Holy Huckleberry! There’s Video Footage of Mark Twain!
It makes sense that there’s video footage of Mark Twain (even though I didn’t know about it until a couple days ago). He was friends with Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla, and if you put those three together, anything is possible.
The video (found at the Internet Archive… I promise you won’t get Rick rolled!) is a little over a minute long, but I despise spoilers, so I won’t tell you what happens in it. However, I don’t mind telling you what doesn’t happen.
- Mark Twain doesn’t get whacked in the crotch.
- Mark Twain doesn’t play air guitar in his underwear.
- Mark Twain doesn’t go face to face with the camera and pucker his lips.
- There aren’t any cats jumping crazily out of nowhere to mess things up.
- There aren’t any creepy looking girls climbing out of wells and crawling toward the viewers.
By today’s standards, the video footage is kind of dull, but it’s Mark Twain!
The video reminds me that Mark Twain used to hang out with Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison (but not at the same time… I don’t think). Hanging out with Edison, Twain, and Tesla at the same time would have been cool (and impossible), but I would have been the odd man out. I probably would have needed Twain to explain everything that Edison and Tesla were saying, and I would have been the guinea pig (once Twain got tired of the gig) in Tesla’s experiments.
The only contribution I could have made to their conversations would have been something like:
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Don’t hit that switch yet. I said don’t hit that… AAAaaarrrrgh! I TOLD YOU NOT TO HIT THAT SWITCH YET!”
I don’t think the other three guys would have been interested in what I had to say.
My grandfather’s favorite author was Mark Twain, and one of the few books I kept when I got rid of most of my collection is a 1953 edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that used to belong to him. It’s kind of beat up, but I think it’s cool that my grandfather used to read that copy before I was born. At least I think it was his. If I’m wrong about that, I don’t want to know.
I’m pretty sure that my grandfather didn’t get to see this video, unless it could have been viewed at a Mark Twain museum decades ago. I live in a time when I can move my fingers on a screen and watch a video of Mark Twain. Twain, Tesla, and Edison probably would have thought that was impressive.
One thing (out of many) that I respect about Mark Twain was that he wrote two books about kids (Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn) without making me cringe. I’m not a fan of kids that are supposed to be (or think they’re) cool, but Tom Sawyer is probably the the coolest fictional kid ever, way cooler than Holden Caulfield. I respect O. Henry a lot too, but I despised that kid in “The Ransom of Red Chief,” and that was just a short story (yes, I know we’re supposed to despise the kid). In reality, no kid is cool (they just think they are), but Tom Sawyer is as close to cool as a kid can get.
It probably takes a cool guy to write about a cool kid, so I’m guessing that Mark Twain was a cool guy, and I’m glad there’s video footage of him.
Man, I hope this footage doesn’t turn out to be a hoax.
- Mark Twain Looking Pretty Cool in a Silent Film From 1909 (theatlantic.com)