Take That Larry David! Here's 500 Words About Nothing!
The show is about "Nothing"
By Bill Russo
The idea for this article came from the ultimate show about nothing: “Seinfeld.” If Larry David's musings about 'nothing' could putt along for almost ten years and become the greatest comedy in the history of television, then I guess I can do 500 words on the same subject.
(I have just passed the 50 word mark. One tenth of the way home and I still have plenty of 'nothing' to write about.)
Dan Hurley & his 60 Second Novels
The Amazing Instant Novelist
In the 1990s, there was a man who would go to the streets of Chicago and set a 30 pound portable typewriter on top of a card table on the sidewalk. Using a cardboard sign for advertising, he offered “60 second novels”, written on demand. He sat at his table, and a crowd would gather as he wrote mini biographies for people. This unlikely little occupation became a million dollar business!
Dan Hurley parlayed the typewriter gig into the “Amazing Instant Novelist” site on America Online. At its peak, he drew five million visitors a month to the site, which began featuring very popular writing contests.
Hurley became a best selling author and contributor to the nation's top publications. He even writes 'scientific' articles these days. But his whole career started with little 60 second stories about pretty much 'nothing.'
The 'Know Nothings'
When in an awkward social situation sometimes it is better for a person to say 'nothing' instead of a comment that might worsen a particular situation.
In politics there was a whole party called “The Know Nothings”. At its peak, this group claimed over one million members. They were particularly strong in Massachusetts. During the 1850s, the 'nothings' had over 50 of the 230 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and five senate seats.
The 'know nothings' were really not FOR anything, they were just AGAINST pretty much everything. They railed against Irish people, Catholics, and immigration. One of their most prominent members was ex President Millard Fillmore.
The party derived its names from the actions of the members, who when questioned about their movement; would answer, “I know nothing.”
(Word Count - 357)
One of the funniest 'know nothings' ever, was John Banner. As an actor he appeared on Broadway and in over 40 films, but is mainly known for one role – that of Sergeant Hans Schultz on Hogan's Heroes.
Whenever he was confronted with evidence of scams or escape plans of his prisoners, he would declare, “I know nothing!”
Though John Banner portrayed a soldier in Hitler's army, in real life he was a Jewish man who had been held in a concentration camp. His parents were killed during the war. Ironically several of the actors in the television series were Jewish, including Werner Klemperer, who played the part of the prison camp commander.
Robert Clary, who was cast as the Frenchman LeBeau, was in fact a Jewish man who spent three years in a concentration camp. His parents and other family members were killed there. LeBeau had an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm (A-574).
I have more to say, but as this article is only supposed to be 500 words, I am now required to...................