Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You, you with the banjo, can you help me? I seem to have lost my sense of direction!

My friend Dan (good college pal/Yakov in a brilliant interpretation of the maids in The Seagull) notified me this morning that Dom Deluise passed away today at the age of 75. So a shout out to Dan for being my cub reporter and giving me the word on the street.

I was saddened by this, but mainly that feeling of "aw, Dom?!", as well as surprise that he had passed away. I guess he's in that category of "people you never expect to hear passing away" for me.

I then looked him up on IMDB to see what movies he had been in, when I realized that he was in pretty much all the movies I watched as a kid: The Muppet Movie, The Secret of the NIMH, An American Tale, and the Mel Brooks canon. If he were in Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, he'd round out my movie list at age 5.

He had a certain zaniness that fit well with the Muppets and Mel Brooks. He was willing to be madcap and go for the cheap joke, and fully embrace that kind of comedy. And I think his voiceover talents were in a similar vein. He was the easily confused, often thwarted sidekicks. If you've ever seen him as Bernie the Agent in The Muppet Movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.

In closing, here's a scene from his appearance on The Muppet Show. I like how he's fighting the battle with Space Muppets, and losing, and being okay with being wrapped up in it.

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