The Big Kowalski

A Liam Francis Walsh cartoon in the latest (April 20th) New Yorker:


A mashup — a kind of portmanteau — of two movies: the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Wiliams’s dramatic play A Streetcar Named Desire, with Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski (and Kim Hunter as his wife Stella); and the 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski, with Jeff Bridges as The Dude. The scene setting (with Dude Stanley at the bottom of an ornate stairway, calling up to Stella) shows Stanley from Streetcar; but Dude Stanley looks, dresses, and talks like The Dude.

(Liam Walsh earlier on this blog: on 3/1/14 on “Constraining communication”.)

Kowalski. From Wikipedia:

Stanley Kowalski is a fictional character in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Stanley lives in the working-class Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans with his wife, Stella (née Dubois), and is employed as a factory parts salesman. He was an Army engineer in World War II, having served as a Master Sergeant. He has a vicious temper, and fights often with his wife, leading to instances of domestic violence.

Here’s Brando in the film, in the “Hey, Stella!” staircase scene:

Lebowski. Kowalski is not at all the man in #1. The appearance and attitude belong to The Dude:


A posting of mine on 12/21/12 characterizes the Dudeism in The Big Lebowski, with a quote from Wikipedia:

Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of “going with the flow”, “being cool headed”, and “taking it easy” in the face of life’s difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people.

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