No. 231: "Ultracolossal"

No. 231: "Ultracolossal"

No. 231: "Ultracolossal"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
April 28 1999 3:30 AM

No. 231: "Ultracolossal"

An announcement Sunday roiled the world of the superjumbo. Who plans to do what?

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by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer to newsquiz@slate.com.

Thursday's Question (No. 230)--"Whoooo's Johnny":

"Johnny has been such an effective spokesperson for us because he truly believes in the power of our products," says the president of New Jersey's Franklin Electronics. Who is endorsing what?

"Johnnie Cochran endorsing open-source software. 'If they share the code, you must download!' "--Dee Lacey (Kathy Kreutzer had a similar answer.)

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"John Travolta for the Franklin Stayin' Alive Digital Fever Thermometer."--Molly Shearer Gabel

"Perhaps someone should inform Franklin Electronics that, contrary to what they might expect, having John Wayne Gacy endorse your clown-makeup line is a bad call."--Tim Carvell

"I have no idea, which seems to cast doubt on the theory that he's such an effective spokesman."--Heather Harmon

"Johnny Cash narrates Franklin's electronic Holy Bibles. Willie Nelson's slated to voice their new 'Talking Talmud.' "--Beth Sherman

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Click for more responses.

Randy's Self-Reference Wrap-Up

To our youngest players, the title of Thursday's question may be as ancient and obscure as Edgar Bergen's wacky catch phrase: "I'm a ventriloquist on the radio, suckers!" or Pedro's "S'all right." Ah, Pedro, Pedro, Pedro. In last Wednesday's New York Times, Richard Severo remembered: "Originally, Pedro had a body that was crushed in a train wreck near Chicago. Señor Wences, salvaging the head, put it in a box. At first, those who booked the act resisted; they did not think people would relate to a head in a box. Señor Wences prevailed and Pedro proved almost as big a hit as Johnny." Not Heeere's Johnny. Not quiz question Johnny. This Johnny was just a wig and a smear of lipstick on a clenched fist, but he made Señor Wences that rarest of performers, a genuinely funny ventriloquist. Señor Wences died last Tuesday at age 103.

Some other Johnnies neglected by quiz participants--Johnny Angel (Shelley Fabares), Johnny One Note (Rodgers and Hart), Johnny Too Bad (a swell song from The Harder They Come), and this line of dialogue from the 1959 racially charged English murder mystery Sapphire, spoken, if I recall correctly, by Horace Big Cigar (Robert Adams): "We got plenty Johnnies, boss." Indeed we do.

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Johnny on the Spot Answer

Johnny Cash is endorsing computer bibles. And he's not just a pitchman; he's a user. He's also in on the manufacturing: The man in black narrates the desktop version of the King James Bible, scheduled for a July release.

Death With Dignity Extra

A published photograph of Joe DiMaggio's memorial service last Friday in St. Patrick's Cathedral shows Rudolph Giuliani seated next to Henry Kissinger. Despite the crude color reproduction used by the Times, you can actually see the cloud of pure evil hanging over these two men. (Or is that Phil Rizzuto's head?) Right behind them you can just make out a portal opening up to hell, presumably for the arrival of George Steinbrenner.

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Deeply reverential fun facts:

  • Dr. Rock Positano, organizer of the day's events, was DiMaggio's foot doctor. He has also treated the feet of Mort Zuckerman, Giuliani, and Kissinger.
  • The post-mourning brunch was held at Le Cirque 2000. Few could eat through their grief. If by "few" you mean "all."
  • Steinbrenner said his conversation with brunch partner Kissinger was "better than my four years at Williams. But I didn't know any mass murderers at Williams." If by "said" you exclude the final sentence.
  • Did I make that clear? He's held the naked feet of Zuckerman, Giuliani, and Kissinger. Disgusting yet biblical yet disgusting.

Common Denominator

Johnny Carson's inadequate circulatory system.