Happy Birthday, Travalanche: Presenting the Travalanche Top 120

Today is the 12th birthday of the blog you are now reading, Travalanche. Or the 3rd birthday, depending on how you count it, for it was started o Leap Year Day. In celebration, and in emulation of the Babylonian number system, I herewith give you a reasonably accurate list of the 120 most popular posts on Travalanche, in descending order. Out of the close to 5,500 blogposts I have shared here to date, these then represent roughly the top 2%.

I say “reasonably accurate” because I pulled a couple that are dated (plugs for certain classics that were playing on TV that night, Laurel and Hardy films and Disney shorts, if you’re interested) and one that is my own biography, which needs updating. And also because there have been some changes since I prepared this list ten days ago (I have been sharing it in daily batches of 12 on Twitter). The very act of sharing the posts made some of them shift in the rankings, notably the one about Jeff Lynne which has by now gone up about 30 places in the standings. And in the past few days, Baby Peggy passed away, and my obituary of her now rates a place on the list.

At any rate, it’s is interesting to know what’s interesting to people, and here’s what it is:

  1. Eko and Iko: The Men from Mars
  2. Respect for Jayne Mansfield
  3. The 21 Best Comic Drunks (and Drunk Comics) of All Time 
  4. Tom Joad’s Speech
  5. The Muppets (2011 movie)
  6. The 7 Little Foys
  7. George Sanders: Committed Suicide Because He Was “Bored”
  8. Tramp in Training: Charlie Chaplin’s Early Years
  9. 50 Funny Football Films
  10. The Four Cohans: George M. Cohan’s Incredible Performing Family
  11. The Robert Blake Saga: From Little Rascal to Big Terrifying Rascal
  12. Jean-Jacques Libbera: The Double Bodied Man
  13. Terry-Thomas and His Tragic Final Days
  14. The Women of Vaudeville
  15. Rage and Glory: The Volatile Life and Career of George C. Scott
  16. Arte Johnson: Veddy Interesting
  17. The Long-Awaited Lowdown on Mason Reese
  18. The Long History of Our Gang, a.k.a. The Little Rascals
  19. Frank Fay: The First M.C. and the Worst S.O.B.
  20. Goldie Hawn: The Most Successful Go-Go Dancer in History
  21. On the Early Solo Stage and Career of Stan Laurel
  22. Will Geer: Queer, Communist and American as Apple Pie
  23. The Horrific Fate of B Movie Bombshell Yvette Vickers
  24. The Death of Charlie Chaplin
  25. The Day the Slapstick Got Too Real : Harold Lloyd Blows Himself Up with a Bomb
  26. Clara Blandick (The Sad Death of Aunt Em)
  27. Magritte
  28. The Day Alfalfa Was Cut Down
  29. Billy “Froggy” Laughlin: Little Rascal Who Died Youngest
  30. Joe Flynn: How the “McHale’s Navy” Star Met His Watery End
  31. Why “The Greatest Showman” is the Greatest Piece of Crap
  32. The Sad Suicide of Stanley Adams
  33. Ziegfeld and Vaudeville
  34. In Which I Rank the Silent Comedians
  35. Dick Shawn: Literally Died on Stage 
  36. How Laurel and Hardy Became a Team 
  37. Buster Keaton’s Origins in Vaudeville: The Three Keatons
  38. Betty Lou Williams: Four-Legged Beauty
  39. Gracie Allen: Truth in Comedy
  40. The Munsters vs. The Addams Family
  41. Carolyn Jones: More Than Morticia
  42. Agnes Thatcher Lake: Circus Bride of Wild Bill Hickok
  43. Why “Nothing But Trouble” is Nothing But Brilliant
  44. The Tragic Murder of David “Stringbean” Akeman
  45. Eva Tanguay: The “I Don’t Care” Girl
  46. The Snow Twins
  47. Robert Reed and the Secrets of “The Brady Bunch” 
  48. In Which the Films of the Marx Brothers Are Carefully Ranked
  49. George Primrose: Major Minstrel
  50. The Short Life But Long Fame of Norman “Chubby” Chaney
