Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The latest Oz reading

I just finished Short and Sweet: The Life and Times of the Lollipop Munchkin, the memoir of Jerry Maren. Yes, he was the middle member of the Lollipop Guild who gave the lollipop to Judy Garland in the famous movie version. And that's probably what he's best known for (all those appearances at Oz festivals and such over the past twenty-some years sure help cement that image), but that was only the beginning. He's had a long, successful career in show business, working with some big stars. He's worked with the "Our Gang" kids, the Marx Brothers, Edgar Bergen (he was a walking, all-action version of both Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd), Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and Jerry Seinfeld, to name just a few. He played Buster Brown, Little Oscar (for Oscar Mayer), and most of the denizens of McDonaldland. He came back to play Munchkins in Under the Rainbow and The Dreamer of Oz, as well as on stage. This book covers it all. It's a quick read, as Maren himself explains that he's not much of a writer, so it's filled with lots of pictures. This was a fun book, and I'm glad Jerry took the time out of his still busy career to write this. It's got enough Oz content to please the Oz fans, but the rest of it is pretty cool, too.

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