It’s been almost a week since Jonathan Winters passed away already, and I’m still completely crushed over the whole thing. Last night, my dad and I were talking and it dawned on me as to why.
I have a lot of favorite scenes in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. I grew up with that movie and I consider it to be a major part of my childhood. There are two scenes that are my all-time favorites, however. One is the fleeting cameo of my beloved Buster Keaton…and the other is Jonathan Winters completely demolishing a gas station.
Pike was always my favorite character when I was a kid. I’m not even fully sure why, but I liked him. As an adult, I’ve since discovered that Jonathan Winters and I had some hobbies in common, namely making artwork and collecting toys and baseball memorabilia, and I, too, have suffered a mental breakdown, which started a few months before my 20th birthday. Sometimes we’re inexplicably drawn to people similar to us even before the things we have in common happen.
Miss you, Pike.
There’s not really much to say here other than the fact that everyone needs to watch Al St. John have a complete meltdown in Bridge Wives (1932).
Actually, there is a bit I can say – Al’s meltdown is comedically ahead of its time. You don’t see too many characters go completely insane and let out bloodcurdling screams in the name of comedy before this. Also, since the yell is so unexpected, it becomes just plain funny.
Then again, Al made a career out of being a weirdo. This is his profile picture on Wikipedia (from 1919):
For the unacquainted: Al St. John is Roscoe Arbuckle’s nephew (even though he was really only five years or so younger than Roscoe), and director William Goodrich is Roscoe himself.