Matt Weinstock, Nov. 9, 1959
November 9, 2009 | 4:00 pm
Clearly it's no more possible to control the gags about the quiz show scandal than it is to control the mushrooming scandal itself, and the other day a group of coffee break philosophers of my acquaintance got around to the subject.
A man named Marvin contributed the subversive thought that in addition to handling out its annual Emmy awards next year the television business should offer a special Ananians award, on the occasion of which the band should strike up with "Pony Boy."
A cynic named Jerry suggested a Stoolie award, but he was quickly smothered on the grounds that this was strictly a police matter.
A MAN NAMED PETE compared Charles Van Doren's ordeal with that of thicker-skinned politicians caught with soiled money in their hands. What this country needs, he argued, ineffectively, is a measuring stick for corruption.
Away from the coffee percolator, Seymour Mandel keeps remembering the pompous business with the armed guards, the trust company executives and the sealed envelopes. He is intrigued with the thought that while the show was on nobody at the bank watched the vault.
Bob Cole thinks it would be appropriate for the networks to re-run the quiz shows this summer with the title, "Watch My Lyin'".
And so on.
THE HEARINGS also reminded Victor Borge of the time in 1948 that he flunked his big quiz -- his citizenship examination.
He was doing fine until the L.A. immigration officer asked if he could ever become president. Borge, born in Denmark, knew the answer but overwhelmed by a frivolous impulse replied, "I don't plan to run for president because I have too much to do. Besides I doubt if anyone would vote for me."
The interrogator not in the mood for humor, said coldly, "The right answer is that you cannot be president because you were not born here. Come back in three weeks and try again."
Chastened, Borge, now performing in Las Vegas, returned three weeks later and passed the exam.
WHILE TUNED IN to radio station XERB, waiting for the race results, an Olive St. horseplayer became entranced by a woman astrologer who warned certain listeners to be careful between now and next March because of adverse influences in their birth signs.
The horseplayer was so impressed that he repeated the information to a friend, only he put it this way:
"So this dame says you got to play it cool until everything is downhill and shady with Saturn again and Mars gets Jupiter off its back."
A MAN WHO applied for a job with a big firm was briefed on procedure and assured he would be called in a few days. When nothing happened he phoned. He was told, "We have you on our available list."
"I am glad to hear that," he said, "but I don't know if I'm going to be that available."
These are the conditions which prevail.
JAMES A. MACLEOD, information officer of the British Consulate, who is being transferred to Munich, asked Tom Cassidy of KFAC which recorded version of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" he considered best.
Tom recommended the one on the Library Of Congress special project titled "The Union," but was curious about the inquiry.
MacLeod said he wanted a copy to take along. He added, "I think it best describes the American spirit and personality. In fact, if I may be permitted to venture an opinion, I think it should be your national anthem. After all, you know you don't have bombs bursting in air, old fellow."
AROUND TOWN -- Troy Garrison is worried about a new sign for the Golden Age Convalescent Home, showing a nurse standing behind a man in a wheelchair, at the foot of 13th St. in San Pedro. An arrow on it points into the harbor's main channel . . . Add property tax outrages: A man who owns seven acres of undeveloped land in Calabasas, representing his lifetime investment, received a tax bill of $835. Last year it was $175.