Saturday, February 23, 2008

Remembering Dave Allen

Blake at BitMaelstrom mentions a silly list; someone who thinks he's smart, the president of Mensa, listing TV shows that he thinks are smart. Blake has a better list of his own, and a follow-up post to correct an omission. This led me to think of Dave Allen (July 6, 1936–March 10, 2005), whom I used to see on Boston's channel 38, late. Here's Dave Allen's version of the Adam and Eve story:

When people mention Mensa, I am always reminded of the Sturgeon brothers, Peter and Theodore. Peter was the first President of Mensa in America. Theodore was the writer who gave us such works as The (Widget), the (Wadget), and Boff; A Saucer of Loneliness; More than Human; and many more. Philip Klass ["William Tenn"]'s introduction to Bright Segment (see if this works for you) is a lovely description of the way the brothers did or did not get along. I used to listen to Long John Nebel's radio show on WOR, back in the sixties. A number of SF luminaries were frequent guests, Lester Del Rey, Frederik Pohl, and Theodore Sturgeon among them. I recall hearing Theodore (he preferred "Ted") saying "My brother Peter is president of Mensa. I wouldn't join it if they paid me." Or something to that effect. So that's what I have to say about Mensa. A lot of smart people are members; plenty more smart people are not.

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