Sunday, April 26, 2009
Bea Arthur, Be Naked
I saw a bumper sticker that said that once and I thought it was funny. In a "make me throw up in my own mouth so the vomit comes out through my nose and burns like hell" kind of way.
But that's a mean thing to say about a classy woman who just passed away. Yup, Bea Arthur, better know as Dorothy Zbornak died yesterday and it's a shame. That's now two of the four Golden Girls that have pass away in the last few months. In fact in my inaugural blog I memorialized the life of Sofia.
I have stated before that I regularly and unapologetically enjoy Golden Girl reruns on Lifetime. At this point I would like to remind you that I am indeed a heterosexual male. But I just love the G squared. From the pilot episode where she ripped on the gay roommate's enchiladas (the gay roommate who was never seen or referred to after that episode) to the finale where she married the guy from Naked Gun all with the blessing of Stan, Dorothy's two-fisted ballsiness was vital component of that fine show.
I considered doing some long winded send off to to our Baritone Beauty but it would have just been a rehash of my Sofia tribute. So instead, I thought I would treat us all to the single greatest moment in the history of the Star Wars franchise. What does Bea Arthur have to do with Star Wars, you ask? Well let me provide an answer that will give you endless joy.
In 1978, in an attempt to capitalize on the success of the first Star Wars movie, some TV producer somewhere greenlit the unholy abomination known as the Star Wars Christmas Special. The story goes that Han Solo needs to get Chewie back to his home planet of Kashyyk in time for Life Day. Apparently they didn't have Christmas a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
One of the many random scenes involves a musical number preformed by our beloved Bea. She is a bartender named Ackmena working in the Mos Eisley Cantina. The Empire has enforced a curfew, putting her out of business. Her response? A deep voiced jazzy, New Orleans style, musical number of course . Take that, evil Empire!
This is not Hardware Wars or Spaceballs. This wasn't a spoof of Star Wars. This is episode 4.5. It starred Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and the rest the original cast. If you doubt my word, check out the following musical number by a coked out of her mind Carrie Fisher in which she sings some crappy Life Day song to the tune of the Star Wars theme. It's hard to see on this old video, but the opening scene is some Wookiees preforming a Life Day ritual. It's creepy.
Mother of God! It really doesn't get any better (or worst depending on your appreciation of ludicrous). The look on Harrison Ford's face that says "What the hell am I doing to my career?". The slow dissolves between the main characters as Leia sings. The clips from the movie seamlessly interwoven with the new footage. The crowd of fully robed Wookiees walking creepily through space. The fact that Carrie Fisher is singing a completely different tune than the music accompanying her. And yet as laughably awful as it all is, it is still more tolerable than Hayden Christensen's acting.
But back to my original point. Bea Arthur, classy broad. You will be missed. Actually, I haven't seen anything you've done since the Golden Girls, except for that one Malcom In the Middle where you babysat Dewey (and then died. . . ). So I guess nothing is really going to change. But Bea, you'll always have a warm place in my heart.