Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paul Benedict- Character Actor, R.I.P.- The Jeffersons

Most remember him from his portrayal of the British neighbor on "The Jeffersons". This would pay the rent while also showing how Benedict's slightly eccentric acting style could be harnessed for mainstream showbiz.

What I like about him in this is that, for a show that seemed to be a showcase for Sherman Helmsley and Isabel Sanford screaming at each other for thirty minutes (with commercials), Benedict brought a much-needed quiet, Ealing Brothers-ish gentle, funny voice.

The show alsways seemed to have a couple of minutes for his character to distract everyone from the "plot" so he could tell some shaggy dog story. Then he would exit, George or Weezy would do a double take and go back to the "story".

Witness this excerpt of a rare episode that has him on for more than a couple of minutes...

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