At one time in the 1960s the editors of Mad gave their readers a bonus by including word games that ran (and sometimes limped) in the margins of those inky pages. The most delightful of those diversions were Namelies in which the active names of notable people were used in sentences like “We saw Sid Caesar, but who was William Holden?” and “We wanted to Spring Byington, but would Jim Backus?”
From time to time I will revive this entertainment by inserting the names of living and deceased personalities from the fields of show business, sports, and literature into questions or statements. Will Markie Post before I do?
Why did Diana Rigg the trap that gave Stevie Nicks?
Cutting wood made Alan Hale and Ferlin Husky.
Would Rex Reason with the devil or would Tom Skerrit?
I know where George Wendt to school, but when was Franklin Pangborn?
To keep Shirley Eaton we gave Senta Berger.
Would Saul Bellow if he found out he could not get his Cher?
The crooks wanted to Ty Hardin and ask him, “How much is Robert Foxworth?”
No matter how much Ernest Gaines, Immanuel Kant.
If we Count Basie among the famous guests, would Bonnie Raitt?
Would Lionel Barrymore if it would keep Alonzo Mourning?
Was George Shearing the goat or did Cornelia Otis Skinner?
We saw Gordon Lightfoot it out of town just to make Stevie Wonder.