Central Snark

Goodbye Kitty by Snuppy
Monday, 23 April 2007, 8:46am
Filed under: FYI (ish)

goodbye kittyAT the risk of appearing even more insensitive than we may already do, we’ve decided to bid adieu to yet, another entertainment legend, who passed away last week at the tender age of… 96. We are referring, of course, to Kitty Carlisle-Hart. Who? you ask, for surely you asked that question, Shirley, or our name isn’t, uh… Shirley. Okay, so maybe our name isn’t Shirley, but still, you asked. You know you asked. We know you asked. The American people know you asked. Asked what? you say in that sweet and disarming way you have when you want to know something. Not “what” we reply, but “who” — then we laugh and laugh and laugh in that annoying way we have when we think we’re being funny, even when we are not.

WE remember watching KITTY CARLISLE on a show called “What’s My Line” back in the 60’s when we were just kids. Of course, when we were kids, many of you were still a gleam in your moms’ and/or dads’ eyes, who were but kids themselves, but that’s beside the point. Our point, for once again you’ve forced us to come up with one, is that we never really knew who in the hell Kitty Carlisle was, aside from some lady with terribly black “done” hair and terribly red “done” lips, who had a ballsy laugh, and seemed smart enough. Smart enough, that is, to be on that game show, but what did we know… we were just kids. Stupid kids with nothing better to do than watch that show. Still, bet you young whipper snappers out there think “What’s My Line” was about DSL vs cable, but you’d be wrong. what's my lineIt was about people. People who did stuff. Interesting stuff. Stuff folks like Kitty had to figure out. Yeah… it was boring, and then some.

UH… did we say we wanted to do a tribute to Kitty Carlisle? Have we done that? Now that this post is already filled with more words than we planned to type, maybe we should do you all a favor and let you read and/or listen to THIS REPORT from NPR. Once you do, you’ll know as much about Kitty as we do, (epsecially since that’s where we got the inspiration for this post). That she was a high society dame in NYC — known for the swell parties she threw — who started her career in show business singing opera, and starred in one of the Marx Brothers most famous/popular movies. A Marx Brothers movie? you ask. (gee, you ask a lot of questions, don’t ya?) Yes, we say grinning and/or nodding our heads. Can you guess which film it was? Do you need a hint? Yeesh. Okay then, here’s a lovely scene from that hilarious film featuring a moving performance by Harpo Marx — one that involves no nighttime singing of opera, we hasten to add, yet seems appropriate for marking the loss of a great star and/or dame we never really knew.

OH it would have been easy enough to share a clip of Kitty Carlisle-Hart in action, either singing her operatic heart out in the aforementioned operatically amusing film or as a game show panelist guessing which cute girl clad in little more than an oversized bathing suit rode Willie the Whale to infamy and/or the deep end of the pool. But where’s the fun in that?

By the way, care to venture a guess as to why this qualifies as an “opposites/cheap laughs” post? Well du-u-u-h. Over the weekend our dear and delightful NBFF, and spinner of Saturday tunes, DJ LAMPSHA, introduced us to the musical magic of Modest Mouse (which we loveloveloved so much we downloaded a bunch of their songs to our iPod). Still wondering? Yeesh, and yeesh again. How hard can this be?




Marx BrothersFINE. You can all keep scratching your heads until tomorrow, when DIESEL will give you something worthwhile to think about and/or to find laugh worthy. OR you can take your possibly dandruff-laden heads over to humor-blogs.com, and shake ’em out there.



14 Comments so far
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truth be told, the real reason i wanted to do a quick post on Kitty Carlisle Hart (aside from that NPR report, which was fascinating) was that BoBo’s response, upon hearing she’d died was:

I thought she died a long time ago.

d’oh! okay, to be honest, i actually thought so, too. but, not only did she NOT die a long time ago, she was still performing as recently as 2 weeks ago. the fact that it was in a senior-center in Miami doesn’t diminish that acheivement one iota. (i’m kidding — she was playing to paying audiences, which is, needless to say, impressive) xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy

I have no clue who Kitty is but you sure made reading about her fun I tell you! FUN!!!

So with my head hangin’ I will shamefully say that to Bobo’s “I thought she died a long time ago” I thought “I had no clue she existed”… *sighetty sigh* and such is the way of ignorant bohemians!

I was only able to watch the video half way through, a major feat for my YouTube hating laptop, but was very impressed by Harpo Marx’s harp playing skills FO SHO! And so was Lil’ BoheMia… so much so that she has declared she wants to play the harp… yeah… in addition to going to circus school in SF with me and learning the violin and the guitar and taking art classes and… oy I tell you! OY! 😉

Faboo and entertaining post amiga mia! Here’s hopin’ that you have a smooth Monday and a fabulous week to come! Besos mil…

Comment by Catty Yummy Mummy

“Ladies and gentlemen… I guess that takes in most of you… ” -I just love that film. I didn’t really know who Kitty was, but thanks to your enlightening post now I do. Love that Harpo Marx performance.

