01 February 2007

Chats Nod Nod

da boys

(Go ahead, carbon-date that pun, if you dare.)

     Yes, another picture of the boys.  Seems the only shots of them that ever turn out are the ones taken immediately after they've been dozing.  As Mr Smart has put it, "For there is nothing sweeter than [their] peace at rest."

     A few scraps:

  • As You Hawk It:  Some neat stuff here for you few, you precious few, Bardolators reading this.  Link courtesy RK.

  • Burnt Sienna:  I remember when they tried telling this story about Sean Penn's State of Grace so many years ago; it didn't work then and I doubt it'll work now.

  • Biden Time:  Never before have I seen a presidential candidate shoot himself in the face fresh out of the gate, but Joe Biden has done it.  His appearance tonight on The Daily Show, I think, did him ever further harm; his qualifications were staggeringly disingenuous, and Stewart (forgive the cliche) nailed him with them like so many German theses.  Biden in one day has managed to make Pat Paulsen look like FDR.  Fat lady has sung, fork's ready, nothin' left but the cryin'.  Sorry, Joe.  For what it's worth, PoliSci students will study your model for decades, in the same way they study McGovern's.

  • A Cup O' Kindness Yet:  Delightedly received a ring from a friend and former-student tonight, one of a few such blasts from the past in the last while.  Reminds me, though, how much times have changed.  Selah.

  • His Courage To The Sticking Place:  With everyone fussing about Daniel Radcliffe's pending nude scenes in the London revival of Equus, you'll forgive me for noticing the delicious irony that he's doing so at the Gielgud Theatre.  Somehow, I suspect Sir John would have appreciated the lad's, er, Courage.  (Yeah, his courage, that's the ticket.)     Seriously, though, you have the give the guy credit: Equus is a dark, demanding play, and certainly not an easy one to essay at his age.  He might be able to pull it off, no pun (shockingly) intended.  His co-star is the wonderful Richard Griffiths, which augurs well for the production as a whole.  The parents, though, that have got their knickers knotted up would do well to read the play before they prattle endlessly and ignorantly on about protests and boycotts.  Until they do, they'll continue to demonstrate much less maturity than a seventeen year-old. 

  • Madeline KahnThe Art of the Kahn:   I was recently discussing the issue of women in comedy with someone, and (as you can imagine) the typical litany of names came up: Lucille Ball, Kate Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Roseanne, and so forth, and none of whom I've ever found especially funny.  My movie selections of late, though, reminded me of one of the funniest women ever to grace the screen, and a woman too often forgotten when this subject comes up:  Madeline Kahn.  A marvel of comic timing, a tiny dynamo of pure presence, she could sing, dance, mimic and act, and she always made her work seem graceful.  More importantly, she was funny.  Genuinely and reliably funny.  Lucy often mugged to the point of humiliation; Kate often mugged to the point of haughtiness; Madeline mugged with dignity and panache (not an easy thing to do in a Mel Brooks movie), and as much as I rack my brain to think of another comedienne quite like her, I can come up with no true peer for her.  She was sui generis, a magnificently arch woman in what still largely remains a man's business.  Check out (again, if necessary) her brilliant parodies of Marlene Dietrich and Elsa Lanchester in Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, respectively, and you'll see exactly what I mean.  If she has a peer in the making, ironically enough, it's Meryl Streep, whose recent forays into comedy suggest a deliberate, and largely successful, honing of what used to be the one weakness in her game.  Cancer, cruelly, took Madeline too young, as it too often does.  But she'd have my vote for the best overall comedienne.  If anyone has any other nominees, I'd be glad to hear them, but I think the words sui generis would still hold true.

And once again, what seemed at the outset to be a short post has turned into a sprawl.  Oy vey.  Consider, digest, comment (or not).  Stuff looms, and I'm going to have practice my own art of the con.


nic said...

After Madeline my nominees would be Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner –their SNL sketches were usually a kick. Oh, and probably Carol Burnette –I used to watch her show all the time when I was a kid although I may be alone in my appreciation of her, the rest of my family liked to turn off the tv when she came on.

Dr J said...

nic, you ignorant slut....

(Sorry, the Jane Curtin reference was beyond resisting.)

I like all the women you mention, including Carol, whose vivacity was always refreshing. Early 70s were really a breakthrough period, I think, for genuine Women In Comedy, by which I mean women going toe-to-toe with their male counterparts and really, really, really proving themselves. Less-so since then, despite some pleasant anomalies. What do you think?

Dr J said...

P.S., nic: If you don't mind, would you drop me an email (vantheman AT g-KILLSPAMBOTS-mail)? Something I'd like to ask you. Don't worry, it's nothing bad, invidious or prying. :-)

el dorko J

nic said...

if i had a nickle for every time someone called me that ;)

Dr J said...

You'd have a di---


Good answer, nic, good answer. Henny Youngman would be proud.

sylvia said...

I adore Madeline Kahn.

But I also have to put in a good word for Carol Kane.

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