Different ways to celebrate Ian Fleming’s birthday

"Sounds like a jolly good time."

“Sounds like a jolly good time.”

Around the world, James Bond fans are noting the 108th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming. There are plenty of ways to celebrate from morning until evening.

Eat a James Bond breakfast: That’s what blogger Edward Biddulph of James Bond Memes did. He even sent a photo of his scrambled eggs on Twitter.

It’s past time for breakfast as we type this, but if you want scrambled eggs the way Bond had them, David Leigh of The James Bond Dossier supplied the recipe in a post some time back.

Warning: Your doctor may not approve of using as much butter as in the Bond scrambled recipe, which is from the short story 007 in New York.

Re-read a Fleming James Bond novel or short story: It’s never a waste of a Bond fan’s time to go back to where it all began. Even in the 1962 novel The Spy Who Loved Me, written from the perspective of a woman, you can see Fleming’s gift for detail.

Watch a James Bond movie: Admittedly, this falls under the “duh!” category and is a bit obvious. But for May 28, you may want to concentrate on 007 films with higher “Fleming content,” as detailed in our handy dandy guide.

Watch an episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. or the 2015 U.N.C.L.E. movie: Fleming’s involvement in the 1964-68 television series is widely known, but rarely discussed. Many Bond fans look down on the show, and many U.N.C.L.E. fans say he hardly contributed anything.

We take a middle ground. Fleming’s involvement helped attract NBC’s interest. By the time he bailed out in mid-1963, there was enough momentum to get to the pilot stage and indeed the pilot was made in late 1963. And, let’s face it, Napoleon Solo is a lot cooler name than Edgar Solo. So U.N.C.L.E. fans still owe Fleming thanks for that.

Also, in the 2015 film version, one of Fleming’s ideas for Napoleon Solo (that he’s a very good cook) finally saw the light of day.

Play some baccarat: You, too, can go banco. In this day and age, you don’t even have to go to a casino. You can play baccarat online. Just remember to gamble responsibly.


1967: Tom and Jerry exploit the spy craze

In the 1960s, it seemed like everybody wanted to exploit the spy craze — even Tom and Jerry.

The cartoon cat and mouse made their debut in a 1940 MGM theatrical cartoon, Puss Gets the Boot. The featurette marked the first collaboration of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and the duo would concentrate their efforts on Tom and Jerry for the next 15 years, until they took over control of MGM’s cartoon department at the end of 1955. They still directed Tom and Jerry shorts until MGM shut down the department in 1957. MGM later thought better of the move and hired contractors to do cartoons but Hanna and Babera moved on, starting their own company in 1957 to make cartoons for television.

MGM ended up hiring acclaimed cartoon director Chuck Jones to do a new series of Tom and Jerry shorts in the 1960s. By tht time, spies were a big deal in movies. So Jones & Co. in 1967 made The Mouse From H.U.N.G.E.R., a takeoff on MGM’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. television series in which agent Jerry-akin tries to steal a refrigerator full of cheese from villain Tom Thrush.

Here it is. For this cartoon, Jones was producer only, leaving the directing chores to Abe Levitow.