Archive for the ‘Actors’ Category

A note for Terry Kiser

July 23, 2019

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.)

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Film watch: men kissing men

February 18, 2019

As furors break out here and there over same-sex kisses in the media (especially in ads) and also in real life (in public places) — disgusting! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! get that out of my sight! — I move to celebrate them. Especially men kissing men, an act that enrages a fair number of people, apparently because they have been conditioned to view it as the functional equivalent of two sweaty naked men fucking. I view it as the functional equivalent of a man and woman kissing: an act of romantic connection with a spicy tang of sexual attraction (but no more)

And so I come to two recent British films viewed on Netflix: The Pass (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene as footballers) and God’s Own Country (Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu as Yorkshire sheep farmers). Both are fraught love stories set in intensely masculine working-class social worlds. With wonderful performances. And man-on-man kissing, both touching and moving.

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Age cannot wither them

February 11, 2019

Today’s Zippy has Griffy and Zippy marveling, once again, that almost all cartoon characters, themselves included, never seem to age. In particular, Nancy and Sluggo are always and forever 8 years old — in Cartoonland, where age cannot wither them (nor custom stale their infinite variety). But in Ivan Albright’s art world, even Nancy, sturdy Nancy, grows old:

(#1)

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Sexual faces

October 1, 2018

(Men’s bodies and mansex in plain talk, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

It began with a recent TitanMen (gay porn firm) sale, with this come-on photo (cropped here for modesty):

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Swine alive or dead

September 29, 2018

From the American tv show Gunsmoke, in the episode “Fandango” (S12 E21, first aired 2/11/67), Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) to a man he’s taken into his custody for trial:

Mister, you’re going back pig or pork, now make up your mind!

The colorful alliterative figure pig or pork, a version of the formula alive or dead (more often encountered in the version dead or alive, with the monosyllable before the disyllable). And an excellent version it is.

(It appears to have been a creation of the Gunsmoke writers: I can find no occurrences that aren’t quotations of, comments on, or allusions to the “Fandango” cite.)

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Goldenrods and Boston cops

September 3, 2018

… with a note on the pronunciation of botanical names.

The crucial moment came in a re-run showing of the Rizzoli & Isles episode “Love the Way You Lie” (S3 E12, first aired 12/4/12), when the Boston detective (Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon) and medical examiner (Isles, played by Sasha Alexander) pondered the significance of the fact that they had identified some pollen as coming from Solidago macrophylla, with the species name macrophylla pronounced /ˌmækroˈfɪlǝ/ (with primary accent on the third syllable). I was startled by the pronunciation: it’s Greek ‘big leaf’, so surely it should have the accent on the second syllable (as in thermometer, Hippocrates, etc.), something on the order of  /mǝˈkrafǝlǝ/, and the writers had just gotten it wrong.

But no. The writers did their homework, and I was the one who was wrong.

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A-lists and B-lists

May 27, 2018

Following up on yesterday’s posting “In the morning: the B list actor and the scholar”, Gadi Niram asked on Facebook:

Do you know where the term B list comes from? I tried searching, but I didn’t find anything. My assumption is that it comes from casting lists in the old studio system.

Well, the A list / B list usage started with lists of things ranked according to importance, but it really took off when it got a foothold in the entertainment business generally (the A sides and B sides of records might have played a role in this) — and then, via the expression A-list gay, we got the count noun A-gay to refer to a gay “type” and to members of a gay male subculture. (There’s almost always a gay angle to linguistic topics, just as there’s almost always a linguistic angle to gay topics.)

I know this thanks to entries in OED3 that have been added in this century (2002, 2009, 2011). All praise to lexicographers!

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Visit to a Small Planet

April 29, 2018

My morning name from a couple of days ago: the title of the Broadway play starring Cyril Ritchard, specifically (and not the movie starring Jerry Lewis):

(#1) Playbill for the show

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The Legend of Hercules

March 22, 2018

… and the stages of shirtless Kellan Lutz.

A little while back, I stumbled into watching the 2014 The Legend of Hercules for the, omigod, second time. Starring an immensely muscled Kellan Lutz as the great hero of myth, embedded in a famous stinker of a movie whose faults are at least in part linguistic. Though it does offer tons of glistening male flesh for aficionados.

(#1) Exhibit #1: Lutz as Hercules

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Nanette Fabray

February 28, 2018

From the NYT on the 23rd on-line, “Nanette Fabray, Star of TV and Stage Comedies, Dies at 97” by Anita Gates:

(#1) Fred Astaire and Nanette Fabray on the set of The Band Wagon

Nanette Fabray, whose enthusiastic charm, wide smile and diverse talents made her a Tony Award-winning performer in the 1940s and an Emmy Award-winning comic actress in the 1950s, died on Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes, Calif. She was 97.

Warm memories for me, since I came to know her first in the 1953 movie musical The Band Wagon, which I saw as an impressionable young teen at the Radio City Music Hall. (I have the DVD and watched it again last weekend, with great pleasure.)

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