America Theatre, and The Private Bank Theatre before becoming The CIBC Theatre.

Ever get the feeling, that with all these mergers and consolidations, we’re going to end up with one bank, one airline, one pharmaceutical company, etc.?

I had a whole lot more on that subject, but something is telling me “You’ll be sorry if you go down that road,” so I won’t.

How about a Christmas song? Here’s one by PDQ Bach (a/k/a “Professor” Peter Schickele), “Throw The Yule Log On, Uncle John.”

Merry Christmas!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about California prunes, the breakfast fruit.

31 thoughts on “Yul Brynner, PDQ Bach, and Me #socs

  1. PDQ Bach is one of my favorites! Way back when I was in high school, our local choral society did his “Good King Kong” (which I was delighted to perform until I found out some of my classmates were coming to the show, especially a boy I had a crush on… I’ve since learned better).

    Sounds like Mr. Brynner was a generally nice guy. So very cool. Glad you have that memory, John.


    1. The third PDQ Bach carol was “O Little Town of Hackensack,” remember? Hope you had a good Christmas (and birthday, right?)!

      Neither Mary nor I actually met him, but yeah, him waving back was kinda cool. As intimidating as he was, with the bald head and Russian accent, I think he was a good person. I remember the anti-smoking commercial he did a short time before he died of lung cancer. He sounded honestly concerned, and I heard he actually paid for it. Plus, I heard he worked as a weatherman very early on, which makes him pretty cool in my book…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never heard “O Little Town of Hackensack”. I guess I’ll have to look that one up.

        Lots of cool things there. Thanks again for sharing the stories.

        (Yes, B-Day… thanks for that too)


  2. John,
    How interesting that you and Mary both saw Yul Brynner on two separate occasions. That’s just neat! I was wondering how on earth your video clips show in your email post notification? MIne do not. Where a clip is supposed to appear blank which bothers me to no ends. So, now I have to know how you do it? Whenever you get a chance, not today or tomorrow…enjoy Christmas, can you tell me your secret? Have a joyful, blessed holiday with the wife and family. MERRY CHRISTMAS, good friend!


    1. So the video clips show up in the emails? That’s the first I heard of it. Seriously, I have no idea what I did to make that happen. I’ll have to look into it.


  3. Hi John and Mary – have a very happy and peaceful Christmas and year end … loved your stories about Yul Brynner … cheers Hilary


  4. Good thing that comma is there. I would hate for someone to “throw the yule log on Uncle John” :). The guy in the prune commercial looks a little like Orville Redenbacher. Another good one!!


    1. You might notice that the last line of each verse is sung as though the comma isn’t there. Mary and I laughed our heads off the first time we heard it (figuratively speaking, of course).

      He does sort of remind me of Orville Redenbacher… he was in a lot of commercials, and I think he made a few appearances on TV shows. No idea what his name is, though.

      Hope Christmas was Merry!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now this made me smile. Thank you for adding the figuratively in there for me. It has been one of those days :). Not a bad day just a foggy day. Christmas was nice and quiet. I hope yours was Merry too. Now I am off to try and find out the name of that actor.


  5. I saw Oliver! With future Monkee Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger and Hello Dolly with Carol Channing at the Shubert Theater in the 1960s (Oliver!) and 1970s (Hello Dolly). Seeing a show live at a real theater is a treat, not something many of us get to do any more.


    1. I’ve seen a few live shows, but none at the Shubert, or whatever they’re calling it now. It is a pretty amazing experience, and one that will become less common as more streaming options become available. More’s the pity…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Never heard that Christmas song – I don’t think. Very good! Yes, the Shubert has gone through many names over the years. Hope they don’t come up with a name like old Comiskey Park – Guaranteed Rate Field! Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the trend now, where all facilities are sponsored by big corporations. I miss the days when ballparks had real names, like Comiskey, Wrigley, Forbes, Connie Mack, Briggs, Crosley etc. But times change…

      If I don’t talk to you before then, Merry Christmas to you and yours!


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