Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ronald Searle: They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore

Ronald Searle passed away one year ago today in Draguignan, France. His talents were unique, which prompts me to make the trite yet absolutely correct observation, "They don't make 'em like that anymore!"

I think we can let Mr. Searle illustrate this point for himself with a marvelous, over-the-top depiction of a Wagnerian soprano delivering the goods as only she can in a production of, apparently, Siegfried. Sorry for all the scanning artifact. Anyway, it ain't over till the fat lady sings, to use a second cliche, and now it's indeed over. Hojotoho!

Ronald Searle, They Don't Make Them Like That Anymore, 1978
Town & Country, October 1978
Ronald Searle in Perspective, Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1983, Page 132-133

For the record, the dragon Fafner is slain by Siegfried before Brünnhilde is awakened from her sleep in the magic fire, so I don't think this is really a scene from the opera. I know you were concerned too.


I've always known the phrase to be "They don't make 'em like that anymore" without the full "them" that Searle uses. I certainly got this idea from the Broadway musical How Now, Dow Jones (1967), which was standard musical fare in our home back in the day. Say, was there any other good music around at the time?

"They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore"
"How Now, Dow Jones" (1967)
Marilyn Mason and Brenda Vaccaro
Elmer Bernstein, Music
Carolyn Leigh, Lyrics

"How Now, Dow Jones"

Image added December 26, 2015

Marilyn Mason, Tony Roberts, Brenda Vaccaro, and Company
"How Now, Dow Jones"


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