Comment by Theresa

They don’t make dames like that anymore…well because it’s 90 years later mainly. I admit to not knowing Kitty’s status nor that she was actually a singer. I just assumed she was a society dame (so I did get that part right) and I of course vaguely recall the What’s My Line shows.

At the risk of appearing even more insensitive than you already do, I think you did a public service with this Goodbye Kitty post – at least we’ll all know who she was and that she’s dead.


Comment by Lampsha

You know the thought occurred that we could do our own What’s My Blog-line show right here in The Snark! OF course, I may be thinking of anything not to work also.

Comment by Lampsha

Hate to admit it, I used to watch “What’s My Line”. Regularly. Especially when I was visiting my paternal grandmother, for whom the show was a staple (along with “The Three Stooges”, verboten in my house, and various soap operas). And Kitty Carlisle was simultaneously the most recognizable and the least contextual of the panelists – The Celebrity Without A Context. (No one chanced to rerun A Night At the Opera.) I heard that NPR piece too. At last I have context. A little late, but still. I have an “early” credit to spend. Right, Quilly? 😉

Comment by oceallaigh

Any post with a Marx brothers clip is a post I’d be willing to hang my hat on. Or something.

Climber and I were home sick on Friday and I was looking for a movie to watch that wouldn’t warp his little mind too terribly. I put on Annie Hall for 5 minutes, but for some reason 7 year olds don’t appreciate references to Beckett and McLuhan.

“Ok,” I said. “What would you like to watch?”

“Marx Brothers!” he exclaimed. So we watched Monkey Business together. It may warp his mind, but at least it will be warped in the right direction.

Comment by Diesel

I just watched Annie Hall recently again. You made a wise choice. But what a classic it is in its own right.

Comment by Lampsha

I had no idea who they were droning on about since Friday on NPR. Thanks for rehashing. I did just rent A Night At The Opera for a Snuppy Recommends double feature along with A Day at The Races.

Comment by Doug

CYM: amiga! you are TOO YOUNG, to be sure! no way you’d have ever seen Kitty Carlisle-Hart, unless you happen to catch re-runs of What’s My Line on the GameShow Network! (they don’t carry that in Spain, do they?) i think Lil’ BoheMia might enjoy playing the harp — as Harpo demonstrated so often, a harp-playing clown is all kinds of funny! 😉 xox

Theresa: Harpo was a lovely performer — funny as hell, but beautifully sensitive when he played that harp. glad you liked the clip! xox

Lampsha: laughing… no, they certainly don’t make dames like that anymore! i have to admit, Kitty Carlisle was a much more interesting woman than i’d imagined. not that i ever gave her more than a passing thought in the first place, but that’s beside the point! i found her Jewish history pretty interesting, too. i mean, her mom’s father was the first Jewish mayor of Shreveport? but then she was obsessed with NOT being Jewish? oy. and oy again. fortunately, Kitty was not her mom (who once told Kitty that she wasn’t the prettiest girl, the best singer and/or the best actress, but if they put all her qualities together, maybe she’d still be able to snag a rich husband, anyway. too funny.) xox

Amoeba: (will we have to change your name, once you set up residency in Hawai’i??) my folks used to watch What’s My Line, too. AND To Tell the Truth (the other panelist game show Kitty was on). as for Stooges? nothin’ wrong with growin’ up watchin’ those guys! why-yi-oughtta… i know it’s wrong, but i loveloveloved them as a kid, and i still do! 🙂 xox

Diesel: sooooo sorry to hear you guys are still under the weather. that said, can’t imagine a better way to spend the afternoon then cuddling up with yer kid and watching the Marx Brothers! (Annie Hall is fabulous, but, yeah, i’m guessing the appeal of that film would be lost on a 7 year old) uh… so, you’re better now, right? RIGHT?? *wrings hands nervously* xox

Lampsha: one of the best films ever — if only as a study on the “what men/women say vs what men/women think”. love it! xox

Doug: if i’ve been able to contribute even a teensie amount of information for your education and/or entertainment, then i will feel as tho’ the time i’ve spent laboring over these posts has not been for nuttin’ (sorry, still in a “Stooge” mode) xox

Comment by snuppy

Jeepers, I remember when color tv came out too. Unfortunately I missed out on those swell parties 😦

Comment by Claire

Snups, I’m much better programmed thanks to you.

Comment by Doug

Kitty Carlisle was a little Uptown for my taste. I kinda like mine a little grimey, like Dorothy Kilgallen.

Comment by al


I didn´t get it until you pointed it out…what does that say about me? dandruff! LOL

There is little that beats the Marx Brothers any given day or incident. Good choice!

Comment by Penguin

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