A note for Terry Kiser

A prospective comment for posting on my blog, following up on my 6/12/15 posting “Morning: Vic Hitler (and Terry Kiser)” (the narcoleptic comic Vic Hitler is one of Kiser’s most famous roles):

Please give Terry a message from his past. “After about seventy years, I am still following your career. On the island of Tobago, you were “getting away” after your show in NY. I just celebrated my 92nd b.day and still have happy memories of my time spent with you and your friend wandering the island. You are a credit to your profession. Thanks for sharing your talent.”

A fan letter from an old friend (of Kiser’s), whose identity I will steadfastly conceal here (actually, his name is sufficiently common that I’m not sure who he is). A fan who assumes that since I wrote about Kiser and his career in some detail and with appreciation, I know the man myself, or at least know how to get in touch with him. Alas no, though what I’ve found out about him suggests that he’s someone I’d like to get to know.

(He’s living in Austin TX, still acting — see below — and teaching. He’s a year old than I am, and he still has that great actor’s face, which in repose tends to convey subtle warmth together with sharp intelligence.)

The young Terry Kiser, from my 2015 posting:

(#1)

And now in 2016, a still from Johnny Dynamo (an original web tv series, 2013-, that stars Rick Wells, Sarah Shoemaker, Jonathan Everett, and Daniel Mark Collins):


(#2) TK playing Mickey Petrucelli

I’ve been thinking about what leads people to suppose I’d be a good intermediary for them to get in touch with someone. Writing about someone on-line might suggest a bond that writing about them in print would not; on-line communication is more intimate.

And then I fairly often write about people who are in fact friends or acquaintances: a very large number of academic linguists; a lesser number of academic philosophers, literature scholars, psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists; a fair number of Sacred Harp singers; a modest number of lgbtq academics and activists; a surprising number of computer and tech types; some cartoonists; and a few public intellectuals. (My adolescent dream of a life in the midst of creative ferment — artists, musicians, writers, critics, actors, dancers — has largely gone unrealized.)

Finally, just as some people suppose that any random gay person is likely to know any other (and random San Franciscans to know each other, and random Princeton graduates to know each other, etc.), they tend to suppose that notable people — for some generous definition of notable — are likely to be acquainted with each other. Presumably we cluster together in our enclaves of celebrity.

The idea that I’m a famous person makes me inclined to giggle nervously or shrink back in the dread of undeserved fame. But there it is. Even writing a blog with only a modest number of readers counts as celebrity in some circles.

Oh yes, I pointed Terry Kiser’s old friend to TK’s Facebook page — which is a real person’s FB page, not just a place to park things for fans to read — where he can post his fan letter himself.

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