Borden's Sideshows


FIVE SIDESHOWS &
"ELMER'S MARVELOUS ARK"
at the
BETTER LIVING CENTER
 
1964-1965 New York World's Fair
 
T H EXXS C R I P T S 
Borden's logo

Marcelle Cosmetics
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Marcelle Cosmetics

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SIDESHOW NO. 1 - MARCELLE COSMETICS
 
This Sideshow is presented in song. The cast consists of three exotic, colorful, whimsical birds. They are both beautiful and amusing in design, elaborate plumage but not naturalistic. They are perched on and part of a fantastic 18th Century or Victorian chi-chi music box complete with wind-up key which unwinds during the number and suggests the tinkling quality of the music. The song is sung by a female trio.
 
SONG FOR THE BIRDS

1st BIRD:

YOU'VE ALL HEARD
THAT A MALE BIRD
IS USUALLY BEAUTIFUL.
(USUALLY BEAUTIFUL.)
AND ISN'T IT A SHAME
THAT A FEMALE HAS THE NAME
OF BEING PLAIN
JANE,
NOT COLORFUL, MERELY DUTIFUL ?

2nd BIRD:

THANKS TO MARCELLE,
NOW A FEMALE CAN BE CHIC
WHEN SHE SPRAYS HER FEATHERS,
PUTS LIPSTICK ON HER BEAK
AND CREAMS HER FACE
WHEN SHE GOES TO REST;

ALL 3 BIRDS:

SO THE PAPA BIRD WILL FLY,
FLY HOME,
HOME TO THE NEST.
MARCELLE COSMETICS ARE BEST !
The lights fade. The curtain closes.
 
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SIDESHOW NO. 2 - MILK
 
This Sideshow is a dialogue. The background is a Dali-esque, Chirico-like landscape in forced, receding perspective. Cartons of various Borden's milk products (larger cartons in foreground, diminishing in size as the recede in perspective and climb the backdrop) are the only three dimensional objects to be seen as the sequence opens. The curtain rises to disclose specific sections of our Strong Man on cue and a beat before he finally speaks, the curtain has reached its maximum open height. The background music and lighting are somewhat portentous. We hear a rather Alexander Scourbyish voice, it may be our Announcer from "All About Elsie".

VOICE: (Off-stage)

 
SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL, MAN HAS SOUGHT THE FOUNTAIN OF ETERNAL YOUTH AND HEALTH. GAIL BORDEN CAME MUCH CLOSER THAN PONCE DE LEON AND TODAY MILK IS THE VITAL KEYSTONE IN THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF NUTRITION . . .
Throughout the next lines of the Voice as elements contained in milk are proclaimed, our Strong Man begins to appear, as the curtain rises. When completed, our Strong Man is a satirical Steve Reeves muscle-builder type, proud of his Apollo-Hercules-type attributes.

VOICE: (Continued)

 
MILK, THE AMBROSIA OF ENERGY, CONTAINS CALCIUM AND PHOSPHORUS !
And on the words "Calcium and Phosphorus" the curtain rises to disclose the Strong Man's feet and legs.

VOICE: (Continued)

 
MILK, THE BEVERAGE OF BORDEN'S PLENTY, CONTAINS IRON !
And on the word "Iron" the curtain rises to disclose the Strong Man's torso with emblazoned, glowing, illuminated heart which pulses with light (red).

VOICE: (Continued)

 
MILK, THE CHAMPAIGN OF RADIANT HEALTH, CONTAINS THIAMINE !
And on the word "Thiamine" the curtain rises to disclose the Strong Man's wide dumb-bell shoulders.

VOICE: (Continued)

 
MILK, THE VIAND OF VIGOR, CONTAINS PROTEIN !
And on the word "Protein" the Strong Man's bulging arms and muscular hands appear (these members were pivoted behind his back until the cue word).

VOICE: (Continued)

 
MILK, THE NECTAR OF NUTRITION, CONTAINS VITAMINS A AND D !
 
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And on the words "Vitamins A and D" the curtain rises to its full opening height, disclosing the Strong Man's head complete with bright, flashing, illuminated eyes and toothy grin. His eyes are blue, his grin, pearly white. He is now complete and speaks in a musclebound Lionel Stander Brooklyn accent.

