The answer to the latest Big Mouth question: did Teddy Roosevelt really watch Duke Ellington play baseball?
The third season of Big Mouth has been well received aside from it accidentally “misrepresenting bisexuality and pansexuality“. Some of the more favoured episodes have been Florida and My Furry Valentine, as well as the Duke Elington focused episode which has caused everyone to wonder whether US President Teddy Roosevelt really did watch the former jazz musician play baseball.
Big Mouth‘s Jason Mantzoukas has already teased what’s next for the series in its inevitable fourth season; something which has just happened following the announcement of an Office-esque spin-off in the world of its monsters named Human Resources.
However, while all of that is exciting for the future, in this article we’re taking a time machine to the past to explore whether Teddy Roosevelt really did watch Duke Ellington play baseball (spoiler: the answer is yes).
Who is Duke Ellington?
Duke Ellington is a recurring ghost in Big Mouth during series one through three. However, in what’ll come as a surprise to only a few minority, the character isn’t fictional. Well, the ghost is, but the history and man behind the spectre isn’t.
For those who don’t know, Duke Ellington was a major figure in the history of jazz; a genre of music which continues to be some of the most pleasant but underappreciated when compared to the xxx nonsense and noise of modern pop and rap.
His rise to fame came predominantly during the 1940s, and some of his most famous and popular compositions include Sophisticated Lady, Prelude to a Kiss and It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing. They say he continued to play his “American Music” until his final breath in 1974.
And yes, he did play baseball, too.
Did Teddy Roosevelt watch Duke Ellington play baseball?
During the Duke Ellington focused episode of Big Mouth in season three, the recurring ghost mentions how one of his earliest passions in life was baseball. Not only that, but he also mentions that former US President Teddy Roosevelt used to watch him play.
Fans would be forgiven for taking this a joke without a punch line, but Duke himself breaks the fourth wall by telling viewers that the story is legitimate and that they should Google it.
As reported by Sporting News, it turns out that Teddy Roosevelt really did watch Duke Ellington play baseball according to the former jazz musician’s own words:
“There were many open lots around Washington then, and we used to play baseball at an old tennis court on Sixteenth Street,” said Duke Ellington in his memoir via The Duke Ellington Reader. “President Roosevelt would come by on his horse sometimes, and stop and watch us play. When he got ready to go, he would wave and we would wave at him. That was Teddy Roosevelt – just him and his horse, nobody guarding him.”
So it appears that the unbelievable is still hard to believe but legitimate. What an interesting piece of trivia.
You can watch Big Mouth on Netflix.