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I tried a new thing this month, regarding the Preshow Entertainment. I selected 3 candidates; Drive-in Intermissions, SCTV episodes, and an episode of Burke's Law. Then, I rolled a die; 1 or 2 = Intermissions, 3 or 4 = SCTV, and 5 or 6 = Burke's Law.

The roll came up a 2, so we watched some Drive-in Intermissions. To me, there was no wrong answer, because SCTV is always great (and these are the rarer Cinemax episodes), and Burke's Law, well, not only have I not heard of the show, but I have no idea why I have it, BUT- it guest starred Buddy Ebsen, who was 142 years old at the time.

We've watched some of these drive-in intermissions before, years ago. But these leaned less to the dancing hot dog variety and more on the live horror show. Back in the day, at Halloween time, they would have live shows at the drive-in, before or between the scary double feature movies. Apparently, these traveling troupes would visit drive-ins and run around and scare people. Steven said they were pretty bad, like a sheet on a string, etc. But the ads were really funny, stating things like, "The management has the right to cancel the show if it gets too scary!" Lots of that stuff. Lots.

The movie selected was: HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929.

Only a year or so after the first talking picture came this time capsule of entertainment. Basically a vaudeville show made to seem like real time for those who didn't live near theaters or could afford to go. Jack Benny (did they really need that much make up on him) whose jokes hit or missed (they may have hit more back in 1929) shared emcee duties with Conrad Nagel (who I suppose was famous then) as the studio (MGM) cranked out its talent, including a singing and dancing (if you can call it that) Joan Crawford, Tiny Tim predecessor Ukulele Ike (who seemed to have more screen time than anyone), Marion Davies, Marie Dressler, Bessie Love (the Britney of her day, and who worked until 1983's THE HUNGER) and Laurel & Hardy. Lots of chorus girls sat around in the background while people sang. Oh, and the camera effects (girl in Jack Benny's pocket) were actually funny. The movie was largely written by the unsung Al Boasberg.

Overlong and subject to tastes that have changed in 75 years, this wasn't the easiest 2 hours to sit through, but it did have some fun stuff- A choreographed sequence where dancers exchanged tops hats in a line that was bound to take more than a few takes, and Lionel Barrymore playing himself as a director of Romeo and Juliet, who gets his version of "network notes".

In the "that was amazing" category; "Lon Chaney will Get You!" as ghouls threaten pajama wearing chorus girls. And Buster Keaton, who put one leg over the back of a chair, then the other leg, then fell flat on his ass. Wow. And the Laurel and Hardy stuff was great.

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