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Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette

Furthermore …

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Imogene Coca was Sid Caesar’s frequent collaborator in the comedy of “Your Show of Shows.”

Hoosier’s online anti-winter petition snow joke

Adam Whitaker has tapped into what all of us are feeling right now and created an online petition to express it. His StopTheSnow.org website won’t convince Mother Nature, but it at least offers the satisfaction of doing something about the seemingly unending snowfall.

“Hoosiers are fed up!” his petition states. “Together, let’s unite and stand up for what we believe in: Sweat, sunburn and swimming pools!”

His message, displayed over a photo of a man digging a car out of deep snow, has a link to sign the petition.

The Westfield man, a freelance Web developer, told the Indianapolis Star that his site was a fun way to connect with others tired of the winter. More than 3,000 have signed and many have left entertaining comments:

“Dear Snow … you are not welcome here anymore … Consider this a CEASE and DESIST,” wrote Brian, a Fort Wayne resident.

“Enough is enough! Some of you are laughing about this. But if we make enough hot air about this then maybe it will be too warm to snow!” wrote a Whiteland resident named Darrell.

After his effort was mentioned by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Whitaker’s petition picked up attention from across the country, drawing sympathetic signers from California, Florida and Texas.

Selling Indiana a thankless job

The state’s new tourism tagline, “Honest to Goodness Indiana,” might well promote interest in visiting Indiana, but it doesn’t seem to have impressed many Hoosiers.

Tourism officials defended the slogan as “forward-looking” and representative of the entire state. The previous slogan, “Restart your engines,” gave a nod to a single event and destination, the Indianapolis 500.

But the new $100,000 slogan and branding campaign drew quick criticism.

“Golly gee-wilikers Pa! Can we really go to Indiana? It’s so WHOLESOME,” wrote a commentator on an Indianapolis Star social media site.

“In the true Gomer Pyle tradition, eh?” wrote another. “Can’t we think of something that reflects ‘North of the Ohio River’ and not the South of 1816?”

The best commentary, however, came from those offering their best “rejected slogans” on Twitter.

A few of our favorites:

• “Stop asking. We don’t know what a Hoosier is either!”

•“Indiana: Driving astronauts to leave the planet since 1961”

•“Indiana: This is as good as it gets”

•“Indiana: more topological diversity than Kansas!”

•“Indiana: The Best of the Flyover States”

And this one – surely inspired by the angry same-sex marriage debate: “Indiana: We don’t like your type ’round here.”

The importance of Sid Caesar

If you watched the sketch work of Sid Caesar today, you’d probably wonder what all the fuss was about.

His sketches would come across as silly, even stupid. The humor would be obvious; subtlety was not a Caesar hallmark.

Caesar, 91, died this week, and his death elicited a certain melancholy and nostalgia. That’s because his comedy is viewed through a golden haze, promoted by some of the greatest humor writers of all time – Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner and others.

They remember Caesar as much because they were young and on the make as because of the quality of Caesar’s work.

But if you look at his comedy in “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” without today’s irony and cynicism and regard it as what it was, maybe his talent would stand out. He was a pioneer in the new medium of television. He, with his writers, was exploring how far a comic could go.

You could draw a line, jagged and meandering, from “Your Show of Shows” to “Saturday Night Live.” That line would go through “The Carol Burnett Show” and many other programs. Humor may have changed and reduced Caesar to small TV and movie roles. But his legacy lives.

All hail Caesar.

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