STRONG MAN:

 
ME MUDDER ALWAYS TOL' ME DAT YOUSE NEVER OUTGROW YA NEED FA MILK - DA PURFECT FOOD - AN' BESIDES, YA FORGOT TO REMEMBER - LACTOFLAVIN - DA RIBOFLAVIN IN MILK - WHICH KEEPS ME EYES BRIGHT AN' SPARKLING AN' ME SKIN SOFT AN' TENDER !
Fast blackout, only the illuminated eyes, grin and heart remain as the curtain falls rapidly.
Note: There is pompous music under the Voice, shmaltzy music under the Strong Man and an appropriate musical accent or fanfare when ever a new section of the Strong Man appears.
 
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Borden's Cheese Rings the Bell
 
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Swiss Bell Ringer

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SIDESHOW NO. 3 - BORDEN'S CHEESE RINGS THE BELL
 
This Sideshow is a song with a carillon bell accompaniment. The singer is a Swiss Bell-Ringer. The buttons on his jacket and flowers on his hat are Borden's daisies instead of the traditional Edelweiss. His Swiss folk costume is also festooned with patriotic red, white and blue to suggest he's American-Swiss rather than Swiss-Swiss. His bells of various size ranging from large to small are actually glass cloche bell jars with Borden's cheese products visible inside each bell. The largest contains American Cheese, the second, Swiss, the third, Liederkranz, and so on down the line in descending scale, including Cream Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Neufchatel, etc., perhaps a dozen in all. All of these transparent bells are on an ornate, draped and fringed apparatus of the type used by vaudeville bell ringers. Our Bell Ringer has the two largest bells in his hands, the products under these bells (American and Swiss Cheese) remain on his stand. The background includes a large golden liberty bell (American Cheese, the No. 1 Cheese product) which swings and tolls throughout the last three lines of the lyric. It is suspended from a red, white and blue trophy bow and ribbon.

SWISS BELL-RINGER:

WATCH THE BELL-RINGER HOIST THE BELL,
WHAT'S BENEATH ?
WHO CAN TELL ?
BUT ME, I'M HOPING FOR BORDEN'S CHEESE,
AMERICAN, SWISS,
OR ANY FLAVOR YOU PLEASE !
AH -
AFTER SWISS, GIVE ME LIEDERKRANZ,
SO WATCH THE BELL IN THE BELL-RINGER'S HANDS.
HE'S UP, HE'S DOWN, AND ONE, TWO, THREE;
AMERICAN, SWISS,
AND LIEDERKRANZ, FOR ME !
TO RING THE BELLS CAN BE BLISS,
PROVIDED YOU DO IT LIKE THIS,
AND YOU'RE SWISS !
And the final coda includes the chimes of our liberty bell as well as a final flourish by our Bell-Ringer.
 
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Convenience
 
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Convenience

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SIDESHOW NO. 4 - CONVENIENCE
 
This Sideshow is a dialogue between two weird Martians who we see, assisted by two off-stage voices, our pompous Announcer from "All About Elsie" and a brisk rocket control center countdown operator. The set suggests the interior of a fantastic space ship, complete with science fiction technical gadgets and gizmos, flashing panel & control board lights, a contour couch for the male Martian and perhaps some souvenir World's Fair pennants our Martians are taking home to prove they indeed visited The Better Living Center and Borden's exhibit.

ANNOUNCER: (Off-stage)

 
OF ALL THE VISITORS TO THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR, NONE HAVE ATTRACTED MORE ATTENTION THAN THIS TYPICAL MARTIAN COUPLE, ABOUT TO RETURN TO THEIR DISTANT PLANET WITH A FEW SOUVENIRS. MEET MR. AND MRS. GLURK.
Mrs. G. is working feverishly, checking dials, gauges, etc. Mr. G. is reclining, relaxed on his contour couch.

MRS. GLURK:

 
MARVIN, YOU HAVEN'T CHECKED OUT THE FOOD SUPPLY, MARVIN !

