(HUMOR) Asheville’s comedic history runs deep

HEARTS AND MINDS: Carl the Bear forever changed the lives of these young people that fateful August day in 1959, when he informed them that just because he's a talking bear, it doesn't mean that he knows Yogi or Smokey.

Editor’s note: The following content, unlike Mountain Xpress’ award-winning coverage of local news and events throughout the rest of the year, is 100% fake.

When the good, hardworking people at Buncombe County Special Collections heard Xpress was gearing up for its annual Humor Issue, they wanted in on the fun. (And they reminded us that we had indeed thrown that possibility into the kitty on a particularly bad night at the weekly Local History poker game and that they were the current possessor of said honor.)

And so it came to pass that BCSC manager Katherine Cutshall and library assistant Jenny Bowen dropped a box of archival photos at the Xpress office door with one simple instruction: “Make of these what you will.”

So we did. To the best of our knowledge, the captions of these photos are 100% fake accurate. And the story behind BCSC’s contributions and participation in this year’s Humor Issue is 110% false true.

OF TIME AND DUCK SOUP: Thomas Wolfe once saw the Marx Brothers perform in New York City and wrote Groucho a letter, asking if he could be adopted and change his name to Hippo Marx. He included this photo in his application but never received a reply.
HERRRRRE’S PULITZER: Back when Asheville’s daily had a staff, readers would celebrate the publication of great articles by ramming their heads through the paper. This young man decided to add fake teeth for the occasion. Ah, the good ol’ days …
WIN-WIN SITUATION: Asheville’s unhoused population was once far more creative when it came to procuring a meal. And Asheville’s parents were once far more creative when it came to entertaining their children. Local scientist Herb Goodbody, pictured, called it “a symbiotic relationship” and “worth losing three fingers over.”
SAY “GORGONZOLA”: By all accounts, Cornelia Vanderbilt’s wedding was a marvelous affair. During the reception at the Elks Lodge, the photo booth proved a most popular attraction and was stocked with the finest props a tourist could steal from area souvenir shops.
PATH TO SUCCESS: Future memoirist Martha Succotash’s summer camp bunkmates convinced her that she could get to China without the use of a shovel. After feasting on baked beans for two weeks, she gave it a go.
THE LIGHT FANTASTIC: Each night, the Biltmore Estate’s stone humans come to life to partake in the latest dance craze, taught to them by renowned Black Mountain College choreographer Merce Cunningham’s cousin, Sam, left.
DEMOCRATIC SKULLDUGGERY: Donkey carjacking was a common occurrence in downtown Asheville until the passage of the Jackass Act of 1952.

For potentially more accurate insights into these images, visits avl.mx/d8n. (Remember, dear reader, this is our annual Humor Issue!)


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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