Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Man Who Did A Great William Powell Impression Has Passed Away
Of course I'm a little late with this, but I wanted to write a little about what this guy was to my upbringing. If it weren't for guys like Don Adams or Frank Gorshin or Rich Little (or my dad for that matter), I probably would never have been that interested in old movies. And by old I mean from the thirties through the fifties. And by movies, I mean... oh, never mind.
Don Adams created the voice for Maxwell Smart by taking a William Powell impression he had done in his nightclub act-
"There's your man, Inspector... He's a blackmailer, a libelous scandalmonger and a homicidal maniac... he's also my son and I'm very proud of him!"
- and raising the pitch to a grating nasal whine that would tell audiences who couldn't even speak English that Smart was annoying. The comedic deconstruction that Adams and other impressionists would do on classic movies of their youth would at first be great silliness for a-ahem-young Southern gentleman of 5 or 6. But after watching the bazillion "Get Smart" repeats that early seventies afternoon television provided for me (episodes that would often parody, not just spy movies, but also "The Prisoner of Zenda", "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre", "Casablanca" and other classic films), I realized that there was a whole bunch of cool old movies that these guys were making fun of that I had never seen.
And that's how I became a fan of The Thin Man at 12, The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca at 14, and so on and so on. It was the passion of Don Adams and guys like him who had grown up on these movies, that got me hooked. And for that I'm grateful.
My Mom In Gulfport...
... is okay-ish. She still has to pay for a) a house that no longer exists (mortgage) and b) a new mattress and boxspring set (installment payments) that was destroyed in the storm. Her insurance will only cover replacing a roof and two walls. She has been told that the FEMA trailers could take as long as 8 months to get after she signs up on the waiting list. The only place she can afford to stay at is a house on land owned by friends of her ex-husband's. And they are not fond of pets, of which she has a few.
I wish I were wealthy, just to get her out of this mess, but I'm not.
This has been one of the most frustrating things to happen to me in my adult life.
In other news...
1) "Serenity" rocks and you don't need to have watched any of the "Firefly" shows it is based on to get it. Please it soon, as possible sequels will live or die by how successful it is.
2) Also, the new "Wallace & Gromit" movie.
3) Ditto, George Clooney's "Goodnight and Good Luck"
4) "Extras", "Threshold", and the new season of "Lost". Also heavy with the rocking.
5) Add the new season of "Boston Legal", which could just have Shatner and Spade read the lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and still be great. Come to think of it...
6) The Herb Alpert and The Tijuanna Brass reissues, specifically "The Lonely Bull" and "Whipped Cream and other delights" (Second. Best. Cover. Ever.). Just get it.
Future Jones is twenty-one weeks! Soon, the sex of our future child will be known and then the fun decorating of baby's room begins!