If I had been alive in 1940 my vote would have gone to Gracie Allen for President. In fact, come November, I might be writing in her name.
I know my name is Molly McGee, but I chose her mainly for sentimental reasons. That is a post to come. However, my true favorite comedienne has been and always will be Ms. Gracie Allen.
In March of 1940, Gracie Allen announced that she was running -- against Roosevelt, mind you -- for President. As her husband, George Burns, liked to explain the birth of the idea:
"Gracie and I were at home in Beverly Hills with our children [when she] suddenly remarked, ‘I’m tired of knitting this sweater. I think I’ll run for president this year.’”
Here are some classic "Gracie-isms" from the campaign trail:
She ran as the head of the Surprise Party. Why the Surprise Party? As Gracie later explained, her mother was a Democrat, her father a Republican, and Gracie had been born a Surprise.
Her campaign platform was "redwood trimmed with ‘nutty’ pine."
Queried on the Neutrality Bill pending before Congress, her position was an unequivocal "If we owe it, let's pay it."
Allen was a strong supporter of the Dies Committee--"If we didn't keep [it] going, who'd color our Easter eggs?"
Asked if she would recognize Russia, Gracie showed uncharacteristic hesitation: "I don't know. I meet so many people...."
As I was doing research for this post, I discovered that I can actually buy campaign merchandise! Generous hearts check this out, and know that according the page's size chart, I'd wear a medium shirt and I like it in brown.
"If the country's going Gracie, so can you."