Monday, March 25, 2013

Li’l Abner gets musi-gal

This Life article from January 14, 1957, is about the Broadway musical created from the comic strip, Li’l Abner. Al Capp’s creation was a gen-yoo-wine cultural phenom in its time. It had millions of readers and the running gags, like “Sadie Hawkins Day,” became part of the American consciousness.

The strip shut down in 1977 because of Capp's illness. He died in 1979.

The musical, made into a movie in 1959, is rated 6.6 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database (, and I recall seeing it at the time but don’t remember much about it. In checking on the IMDb listing I see in the article that the part of Daisy Mae, as played on Broadway by Edie Adams, was taken over for the movie by Leslie Parrish. Nothing against Leslie, but I would have loved to have seen Edie on the big screen. Likewise, Tina Louise (Ginger!) who had played Appassianota Von Climax (!!) on stage was replaced by Stella Stevens.

Luckily for us, Julie Newmar, just a few years away from her stint as Catwoman on the Batman TV series, was Stupefyin’ Jones on Broadway and in the movie. As you can see by the YouTube video after the article, she was probably the only actress in the world for whom the part could be said to have been perfectly made. Stupefy she is supposed to do, and stupefy she does.

Copyright © 1957, 2013 Time-Life

My standard disclaimer for the video. If the screen is black it has been removed by YouTube, not by me.

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