As in horrendous crash. That was the only kind Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, the hapless sheriff of Hazzard County, ever had as he chased the lovable Duke Boys around the dirt roads of Hazzard during the Dukes of Hazzard’s four year television run. James Best was a veteran actor by this time, with stints on shows like The Andy Griffith Show. The addition of the floppy eared Bassett Hound Flash coupled with his repeated use of the description of his misfortunes elevated his worth to the comedic focus of the show.
“That was a horrendous crash that would have killed ten ordinary men!” Roscoe would declare when in actuality his squad car was hardly dented, just stuck in a ditch or covered in mud, manure or some other muck.
I will still quote this quite often even thought the Dukes have been off the dusty roads for a couple of decades. I hope I took you back to a fun part of your TV childhood.
Back to the grindstone with the A to Z choice for G. I chose the bit with Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in the comedy classic Blazing Saddles. You know most classics have multiple funny quotes or scenes. This movie is no slacker in that regard. With a cast including Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman and Madeline Khan how could you miss? Obviously they did not.
But the one that I find so funny is when Cleavon Little’s Bart is talking with Wilder’s Jim “The Waco Kid” in the sheriff’s office. Wilder’s character tells him he is known as “The Waco Kid”. Little comments about how steady his hand is. Then Wilder shows his left hand that he shakes violently.
Yes, I know there are so many clever and funny lines in this movie that I could have chosen so many others, but for me this one takes the prize. What about you, did you select another to be in your A to Z. If so I look forward to knowing what it is.
Does anyone remember the little show that could about a judge dealing with night court defendants that played on NBC in the late 1980s? This is where my choice for the letter F of this year’s A to Z challenge is found.
John Astin was best known, at least to me, as the father of the kooky, spooky Addams Family. As the patriarch of this very unusual family, Astin was certainly in his element as the comedic lead. His timing was impeccable and his eyes were full of mischief.
I found him equally entertaining in a movie from 1969 called Viva Max. In this he played Sergeant Valdez, a Mexican soldier who prompts his general, played by Peter Ustinov as the latter leads his small band into Texas to retake the Alamo. The Mexicans have no ammunition, but neither does the small National Guard contingent sent to extract them due to a State Department edict that there be no loss of life. With Jonathan Winters playing a hapless general for the National Guard hilarity ensues.
So to the point of this post: feelings. In the link below John Astin arrives in Harry’s chambers to explain how he met Harry’s mother. The payoff comes when he answers Harry’s question about his mental history with a cheeky “But I’m feeling much better now!” and nods reassuringly. I can still remember how funny I found that line and his delivery. I wanted to share it as my A to Z for the letter F.
Posted in comedy, NBC, television
Tagged comdey, comedy movie, john Astin, John Larroquete, Jonathan Winters, national guard, Night Court, Peter ustinov. Alamo, Viva Max
It may be clear by now that the majority of my 2015 A to Z posts come from the comedy arena. I love to laugh and it seems the comedic scenes and lines stick with me the best. Proabaly my most favorite comedy skit is from and old classic, the Carol Burnett Show. I think i watched live, but I am not entirely sure. I seem to remember it came on Sunday nights on CBS. Regardless, the comedy ensemble Ms. Burnett assembled was first class.
I remember seeing interviews over the years where the principals, Ms. Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Tim Conway talked about the fun they had on the show. At some time they had a running pool to see who could go the longest without losing their composure during a skit. I don’t know exactly how far into the process they were when this particular skit made the show, but everyone lost this time around.
In this particular skit we have Carol Burnett playing her character Eunice Higgins, daughter to Vicki Lawrence’s Thelma Harper. Dick Van Dyke was along for, this particular skit and the anchor was the precious Tim Conway one of the funniest ten minutes of his career. Tim is telling about a circus act with Siamese elephants joined at the trunk. There is no amount of words that can convey what you will enjoy by watching.
Try to take in the way all the cast tries to weather the giggle attack set off by Tim. Just when it seems they might finally make it through Conway sets off to tell what it sounds like when the Siamese elephants try to trumpet like a regular elephant might.
On may 25, 1977 the entertainment world was changed in ways even George Lucas could never fathom. That day was the first that those famous words scrolled up the screen and we were introduced to the cast of characters from the first Star Wars film. Little did anyone know that the words and scenes from this ground-breaking science fiction film would bring such films into a brand new era. After this the special effects capabilities of the major film studios would never be the same.
But it was many of the words and phrases from the film that quickly edged their way into conversations around the world. “Obi Wan, you’re my only hope!”, “Feel the force Luke!” and others were quickly learned and repeated as the fans loved the characters and story. I could easily choose any, but my quote for today involves Alec Guiness as Obi Wan Kenobi as he and Luke try to slip by the Stormtroopers trying to find C3PO and R2D2.
I always loved the way the Jedi could affect the thoughts of the weaker minds. Of course such would not work on just anyone, but the humorous moments it did was worth it.
I cannot remember how old I was when I first saw the Wizard of Oz, but I am not afraid to tell you Margaret Hamilton as the old school marm and the Wicked Witch of the West scared me plenty. I am not sure I can even attest to ever seeing her in another film. But I suppose iconic characters leave an impression. So you might think I was headed down the yellow brick road to one of her quotes for my C in this year’s A to Z Challenge, but I am not. The Wizard gets my vote.
Ah, the wizard. The great and might Oz! Like so many wonderful characters the build up, pomp and circumstance is so much grander than the real thing. Poor Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Toto and all the citizens of Oz as well as the Emerald City. The Wizard was just a man, deceiving them with smoke and mirrors.
I loved the scene where Frank Morgan is exposed by Toto of all our heroes. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” he says. From Hero to Zero in nothing flat and Dorothy with her band sees all hope gone. But in true movie form their is always one last plot twist to save the day. I hope you enjoy!
Posted in 2015 A to Z Challenge, movie, movies, Wizard of Oz
Tagged Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, Good Witch, Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Sacrecrow, Tin Man, Toto, Wicked Witch, Wizard of Oz
Sanford and Son was one of the first prime time television shows to feature mainly an African American cast. Led by Redd Foxx, a well known comedian the show held a prominent spot on the CBS Friday night schedule in the mid-1970s, just before a show about a old curmudgeon adjusting to life with a young, hip Mexican, called Chico and the Man.
Diversity was the word with these two shows and the humor was on a different plane since it was African Americans joking about their own. There is no doubt Mr. Foxx made no apologies with his humor in the clubs and theaters he played and some of that came through in the show.
In the clip I share he and his son are talking about the size of a step daughter to a cousin of Fred’s. She talks about how much weight she has lost and in true Fred Sanford form he makes all manner of fun about it.
Ultimately Fred and his son Lamont go into the kitchen where they talk about her losing 40 pounds and if she looks behind her she will find it. Not necessarily something that would fly in this day of political correctness, but back in the mid-1970s it probably garnered considerable laughs.
Disclaimer : I do not claim ownership of the Fred Sanford program, but only want to share a portion for the purpose of highlighting what I remember as a humorous scene.
Posted in CBS, comedy, prime time television, sitcom, situation comedy, television, Uncategorized
Tagged CBS, Fred Sanford, Lamont Sanford, prime time comedy, Sanford and Son