Monday, April 30, 2012

The Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin

Last Saturday was the 35th Occasional Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena.  Sort of the anti-Rose Parade.  This is a goofy affair with irreverent floats and bands and attractions.  Typical participants in the past have been the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, the Shopping Cart Drill Team, the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, the Men of Leisure Synchronized Nap Team, The Marching Lumberjacks, Claude Rains & the 20-Man Memorial Invisible Man Marching Drill Team (although one year I counted 22), and the Committee for the Right to Bear Arms, a group that marches in precise formations while carrying mannequin arms.   

What does it say about me that I've been to a couple of Doo Dah Parades but have never been to a Rose Parade?  Give me absurdity over pageantry any day!  Sadly, the Doo Dah Parade seems to be scaling down.  Last Saturday's extravaganza was only a couple of blocks. Hardly enough to get Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards out there to cover it, even though both are unemployed.    

My daughter, Annie and her writing partner, Jon were there however -- this blog's dutiful correspondents, and they file these photos.  

I'm taking it as a personal crusade to see that the Doo Dah Parade next year is restored to its usual luster and goes three blocks.  Finally!  A cause I can believe in!   C'mon, who's with me?

The flying baby cannon
Lawnmower races
Altar boys
Kid swap.  Unburdening oneself of children seems to be a recurring parade theme
Mobile Banquet.. although it looks like rabbis having lunch
Can't you just hear Bob & Stephanie gushing over that one?


Every parade needs it's royal queen
If Hell had a Kiwanis Club, this would be their entry
This parade doesn't just look good, it smells good
All eight members strong
Thanks again to Jonathan Emerson & Annie Levine.  Maybe next year you'll be the queen, sweetie.  Or I will.  

31 comments:

Johnny Walker said...

I can't believe I lived in Pasadena and never even heard of this! (I did attend the Rose Parade, though.)

Sad to hear it's winding down instead of getting bigger. I'm with you, Ken! Three blocks or bust!

Dan in West Seattle said...

Mr. Natural looks way too happy. Almost cartoon-like.

Blaze said...

That's fantastic! I would have guessed such a parade at the beginning of April (Fools), but then, perhaps it is the sheer giddy release of the tax season being done that prompts the end of April.

MikeBo said...

The Doo Dah Parade in April? What are they thinking? It used to get a lot of attention because it ran very close on the calendar to the New Years Day parade in Pasadena. Some things have obviously changed since I left L.A. for life behind the "Asparagus Curtain."

Anonymous said...

I went to the Doo-Dah in the late '80s . It was one of the best experiences of my 20 years in California. Sorry to hear that it's been scaled down so much. It used to be in November.

Gary Mugford said...

Ken,

A Friday Question: Has there ever been a successful comedy where a fish out of water spouse goes it alone against a whole family/community? Without even a single friend from the outside too? We were burning off the Rob episodes in between games on the weekend. Always have been a fan of both Cheech Marin and Diana Maria Riva. And Claudia Bassols is a knockout. But all the humour is forced me-against-them and their culture humour. It fails and seems to me, always fails. Any exceptions to that rule?

GM

Tom Quigley said...

I'm sure that someday it will be given all the respect and honor due it once Channel 5 finally decides to have Bob Eubanks and and Stephanie Edwards host a telecast. I can hear the inane patter going back and forth between them now...

BOB: Look now, Stephanie! Here come the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin!

STEPHANIE: What a sight, Bob! And of course we all remember the amazing career of Lee Marvin!

BOB: Sure do, Steph... Paint Your Wagon, The Dirty Dozen... But I think the thing he's most remembered for is how he lived in sin with that skank Michelle Triola, who finally took him to the cleaners and set the precedent for the establishment of the pre-nuptial agreement...

STEPHANIE: Which of course divoce attorney Marvin Mitchelson built an entire lifetime of litigious practice on.

BOB: You're darn right. It even got ol' Mitch a cameo on an episode of Star Trek... Boy, that was the Hollywood I've really come to miss... Excuse me, Steph -- I think I'm starting to well up (sniff)...