  51. Where the Hell is James Olsen? 
  52. Weber and Fields: Why They Are Everything 
  53. Rosa and Josefa Blazek: The Bohemian Twins
  54. Harold “Slim” Switzer: How Alfalfa’s Brother Ended it All in a Murder-Suicide
  55. The Best Ape-Related Horror Films of All Time
  56. Johnny Carson: King of Late Night
  57. Harold Lloyd Hangs from a Clock in “Safety Last” 
  58. The Truth About W.C. Fields and Philadelphia
  59. Julia Pastrana: Exploited in Life and Death as a “Missing Link
  60. On the Marx Women
  61. On the Comedy Western #4: 1970s-1980s
  62. Smith and Dale: Archetypal Vaudeville Comedy Team
  63. Tony Pastor: The Father of Vaudeville
  64. Judy Garland (and the Gumm Sisters) and Vaudeville
  65. Fred and Adele Astaire: She Was the Talented One
  66. The Woman at the Center of the Arbuckle Scandal
  67. Isaac W. Sprague: The Original Living Skeleton
  68. Gale Sondergaard was the original Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”
  69. Harry Jolson: Al’s Lesser Brother
  70. Chaz Chase: Eating Machine
  71. More Creepy Ventriloquists: William Wood
  72. On Ed Flanders, St. Elsewhere, and Suicide
  73. In Which We Carve Up the Beatles White Album
  74. Albert Vargas: Greatest Pin-Up Artist Ever
  75. The Marx Brothers: Vaudeville’s Super-Group
  76. The Time Oliver Hardy Teamed Up With…John Wayne?
  77. Of the Dead End Kids, the East Side Kids, and the Bowery Boys
  78. Jimmy Durante: Hot-Cha-Cha
  79. The Problem with Jeff Lynne
  80. The Cherry Sisters: The Worst Act in Vaudeville
  81. A Short History of Evil Ventriloquists in the Movies
  82. W.C. Fields: World’s Greatest Juggler and Comedian
  83. Mae West: Naughtiest Woman on the American Stage
  84. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson: “The Dark Cloud of Joy”
  85. My Review of “Bonfire of Destiny”
  86. How Cary Grant Started Out as an Acrobat
  87. Paul Swan: The Most Beautiful Man in the World
  88. Of Sex and Shirley Jones
  89. Of Ted Healy and His Three Stooges
  90. Yvonne deCarlo: From Salome to a Sex Ranch
  91. Eddie Cantor: “Banjo Eyes”
  92. On the Glories of “Lt. Joe Kenda: Homicide Hunter”
  93. Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas
  94. On the Ongoing Saga of the “Hottentot Venus”
  95. George Jessel: The Toastmaster General
  96. 18 Women Named “Billie”
  97. Houdini: The Greatest Vaudevillian of Them All?
  98. George Lippert: Two Hearts, Three Legs, But Only 14 Toes 
  99. How Mae West became the Wickedest Woman in Pictures
  100. Eve Meyer: Pin-Up, Producer, and Air Disaster Fatality
  101. Respect for Jim Varney
  102. Barbara Stanwyck and the Gender-Reversed “Charlie’s Angels” Spin-off
  103. Shelley Winters: From Pin-Up to “Poseidon”
  104. Why My Low Regard for Lou Costello is Not Just “My Opinion”
  105. Burlesque: Vaudeville’s Naughty Twin
  106. Mme. Abomah, the African Giantess
  107. Al Jolson: The Single Most Influential Male Performer to Come out of Vaudeville
  108. ‘Til the Clouds Roll By: How NOT to Learn About Jerome Kern
  109. These Are the Female Silent Comedians
  110. George “Spanky” McFarland, Star of the Little Rascals
  111. How Olive Borden Went from Being the Joy Girl to an Early Death on Skid Row
  112. Shemp Like You’ve Never Seen Him
  113. Vantile Mack, the Ohio Fat Boy
  114. The Dolly Sisters: Alike as Two Peas
  115. How Faith Bacon, Inventor of the Fan Dance, Leaped to Her Death
  116. Fred Karno and His Speechless Comedians
  117. Rowan Atkinson: Bean and Beyond
  118. Eddie Masher: The OTHER Skeleton Dude
  119. Jack Wild: Lived Up to His Name
  120. Forging the Comedy Film: The Screen Career of Charlie Chaplin

And over 5000 more! Please do peruse!