Quote of the Week

Modern hipsters didn’t invent the cult actor. Oh, we might all feel really cool raving about icons like Christopher Walken or newcomers like Michael Shannon. There’s still a long history of weirdo artists infiltrating our movie theaters and living rooms. Just consider the epic strangeness of Timothy Carey. He maintained a perfectly normal career as a character actor right through the 1980s. In fact, Carey would’ve managed one more great role if he’d passed Quentin Tarantino’s audition to play the crime boss in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino cast veteran oddball actor Lawrence Tierney instead. The director dedicated Reservoir Dogs to a list of idols that included Carey, though. That was nice–especially since Carey would pass away in 1994.

But why would Tarantino dedicate his first feature to a guy who’d shown up in mainstream TV shows like Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, and CHiPs? That’s because Carey was far more than a character actor. He was a beatnik visionary and a true wild man. The young actor first made a name for himself by stealing a scene from Marlon Brando in the pioneering biker epic The Wild One. Carey didn’t even get billing, but the hulking actor with the basso voice was soon being used as a heavy by all kinds of directors. He gave one of his most compelling performances as a crazed Cajun in 1957’s Bayou, where he contributed to a sleazy atmosphere that kept the movie playing the drive-in circuit well into the ’70s.

Stanley Kubrick cast Carey in memorable roles for both The Killing and Paths of Glory, and a lot of other directors–including John Cassavetes–loved Carey’s knack for crazed improvisation. That was the kind of Hollywood connection that got Carey playing parts in three episodes of Columbo. Other directors, however, couldn’t tolerate Carey’s maniacal Method acting.

Carey did a lot to sabotage his own career, too. He turned down roles in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II–and walked off the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. That’s three less classics in Carey’s weird filmography, but he found time to appear in Chesty Anderson, U.S. Navy and the Joe Don Baker epic Speedtrap. To be fair, Chesty Anderson gave Carey the freedom to let loose with one of his more amazing performances.

Carey also wrote and directed himself to an amazing role in 1962’s The World’s Greatest Sinner–which was pretty much forgotten for most of Carey’s career. Originally, the film’s legend was kept alive by some musical contributions from Frank Zappa. Then Sinner began to build a bigger reputation as Carey’s own careening genius built his own cult. It’s an amazing film, and was recently restored and is now available to the masses. There’s no other movie like it.

Speedtrap

Pic of the Day: “The Velvet Jungle” revisited

It’s National Pancake Day! What better way to celebrate than with a nice hot stack of “super pancakes” served up by Danny, the (unfortunately racist) diner dude from the Starsky and Hutch episode “The Velvet Jungle,” first broadcast on March 5, 1977. Here Danny reveals the secret ingredient that makes his “super pancakes” so super.

The Velvet Jungle - 1977

I’m guessing a visit from the county health inspector is in Danny’s future. Dirty dining, indeed. Now let’s all go out and get some pancakes!

Pic of the Day: “The Velvet Jungle” revisited

Today’s pic takes another look at the Starsky and Hutch episode “The Velvet Jungle,” first airing on March 5, 1977. Racist diner owner Danny is telling the boys about his “super pancakes,” but Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) does not appear convinced.

The Velvet Jungle - 1977

Glaser has been a reliable presence on television since the late 1960s. He is closely involved with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, co-founded by his late wife Elizabeth, who passed away from complications of the disease in 1994. He is now an accomplished author of young adult fantasy fiction. “The Velvet Jungle” airs this Friday, December 5th, on the El Rey network.

Pic of the Day: “The Odds Against Donald Jordan” revisited

By special request (the hubby’s), today we start off the week with another look at Moose, the far-out bookie of the Mannix episode “The Odds Against Donald Jordan,” first airing on March 1, 1969.

The Odds Against Donald Jordan - 1969

Moose could have been the Rooster or Huggy Bear of Mannix, if some far-sighted producer had been paying attention. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Pic of the Day: “The Velvet Jungle” revisited

It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Danny, the racially insensitive creator of “super pancakes,” and that just ain’t right! So here he is again, from the Starsky and Hutch episode “The Velvet Jungle”. It was first aired on March 5, 1977.

The Velvet Jungle - 1977

Earlier we got a glimpse of Danny’s secret ingredient and what makes his “super pancakes” so super when, in the midst of mixing the batter, he licked the whisk, then added more sugar and continued mixing. Keepin’ it classy, Danny!

Video of the Week: “The Velvet Jungle”

Sorry I missed the last couple days – still disorganized after our California adventure. But I finally got it together enough to post our Video of the Week, and it’s a good one. It’s part one of “The Velvet Jungle,” the Starsky and Hutch episode that first aired on March 5, 1977. It contains the entirety of Timothy’s priceless performance as Danny, the unfortunately racist creator of “super pancakes.”

He really puts himself into his work, doesn’t he? Heh. This episode was directed by Earl Bellamy, who also directed Tim the same year in Speedtrap. He and Tim shared a birthday – March 11. He directed gobs and gobs of television from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Pic of the Day: “The Velvet Jungle” revisited

Super pancakes, anyone? Today we take another look at Danny, the comical but racist diner proprietor from the Starsky and Hutch episode “The Velvet Jungle,” first airing on March 5, 1977. Here we see him growling “El close-o!” to the frantic Latina woman who has just witnessed a murder and is pounding on his door trying to get some help, if that’s not too much to ask.

The Velvet Jungle - 1977

Here’s another one you can view over at Amazon Instant Video. Timothy’s few minutes are absolutely priceless.