Friday, September 13, 2013

All-Star Entertainment Wrap-Up: Dunkel Edition!

Hello, friends, and welcome once again to All-Star Entertainment Wrap-Up, the only place on the "internet" that combines entertainment with the entertainment all-stars! Let's get things started with our first juicy tidbit! Okay! Halfway through that newish movie of ON THE ROAD, up pops Peggy from MAD MEN in the thankless role (in the movie, the book, and life itself perhaps) of Galetea Dunkel. When we first see her she's on the phone to Sal Paradise, complaining, "These people are mad! They're mad!" And I wanted Sal to reply, "Would you describe them as... MAD MEN?" But he didn't. (See also.) Bewilderingly, the movie did not include the scene from the novel in which Sal looks through the window of a Buick dealership and sees Jerry Colonna (pictured). Buddy Ebsen is in THE LOVE OF THE LAST TYCOON, by the way. I wonder if he ever sat around on the set of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES bragging about how he was in Fitzgerald's final, unfinished masterpiece. Probably not. He seemed too nice to brag. But hey let's talk about something else. That movie I don't like (though it's rude to say as much) keeps coming on TV all the time. Now I have seen the part where the younger woman gives the older man (who wrote and directed the movie) a "mix tape" of "classical music" and he walks around listening to it and looking at buildings and then writes her letters about it which are quoted from at length in his voice-over narration while she sprawls out dreamily in a moony daze, grinning in a helpless rictus of joy as her shining eyes caress his profound and touching words, such as, "When I listened to the overture you sent, I suddenly realized I had hands... AND LEGS!" And in defiance of Billy Wilder's famous rule, we see exactly what he is narrating as he narrates it: the man who wrote and directed the movie staring at his own hands in childlike wonder as he listens to his "classical music." He also says, "I echo your sentiment about the Beethoven: Whoa." I know what he's doing there. With false modesty he is undercutting his sense of grandeur to seem real cool or something. I do it on this "blog" ALL THE TIME. Wait, this movie I claim to hate just made me realize it's myself I hate most of all. So let's talk about something else! McNeil sent me a 25-minute youtube clip (see also) because Johnny Carson's name appears on a marquee at 5:08, and I understand that! And McNeil understands that I understand that. The marquee is for one of Carson's early hosting gigs, a game show called "Do You Trust Your Wife?" That may bring us back to the oppression under which women like Galetea Dunkel labored, I don't know, sure, let's say it does. It's a MIKE HAMMER TV show, and I was surprised at the opening when Mike Hammer turned toward the camera to reveal that he is played by Darren McGavin, who is far too zany and lovable to play Mike Hammer. In an email, McNeil agreed. "They try to play the whole thing like a comedy it seems to me," he said, making a few more observations on various subjects before concluding, "what a fairy land goes on in my head." Mike Hammer drops his napkin on the floor of a restaurant to get a surreptitious look at a suspect, which is just about broad and cornball enough for the real Mike Hammer to do, but not in the vaudeville style McGavin does it. The suspect closely resembles Wimpy from the Popeye comic strip. He fiddles with his derby and makes funny faces. In conclusion, I guess nothing is good enough for me. That's it for today's All-Star Entertainment Wrap-Up! Until next time, keep "reaching" for the "stars"! And go to hell.