A brief, illustrated lecture on digestion. Aburdist humor is the hallmark of this pseudo-scientific description of biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting food. The on-screen narrator ...
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A brief, illustrated lecture on digestion. Aburdist humor is the hallmark of this pseudo-scientific description of biting, chewing, swallowing, and digesting food. The on-screen narrator begins with teeth, "little sentinels" as he calls them, and the tongue. Then it's on to the stomach: he describes the stomach's workings as if it were an office or a factory. He uses an illustration of the side view of a human torso, with mouth, esophagus, and stomach visible, saying it's a photograph of a man with a visible digestive tract. Written by
Here's a must for fans of Robert Benchley, for connoisseurs of nonsense humor, and for anyone who needs a chuckle. This short comic lecture pops up on TCM every now and again, and deserves to be better known.
Benchley originally created this material as a magazine piece, and here he simply recites his text from memory, using a very silly chart to illustrate his points concerning the teeth ("Nature's tiny sentinels"), the stomach, the tongue ("that awful-looking thing right back of your teeth") and the various digestive processes. The journey of the food to the stomach is first described in terms befitting a pleasure trip to the country, then at some point mysteriously turns into an industrial process involving factory workers and the ultimate production of fatty tissues, "which nobody wants." It is, we are told, "probably one of the worst-done jobs in the world." Don't expect fancy cinematography; this is a lecture delivered directly to the camera, a speech that could have been broadcast over the radio airwaves to comparable effect, but then we'd have missed Mr. Benchley's amusing chart, not to mention his wry facial expressions. Our host begins his talk rather tentatively -- and if the stories of his off-camera life are to be believed, odds are pretty good he was struggling with a hang-over -- but he picks up momentum as he goes along, and by the end he's earning a solid laugh with practically every sentence.
Highly recommended, especially to fans of Robert Benchley. And if you don't know who Robert Benchley was, that's quite all right, you're probably not reading this anyway.
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