Funny stuff from Father Blantz
Larry the Magish
Clarke “Senator” Crandall was one of the most creative, funniest entertainers at the Magic Castle. It is a shame that more people did not get to appreciate him. He did a midnight show every evening “Not for the Prudish” – but he rarely said a bad word. He got right up to such a place in the story, then he swerved and your own mind went right into the gutter!
In his old age he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and arrangements were made for surgery in the VA hospital in Houston. But he was such a funny guy that some of the doctors thought he was just mentally ill, and the surgery was cancelled. His own surgeon explained how he HAD to behave so the surgery could be performed – his life depended on it! For a while, Crandall did behave, a new date was set – then cancelled. The conversation went something like this:
“You know that black orderly that cleans your hospital room?””Yeah.””Did you tell him that you own a company that has a way to grow black cotton?” “Uh-huh”. “And that you have ten thousand acres of it planted in Montana?”. “I guess so”. “And you are going to make WHITE people pick it?” “Yeah.” “Crandall, did you try to sell him stock in that company? You see why they keep cancelling your surgery? Now behave!” A few months later a new date is set, then cancelled again! Crandall had been giving a urine sample and dropped and broke the little bottle and was all upset. The orderly said it was not big deal, they were cheap and often broke, but Crandall was concerned, as “I could have cut myself and would not be able to go back to work.” “What type of work do you do, Mister Crandall?” “I am an artificial insemination donor on a goat farm!”
When they finally did operate they found a further delay would have made the tumor inoperable. Clarke lived another ten years and gave me credit for having the surgery in the first place. Seems we were at a convention in Houston and he was on the first half of the big show. He found me at intermission and we sat in the back row for the second half and discussed the situation. By that time he had decided against the surgery, but I talked him into having it. He later wrote this up for Tops Magazine and gave me credit.
On a walk one day, Crandall saw something glinting in the gutter. He picked it up and rubbed off the dirt and discovered it was a silver bullet of some kind. Thinking it might come in useful in a trick some day, he put in his left shirt pocket. That evening shopping on Hollywood Blvd. he stopped to listen to the Salvation Army band. “They have a nice act. But right in front of me was this UCLA student who was making all kinds of suggestive and obscene remarks to the Salvation Army Lass playing the tambourine. She was growing more and more impatient and finally lost it – She wound up and threw her Bible at him, as hard as she could. He ducked, and the Bible hit me right at my heart, and if it had not been for that silver bullet, that Bible would gone right through and killed me!”
Crandall would often tell why he lived where he did.
“I got off the bus in Hollywood, carrying my suitcase, looking for a suitable place to lodge, and I saw this big building with the sign ‘APT’ and I was, so I rang the bell. As the landlady opened the door to show me my room, the doorknob fell off. Being a gentleman and knowing I could fix it if I had the right equipment, I suggested ‘how about a screw for the doorknob?’ She said that was a fair exchange, and I have lived there ever since!”
On one occasion, Crandall seated a lady with a very low cut blouse on my right. He introduced me from the door on the left, so he was looking directly at her. After the intro, he turned to leave, then did a double take and addressed her directly, “By the way, Miss, SHOULD the magician drop a card on the floor, LET IT LIE THERE!”