Monday, June 20, 2005

Jake & Elwood Do a Quarter

This week, the Chicago Sun-Times is running a special report on the 25th anniversary of the release of The Blues Brothers. Click the title of this post to go there now!
Read it now? Okay. In 1980 I was DJ'ing a novelty record show at Iowa State University called "The Mutant Patrol." John Candy got scheduled to do a comedy performance, "An Evening With Johnny LaRue." As the guy playing the comedy records, I got to interview him on the air. It appears that by that time, the full impact of "The Blues Brothers" was not yet felt; about the only comment I could get out on it was his famous line "Orange whip? Orange whip?"

Oh, and "Johnny LaRue" was, of course, his most famous and slimiest character from SCTV. He was leaving that show to star in a forgotten sketch show called "Big City Comedy," and had to leave the characters he had created for SCTV behind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I've ironed your cape, Master Bruce

Wait a minute! Michael Caine is playing Alfred the Butler in "Batman Begins." And nowhere in the movie does anyone ask him "What's it all about?" Or whether it's "just for the moments we li-i-i-i-ve?" Where's Dionne Warwick when you need her?

Friday, June 10, 2005

And here's your epitaph, Mrs. Robinson

On the occasion of Anne Bancroft's death this week, every radio station that reported on the news, even the all-news stations, felt the need to illuminate the story with a drop-in of dialogue from "The Graduate," or a snippet of the Simon & Garfunkel song, "Mrs. Robinson." And then, in the obit story itself, they tell how Ms. Bancroft wished not to be remembered only for her role in than movie. She seemed to think that, I dunno, originating the role of Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker" on Broadway, and winning both a Tony and an Oscar for that, might be a bit more important.

But rather, when you're in a medium like radio or TV, you go with the most instantly recognized clip. So cue up a sound bite from "The Graduate," or the famous shot of Dustin Hoffman framed by her legs. Too bad the studio that brought "The Miracle Worker" to Hollywood didn't think to get a catchy theme song for it.

So the lesson for actors is: look over your resume. The most popular theme song from your movies is going to be playing from your tombstone. Even if you didn't sing it.