Friday, March 20, 2009

Puttin' on the Ritz!

The Ritz Brothers perform for a patriotic rally in 1951, I Am An American Day, not to be confused with Citizenship, or Constitution, Day (an actual Federal Holiday) which falls on September 17th each year and was formerly known as I am an American Day before becoming an official holiday in 2004. No, no, this was an entirely different patriotic rally. "Huh? What?" you ask. It doesn't matter. What matters is the Ritz Brothers were old school entertainers. The kind who kept the show going even if children were being traumatized. Case in point, these photos. (and for God's sake, click to enlarge, especially the last two, for the full effect).

Here's Jimmy, Harry and Al mugging for the camera. Harry, in the middle, has a freakish tan that gives him an even more psychotic appearance than his usual mugging already provides.


Onto a trademark dance routine. They're having a great time and the audience is loving it (we assume).


Now Harry decides it would be a good idea to pick up a kid from the front row and have some fun with him. The kid is clearly terrified but that doesn't stop the other two from wanting to join in the fun. This has to qualify as one of the most unintentionally disturbing celebrity shots I've ever seen.


Finally, with all three holding the child, and Harry now looking especially demonic, a final photo is snapped before the child is left to move on with his now traumatized childhood. As Tom Sutpen might say, They Were Unwilling Collaborators.