Shakespeare

The stupid Shakespeare authorship issue is OVER.

There’s too darned much talk about who wrote Shakespeare’s plays. Some people say Sir Francis Bacon (we called him “Frankie” when Mrs Bacon wasn’t around) wrote them.  Well, he was too busy playing scrabble with Deveraux, the Earl of Essex, that’s almost all the dude did. Then there’s Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford–HIS case was offered around in a book in the 1920s by a guy named “Looney” (yes, really), which tells you everything you need to know about that. Then there was William Stanley, who made DARNED sure you knew he was the 6th Earl of Derby when you met him.  (I always asked him how the hat business was going and he’d get FURIOUS.  Man, that was funny.)  Kit Marlow?  He was in jail for ‘drunk and disorderly’ about 90% of the time, and he was too hungover to polish HIS plays, much less write plays for others.  And the Earl of Southampton, Henry  Neville, Sir Osis of Liver, Lord Puffedupass, the Duke of Earl, the Earl of Cloves, blah-blah, whatever.

I’m sick of it all and it’s time to get it out in public: *I* wrote those plays.

Well, most of them. Quentin Tarantino wrote “Titus Andronicus” for me–contract job. And Bill Buckley wrote “Love’s Labour Lost”; you could probably guess both of those.

See, I started out working on a TV series about seven stranded castaways who took a sightseeing boat on a three-hour tour (“a THREE hour tour.”) I wanted a goofy first mate who kept making problems on the island, but I wrote and rewrote and the story kept changing.  The goofy character I thought of as “Gilligan” wound up as a rough dude named Caliban, and the Skipper morphed into the stranded Duke of Milan. Any writer will tell you–the script you wind up with is never the script you start out to write.

penguin cookies feasle
This was when I was still working on the “seven stranded castaways” concept

Well, it became obvious pretty shortly that there was money in churning out plays for the London theatres, and I needed the cash. Turns out the key is getting a good line or three, then you have a couple of beers and say the lines aloud until you’ve got a rhythm going, and the play just about writes itself from there. I drank and said “Let’s sit on the ground and tell sad stories about the death of kings” a few dozen times, and “Richard II” just popped out over the next week.  I originally meant that to be a farce, but–well, the one you start writing is never the one you wind up with.

But there was plenty in the news to keep me busy: Trump and Ivanka and Don Junior–man, “King Lear” just rolled off the typewriter easy as pie. Gordon Liddy turned into “Iago” with nothing but a change of clothes and fewer rats.

And you’ve heard that “every work of fiction is partly autobiographical.” Yeah, truth is, “Sir John Falstaff” is pretty much me.  And Titania is loosely based on Stevie Nicks, though Titania’s singing doesn’t make you want to stick an icepick in your eardrums.

So let’s have an END of it. I wrote those plays and you people please stop yakking about it, OK?

If this nonsense has offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream.
If you’re irked, my lad and lass,
Please feel free to bite my ass.

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