Aw, man.This guy — who looked like this for 40 years, by the way — was part of my favorite running gag on the old Police Squad series. This article mentions it, but like any comedy obituary, completely sucks the joy out of it.
The bit was this — Duell was Johnny, the shoeshine man with his ear to the street, and for a buck, he would give Lt. Drebin the lowdown on what was happening in the underworld. AND THEN, Drebin would leave and someone, say, Dr. Joyce Brothers would sit down and ask for the lowdown … on the Elektra complex. And Johnny knew all about that, too. It was an amazingly smart gag and like everything on the show, was deadpan, specific and wildly influential to me.
LOS ANGELES: Know ye this! I will be essaying the role of noted time-traveler (and sometime author) H.G. Wells, in his capacity as interviewer of the esteemed creator of Sherlock Holmes (and his stupid friend Watson), the legendary Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this very Friday evening at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, to be a downloadable podcast at some point in your indeterminate future.
Sir Arthur will be played by the tremendously gifted comedic actor Chris Tallman.
Happy New Year, Tumbs! I trust you are all 1) optimistic about 2012 and 2) stupidly dehydrated!
Last night I did something I’ve done off and on for the last handful of years: I live-tweeted a portion of the SyFy network’s annual New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathon. This is fun for me and lots of other people, and is apparently unimaginable, excruciating agony for some other people. Which I find terrifically amusing. Your rage is comedy to me, dumbys! And don’t have Twitter texted to your phone! What is wrong with you! It’s twenty-twelve for Christ’s sake.
Okay, so, somewhere in there, amongst the “This is funny” and “u have to stop” @ replies I was getting, a (presumably) young man named Eric asked if I’d wish him a happy birthday. And he casually mentioned that he’d gotten a tattoo of me.
Well, I blinked at that statement for a good two minutes, then replied to Eric: “Happy Birthday! I hope you wished to go back in time and not get a tattoo of me!”
Eric wrote back and thanked me. And linked to a picture of his tattoo:
I went through a few emotions on this one. I was flattered. I was disturbed. I was filled with head-shaking wonder at this crazy, delightful world. And then I was confused. Wait— is that really supposed to be me? I mean, it’s clearly based on the cover of my 2009 album, Freak Wharf:
But when I looked at them side by side, I noticed some.. subtle differences.
First off, my face is fatter in the tattoo (thanks, tattoo “artist.” What’d I ever do to you? Or is it insider knowledge that an inner arm adds ten pounds or something?). Second, and perhaps more noticeable to the casual, non-vain viewer, is how the fellow in the tattoo, while certainly dressed like me, seems to perhaps be of a different race.
What could the story possibly be here? “Hey, could you make me a tattoo of this guy, but put this guy’s face on there?” Did the tattoo artist seek to teach Eric a lesson about racism some how? Is Eric trying to teach me a lesson about racism somehow? Is the tattoo artist incompetent, or are my own eyeballs?
So who is that guy? It clearly isn’t me. Please, Tumbs, post your best guess here.
Eric, or “Erik,” as he likes to be called, has been a good sport about the above post. And he sent me another picture. See, the original picture of the tattoo was taken not long after it was first permanently scarred onto his flesh. Eventually, the tattoo settled down (industry term) and wound up looking like this:
I think you will agree it looks much more caucasoid in nature than it previously did. What’s really funny to me is that it does, indeed, look more like me; however it looks even more like my little brother, Alan. Who is 40 years old, but will always be my little brother. FAMILY!
Anyway, go back to what you were doing… batting balls of yarn around, I don’t know.
Tumblr, I want to like you. I am determined to do so, in fact. I am already on board with your name, even the missing letter! Shine-on-you-crazy-diamond and so on. But I wanted to add a fancy background to my page and you won’t let me.
Look, I know we’ve only just met, but you need to know this about me: I’m a bit of a fancy lad. I like things to look, to use 20th century parlance, “neat.” And I tried, in vain, to upload about six different background patterns, and nothing happened. Can you imagine how that felt? I mean, I was mortified. Is it my fault that I invited several friends and family members and two potential bosses over to my computer to watch a fancy background pattern being uploaded to my Tumblr? A case could be made. A case could be made.
But the issue remains. And now here we are. My first verbal post here, and it’s about images. WHAT A PIECE OF WORK IS MAN AND ALSO TUMBLR!