I think a return trip to Paradise Alley is in order. We could catch up with the Carboni brothers, Frankie the Thumper, Big Glory, Stitch, Mumbles and all the other mugs there. Maybe we could swing over to the dance hall and see Annie and Bunchie and hear that smug dance hall crooner. We could end the night with a rooftop race.
1. AN ERRANT PAIR OF FORCEPS GAVE SYLVESTER STALLONE HIS DISTINCTIVE LOOK.
Many comedians have paid their bills over the decades by adopting Sylvester Stallone’s distinctive lip droop and guttural baritone voice. The facial feature was the result of some slight mishandling at birth. When Stallone was born on July 6, 1946 in Manhattan, the physician used a pair of forceps to deliver him. The malpractice left his lip, chin, and part of his tongue partially paralyzed due to a severed nerve. Stallone later said his face and awkward demeanor earned him the nickname “Sylvia” and authority figures telling him his brain was “dormant.” Burdened with low self-esteem, Stallone turned to bodybuilding and later performing as a way of breaking through what seemed to be a consensus of low expectations.
5. SYLVESTER STALLONE WROTE A NOVEL.
In addition to his acting ambitions, Stallone decided to pursue a career in writing. After numerous screenplays, he wrote Paradise Alley, a novel about siblings who get caught up in the circus world of professional wrestling in Hell’s Kitchen. Stallone finished the novel before deciding to turn it into a screenplay. Paradise Alley was eventually produced in 1978. The book, which was perceived as a novelization, was published that same year. (It appeared in hard cover and mass market paperback. – Craig)
10. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER ONCE TRICKED SYLVESTER STALLONE INTO STARRING IN A BOX OFFICE BOMB.
Stallone has often discussed his rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the two action stars were believed to be the two biggest marquee attractions in the 1980s. Recalling his 1992 bomb Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Stallone told a journalist in 2014 that he believed Schwarzenegger was to blame. “I heard Arnold wanted to do that movie and after hearing that, I said I wanted to do it,” he said. “He tricked me. He’s always been clever.”
Thomas Boatwright created the piece above when I requested Sly from Paradise Alley. Boatwright is such a Tom Waits fan that he felt compelled to add him since Waits played Mumbles in the movie. How cool is that?
If you’d like to see more of Thomas Boatwright’s art check out his blog and his instagram. Send him some love.
If you get commissions, you should consider a piece from Thomas. He keeps you totally in the loop on his progress, finishes his commissions on or ahead of schedule, has very reasonable prices, is a fantastic artist and always gives you more than you’re expecting! – Craig
The drawings above are of Sly from Paradise Alleyand were created by the legendary Bob Peak. The sketches appear in The Drawings of Bob Peak. The book was offered through a successful Kickstarter campaign and I can’t wait to get mine.