Archive for the ‘Public Figures’ Category

Double Dactyl For John Mortimer

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Here’s my double dactyl to celebrate John Mortimer’s birthday today. (Though he died back in 2009, I still have vivid memories of meeting and interviewing him for a profile I wrote for British Heritage Magazine way back in 1996. You can read my John Mortimer profile here.)

But back to my double dactyl:

Higgledy Piggledy
John Clifford Mortimer
Barrister, Author,
Rumpolian wit.

Bailey, his bailiwick
Prima-facetiously
He and his Horace sure
Loved to acquit.

Limerick Ode To Aviation Day (August 19)

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Limerick Ode To Aviation Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane

On this day, aviation shines bright;
Brother Orville, a father of flight,
Gets a birthday ovation
By prez proclamation.
Those who think today’s special are (w)right.

Limerick Ode To Tweed Day (April 3)

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Limerick Ode To Tweed Day (April 3)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Though it’s “Tweed Day,” don’t rush to conclude
It’s a fabric allusion — that’s skewed,
For I’ve just gotten word
That this day, April 3rd,
Is a birthday — Boss Tweed’s — sleazy dude!

Hashtag Madness (Limerick)

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Please relax Cher fans — Cher is still alive:

Legions of Twitter users were fooled into thinking the pop singer had passed after people began posting about late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher under the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead.

Hashtag Madness (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“Nowthatcherisdead” — hashtag blur
Has created one hell of a stir:
Dear fans of Ms. Cher,
Who’ve read “news” you can’t bear:
Cher’s alive. Thatcher’s dead. As you were!

Limerick Ode To Miserable Singing

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Many people were offended by Seth MacFarlane’s “Saw Your Boobs” at last night’s Oscars. But, at the risk of damaging my feminist cred, I’m not one of them.

Of course, I do understand the negative reaction. However, the song didn’t bother me because I viewed it as parody, rather than misogyny.

But what did bother me at the Oscars was everybody pretending that the Les Misérables cast can sing.

Limerick Ode To Miserable Singing
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are folks who appear up in arms:
For the “boob song,” they sound the alarms.
But to me, here’s what riled:
Dreadful singing gone wild
In Les Miz — kindly call les gendarmes.

Happy National Clerihew Day! (July 10)

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

I just found out that today (July 10) is National Clerihew Day. What the heck’s a clerihew? It’s a “whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.”

More specifically, clerihews are four-lines long with an A-A-B-B rhyme scheme and irregular meter. The first line names a person — the subject of the poem.

Here are a couple I’ve written about writers:

Edgar Allen Poe
A writerly bro
Who’s famed for the Raven.
What a scary poem maven!

*****

The author George Orwell
We ought not ignore well;
His writings polemic
Ain’t at all academic.

*****

And here are two about actresses:

Bette Davis
Film joy gave us.
Seduced gals and guys
With Bette Davis Eyes.

*****

Mae West
For life had zest.
Stoked gals and blokes
With “evil” jokes.

*****

(You can find my political clerihews here.)

Happy birthday to George Orwell, born June 25, 1903.

Happy Birthday, Calvin Coolidge! (Limerick)

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Happy Birthday to President John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933)

Limerick Ode To Calvin Coolidge
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Calvin Coolidge — a man of few words:
He thought garrulousness for the birds.
But the ones that he spoke
Were quite pointed. No joke!
If just two words would do, then no thirds.

Lewis Black & The News Quiz USA — A Limerick Review

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Here’s the limerick review I wrote about the Lewis Black-hosted News Quiz USA. I heard it on WNYC radio in NYC, and it was hilarious, featuring panelists Andy Borowitz, Kathleen Madigan, Todd Barry and Ted Alexandro. You can hear it here.

Right now it’s apparently a one-off, an experimental American version of the UK’s BBC News Quiz. Here’s hoping they’ll decide to turn it into a weekly show.

Lewis Black & The News Quiz USA — A Limerick Review
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The News Quiz with host Lewis Black
Was hilarious. Please bring it back.
We need satire fare
Like this on the air.
For great humor, this team has a knack.

Mary, Mary? Au Contrairie (Limerick)

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Abe Lincoln historians and art historians alike have been stunned by this newly discovered art hoax:

For 32 years, a portrait of a serene Mary Todd Lincoln hung in the governor’s mansion in Springfield, Ill., signed by Francis Bicknell Carpenter, a celebrated painter who lived at the White House for six months in 1864.

The story behind the picture was compelling: Mrs. Lincoln had Mr. Carpenter secretly paint her portrait as a surprise for the president, but he was assassinated before she had a chance to present it to him.

