This is one of those days I always feared would come. Leslie Nielsen has always been a personal hero of mine and now he’s gone at the age of 84. I remember seeing my first Leslie Nielsen movie back in the early, early 90’s – I think it was “Naked Gun 2 1/2″ (yeah, I saw them out of order.) David Zucker’s films had such a great take on parody at the time, and it inspired me to spend a lot of my childhood drawing up spoof comics of my favorite movies (which are all stored in the bottom of my closet somewhere.) But it was always Leslie Nielsen (or Charlie Sheen) who truly made the films shine.
I think what separated Leslie Nielsen from other spoof actors is the fact that, much like his co-star Lloyd Bridges, he was a well-respected dramatic actor years before even starring in “Airplane.” He brought authentic talent and enthusiasm to his roles, so when he reminded someone not to call him Shirley, we would actually believe he thought people were calling him Shirley. The novelty of seeing this great actor take on such crazy roles pretty much launched his career for the next thirty years. And it’s not like today when spoofs just phone in D-list actors for their parts – for him, it all came down to the art of delivering the lines and keeping a straight face when he’s talking into a banana.
Anyhow, I dug out a rather good tribute to his career out of the hundreds that have recently swamped YouTube. Here’s a look at the life of a comedy legend:
I also found someone uploaded one of my favorite scenes from “The Naked Gun,” so watch and enjoy!
Leslie Nielsen, thanks for all the great memories.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) where I’ve been challenging myself to complete a 50,000 word novel in one month. Just today (17 days into the contest,) I called it quits, ending my story at 61,148 words. The story itself didn’t turn out too bad, but I accredit that to the whole month of brainstorming I did for it prior to the start date. While I’m far from retiring to the life of a writer, it was a good experience and I’d probably do it again – preferably when I don’t have so many other side-projects tying me down. And no, there was no prize for finishing – other than actually possessing my own first finished novel.
The actual story I wrote was originally intended to be a stab at “Twilight” and other vampire romances, but eventually took on it’s own shape, and I soon found myself discarding most of the vampire aspect from the plot. I also discarded the opening scene where I shove Edward and Jacob’s heads into each other’s butts and roll them down a hill like a hula hoop. I may put the novel up on the site later, but for now, I’m just going to let a few others read it so I can get some feedback first.
It’s funny how all my science news has been coming to me lately in the form of Japanese pop stars. First there was that robot, and now we have a singing, dancing 3D hologram performing on stage. Hatsune Miku is a character featured in a piece of voice synthesizing software called “Vocaloid,” and her singing voice is also produced by this same piece of software. It took me a few videos to notice that she was only projected onto a flat piece of glass (and not being projected into mid-air as Star Trek once promised) but it’s still a pretty neat trick, and she’s far more entertaining than that scary robot girl.
I really wish I had the time, energy, and resources to devote to my Halloween costumes that my friend Michaela has. I mean, I saw someone dressed up as a Domokun as a Halloween party last night, and it’s still nothing compared to what she has assembled in her little apartment. Doctor Who fans, prepare to worship your new Dalek overlord… Schroedinger!
I would really love to see a video of her costume in action, because I can’t imagine the trouble she went through to travel around in that. Hit the above link to visit her site and read more about it.
Ack! Double geek-out! Directly behind the Dalek is a picture of a fictional marine animal I drew for her. Now I feel involved!