Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sweet Memories of the Rappin' Duke

McNeil and I were talking about John Wayne for some reason and it turned out to my amazement that he had never heard the novelty record "The Rappin' Duke," which was predicated on the questionable idea that John Wayne laughed like this: "Wah ha ha. Wah ha ha ha ha ha." [Note: Pendarvis stands corrected. After finding the video on the youtube, he discovered that the supposed Wayne laugh went like this: "Duh ha ha ha. Duh ha ha ha ha ha." - ed.] McNeil and I had quite a debate then on the way John Wayne actually laughed, if ever he did. McNeil attempted to produce a facsimile of the actual Wayne laugh. It didn't sound like much to me, somewhat like a hostile snicker, but was, I admit, more plausible than "Wah [or duh] ha ha ha." McNeil claimed that his recreation was "exact." The matter remains under consideration. You know what looks funny? The lyrics to the Rappin' Duke song soberly typed out. PS: My memory is nagging at me, and I want to say there WAS an impersonator, some variety-show staple, who popularized the "Wah ha ha" laugh (as opposed to the "Duh ha ha" laugh) BEFORE the Rappin' Duke song came out, an impersonator who was, possibly, its inspiration. But my googling is weak today. The old google did lead me to a CURRENT Wayne impersonator, however, one Dr. (!) Gene Howard, who will also (in addition to impersonating John Wayne for your event) do a digital watercolor painting (?) of your dog (!).