The middle name game

I mentioned this show in the comments in another thread, saying that after I watched it I felt another project was in the works. However, I leave it all to others. It involves genealogy, twins, and a very unlikely story about how Carol Burnett made her way to stardom. I will give you the exact time at which the interesting events in this show occur so that you don’t have to sit through it or go searching.

The original Dick Cavett Show was ninety minutes. and this version is 1:06:41. That means that when it was originally aired, 23:29 was devoted to commercials, or about 27% of the airtime. I think that is modest by current standards, though I don’t have the steely ambition to sit through current late night talk shows to measure their commercial content.

And, just my opinion here, Dick Cavett, now 82, was not only a good interviewer, but a very interesting man as well. I remember watching him back when Johnny Carson was king of late night and thinking that he was different, not better or worse, just different and usually interesting. The Carson show was heavily scripted, nothing happening by accident, whereas the Cavett show depended heavily on his ability to carry on an interesting conversation.

So, I will go through the interesting (an uninteresting) parts of the show. The first part is devoted to Mohammad Ali’s doctor, who came on to dispel any rumors that the fighter had broken his jaw. Then came Lucie Arnaz, (13:00) Lucille Ball’s daughter, who at age 19 does not belong on TV. She’s boring.

Carol Burnett comes on at 21:30, and the two, Burnett and Cavett, do a nice job together keeping the show lively. At 23:00 she tells a really weird story about how she spent a week deceiving some guy into thinking she was twins. Not going there.

At 24:00 Burnett talks about a man who entered her life in 1952 and loaned her $1,000 to go to New York and get into show business. That would be the equivalent of almost $10,000 in today’s dollars. The story has a funny feel about it, and I don’t buy it for a second. At her Wikipedia page we also learn that on graduation from high school she was given an anonymous envelope containing her first year’s tuition at UCLA. Again, not buying. Burnett, a Hollywood native, smacks of privilege masked as rags-to-riches. I say that having very much enjoyed her comedy.

Lucille Ball comes on at 34:00. I don’t much care for her – her voice reminds me of a smoker, and her hair on this show looks very much like a wig, though she will claim it is merely dyed red, part of her show business persona that she does not like. She is in New York to claim a high prestige award, something that entertainers do a lot of. I think the award system is part of a much larger system of power of suggestion … convincing us that people with very little talent have a lot of it. Right, Bob Dylan?

The show doesn’t get interesting again until about 58:00 minutes, when Cavett is teased into revealing his middle name … Alva, as in Thomas Alva Edison. Alva and Alva-like names are all over Thepeerage.com. Burnett then reveals hers … Creighton, which has 68 links at that site.

Anyone who follows the Miles Mathis project knows that Lucille Ball is of the Washington lineage. So in this 1971 show we are possibly seeing revelation of secrets – three celebrities who just might be from the families.

I said that this sounded like a project, and it does. But not for me. I am not going to do any genealogy as I am not very good at it. Also, it strikes me that there is a tendency toward guesswork when we start making loose connections. However, there is a habit in the Peerage of naming children after ancestors*. So the appearance of names like Alva and Creighton as the middle names of people who just happened to become celebrities is interesting. Nothing more.


*We are told that Obama’s mother’s first name is “Stanley.” Who names their daughter Stanley! I was just asking my own daughter, Dave, the other night about that oddity.

8 thoughts on “The middle name game

  1. “Nothing more”? I’d say it’s strong circumstantial evidence, en masse, that the celebs are connected or insiders or something. Although it’s easily dismissed by matrixites, for whom only a frank admission of such by TPB themselves will suffice to convince them of anything.

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    1. Here is something odd … a lot of odd. Burnett married a Hamilton, a divorcee with eight kids, and they had three of their own, 8+3=11, here we go again, one of them, Carrie, had a drug problem and died at age 38 … again with that number.

      Tyrone advanced the idea that the Bobbie Kennedy brood, 11 kids (!), were really offspring of him and other Kennedy’s who had faked their deaths, Joe, Kathleen and John at that time. I am wondering if certain members of the peerage are given the task of providing a home for brats, kids from broken homes or from homes where the parent has faked his or her death. Could it be that Brangelina were so designated, prividing homes for Oriental brats?

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      1. my own feeling is there is some svengali somewhere writing this whole script. Its all very complex and would be impossible to really pull off, but its partly why I really believe in the devil. The more I learn the more I see its all a big goof. The joke is on us.

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  2. “There isn’t time to tell jokes in America.” – M.McLuhan on the “one-liner.”

    It’s the (drug) medium, the message is incidental…. We’ve all been drugged. Heavier doses are needed as we “adapt”…

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    1. McLuhan was an interesting man, as always. I spend a lot of effort to avoid advertising, switching stations when I am driving, and even spooling baseball games to skip ahead … far from an art form I find advertising to be insidious and subversive. The message of any ad, at last the ones they spend buckets of money on, is always hidden. Ad agencies start their work with behavioral psychologists, who craft a message. Then the creatives and artists are told to craft ads around that message.

      Example: Bud Light runs ads that contain juvenile humor aimed at kids 13-15 years old. It is no accident. They are branding these kids so that when they are old enough to drink, they will select Bud Light. It’s typical of advertising, where the real message (McLuhan would say “massage”) is always several layers down.

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  3. I first saw Burnett in a TV show called The Entertainers. I clearly recall, age 7, that she appeared out of place. Her legs caught my pea-brained eye, but she was far from beautiful. Something seemed off. Back then you were gorgeous (Ann-Margaret) or funny/fugly (Imogene Coca).
    She was a type, the kookie gamine, that was a staple of the culture in the pre-feminist 50’s/60’s. Audrey Hepburn was the template. Juliette Prowse and Mitzi Gaynor (real name: Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber) were two others that were on TV a lot back then. Neither were those two conventional in looks. But, if you look closely, you see privilege at work, talent only intermittently.
    Peerage gonna peer.

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  4. Mark, I rarely watch live TV…use Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime…most 1 hr shows are around 42 minutes with no commercials.

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