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Bird Is The Word
October 28, 2007 11:22 PM   Subscribe

"How does the wolf go?" Johnny Carson interviews Mary Storr's myna bird, Freud. ca. 1972.
posted by fandango_matt (6 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome clip. Awful tie.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:30 PM on October 28, 2007


Favourited not just for this clip, but the wee Carson goldmine in the sidebar at YouTube.
posted by maudlin at 11:43 PM on October 28, 2007


My father still dresses like this.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:53 PM on October 28, 2007


The expression on Carson's face at the end is priceless.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:15 AM on October 29, 2007


Genius, thanks.

And... reminds me of a story. A probably long story.

I used to work in a video store called Art & Trash and we had a very colorful customer there named Colin who claimed to at one time be a professional golfer. He'd heard that I made web sites (this was back in '95) and he got all excited and wanted me to build him one. I asked him what it was for and he said it was for his Myna Bird, Rajah. I said I didn't understand and he said that he had the world's luckiest bird and that it was insured for more than a million dollars.

He acquired the bird while golfing in the late 50s... in India, where he was not doing so well but the bird (who belonged to a young boy) brought him luck. Unfortunately, the bird didn't bring the youngster any luck as the kid died... and was reincarnated in the bird.

I expressed a bit of skepticism.

Colin claimed that he often travelled to third world countries where people would lie down on the ground and let the bird walk on them and poop. "You know, for luck."

I told him I didn't believe him. The next time he came into the store, he brought evidence of the bird: photos of it with the pope, the queen, Mick Jagger, and other celebrities.

He also mentioned that he was one of the "originators" of Yorkville (a trendy part of Toronto) where his club--wait for it.... The Mynah Bird, was a staple of the music scene. It was a sort of strip club where people would pay to paint on naked women. (I'm not making this up.) He also claimed to have started (though not been a member) of a band called The Mynah Birds, which featured, get this... Neil Young AND Rick James! (And, incidentally, Bruce Palmer, who started Buffalo Springfield with Young, and two guys who would join John Kay to form Steppenwolf.)

Even though he had photographic evidence, I still didn't believe half of what he said so he gave me a VHS tape, which contained a video of a bunch of people in the sixties dancing around in a large club to the the song The Mynah Bird Hop. The video also contained footage from a wedding. For the bird.

Colin came into the store a few times more over the next few weeks, each time asking when we were going to get together for his web site, and then he just sorta vanished.

Years later, when the web exploded, I researched a few details of what he had told me. Though I can't confirm a reincarnation actually took place, just about everything else can be verified online.

I also found out he was the brother of Ben Kerr, a well-known and -loved Torontonian busker and Mayoral candidate.
posted by dobbs at 7:53 AM on October 29, 2007 [5 favorites]


I miss Johnny. More than that, I miss the fact that it was possible for anybody to be a guest on Carson's show, provided they were interesting enough. The Tonight Show under Johnny's watch was so much more than the blatant promotional machine so many talk shows have become, in which pre-interviewed actors spout prescripted anecdotes in the service of their latest mediocre film or television show.

All of America, even its birds, were the stars of the Tonight Show, and Carson viewed everyday Americans with an affection and fascination that is a profound conterpoint to the contempt so often shown nowadays.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


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