Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Buddy Lester

Did you know that if you do a "Google Image Search" for Buddy Lester there are no decent images? It is true! And that fact makes it difficult to explain how accurate were my childhood fears of THE BIG MOUTH, in the first scene of which Buddy Lester and Charlie Callas wade to shore in skintight bright red rubber wetsuits and SHOOT JERRY LEWIS'S ALREADY DEAD DOPPELGANGER REPEATEDLY WITH A MACHINE GUN! AND ALREADY THERE IS BLOOD ON THE BACK OF THIS SECOND JERRY'S HEAD PLUS HE HAS BEEN ACCIDENTALLY JABBED IN THE NECK WITH A LARGE FISHHOOK BY THE "REAL" JERRY! The original effect of this scene on my tender young psyche came back to me with Proustian intensity yesterday, and I was sore afraid. That's all I've managed to watch so far. But I also seem to recall a part where someone is dipped into a vat of boiling wax or something, which has likewise stuck with me unpleasantly for lo these many years. Now I can no longer laugh at Tom Franklin for his famed and similar fear of Barbara Eden. (Because there are no decent still images of Mr. Lester on the "internet," I include his appearance in another Lewis movie, THE LADIES MAN, above. He was also very funny as the bartender in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. Yet the "internet" will not have him! He is eschewed!)