The Great Unus (aka Franz Furtner) had a successful career in the circus, from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was billed as "the man who stands on his forefinger" because his act centered around him doing a series of one-finger handstands.
There was a lot of speculation about how he was able to balance himself on one finger. The main theory was that he must have had some kind of rigid, support device in the glove that he always wore during his act, as you can see in the video below. But in the photo, below left, (from the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung - Mar 27, 1941), he's doing the trick without a glove. So who knows. Although, of course, the photo could have been staged. As far as I know, he never revealed exactly what his trick was.
You may have heard the Stanley Steemer commercials. But what started out as a voice-over demo evolved into variations on a theme -- the Stanley Steemer song. Mia Gentile worked with a friend, Roger Klug, on the piece.
There is a great summary of characters, styles and a high-energy conclusion at about 2:30.
The Great Gravityo was the stage name of Albert Franklin Davidson (1880-1949), a multi-talented performer whose career spanned the first half of the 20th Century. He's one of many once-popular performers who are now all but forgotten. His specialty was pulling cars and lifting heavy weights with his hair, but he was also a sharpshooter, juggler, magician, and trapeze artist.
He performed right up to the end of his life, dying of a heart attack shortly after a performance at the age of 69. It's amazing he still had his hair at 69, given his occupation.
There was hardly any info online about him. But here's a brief description of his act I found in the Paris Texas News (Sep 4, 1941):
I recently found out about an animator named Harry Partridge who does bizarre shorts that are perfect Weird Universe material. These two are my favorites, but be sure to go to the Happy Harry Toons YouTube page for more absurdity.
Here's two reasons to be grateful for James Earl Jones. First, the original voice of David Prowse as Darth Vader, which, thankfully was replaced by Jones.
Darth's Original Voice
Next, a slightly different take on Darth Vader with other dialogue from various James Earl Jones movies. My favorite is Darth Vader's advice about women at about 4 minutes, or where Darth adjusts the radio around 7:30 or later.
Darth Earl Jones or James Earl Vader?
Some language -- NSFW?
There is also a shorter version available which is also good.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.