From "The Morning Call" pt. 8 - Thursday, April 16, 2015

If you noticed in yesterday's blog dedicated to the The Morning Call ad for the war film God Is My Co-Pilot had an image of three separate movies on it.  And yet, we didn't have a chance to address the other films visible in the same image.  Today, we would like to discuss the headliner:  It's In The Bag.  There are others, though, including the compellingly titled Escape In The Fog.  Maybe tomorrow....

It's In The Bag is a comedy starring Fred Allen as the ringmaster of a flea circus who is on the hunt for five chairs, odd though that sounds.  After the death of his eccentric grand-uncle, it was discovered that he may have hidden his massive fortune in one of those chairs, which had been sold off before anyone knew their potential value.  So, the hunt was on.  Those who have had the opportunity to see It's In The Bag tend to regard it as a favorite, with unexpected cameos and wacky humor.  The story was lifted from the book The Twelve Chairs (I guess twelve was too many for them to deal with), and was remade by Mel Brooks in 1970.   
QUESTION:  By 1945, one actor had become so prolific with screen interpretations of real people that Fred Allen joked he would eventually play himself in a movie.  It's In The Bag became that movie.  Who was the actor?
A)  Don Ameche
B)  John Carradine
C)  Jack Benny
D)  William Bendix

WHAT SORT OF DAY WAS IT?  It was April 16, 1962, when Walter Cronkite first appeared behind the desk as the lead anchor on the CBS Evening News.  Almost twenty years later, in 1981, he retired.  During that time, he became one of the most trusted men in the United States - a heady title indeed for a man int he news media.  In fact, the first day he publicly expressed disdain for the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson claimed that, if he had lost the support of Cronkite, he lost the support of Middle America.  It seems unlikely that we will ever have another newscaster with impeccable credentials and universal respect, but we must never say never.

WOODY'S DAUGHTER.  Today, we celebrate the birth of an all-but-forgotten presidential child.  Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, (oddly) named her after himself:  Margaret Woodrow Wilson.  Born today in 1886 by Wilson's first wife Ellen, she performed the duties of First Lady during the brief interim before he remarried to Edith Bolling.  Margaret would eventually move to India, where she died in her 57th year.  There are those who would claim that she kinda looked like her dad, too....

QUOTE:  There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are free, or you're not free. - Walter Cronkite

ANSWER:  A)  Don Ameche.  This one was a little tough, since Ameche, Benny and Bendix did in fact all play themselves.  But Ameche is the man Allen made the joke about during one of his radio show performances.