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Wow. It was a great night at Sid Graumann's Hollywood Egyptian last night for the LA premiere of Randy Olsen's documentary on Intelligent Design- Flock of Dodos. The halls that once rang with the voices of Chaplin and Garbo now had dancing Dodos and fundamentalist school board members clashing with Harvard biologists.
Filmmaker Randy Olsen and me

The theater was packed and I saw a lot of old friends from the American Cinemateque. Randy had me up on stage with him, his producers and his mom, the indominatable Muffy Moose. He was generous in his thanks to me for the animation I did for the film. Dodo's was well received and there was a good Q&A afterwards. This kicks off a series of screenings nationwide in colleges to mark DARWIN DAY on Monday, the 198th birthday of Charles Darwin.

Dodos,Darwin and me. Click to enlarge

Randy leaves to show the film tomorrow in Seattle, where the Discovery Institute is headquartered. They are the leading conservative funding organization dedicated to propagating the teaching of Intelligent Design over Evolution. They've already sent out press releases attacking the film. Randy will be back and we'll do another screening and panel at USC on Sat.
Flock of Dodos will air on SHOWTIME in May.

Birthdays: St. Thomas Moore, Eubie Blake, Sinclair Lewis, Larry "Buster" Crabbe, Laura Ingalls Wilder writer of Little House on the Prairie, Gay Talese, GI-Joe (the toy), James Spader is 47, Chris Rock is 42, Eddie Izzard is 45, Ashton Kutcher is 29

1910- The Town of Hollywood annexed into the City of Los Angeles.

1940- Disney's classic "Pinnochio" opened nationwide.

1960- JFK PARTYS WITH THE RATPACK-Before he created the Peace Corps and Camelot, presidential candidate John Kennedy needed to relax and raise some hell. So in total secret he helicoptered down to Las Vegas and spent this night at the Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and his brother in law, actor Peter Lawford. These men were famous for their all-night Rat Pack parties, heavy drinking, party girls, poker and more. Sinatra introduced Kennedy to a party girl named Judith Cambell Exner, who would claim JFK as a lover at the same time as she was sleeping with Sam Momo Giancana, the don of the Chicago Mafia. In the wee dawn hours Kennedy slipped away to continue his race for the White House.

1964- THE BRITISH ROCK INVASION BEGAN. Thousands of screaming fans welcome THE BEATLES to New York for their first U.S. Tour. The last music out of England to be taken seriously by Americans was the Lambeth Walk, now the UK announced itself as a powerhouse of rock & roll. For a Brit to do Rock & Roll in America was as audacious as an American reciting Shakespeare in Stratford, but the welcome for the Beatles was so overwhelming that other bands like the Rolling Stones and Herman’s Hermits soon followed. Local New York disc jockeys Cousin Brucie and Murray the K wiggled to the front of the crowds and got a national audience by following the young musicians around. The crowds of teenagers were so excited they mobbed a Rolls Royce in front of the Warwick Hotel where the Beatles were staying just because they figured a Rolls Royce would be something they drove in. They actually used taxicabs.