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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Little Buddy!!!

Bob "Gilligan" Denver, AKA "Maynard G. Krebs" has passed on.

No more shall we make jokes along the lines of how the castaways would have got rescued much faster if Gilligan wasn't always stoned on peyote, or that it was a good thing the professor never figured out how to make meth in that bamboo chemistry set of his.

No more shall we tease this likeable neo-hippie about how the only differences between him and the beatnik character of Maynard G. Krebs, that he played on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, was that Maynard kept his reefer-smoking private, and could actually grow facial hair.

No more shall we playfully ask how much he and the underestimated Chuck McCann were paid to endure Far Out Space Nuts. (My favorite moment: The scene where they are supposed to fly up to a high window on jet packs or summat. We see the interior window they are supposed to be flying into. We see their shadows as they wait for the director's cue to jump down from the window, where they are waiting to jump down as though they've just flown 100 feet into the air.)

To paraphrase William Shatner, "He's gone, gone, gone, gone..."

We shall miss his voice cracking with emotion (think Peter Brady singing "Time to Change"), whether crying out "Skipper" or "Work!" We shall miss the mental riffs where he loses himself in thought and a torrent of childlike speech until brought out of his reverie by the sound of Dobie's frustrated voice or the beneficent authoritarian force of the Skipper's hat. We shall miss his ageing attempts to keep pace with the Harlem Globetrotters as they challenged a force of super robots. We shall miss his earnest efforts to treat the replacement Ginger as though she were actually one-tenth the self-indulgent sexpot named Tina Louise. We shall miss the quiet surreptitious leers at Mary Ann when he thought the camera wasn't on him (It's there I tell you! Look more carefully!!)

Bob, old bean, you were a bit player in the world of comedy TV, but you brightened up many a day chasing men in gorilla suits, caucasian actors embarrassly dressed as Polynesian warriors, and Zsa Zsa Gabor and her yacht. You bore Thurston Howell III's elitist nonsense with grace and charm. You played patsy to the Professor's psuedo-scientific Disneyland of bamboo and palm contraptions (including what surely must be the closest to real life anyone has come to creating the Flintstones' sedan) with a befuddled, yet subtly ironic dignity. You wore the beat up old sailor's hat well.

We'll miss you little buddy.

If I didn't hate coconut, I might very well have a coconut cream pie in your honor, but I loathe it. You can't have everything you know.


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