Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 28, 1975 -- Chuckles the Clown's Funeral

October 28, 1975 – In his Chicago Tribune column Jack Mabley awards the Mary Tyler Moore Show his “Bad Taste” award for the episode run on Saturday night three days earlier.  He says the show was “in incredibly bad taste.  Unless you think death and funerals can be hilarious.” [Chicago Tribune, October 28, 1975] The plot of the show had Chuckles the Clown, who had been a running gag in the series, talked about but never seen, dying in an accident.  Mary’s co-workers made jokes about the circumstances, and at the office she had scolded them about their behavior.  During the funeral, though, it was she who could not control herself, as she broke into prolonged and uncontrollable laughter.  Mabley wrote, “It’s not surprising that some boobnik could write a script like this, but that it would be accepted by the producers, and the actors, and the network, with no one questioning its offensiveness is a commentary on the depths to which televised mass entertainment has sunk.”  If you missed the original episode 42 years ago (WHA …), here it is.

October 28, 1928 -- With the 1927 winner of the Nobel Prize, Professor Arthur Holly Compton, in the lead, a procession of 300 University of Chicago faculty members in their academic robes lead a procession into the university’s new Rockefeller Chapel for its dedication service.  Last in the procession is the Acting President of the university, Frederic Woodward and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., son of the benefactor who made the construction of the chapel possible.  As the procession enters the church a 150-voice choir sings O God Our Help in Ages Past.  During the service of dedication the Reverend Charles W. Gilkey is installed as Dean of the Chapel.  Gilkey concludes his short address by saying of the chapel, “It must not be a stone rolled from the ancient hillside, while the stream of life of this university goes around it.  It must be a channel through which that stream may flow, giving it new life and force.”   Rockefeller, Jr., on behalf of his father, addresses the assemblage, saying, “True religion means an abiding faith in God and our fellow man.  May this chapel help all who cross its threshold to lay hold upon so priceless a possession.  And may there be centered here a religion of activity and service as well as a religion of contemplation and faith.”   For an in-depth look at this special day and the generosity that made it possible, please head here.

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