NABOKV-L post 0007153, Sun, 24 Nov 2002 20:27:55 -0800

Subject
Fw: Funny numbers
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Miale" <wmiale@acbm.qc.ca>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 6:37 PM
Subject: Funny numbers (corrected)


> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (33
lines) ------------------
> From: Walter Miale
> Subject: Funny numbers
>
> >.... two' is
> >often the funniest of the single digit numbers....
>
>
> I would imagine that quite possibly this is true.
>
> But of course not always. I recall an episode of The Honeymooners in which
> Ed Norton is going to sleep with the help of a hypnotist, and he counts
> backwards from 100. The first time we see this as I recall sets up the
joke
> of the second time when, Norton (played by comic wizard Art Carney) now
> having the technique down counts, "100...99....98......97..........THREE,
> zzz"
>
> Would two be as funny here?
>
> Fun to imagine the scriptwriters' conference when this point came up. Mel
> Brooks once recounted a session in which Sid Caeser's writers debated what
> would be the funniest number for Imogene Coca to bet on at the roulette
> wheel.
>
> And what about the concept of plurality here: a team of writers. Bertrand
> Russell wrote a series of Nightmares of Eminent Persons. Dmitri Nabokov
and
> others, please forgive the whimsy, but one could add this: Perhaps if VN
> had not managed to get out of Russia, Stalin would at some point have
> assigned him to a team of screenwriters, possibly to work on a great epic
> film (Igor's Campaign?). Stalin did command Shostakovich and Khachaturian
> to collaborate on a tune for the national anthem; a hilarious if chilling
> account of this can be found in Shostokovich's Testimony (*arranged* by S.
> Volkov). Incidentally, Russell's nightmare for Stalin was to be condemned
> to share a cell with a Quaker.
>