An Infamous Blurb For The Wizard Of Oz, And More Words From The Man Who Wrote It

Apparently “going sufficiently viral”* that it made it all the way into the mind of Jay Leno this week, here’s a properly amusing blurb for The Wizard of Oz.

That was apparently printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer in June of 1998. As the above image is cropped, the accurate credit isn’t obvious, but blogger Jim Romenesko not only tracked down the missing info, he spoke to the man who actually wrote the blurb in the first place.

Sometime TV columnist Rick Polito was the guilty party, and it seems he considers it something of an albatross:

That line is going to follow me to the grave. It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their email sigs… Someday I’m going to walk down the street and see it on a T-shirt and punch the person who’s wearing it.

And that’s pretty much my mind up for me. Expect to see me wearing this T-shirt next time I’m in Boulderm Colorado. Then I too can get on Leno, right?

I recall first hearing this description of The Wizard of Oz much closer to 1998, and it’s cropped up again and again since, even in pub chatter, but this week is the first time I can remember seeing a scan. Now, I can stop just quietly assuming it was some sort of urban myth and believe it was actually printed once.

Polito continues to write for The Pacific Sun. This week’s best entry:

Saw IIA thoughtful sequel attempts to answer some of the existential questions left hanging at the end of the first film.

You see, I find that funnier than the Oz line. Of course, I can also see why it’s not about to “go viral”** in the same way.

You can pay Polito back by looking into his iPhone app, designed to help parents tell better bedtime stories by feeding them crib notes.

*That sounds like a thing.

**And therefore this must absolutely be a thing.