STEPHANIE: No problem, Bob... Gee, I wonder if any of those guys are really his sons?...

RCP said...

Thanks for the laughs - especially from the Girl Scout. If I can do anything to help boost next year's Doo Dah Parade, let me know.

PS: Glad to see altar boys safe out on the streets.

Zhou said...

Quite the hilarious!! It makes me sick for my home maybe believe it! Question on Friday: Frasier is quite the hilarious also. Is it the thought process to make him so much like the notable and famous American film star Bett Davis? Many of his funny speech pronouncings sound like this once long ago film star which I like very much also!!
--Zhou

Mary Stella said...

I love odd, weird, colorful parades. When I lived in New Jersey, watching the New Year's Day Mummers Parade from Philly was always more fun than any other parade.

Now that I live in the Florida Keys, we have no shortage of oddball events. Just last week during the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Conch Republic (We seceded where others failed) the Keys set a world record for most people blowing conch horns at one time.

Nothing beats the week of Fantasy Fest in Key West every fall.

Bill McCloskey said...

Friday Question: (nothing to do with today's topic but not sure where else to put the Friday Questions):

Ken, since canceling my cable, I've had great fun watching all the Cheers episodes and now the Frasier episodes back to back. One "bit" I'd like to ask about because it is used so often in both Cheers and Fraiser, that I wonder if you guys invented it. What I'm talking about is the situation where two characters start calling each other names and it ends with them falling into each others arms. Of course the first time I remember it being used was when Sam and Diane got together for the first time in season one. It then popped up more frequently, most recently between Frasier and the new Station Manager played by Mercedes Ruhl. Any thoughts on this recurring plot device?

Tom Chandler said...

Ahh, the Doo Dah parade. I photographed it in the mid 80s when I worked for an LA newspaper.

Highlight was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Drill Team, who had removed the chains from their chainsaws but would rev them and run at the considerable crowd lining the road.

It scared the crap out of the onlookers.

The next year the Donner Party showed up (played with great range and nuance by the employees of the Simi Valley Enterprise newspaper), and it was a sizable event back then. I'm saddened to hear it's shrunk in stature.

Maybe if they could just scrape together enough cash for a giant Kardashian hot air ballon....

JestJake said...

It was a sad day in my life when returning to the States after several years abroad I learned that the City of Brotherly Love decided to shut down their annual "Louie Louie" parade:

http://geminispacecraft.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

I imagine I'll feel worse if the Doo Dah's ever end.

Excura Opeall said...

Just hire the Duggar family, that's about 3 blocks added to the old chip right there. The Duggar Doo-dah Parade?

tb said...

Well, if they would quit moving it around. Different months, different routes...in the '80s it was always the weekend after Thanksgiving and it was getting so big the organizers were worried about it becoming something it was meant to mock. I used to love the gang of papparazzis who would select random victims in the crowd and assault them with attention

D. McEwan said...

Wow. I haven't been to the Doo-Dah Parade in more than 20 years (Though it's been more than 40 years since I went to the Rose Parade. The Grand Marshall I saw ride by waving was Ike Eisenhower. Honest. I have it on 8mm.) Back then it was still on Thanksgiving weekend, as a mad alternative to the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which was also Thanksgiving weekend, though it was never the Hollywood Thanksgiving Parade.

I do wish they'd televise it. They did one year, but the TV hosts were (I am NOT kidding) Vicki Lawrence and Richard Simmons. Most reliable way to kill anything is to have Richard Simmons host it, or attend it, or do a non-second cameo on it, or exist in the same universe as it. It (HE) was unbearable, and you couldn't just turn the sound off, because you need to hear the unit's gag titles.

D. McEwan said...

That should be "do a nano-second cameo on it".

Paul Duca said...

I've wanted to see the Doo-Dah Parade ever since they did a piece on REAL PEOPLE about it. I just LOVED the Precision Briefcase Drill Team (folks in full business attire and the amazing things they did with their attaches).

Chris said...