Now it turns out that both the portrait and the touching tale accompanying it are false.

There’s a lot more to this story, so I recommend that you read the entire New York Times article. But before you leave me, here’s a limerick:

Mary, Mary? Au Contrairie (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Art historians suffered a shock:
Mrs. Lincoln’s famed portrait’s a crock.
A rip-off took place–
The pic hasn’t a trace
Of Abe’s Mary — it’s scam-ridden schlock.

CD Review: Mark Westin’s Dark Humour

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

If you enjoy funny song lyrics, you need to give Mark Westin’s latest album a listen. Dark Humour is packed with songs whose cleverness is the envy of humorists like me.

I, for one, can’t resist titles like Narcissistic As Me, Open Mike, When Beautiful People Break Up, and this soon to be classic Falling In Love On Facebook.

In fact, Falling In Love On Facebook was the song that made me fall in love with Mark Westin’s lyrics: A couple of years ago I heard Westin perform it live at one of his regular performance venues: Whistling Willie’s, an excellent restaurant in Cold Spring, New York.

So check it out — you’ll love the lyrics. Besides, Mark Westin plays a mean guitar.

Political Un-Friendship (Limerick)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

My Facebook friend, comedy writer/director/producer Chris Bearde, recently said:

Satire, taken broadly as a form of comedy protest, will bring you FB friends and lose you some too… so the playing field is always level.

Chris’s comments inspired me to write this limerick:

Political Un-Friendship (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Facebook friends can at times take offense
At jokes at their party’s expense.
If they click on “unfriend”
In order to end
Such humor exposure, they’re dense.

UPDATE: I’ve just found out that November 17th is National Unfriend Day. Apparently, the holiday was invented three years ago by Jimmy Kimmel. So, who should be “unfriended?” According to Kimmel, the “proud parent,” “the Instagrammer,” and the “overly-political poster” should all be history. Methinks I fall afoul of the third category.

Cruising For Laughs

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I learned some valuable lessons during the second annual Lewis Black Comedy Cruise:

1: When stand-up comics like Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan, John Bowman, Vic Henley, Mike Wilmot, Greg Proops, Jeff Stilson, and Tim Wilson are having great difficulty standing up, they aren’t necessarily drunk. It could also be THE HURRICANE.

2. My husband’s delusions of grandeur are no longer confined to his thinking he’s both a lawyer and an MD. He now thinks he’s a comedian.

Yes, hubby Mark Kane actually did a three-minute routine on “amateur comic night” — his virgin performance — and he did amazingly well.

And no, I didn’t perform any of my limericks. Why not? Because I can’t even remember what I wrote 30 seconds ago.

3) When you rumba really fast, and with lots of enthusiasm, it passes for dancing … at least on a ship-load of Lewis Black groupies.

Okay, right now you’re probably saying to yourself, “What’s with all this prose? I want me some limericks!”

Well don’t worry. I’ve written a half-dozen limericks about the cruise and some of the comedians who made it so much fun:

Cruising For Laughs
By Madeleine Begun Kane

We went cruising with Lew, Vic, Kathleen,
John and Wilmot, whose act sure ain’t clean.
Also Tim, Jeff and Greg,
And some hurricane — Meg???
Comics bravely tried not to careen.

*****

Limerick Ode To Vic Henley
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The stand-up comedian Vic
Has a wit that’s incredibly quick.
He hails from the south,
But his city-smart-mouth
Conjures up multi-cultural schtick.

*****

Limerick Ode To Mike Wilmot
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The off-color comic named Mike
Tells some jokes that the squeamish might spike.
But his musical tales
Provoked huge laughter gales.
So Mike’s funny, but leave home your tyke.

*****

Mad Kane At Sea
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m afraid that I’m feeling at sea:
I went cruising — a comedy spree
With Lew Black and his crew,
Who were funny on cue.
How I miss all that laughter and glee!

*****

Limerick Ode To Greg Proops
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The brilliant Greg Proops hurts my brain.
His routines nearly drive me insane:
His mind is so fast,
And his humor’s a blast,
Yielding laughter that leaves me in pain.

*****

Pining For Lew
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m afraid I don’t know what to do,
Cuz I’m pining away for dear Lew.
To wait a full year
For more Lewis cruise cheer?
Such pain can’t be borne by this Jew.

*****

(You can read my limericks about the 2010 cruise here and my Kathleen Madigan limerick here.)

Birthday Limerick For Franz Liszt

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Today, October 22, is the birthday of the Hungarian virtuoso pianist/composer/conductor Franz Liszt. Some people consider Liszt to be the world’s first rock star.

