Saturday, February 25, 2006

No, Not Don Knotts

Tell me when this nightmare's over. What a crappy time to lose Don Knotts.

Everyone's gonna be bloggin' about this one.

While I've mentioned this before, I can't imagine anyone saying of the guy, "Don Knott's, what an A-hole". It's a scientific axiom that such a statement cannot be true.

Here's my Don Knotts celebrity-near-encounter: I was in the Aaron Bros Art Store on Westwood Blvd. when he happened to be buying supplies there also. At first I didn't recognize him because he was wearing a floppy beret along with very thick eyewear, the kind you get after having your eyes dilated, and ducking in and out of the aisles. Plus, I try to resist shadowing random individuals in public places anyway. Mr. Knotts was carrying the most massive drawing pad available and he had what looked to be a young female assistant with him (or who knows -his latest art model???).

I was in earshot when he approached the register and a very naive voice asked him, "Are you somebody famous?". The question made me cringe hard but somehow I think the girl running the register spoke with an innocence that superseded any sign of flagrant opportunism. His reply was cordial, typically Knotts-like, utilizing that distinctive hi-register voice, "I'm Don Knotts!". I got the sense that the checkout girl had only the vaguest notion of who Don Knotts was, probably from his nadir Three's Company role, but I was thinking "whoa... I'm next to GENIUS". That sort of celebrity zing doesn't get under my skin very often.

are YOU somebody famous?

The list: Ghost and Mr. Chicken (click HERE for chilling organ music); The Incredible Mr. Limpet (which was supposed to be re-made with Jim Carrey but thankfully abandoned -or was it?); The Reluctant Astronaut; The Love God. Stellar performances all! Enough to make Orson Welles seem flaccid in comparison. Don Knotts, a giant of a performer with natural comic timing and originality. Not least, his television role as Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show- magnetic, underrated, iconic.

So sit down, shuttup and learn Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson and the rest of you dolts/part-time runway model primpers with your bloated P.R. machines and eyebrow manicurists in tow! You are nothing compared to THE MAN Don Knotts, even in his grave.

For our next installment we will discuss award-winning apple cobbler recipes.


Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a sad day. But now he's up in heaven with Aunt Bea & Otis.

I have to say, as a child in the 1960's I watched The Ghost & Mr. Chicken one too many times, at the Saturday kids matinee at the Fox Theatre, Palos Verdes Peninsula Center. The Fox seemed to have a limited repertoire of main features, which the brought out several times a year: Mr. Chicken, The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes, and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (which I think unfortunately was remade more recently. As with all such remakes, what was the point? The original was only interesting because of the fading celebrities in the cast: Phil Silvers, Buddy Hackett, Milton Berle...).

PV Cholly

Geritopia said...

you forgot the Fox theater PTA runs of "Red Balloon" and "Island of the Blue Dolphins". As I recall, that same theater alienated the whole community when they attempted running X-rated flicks. They really did a great job of putting themselves out of business.

"Ghost and Mr. Chicken" music scared me along with the image of the blood on the organ keys. Then again, I've always been a fan of films that weren't shy of scaring kids a little --most kids have fun with it.

Joey Polanski said...

Don Knotts provided me an a close pal wit one of our favrit games. Evry now an again me an himll see wich of us can say "Hey, Andy!" in th most Knotts-like fashion.

Ive always blievd that th best approach was t try t get it all inta one syllabl or less.

Geritopia said...

and it still ain't enough to keep you damned kids from keepin' out'a trouble!

Don's passing is reminding me that life is short, folks. so I'm going to go outside and stand in the street with my trousers down and wave at cars. I'm not sure why, but at least I can say that something interesting will probably happen. And then what a blog I'll have.