Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And that was the end of Solomon Grundy

Yesterday would have been Henry Gibson's 74th birthday. He passed away last week, seven days short of that mark.

I love deadpan actors, those who can handle the most comedic of roles, that of straight man. Those who understand that humor comes from delivery. Gibson's birth name was James Bateman, but he adopted his stage name to honor Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright. (As opposed to the Louvre in Wisconsin...)

I loved watching reruns of Laugh In back in college, and Gibson's poetry readings were some of the highlights. An example:

How I Saved A Baby Rhino from Slippin' In The Quicksand, Whilst In Search Of My Fountain Pen, Last Summer Along The Amazon River by Henry Gibson

With great difficulty.

Of course, my first encounter with Gibson's work was as the head Nazi in the Blues Brothers, based on Frank Collin and his group's attempt to march through Skokie, IL in 1970.

Quiz time, though, because you don't get off that easily here. In which of Gibson's other myriad of films does he play a far more notable Nazi? Remember, every time you use Google to cheat on a trivia question, Santa eats one of his reindeer.


1 comment:

Sarah J. Bradley said...

Elliott! You open with a quote from "Joe v the Volcano!!!!" I LOVE IT! I will miss Henry Gibson for his brilliant work in "The Burbs" which is one of my all time faves for comedies.

Be nice and share!

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