The other day I was having breakfast watching a fun movie with Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith called Second Chorus from 1940. The pair play perennial flunkers at an unnamed East Coast Ivy establishment, who run the college big band and make so much money from it they never want to graduate. Until, that is, Artie Shaw comes to town (cue some cod-classical jazz features) and Fred and Burgess try to outdo each other to get the first trumpet chair job in Shaw’s band.
Imagine my surprise when Meredith (who wears a number of college style duds in the film) props a foot onto a coffee table to kick a metronome and there, large as life is a pair of white buck playboy chukkas!
I’ve seen ads for Hutton’s Original Playboys from 1936 but twenty five years before Steve McQueen, Burgess Meredith, the coolest Penguin ever, was already cool.