Saturday, December 26, 2015

George Clayton Johnson: 1929-2015

George Clayton Johnson, the last surviving member of the murderers row of The Twilight Zone writers of the early '60s (which included Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling himself), passed away today (Dec. 25) at age 86. Some of the classic TZ episodes he wrote included "Kick the Can," "The Four of Us Are Dying" and - appropriately -"Nothing in the Dark" (that's him with star Robert Redford on the set of that 1962 ep). He also wrote the first STAR TREK episode "The Man Trap," co-wrote the novel and film LOGAN'S RUN, the original story behind OCEANS 11, episodes of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, KUNG FU and much more.

Here's the VARIETY obituary.

Below is a clip from an amazing five-hour interview Johnson did with the Archive OF AMERICAN TELEVISION site about THE TWILIGHT ZONE and his television work.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A very Dali Christmas

You may think you have the Christmas spirit, but you don't have Salvador-Dali-at-a-booksigning-in-a-Santa-suit-eating-caviar Christmas spirit... .

Dali and his wife, Gala, signing books at Manhattan's Doubleday Bookstore, 1954. Photo by Philippe Halsman. Dali and Halsman's collaboration, DALI'S MUSTACHE (Simon and Schuster), had just been published.

There are 8 million Santas in the Naked City ...

... and here are two of them.

Weegee (aka Arthur Fellig) was probably on his way to photograph the aftermath of a mob rubout when he spotted these two sidewalk Santas coming out of the subway at Manhattan's West Fourth Street station. The photo appeared in the Dec. 27, 1954 issue of LIFE magazine with the following caption:

"The spirit of Christmas sometimes produces disquieting moments. In New York the Volunteers of America Inc. hires more than 50 men a day to dress up as Santa Claus and go out to the street corners around town soliciting contributions for the poor.

When their posts are in the same vicinity, the men often travel together. Emerging through the sidewalk exits, they give New Yorkers the shattering, if brief, illusion that Santa Claus not only comes in pairs but comes on a crowded 15¢ subway ride at that."

Sunday, December 06, 2015