Thursday, August 15, 2013

Elvis Presley and Joe Miller both died on August 16

For all you ever wanted to know about this meeting, click here.
Elvis left us on August 16, 1977.

The King should therefore be in heavy rotation on your iPod or other music machine Friday.

And Friday will also mark the anniversary of the death of Joe Miller. Miller, a renowned English actor in his day, died on August 16, 1738.

In 1739, after Miller's death, another Englishman brought out a book entitled Joe Miller's Jests, or the Wit's Vade-Mecum. The joke book sold well, capitalizing on the late actor's fame, and it was followed by other editions and books, all employing Miller's name in one way or another, to the point where "a Joe Miller" or "Millerism" entered the language as a synonym for joke. Thus, according to Wikipedia, in A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens has Ebeneezer Scrooge exclaim, on Christmas morning, when he sends the lad to buy the fat turkey, "Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending [the turkey] to Bob's will be!"

Eventually a Millerism came to mean a particular kind of time-worn joke, namely, one so old that even Milton Berle wouldn't steal it.

And, accordingly, you may never heard of Joe Miller. You are not alone. Thus, most of the Usual Suspects tell us that Friday is simply National Tell a Joke Day. But keeps the flame alive, insisting that today is Joe Miller's Joke Day. We give Brownielocks props on this.

Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford have his and her birthdays on Friday. Frank turns 83. Kathie Lee will be 60. Madonna Louise Ciccone was born on August 15, 1958. She only uses one of those names these days. Madonna turns 55 on Friday.

Friday is also Bratwurst Day, National Men's Grooming Day, and (our favorite) National Rum Day. Enjoy Cuba Libres tomorrow after work.

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