Years ago, circa The Hog Breeders’ Gazette, back in his Mozart spinning DJ days at SC Public Radio, Robert Fowler and I cast an entire production of Hamlet using comedy stars from early television — Dick Van Dyke as the Prince, Professor Irwin Corey as Polonius, Bill Dana as the grave digging clown, etc.
Let me assure you, if you had been there (and had spent the earlier part of the day as we had), you would have found our casting howlingly hilarious. We even considered creating a Play Bill like poster, an artsy mixed media something or other that could showcase the shtick, but back then, to create art, you had to be able to draw, to know how to develop photos in darkrooms. Now, praise Huxley, if you can afford an Apple laptop and a Photoshop license, art is much more egalitarian, its modes of production not so tilted in favor of talent and technique.
Yes, happily for me, the days of talent have faded like those old photos developed in dark rooms, and hacks like I-and-I can manifest multimedia fairly easily, spit out poems, songs, digital art, manifestos, or homemade Mother’s Day cards.
This morning, for example, after reading a sardonic email from a friend mocking Jeb’s musings on multiculturalism, it occurred to me that if I were casting a farcical movie mocking the Republican presidential campaign, I’d want Peter Sellers to play Jeb (the smart) Bush.
Imagine Sellers in the role, hunching his shoulders, assuming Bush’s ursine posture. Imagine with his genius for mimicry, his ability to make incarnate misstatement via misstep, Sellers’ executing a low energy pratfall.
Well, one thing led to another, and I started thinking about the other candidates. Fiorina, Cruz, Paul, Trump. What comic would best be able to portray them in this screwball comedy?
Who should play whom?
The problem we face at this early stage is that we don’t know who the protagonist will be. Nevertheless, we know Trump will play a leading role, so let’s cast him first.
I’d go with Jerry Van Dyke, Dick’s venerable brother.
Let’s face it, we don’t need an Olivier to play the Donald. We’re talking Borscht Belt slapstick skit television shit. If he were’t
dead 84, Jerry could desitively handle it. Anyone who has seen even one episode of My Mother the Car can vouch for that. All the director would need to do is to get the appropriate wig from wardrobe, have Jerry learn how to pinch his mouth into an anus-like circle, and bluster.
Who better than Bea Arthur to play Carly Fiorina? When you think about it, both have a lot in common — two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two husbands. The former a champion for civil rights for women, the latter a campion for civil rights for herself.
If the lights are bright enough and he starts sweating, Wayne Newton looks a helluva lot like Marco Rubio. Or vice versa. Come to think of it, Rubio might think about approximating Wayne’s coif, Richie Valens-meets-Ronald Reagan.
I’ve said this before — and now it’s become a sort of internet meme – but damn, Ted Cruz is a dead ringer for Grandpa Munster. If only Ted could muster a little of bit of Grandpa’s charisma, he might have a chance.
If he could have put on, say, a hundred pounds or so, Jackie Gleason would have made a killer Christie.
Who better to capture that hard-to-pin-down-elfin quality that Paul exudes than Danny Kaye?
And finally, the great Red Skeleton as the late lamented Scott Walker. As they say, two pictures are worth two thousand words.