Orson Bean

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California: The View from Venice Beach

California: The View from Venice Beach

California is bigger than a lot of countries, and like a lot of countries it’s in a state of undeclared war. San Franciscans despise Los Angelinos, and to the extent that Los Angelinos can feel passion about anything they hate their

My Boy, Sweet Andrew

My Boy, Sweet Andrew

Andrew came a-courting one day. He had been introduced to my daughter, Susie by my son Max, her brother.  Max and Andrew were best friends. Just out of college, Max worked as a busboy at a high-end restaurant called 72

The World Has a Muslim Problem

World War II was my war. We fought the Germans. They were the enemy. There was a German problem. Of course, if we had stopped to think about it, which we didn’t because we were too busy trying to win

The World Has A Muslim Problem

World War II was my war. We fought the Germans. They were the enemy. There was a German problem. Of course, if we had stopped to think about it, which we didn’t because we were too busy trying to win

Artists and Their Marching Orders

My old Communist girlfriend was an exotically beautiful actress whose parents had emigrated from Russia and settled in New York City. Nola went to Party meetings and kept up with the correct way to think and behave by reading The

A Beer is Fine But Forgiveness is Divine

Dennis Miller and I were gabbing on his talk show about the Gates-Crowley affair and a thought occurred to me: Professor Gates needs to forgive Officer Crowley and he also needs to forgive the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux

Troopathon 2009: Heroism Was Expected

I did my teen-age years in World War II. War news was a constant. We kept the radio on in our house to hear Edward R. Murrow broadcasting from the rooftops of London, describing the blitz. Newsreel photographers, flying with

Insatiable Extremism: Where Right and Left Meet

Back in the fifties (the nineteen fifties, not the eighteen fifties) I did some writing for Mad Magazine, along with my friend Ernie Kovaks and a pair of comics named Bob and Ray. Bob Elliot was the father of Chris

The Suffering of Abu Zubaydah

The Los Angeles Times tries hard to present different viewpoints on its Op-Ed page. But last week, they hit a new low with a column by a lawyer named Joseph Margulies, pleading for mercy on behalf of one of the

Mark Levin: The Thomas Paine of our Time

In September of 2001, I found myself employed at a theater in Los Angeles playing the part of Ben Franklin in the musical “1776.” The show is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence: an entertaining history lesson that

Sgt. Curtis Massey Was 41

From the Los Angeles Times, Thursday January 29th, 2009: 2 DIE IN HEAD-ON COLLISION A Culver City police officer and a Van Nuys man were killed Wednesday in a head-on collision that closed several lanes of the 10 freeway for

An Emptiness Only the Holy Spirit Can Fill

Why do people do the things they do? Gary Larson could have gone on using his old Far Side cartoons to make calendars forever. People like me would have kept buying them. But this year, he apparently decided he had

Blacklisted Again: Three Times Not The Charm

What is it with me? I seem to be an incorrigible black-listee. Back in the fifties I was the hot, young comic on CBS and a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was also starring in shows on Broadway

Where Are The Cinema Heroes Today?

The movies saved my life. I grew up in the great depression, the only child of a pair of star crossed lovers. My father lost his job. My mother drank. They fought. The movies were my escape. Of course, this

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