Tuesday, February 20, 2007

John Ashbery and Fred Astaire on The Mike Douglas Show

In a dream:

I was watching the start of the The Mike Douglas Show, the daytime talk show that I watched countless times after school as a kid. The guest host for the day: Fred Astaire. Also appearing: the poet John Ashbery, who was going to read a poem entitled "Dedicated to Fred Astaire." And coming up later in the show: "A special feature on language-poetry and experimental music."

That would have been some Mike Douglas Show.

As I ponder this dream, it occurs to me that Philadelphia, for many years the home of The Mike Douglas Show, is now the home of PENNsound, a spectacular archive of recorded poetry housed at the University of Pennsylvania. And a few years back, I watched an online broadcast of John Ashbery at the U of P's Kelly Writers House.

But how does Fred Astaire fit in? Elaine Fine thinks that a wonderful television clip might be in the background of this dream.

The Mike Douglas Show (Wikipedia)

PENNsound (University of Pennsylvania)

John Ashbery at the Kelly Writers House (University of Pennsylvania)

Fred Astaire sings, Oscar Levant plays (YouTube, via Musical Assumptions)

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