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Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang - Hollywood Silent Films Gossip


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*When you hear the following line from "Trouble" in The Music Man, "Is he starting to memorize jokes from Captain Billy's Whiz Bang?",* have you ever just thought with a title like that it must be some kid's magazine? I did. However, I recently came across some issues and I admit I was stunned...and I certainly understand why the kid would get punished for having it.


Here is a sample cover




The Music Man was set in 1912, but, in actual fact, the magazine wouldn't come into existence until 1919. The magazine had several stories and, of course, jokes, but I also discovered there was Hollywood gossip of that silent era. I am going to print several different of these over the next while.


Here's today's entry (from May 1922)









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Thanks for posting this! I had no idea it was a real magazine and pictured something of a cross between a comic book and Boy's Life..


The magazine folded in 1927, and the movie was made in 1950. I wonder how many parents in the audience remembered reading it when they were their kid's age.

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This is great stuff, filmlover. You have done it again! Capt. Billy is going all out to defend Mary Miles Minter but is far less enthusiastic about Mabel Normand.



Will we ever be able to see the St. Francis Hotel in SF and not think of it as the "St. Frantic"?



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ThankyouthankyouTHANKYOU for scanning and posting these excerpts !!!!


They're fascinating !! -- especially one of the items about the Roscoe Arbuckle scandal:




{font:Times New Roman}Then—some people have too much gosh darn luck—somebody left Mrs. Maude

Delmonte $25,000. The authorities said she couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth

during two consecutive moments, so they wouldn’t let her testify at Fatty’s trial.

She should worry, however. Whenever Wiz Bang’s investigators visit Tiajuana,

the home of the open drinking bouts in the northwest corner of Mexico, Mrs. Del-

monte and “Al” (Semnacher) are seen propping the bars. Mrs. Delmonte now

gowns herself like Mrs. Astor’s pet horse and treats “Al” just swell.{font}





Though Arbuckle had never met her, Bambina

Maude Delmont, former madame and con artist

who specialized in extorting money from wealthy

men, accompanied Al Semnacher and Virginia

Rappe to Roscoe's infamous Labor Day party.



*The reptilian Mrs. Delmont*


Author David Yallop revealed in his book about

the scandal, The Day the Laughter Stopped, that

within days of Rappe's death, Delmont sent two

telegrams to attorneys with whom she'd pulled

some scams in the past.


The telegrams read:




It was Delmont who personally swore out the murder

complaint against Arbuckle and yet, by the time his

trials rolled around, the S.F. District Attorney trusted

her testimony and character so little that he never

even put her on the stand !


If anyone is responsible for the Arbuckle scandal --

and the barrage of disgusting publicity -- it is she.



*An example of the*

*tabloid torture*


Here, you've posted proof that she did indeed profit

from her perfidy.


Sometimes, piecing Hollywood history together is

like trying to assemble broken pottery shards from

ancient Egypt.


Thanks for providing a fascinating new piece !

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In today's entry, you will notice the header is "Drippings from the Fawcett". You might ask yourself, "Why would they call it that and why did they spell 'faucet" incorrectly?" Well, I thought I would just do a quick post to explain that and how this all connects to a famous comic book character called Captain Marvel.


Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang was published by Fawcett Publications, which had been founded by Wilford Hamilton "Captain Billy" Fawcett. He was a captain in the Army and worked on their Stars and Stripes publication. He created CBWB ("Whiz Bang" came from a nickame of an artillery shell.)


Now how do we get to Captain Marvel? Captain Marvel was a Fawcett Publication comics character. He made his first appearance in Whiz Comics. And his alter ego was Billy Batson.

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