Jean Shepherd

Jean Shepherd

Awesome! I grew up on Jean Shepherd!
3
20%
Who?
11
73%
He was pretty good, but doesn't really deserve a thread.
0
No votes
Meh. I've heard of him, but not much else.
1
7%
He was kinda bad, and was overrated.
0
No votes
Sucks.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 15

Coito ergo sum
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Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:48 pm

One of the greatest talents of the mid-20th century? -- an overrated clown? Something in between?

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Animavore » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:49 pm

I voted 'Who?'
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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Kristie » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:50 pm

Who?

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Callan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Didn't he play Inspector Wycliffe?
:whistle:

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:30 pm

For those of you answering "who?" You know him...

He's the narrator (and writer of...) the movie A Christmas Story (the movie about little Ralphie and his quest to obtain the Red Ryder BB gun, with compass in the stock). The story was based on his book called "In God We Trust. All Others Pay Cash."

Shepherd started out in the 1940s, and had a radio program in New York City from the 1950s through about 1977. He had a PBS show on television called "Shepherd's Pie," and had other books and things that are quite entertaining. He's a storyteller and a comedian. Very few can paint a picture with words as well as he could.

One of the things he liked were complex jokes. He realized, I think in the late 1950s, that the way the New York Times used to determine which books were on the best seller list was by keeping track of which books were being most requested at book stores. So, he concocted a scheme and he got his radio listeners to start requesting a book called "I, Libertine" -- his listernership was so avid about doing this that the nonexistent book, I Libertine, made it to the best seller list. He then got a contract to write the book after the fact. So, I, Libertine, is the only book to ever make the New York Times Best Seller List before it was written.

I recently found a podcast called The Brass Figlagee, which is available on iPhones which has hundreds of recordings of his old radio shows and the readings of the stories that eventually became A Christmas Story. I am listening to them in the car -- they are fantastic. I remember him from the 1970s and 80s. Cracks me up, and the opportunity to listen to his stuff from the 50s and 60s too is just awesome.

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:33 pm

Incidentally, he is also the inspiration for the song "A Boy Named Sue" (usually sung by Johnny Cash). Jean was friends with Shel Silverstein (who wrote the song), and Silverstein was inspired by Jean Shepherd who Silverstein thought had to go through life bearing a girl's name.

I just listened to a podcast, though, where Shepherd explains how he got the name, which was apparently from his mother who had been hot on Les Miserables back when Shep was born, and so she named him after Jean Valjean. Although they pronounced it Jeen -- like the americanized version and not Zhaun as in the Les Mis version.

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Animavore » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:47 pm

Coito ergo sum wrote: He's the narrator (and writer of...) the movie A Christmas Story (the movie about little Ralphie and his quest to obtain the Red Ryder BB gun, with compass in the stock). The story was based on his book called "In God We Trust. All Others Pay Cash."
:dunno:
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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:23 pm

Animavore wrote:
Coito ergo sum wrote: He's the narrator (and writer of...) the movie A Christmas Story (the movie about little Ralphie and his quest to obtain the Red Ryder BB gun, with compass in the stock). The story was based on his book called "In God We Trust. All Others Pay Cash."
:dunno:
In the States, "A Christmas Story" has become an icon. There is a television channel called "TNT" which for the last couple of decades has played the movie "A Christmas Story" from like 7pm Christmas Eve to 7pm Christmas Day, repeatedly, start to finish, over and over again.


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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Bella Fortuna » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:27 pm

I never knew any of this - thanks, Coito! :cheers: I'm going to look into this.
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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:54 pm

Bella Fortuna wrote:I never knew any of this - thanks, Coito! :cheers: I'm going to look into this.
If you like how Shepherd narrates A Christmas Story -- check out In God We Trust - All Others Pay Cash. You'll love it. Some of the clips of readings from the book are on the Podcast "Brass Figlagee." Look for the "Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid" Podcast, and the "Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss." These are online and on the Apple Podcast App, as are decades of his radio programs. Some are a little sketchy in sound quality, but he was broadcasing on AM radio most of the time. LOL.

There is a website called Flicklives.com that has a bunch of stuff too. http://www.flicklives.com/ Flick, of course, being a minor character in A Christmas Story and also a recurring character referenced in many of Shep's stories. Some references are to Flick's Tavern in Chicago, which Flick apparently grows up to run.

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:54 pm

I can't believe nobody has heard of him, so far. Gosh.

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Bella Fortuna » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:57 pm

The name sounds familiar now that you made the connection - and I found the podcast on iTunes and am getting a bunch of them. :toot:
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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Seabass » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:02 pm

'Tis the season to be jorry,
Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.

I love A Christmas Story. I did not know who Jean Shepherd was before reading this thread though.
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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by Coito ergo sum » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:10 pm

Excelsior, you fathead!

And, a brass figlagee with bronze oak leaf clusters to anyone who remembers Shep!

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Re: Jean Shepherd

Post by rachelbean » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:18 am

Seabass wrote:'Tis the season to be jorry,
Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.

I love A Christmas Story. I did not know who Jean Shepherd was before reading this thread though.
;this:

I also never knew silverstein wrote, "A Boy Named Sue", but thinking about it, it definitely sounds like his work :lol:

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