Friday question: I'm looking at the Friends HD 16:9 episodes (scanned from the original film) and it looks like episodes directed by different people are blocked differently, some are obviously shot for 4:3, making the edges kind of useless, some look like they're framed for future 16:9 vision. (especially close ups).

Did this ever happen on shows you were on, or was it pre-established that the show would be shot for 4:3 or 16:9 all the time and directors would just follow the rule?

Jango said...

You know you're country is rich, when it's citizens have the time and resources to do something like this. Where I'm at, most people couldn't even afford a lawnmower let alone race them.

Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. McEwan said...

Gee, Jango, I'm terribly sorry if we enjoy ourselves once in a while when there's still misery, poverty, disease, and war in the world. We should all be depressed all the time because there's always people somewhere who are badly off.

Nice mellow harshing. Hint: It's a comedy writer's blog; it may from time-to-time include trivial frivolity.

Jango said...

Sorry to harsh your mellow McEwan. My point is that it's fine to have a good time and enjoy the parade, but it would be better if the whole thing had a noble cause, like raising money or awareness for some disease or the less fortunate. All I see is a bunch of people with way too much time on their hands. It gives me faith in humanity that the popularity of this parade is winding down, perhaps people are getting wiser. :)

Johnny Walker said...

I'll bet you anything that your country has festivals and ceremonies that exist for no other reason than celebration or fun, Jango.

The Rose Parade costs a LOT more to put on, and is FAR bigger. This is people using their resourcefulness and creativity for fun. It's not like they bought lawnmowers just for the parade.

Anyway, do tell, which county are you from?

Johnny Walker said...

*country

Johnny Walker said...

Also, I have to add: Your English is superb, and your familiarity of US phrases ("harshing your mellow") reveals a lot, too.

I can't help but feel you're trying to pull a Borat on us!

D. McEwan said...

"Jango said...
Sorry to harsh your mellow McEwan. My point is that it's fine to have a good time and enjoy the parade, but it would be better if the whole thing had a noble cause, like raising money or awareness for some disease or the less fortunate."


Are you a professional wet blanket, or is it just a hobby? A "Noble Cause" would be in direct opposition to the whole silly point of the event.

I see someone in your country can at least afford a computer, internet access, and time to read a mostly-frivolous blog where you come on all morally superior to we shallow fun-seekers.

Jango, you're a drip. If you remove that Nobler-Than-Thou stick that you have up your butt, you will find sitting at your computer less irritating, or at least we'd find you less irritating.

Johnny, in fairness to "Jango," I introduced the "Harshing the mellow" terms into the conversation.

Jango said...

I'm from Indonesia, but was educated in the UK and US.I'm not trying to rain on this parade (pun intended), but I just feel it is a complete waste of talent, time, money and other resources to put all this effort into a nonsensical 'parade without a cause'.
Of course we have festivals here, but they all culturally related, raising awareness for the different religions and cultures that make up this archipelago. They are not parades for the sake of parading.

D. McEwan said...

"Jango said...
I'm from Indonesia, but was educated in the UK and US.I'm not trying to rain on this parade (pun intended), but I just feel it is a complete waste of talent, time, money and other resources to put all this effort into a nonsensical 'parade without a cause'."


You do realize, don't you, that you have 100% contradicted yourself within a single sentence? (Oh, and that was not a pun. When the word means the same thing in both uses, it's not a pun. I'm reminded of the Moses character David Walliams plays in Come Fly With Me whose catchphrase is "Pardon the pun," after not making a pun, always followed by the person he's talkng to asking: "What pun?") You say you don't want to rain on that parade as you rain on it!

It has a cause; the cause is "Fun, Frivolity, and Pleasure."

I stand by my judgements of you as a drip and a wet blanket. I will now add "Relentless Wet Blanket."

cadavra said...

"Relentless Wet Blanket."

Wasn't he a character on F TROOP?

D. McEwan said...

"cadavra said...
'Relentless Wet Blanket.'
Wasn't he a character on F TROOP?"


I think so. He shared a Teepee with Chief Get-Off-My-Lawn.