Q: Shortly after the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, the "The Red Skelton Hour" started its weekly TV variety show with a short skit that took place on the lunar surface. During the skit, moon men appeared. They danced and pantomimed to background music in which the main instrument sounded like a kazoo. The only lyrics were made-up words. What was the name of the background music? Who composed it? B.D.N., Fort Smith, Ark.
A: I believe you are referring to "Mah Na Mah Na," written by Piero Umiliani. Part of the soundtrack for the 1968 Italian film "Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso" or, in English, "Sweden, Heaven and Hell" Umiliani's ditty found its way into the Red Skelton skit. Of course, the song would later achieve greater fame, thanks to the Muppets.
Q: Child star Macaulay Culkin married at a young age. Are he and his wife still together? H.W., Peoria, Ill.
A: Macaulay Culkin is no longer a child star; he turned 30 in August. In 1998, he married actress Rachel Miner (she was 17); they separated two years later and divorced in 2002. That same year, he began dating actress Mila Kunis ("That '70s Show"), and so far the relationship has endured. At the height of his fame, Culkin was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple.
Q: It's getting cold up here in Vermont, time to get out the jackets and sweatshirts. I saw someone wearing a sweatshirt that read "Reno Barons." What is/are the Reno Barons? D.L., Wilmington, Vt.
A: The Reno Barons are a new professional indoor football team in the American Indoor Football Association. Former West Virginia University quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Major Harris will coach the Barons. They will begin play in 2011.
Q: I was reading a London, England, newspaper that referred to freshers' flu. The article said a severe outbreak occurred this year. What type of flu is this? M.K., Danbury, Conn.
A: It's not the flu but an assortment of illnesses contracted by as many as 90 percent of freshmen students during the first weeks of college. Mostly a British term, it is rarely used outside the United Kingdom.
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Copyright 2010, Gary Clothier
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