MR. GLURK:

 
SYLVIA, STOP NOODGING ME ! IF THERE'S ONE THING WE LEARNED ON EARTH, IT'S THAT BORDEN'S PRODUCTS PERMIT YOU TO SERVE AN OUT-OF-THIS WORLD MEAL IN COUNTDOWN TIME ! SO RELAX !

MRS. GLURK:

 
IT'S ONLY A FEW SECONDS 'TILL BLAST-OFF AND HE TELLS ME RELAX!

CONTROL CENTER: (off-stage)

 
COMMENCE COUNTDOWN !
Mr. G. languidly checks off 11 items concurrently with the off-stage countdown, backwards from 10 to 0. The weightless packages, containers & jars orbit around him as he checks them off.

CONTROL CENTER:

 
TEN !

MR. GLURK:

 
WYLER'S INSTANT BEEF BOUILLON !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
NINE !
 
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MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S INSTANT STARLAC !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
EIGHT !

MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S INSTANT WHIPPED POTATOES !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
SEVEN !

MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S INSTANT OMELET !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
SIX !

MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S READY-TO-SERVE GELATIN SALAD !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
FIVE !

MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S INSTANT DUTCH CHOCOLATE DRINK !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
FOUR !

MR. GLURK:

 
BRANDYWINE'S CHEF-CUT MUSHROOMS - IN BUTTER SAUCE !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
THREE !

MR. GLURK:

 
LADY BORDEN FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
TWO !

MR. GLURK:

 
DRAKE'S CAKES . . . AND COOKIES !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
ONE !

MR. GLURK:

 
OLD LONDON CHEESE WAFFIES !

CONTROL CENTER:

 
ZERO !
 
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We hear the roar of the rocket blast-off, more lights flash and the rocket interior resembles an elaborate pinball machine as Mr. G. instantly replies -

MR. GLURK:

 
BORDEN'S INSTANT COFFEE ! OK PRECIOUS, TAKE ME TO YOUR LIEDERKRANZ !
Fast blackout. Note: This sketch must be played rapidly throughout the countdown sequence. The musical background is appropriately eerie, full of strange sound effects and beeps, one of which accents each product named by Mr. G.
 
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Borden's Holiday Jamboree
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Holiday Jamboree

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SIDESHOW NO. 5 - BORDEN'S HOLIDAY JAMBOREE
 
This Sideshow is a song, a duet with two kids. Throughout the song the kids change party hats and various products and packages appear in a viterine on a small, ornate table, on cue as appropriate to the lyric. Lyrically it is rather like "On The First Day Of Christmas", musically the accompaniment is dominated by two guitars.
 

LITTLE GIRL:

ON NEW YEAR'S WHAT WILL YOU GIVE TO ME ?

LITTLE BOY:

BORDEN'S EGG NOG, ALCOHOL FREE !

LITTLE GIRL:

ON WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY WHAT'LL IT BE ?

LITTLE BOY:

CHERRY VANILLA,

BOTH KIDS:

EGG NOG,
AND A HI DOO, SKY DOO, DIDDLE OM DEE !

LITTLE GIRL:

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ON EASTER DAY ?

LITTLE BOY:

WELSH RABBIT IS A-OK !

LITTLE GIRL:

GUESS WHAT I WANT FOR THE FOURTH-O-JULY ?

LITTLE BOY:

YANKEE DOODLES,

BOTH KIDS:

WELSH RABBIT, CHERRY VANILLA,
EGG NOG,
AND A HI DOO, SKY DOO, DIDDLE OM DEE !

LITTLE GIRL:

ON HALLOWE'EN, WHAT SHALL I SEE ?

LITTLE BOY:

DEVIL DOGS, YODELS, RING DINGS ,

LITTLE GIRL:

GEE !
 
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LITTLE BOY:

ON THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS, WE
WILL GIVE EACH OTHER NONE-SUCH MINCEMEAT, ALSO PRETZ-L'S,

BOTH KIDS:

DEVIL DOGS, YODELS, RING DINGS, YANKEE DOODLES,
WELSH RABBIT,
CHERRY VANILLA,
EGG NOG,
AND A HI DOO, SKY DOO, DIDDLE OM DEE !
FROM BORDEN'S HOLIDAY JAMBOREE!
Fast fade and the curtain falls.
 
