Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happiness for Comedians

Milestones for two funny men:

1. Dr. Woody Allen!! It's his first honorary degree, and of course, it happened overseas. It's a "doctor honoris causa" from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. The citation lauded him for "having offered an original and personal view of the world from which we have all benefited, and in recognition of his work in the cinema, which represents a bridge between two cinematographic traditions: American and European." The only other recipients of honorary degrees from Pompeu Fabra have been Desmond Tutu and historian Miquel Batllori.
He said, humbly, "I've never graduated from much in my life" and recalled how he'd dropped out of film school at New York University. "The work involved going to watch films and write about them. I saw lots of films but in the end I failed," he said. Ha ha!
Here's Woody as "Virgil Starkwell" (best nom de thug ever!) in "Take the Money and Run."

So now Woody's not just a beloved nut, but an academia nut! He deserves it. His satires of pomposity and elitism are, in themselves, intellectual -- not to mention zestfully accurate and affectionate.

2. Steve Martin marries again -- to Anne Stringfield, a 35-year-old writer and former staffer at The New Yorker. Guests for the event last weekend didn't know about the wedding -- they thought it was just a party. According to (New Zealand? Okay, students, it was the first item that came up on Google. I'm guilty) "Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey presided over the ceremony and the best man was Lorne Michaels, the creator of 'Saturday Night Live,' a popular US television comedy show that Martin has guest hosted more than anyone else. Martin, 61, sported a mustache that he has let grow for his role as Inspector Clouseau in an upcoming sequel to the 2006 movie 'The Pink Panther.' "

Martin's 1991 movie "L.A. Story" is one of my favorites about the City of Angels, and it's the one that romantically co-starred his first wife-to-be, Victoria Tennant. In particular, here's a snippet from a dining-out scene at the main character's girlfriend's favorite restaurant, "L'Idiot" -- I think, um, it's on Las Palmas Avenue:

Guy with neck-support: I'll have a decaf coffee.
Trudi: I'll have a decaf espresso.
Movie critic: I'll have a double decaf cappuccino.
Policeman: Give me decaffeinated coffee ice cream.
Harris: I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.
Trudi: I'll have a twist of lemon.
Guy with neck-support: I'll have a twist of lemon.
Movie critic: I'll have a twist of lemon.
Cynthia: I'll have a twist of lemon.

And then we see a huge mound of lemons tumbling out of the kitchen...

Anyway, hearty congratulations to both of these cherished comics, who have made the rest of us so happy so often.

No comments: