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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

THE Funniest Battle-Axes.

Last time, when I discussed the movie "Caged", I neglected to mention that it was a relentlessly grim movie.
The seven, count 'em, seven battle-axes in "Caged" were not the type that you would hire because of their comedic abilities.
They were, in general, menacing, scary women.
As they should be.
This week, I'm going to talk about women who would have been totally miscast in "Caged"
Because they were all hilarious.
And all one-dimensionally funny.
Their mere presence would make you laugh.
They'd at least make ME laugh.
As soon as they'd show up.

The first time I saw Iris Adrian show up was in the very first episode of "The Abbott and Costello" TV show.
Right off the top.
Bud and Lou emerged from their brownstone apartment building, and stopped on the landing.
Iris Adrian came storming up the stairs, took one look at Costello, and, wlelding her folded umbrella, bellowed in her shrill voice,
"How dare you remind me of somebody I hate!!", and clopped him over the head with her umbrella.
And we were off to the races.
She made an impression.
She graduated to the Jack Benny Show, where she played a succession of waitresses, manicurists, secretaries, and as a last resort, Jack's date for the evening.
When Barbara Nichols was busy.
Benny knew he was slumming.
Whatever job she held, she could be counted on saying to him "Hiya, Mac!, to which Benny would respond "That's JACK!!"
She showed up to audition for me, and, delighted to see that she was still alive, put her to work in three different series.
Her work in "The Ted Knight Show" was exemplary.
The main reason I started this series was that a friend of mine sent me a DVD that contained a hilarious episode of "My Friend Irma". Iris Adrian had a major role in it.
On the same DVD was an episode of the series "Angel"
It was uproarious.
Primarily because because of that hilarious battle-axe, Bella Bruck.
Bella Bruck can best be described as Doris Roberts if Doris Roberts was funny.
There is no room here for Doris Roberts.
Doris Roberts was way too three dimensional.
She always wanted you to feel sorry for her.
I didn't. Ever.
We used Bella Bruck three times on "The Odd Couple"
Once, as Oscar's extremely slow secretary.
She consistently made Jack Klugman laugh during rehearsals.
It was always the highlight of our yearly gag reels at the rap party.
Bella Bruck would have been a much better version of Raymond's mother.

Estelle Harris: George Costanzas mother. 'Nuff said.

Honorable mention; Clara Peller---"Where's the Beef??"

There are more hilarious battle-axes that I will address next time.


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My books,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."