James Thorne Smith, Jr. (March 27, 1892 – June 21, 1934) was an American writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction under the byline Thorne Smith. He is best known today for the two Topper novels, comic fantasy fiction involving sex, much drinking and ghosts. With racy illustrations, these sold millions of copies in the 1930s and were equally popular in paperbacks of the 1950s.
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.
Smith drank as steadily as his characters; his appearance in James Thurber's The Years with Ross involves an unexplained week-long disappearance. When asked why he hadn't called-in sick, he retorted, "The telephone was in the hall and there was a draft." .Smith was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a Navy commodore, and attended Dartmouth College. Following hungry years in Greenwich Village, working part-time as an advertising agent, Smith achieved meteoric success with the publication of Topper in 1926. He was an early resident of Free Acres, a social experimental community developed by Bolton Hall according to the economic principles of Henry George in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He died of a heart attack in 1934 while vacationing in Florida.
James Grover Thurber was an American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, children's book author, and celebrated wit. He was best known for his cartoons and short stories published mainly in The New Yorker magazine, such as "The Catbird Seat", and collected in his numerous books. He was one of the most popular humorists of his time, as he celebrated the comic frustrations and eccentricities of ordinary people. He wrote the Broadway comedy The Male Animal in collaboration with his college friend Elliott Nugent; it was later adapted into a film starring Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland. His short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" has been adapted for film twice, once in 1947 and again in 2013.
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.
Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. Established in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock, it is the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Although founded as a school to educate Native Americans in Christian theology and the English way of life, Dartmouth primarily trained Congregationalist ministers throughout its early history before it gradually secularized, emerging at the turn of the 20th century from relative obscurity into national prominence.
A cuckold is the husband of an adulterous wife. In evolutionary biology, the term is also applied to males who are unwittingly investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own.
Dipsomania is a historical term describing a medical condition involving an uncontrollable craving for alcohol. In the 19th century, the term dipsomania was used to refer to a variety of alcohol-related problems, most of which are known today as alcoholism. Dipsomania is occasionally still used to describe a particular condition of periodic, compulsive bouts of alcohol intake. The idea of dipsomania is important for its historical role in promoting a disease theory of chronic drunkenness. The word comes from Greek dipso and mania.
In mythology, folklore and speculative fiction, shapeshifting is the ability to physically transform through an inherently superhuman ability, divine intervention, demonic manipulation, or magic. The idea of shapeshifting is in the oldest forms of totemism and shamanism, as well as the oldest extant literature and epic poems such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad. The concept remains a common trope in conspiracy theories, modern fantasy, children's literature and popular culture.
Comic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. Usually set in imaginary worlds, comic fantasy often includes puns on and parodies of other works of fantasy.
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency is a humorous detective novel by English writer Douglas Adams, first published in 1987. It is described by the author on its cover as a "thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic".
Leo Gratten Carroll was an English actor. He was best known for his roles in six Hitchcock films including Spellbound, Strangers on a Train and North by Northwest, and in three television series, Topper, Going My Way, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
Sartoris is a novel, first published in 1929, by the American author William Faulkner. It portrays the decay of the Mississippi aristocracy following the social upheaval of the American Civil War. The 1929 edition is an abridged version of Faulkner's original work. The full text was published in 1973 as Flags in the Dust. Faulkner's great-grandfather William Clark Falkner, himself a colonel in the American Civil War, served as the model for Colonel John Sartoris. Faulkner also fashioned other characters in the book on local people from his hometown Oxford. His friend Ben Wasson was the model for Horace Benbow, while Faulkner's brother Murry served as the antetype for young Bayard Sartoris.
Kai Lung (開龍) is a fictional character in a series of books by Ernest Bramah, consisting of The Wallet of Kai Lung (1900), Kai Lung's Golden Hours (1922), Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat (1928), The Moon of Much Gladness, Kai Lung Beneath the Mulberry Tree (1940), Kai Lung: Six (1974) and Kai Lung Raises His Voice (2010).
Roland Young was an English-American actor. He began his acting career on the stage, but later found success and received an Academy Award nomination for his role in the film Topper (1937).
Topper is a 1937 American supernatural comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod, starring Constance Bennett and Cary Grant and featuring Roland Young. It tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple.
Cosmo Hamilton, born Charles Joseph Hamilton Gibbs, was an English playwright and novelist. He was the brother of writers Arthur Hamilton Gibbs, Francis William Hamilton Gibbs, Helen Katherine Hamilton Gibbs and Sir Philip Gibbs.
John Maddox Roberts is an American author of science fiction and fantasy novels, including historical fiction, such as the SPQR series and Hannibal's Children.
Topper is an American fantasy sitcom based on the 1937 film Topper, which was based on two novels Topper and Topper Takes a Trip by Thorne Smith. The series was broadcast on CBS from October 9, 1953 to July 15, 1955, and stars Leo G. Carroll in the title role. It finished at #24 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1954-1955 season. Topper also earned an Emmy nomination for Best Situation Comedy in 1954.
The Ghosts of N-Space is a radio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was recorded in 1994 and finally broadcast in six parts on BBC Radio 2 from January 20 to February 24, 1996. This was the second Third Doctor radio play, following The Paradise of Death in 1993. Plans for subsequent serials were abandoned after the death of Jon Pertwee in May of that year.
Turnabout may refer to:
Robert Sterling was an American film and television actor.
Topper Returns is a 1941 film directed by Roy Del Ruth. It is the third and final entry in the initial series of supernatural comedy films inspired by the novels of Thorne Smith. It followed Topper (1937) and Topper Takes a Trip (1938).
Turnabout is a 1940 comedy film directed by Hal Roach and starring Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis and John Hubbard. Based on the 1931 novel of the same name by Thorne Smith, the screenplay was written by Mickell Novack, Bernie Giler and John McClain with additional dialogue by Rian James. In 1979, the screenplay was adapted for the short-lived television series with the same name.
Cosmo is a British/Italian male surname and given name. It means order, decency, and beauty; this is the English form of Cosimo, introduced to Britain in the 18th century by the Scottish nobleman the second Duke of Gordon, who named his son and successor after his friend Cosimo III de' Medici. Notable people and fictional characters with the name include:
Turnabout is an American sitcom that first aired on NBC in 1979 and was based on a 1931 novel of the same title by Thorne Smith. The plot was about a husband and wife who found themselves inhabiting each other's bodies. The series lasted seven episodes.
The Adventures of Topper is a radio situation comedy in the United States. It was broadcast on NBC June 7, 1945 - September 13, 1945, as a summer replacement for Dinah Shore's program.
Find a Grave is an American website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com.
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.
The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress claims to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."