Doorknob Monday 11/29/2010

Sailor Knobbo is perplexed: how is he going to hang this wreath on the door? Pushing it this far was easy, but now…what a conundrum! And he still has to straighten out that rumpled ribbon at the top. At least he is pleased at how nicely his little cap blends into the holiday theme.

Sailor Knobbo Struggles with the Christmas Decorations

Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010

Well, I’d hoped this was just a Twitter rumor, but apparently it’s not. Actor Leslie Nielsen has passed away at 84.

I think my favorite Nielsen moment (aside from “don’t call me Shirley,” which probably tops a lot of lists) is in The Naked Gun 2 1/2 when the bad guy tells Drebin (Nielsen): “I want the pleasure of killing you myself.”

With gravity and an edge of menace, Drebin replies, “The pleasure is all mine.”

Nielsen did great slapstick (like trashing the office of Ricardo Montalban’s villain in The Naked Gun), but his biggest asset was delivering absurdity with utter solemnity and dignity. Lt. Drebin was clueless nearly all the time, and Nielsen played that flawlessly, remaining completely unflappable—or acknowledging some massive screwup with little more than an “oops” look—throughout the chaos Drebin created.

Which is not to shortchange Nielsen’s career as a dramatic actor. On the contrary, he probably wouldn’t have been so funny without it: he inhabited Drebin as a character, instead of clowning with him as a schtick.

So long, Leslie. We’ll miss you.

It’s Always Nick Cave O’Clock

Nick Cave’s “Nature Boy” via YouTube does not want me to embed it on WordPress. (More grumbling about record companies and silly rules and shooting themselves in the foot and blah blah blah blah.) But it’s more than worth the click through to see it. The song is just about as goddamn good as it gets—and what a sweetly simple video to go with it. Quote me Sappho in the original Greek, baby.

(Gear geek side note: is Nick rocking a Shure Prologue 10 mic? I have one of those, and…well, it looks and feels a whole lot better than it sounds. Which is probably why it’s in service here for lip-syncing.)