Tribute to actor-playwright-songwriter George M. Cohan, who was “born on the fourth of July,” 1878. Today’s show deals with Cohan as an actor and playwright rather than as a song-and-dance man and the writer of musicals. Jack discusses Cohan’s deeply serious “dark” side, implicitly present in some of his songs but explicitly present in plays such as The Tavern (1920) and Pigeons and People (1933): “What’s the date? How’s the weather? Stocks are up—stocks are down. Down with the rich. Pity the poor. God bless you, old pal. How are the folks? That’s all there is to it, Doc. It’s a fake. The whole thing’s a fake. You know it’s a fake as well as I do…That’s what’s the matter with life, Doc. It’s had too much of its own way. Somebody’s got to give it a battle. Why not I?”
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