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Elmer's Marvelous Ark
 
SOURCE: Photo presented courtesy Chris Kellberg collection © 2010 Chris Kellberg, All Rights Reserved.
Elmer's Marvelous Ark

-29-

ELMER'S MARVELOUS ARK
 
A separate continuous show, approximately two and a half minutes in length. It plays on a continuous tape loop. Following the musical introduction of three blasts of a deep throated ship whistle we hear what is presumably Elmer's voice, bull-like, yet gentle and mellow. The singer's voice is a rich baritone of comparable quality. Visually the ark is toy-like and consistent with the design treatment of "All About Elsie" and the 5 Sideshows. A procession of toy-like animals (continuous belt) continuously enter the Ark. Their hides, fur, feathers or what-have-you are in a variety of Borden's coated fabrics, the zebras and tigers are striped in Mistik Tape. Each pair of creatures carry their own provision aboard and these supplies cover the full line of Borden's Animal Feed Supplements for calves, piglets, puppies, chicks, etc. (these creatures must be included). The hull of the Ark has daisy framed portholes at varying height (rather like sidewalk superintendent windows) so children may see the interior through lower portholes and adults may inspect the inside through the higher line of portholes. This interior consists of the ship's larder with neat shelves stocked with Borden's Animal Feed Supplements with a Secretary Bird taking inventory and Captain Elmer's cabin, tastefully furnished in Wall-Tex, Satinesque and other Borden's coated fabrics. These interior displays are the same on each side of the Ark's interior though an owl or beaver might be taking inventory in the larder on the opposite side. The Ark's mast (with daisy finial) flys both the U.S. and Canadian flags. (Borden's is both a U.S. & Canadian corporation). The background music and song are in toy-like march tempo. Following three blasts of the Ark's whistle . . .

ELMER'S VOICE: (off-stage)

 
NOW HEAR THIS - THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN, ELMER, SPEAKING - JUST A FINAL CHECK - IF THE ZEBRAS LOOSE THEIR STRIPES - THERE'S PLENTY OF MISTIK TAPE. RELAX AND ENJOY THE TRIP - OUR ARK IS WELL STOCKED WITH BORDEN'S PROVISIONS - HEALTHFUL HELPINGS FOR ALL HANDS - FROM PEOPLE TO POULTRY - FROM PIGLETS TO PUPPIES. IN CASE OF FIRE WE'LL MAN THE PUMPS WITH BORDEN'S GARDEN HOSES AND SPRINKLERS - AND DON'T WORRY 'BOUT LEAKS 'CAUSE OUR VESSEL IS SNUGLY SEALED WITH ELMER'S WATERPROOF GLUE ! THIS IS STRICTLY A FIRST CLASS CRUISE - OUR CABIN'S WALLS ARE COATED WITH SATINESQUE AND WALL-TEX - THE DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE WITH EASE, THEY'RE TREATED WITH ELMER'S SLIDE-ALL. ALL A'BORDEN'S - STEP TO THE REAR OF THE ARK !
And now the lyrics of the song, "Elmer's Marvelous Ark," begin.
 
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ELMER'S MARVELOUS ARK

ELMER-LIKE BARITONE: (off-stage)

ELMER'S MARVELOUS ARK =
ALL THE ANIMALS, TWO BY TWO,
ENTER THE ARK PRECISELY.
AND IT'S HOLDING TOGETHER NICELY, DUE
TO ELMER'S GLUE.
THERE'LL BE A DAILY FEAST,
MAN AND BEAST,
BOTH OF 'EM FED TOGETHER -
THEY'LL BE FED UP AS HECK,
FED TO THE NECK.,
UP TO HERE WITH THE WEATHER !
LOVELY DOORS,
WALLS AND FLOORS,
BORDEN'S TAKEN SUCH PAINS -
JUST A WORD TO THE WISE -
YOU GUYS,
STAY INSIDE WHEN IT RAINS !
And we hear the three blasts of the whistle once again and the complete cycle repeats itself.
 
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