Birthday Limerick For Franz Liszt
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The pianist/composer named Liszt
Was as hot as the cancan and twist:
Caused a Beatle-like heat—
Gals would swoon from his beat
And the sounds he produced with each wrist.

Limerick Ode To Hot Dog Heckling

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The hot dog throwing incident almost made me feel sorry for Tiger Woods. Of course, if Tiger Woods sang Italian opera, it would have been fruit.

Limerick Ode To Hot Dog Heckling
By Madeleine Begun kane

An inventive new golf misdemeanor
Is attack Tiger Woods with a wiener.
Yes, a hot dog was thrown
And a frank critique shown.
It could have been worse: Orangina?

Limerick Ode To Peter Falk

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Mark and I were very saddened to hear that Peter Falk has died. He’s provided so much entertainment and so many laughs over the years, I had to write this limerick:

Limerick Ode To Peter Falk
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Alas, we have lost Peter Falk.
He was famed for his “one more thing” talk.
His Columbo spurred laughs
With his “just pretend” gaffes,
As he nailed ev’ry bad guy he’d stalk.

I Blame Edward Lear!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

I Blame Edward Lear! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A woman who loves to write verse
Has bits of it stuffed in her purse.
She frets about rhyme
Nearly all of the time.
She’s addicted, for better or worse.

Happy Birthday, Edward Lear! And Happy Limerick Day, May 12th!

You can find more National Limerick Day celebration limericks here and here.

Nameless Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner plus the Honorable Mentions.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, and cleverness. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here are two excellent resources: OEDILF on Writing A Limerick and Speedy Snail’s Limerick Rhythm and Meter.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A gal with a very long name…

or

A guy with a very long name…

Here’s mine:

Nameless Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A gal with a very long name
Desired celebrity fame.
Oh to have a huge halo
Like Oprah and J.Lo —
And be crowned a one-moniker dame.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity in my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please send me an email requesting the alerts. You’ll find my email address on the upper right sidebar, in the “Author” section just below my Limerick-Offs button. Thanks!

Hoping For Humor (Sundry Verse)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Today I’ve written four poems on a theme called hope. There’s a pair of quatrains, one haiku, and a limerick — something for everyone, or no one, as the case may be:

Hope springs eternal—
a “truism” some speak.
Yes, hope springs eternal,
until it springs a leak.

*****

Alexander Pope
wrote about hope.
His eternal quote
helps some folks cope.

*****

Showing up to vote—
a yearly exercise in
unrequited hope.

*****

A gal who is often caught moping
And is terribly dreadful at coping
Drives her family mad.
Things have gotten so bad,
That they’re hoping to hear she’s eloping.

*****

(Inspired by Haiku Wednesday’s hope prompt and Poets United quotation prompt. For more optimistic poems see Friday Poetically.)

Fighting Mad

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Since I already wrote a limerick review of the Fighter, I wasn’t planning to post on that topic again. Even Melissa Leo’s “Consider” her for an Oscar photo campaign wasn’t enough to get me writing. Though for the record, I think she looks great in those pics and I’m rooting for her.

Actually, now that I’m on the subject, here’s a message to Leo critics who fault her for showing herself in a more physically attractive light: You’re being sexist. Freedom of choice is a feminist ideal. So if Melissa Leo chooses to look glamorous and sexy for a change, that’s just fine with me. More power to her!

But back to what prompted this post. Carry On Tuesday’s saved by the bell prompt got me thinking about boxers, which reminded me of the Fighter and inspired this limerick:

Saved By The Bell
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The boxer was saved by the bell
After being in boxing match hell.
He needed a break.
That’s all it would take:
That sound ere he once again fell.

(Also for I Saw Sunday.)

UPDATE: Congratulations Melissa Leo on your Oscar! I knew you could f…ing do it.

Have You Ever Noticed…

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

This question will probably make me sound ageist and grumpy. In my preemptive defense, let me say:

1) I’ve been tossing AARP’s annoying magazine for years; and

2) I am grumpy.

So here’s my question: Have you ever noticed that Andy Rooney isn’t funny anymore?

I used to be a fan and would never turn 60 Minutes off until Rooney’s monologue was over. I even owned one of his humor collections. But I can’t remember the last time Andy Rooney made me laugh … or even giggle. These days his commentaries make me cringe.

Now to those who may argue that I’m not funny either, I say:

CBS doesn’t pay me a gazillion bucks a year to not be funny!

And no, this limerick isn’t funny either:

Have You Ever Noticed…
By Madeleine Begun Kane

At the risk of incurring some ire:
Andy Rooney should really retire.
It’s not that he’s old,
And I don’t mean to scold,
But he’s funny no more, and it’s dire.