100 Things About Me #107

Artsy 'Patsy'
I am fascinated by movie advertising in all of its forms, especially coming attractions trailers, print campaigns, and posters.

As early as age 8, I spent more than an hour some days analyzing the movie ads in the local newspaper. I'd memorize the titles and showtimes for every theatre within a 20-mile radius of my bedroom.

(Twenty-one miles, if I might be way down in the basement, holed up for the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

Our kitchen was 16 feet closer than my pillow to the Fox Theatre, Atlanta's premiere movie palace. I spent a lot of time leaning against the refrigerator, a jittery eye on the clock, in case someone might be headed to the Fox and could give me a lift to see the show and their posters.

That didn't happen often, but maybe twice per year.

Meanwhile, I passed my kitchen vigils wisely, learning to cook toast. I'm self-taught and I recommend you consider: jellies.

Oh-- Use an utensil.

Mike Durrett and his Jerry Lewis as The Patsy movie poster.My neighborhood theatre changed its programs twice each week when I was in grade school. I'd skip the bus ride home on Wednesdays, so I could walk the miles to bask under the neon and fluorescent cinema marquee, where I would meet and get acquainted with the new movie posters for future exhibitions.

And -- don't tell God -- I would slip out of Sunday services early and jaywalk across the busy street to the theatre. It wasn't only the Sabbath. It was New Show Day!

Out of all of the movie posters I've ever seen, my favorite art is for "The Patsy" (1964). I've collected several of the items in various sizes, like the original release one-sheet, pictured.


I need to interrupt for a moment, if I might. We're taking a little survey.

Just let me know when exactly you realized I did not want to shave for the photograph.

Now, I'm the first to admit I'm congenitally devoted to Jerry Lewis' wild oeuvre, however that's only a small consideration here. As intense as a lightning bolt, my reaction to "The Patsy" advertising was love at first sight.

Of course, I was only 12 and it was hot out.

What did I know about love?

Not much.

I had had my first puppy love.

Turns out, I was far from housebroken.

Bad boy! And I needed to stay off the couch.

So, why am I enamored with "The Patsy" poster?

The layout is visually interesting. It states the picture's premise in a cartoony manner (the puppet masters and their stooge), plus it features a vivid use of colors, the world's largest asterisk, and that bold scrawled font.

I worship that font. It feels funny. The lettering implies unbridled energy, bubbling silliness, and a playful edge, all with confidence and weight. The entire concept is a beautiful thing to behold.

I am serious, yes--

Oops, Donna's home. I'd write more, but I gotta go.

Arf! Arf!...

Continued From: "The Patsy of the Rings," part of a thread beginning with "I Lost My Heart in a Drive-In Movie"

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