Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Since no prominent people have put their foot in their mouth lately, I thought I'd pull something out of the past to share with you.

Back in the 1950s, a talented pianist named Oscar Levant had a variety show on television. In addition to his musical skills, Oscar was also quite witty. He frequently checked himself into what was delicately known as a "sanitarium," but instead of trying to conceal his emotional problems, he poked fun at them with comments like, "There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased that line."

But one of Oscar's comments got his show yanked off the air before you could say Rice Krispies. Referring to Marilyn Monroe's recent remarriage to playwright Arthur Miller in a ceremony conducted by a rabbi, Oscar said, "Now that Marilyn Monroe is kosher, Arthur Miller can eat her."

After he was out of a job, Oscar said, "I didn't mean it that way."

Yeah, right. But I'm surprised that America in the 1950s even got it.