Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bye Bye Bobby

Dear, darling Bobby Altman checked out today. The man was a cinematic genius, as I would know, being one myself. Without his wonderful M*A*S*H, starring Elliott Gould and Robert Alda, we'd never have had the finest TV comedy of all time: AfterM*A*S*H. His masterpiece NASHVILLE showed us that you could make a better movie with old Laugh-In stars than The Thing With Two Heads, which I'm sure you all recall, featured Chelsea Brown and Sweet Dick Whittington. His fabulous A Wedding restarted the stage career of Carol Burnett. His brilliant 3 Women was thought-provoking, as wherever it played, people came out saying, "What the hell was that about?", as they also did after Quintet. Brewster McCloud showed nerdy kids everywhere that they can't actually fly, saving thousands of lives. His tale of horny seamen, Popeye, launched the film career of Robin Williams, without whom we'd never have had What Dreams May Come, Toys, Hook, Jack, Patch Adams, or Death to Smoochy. And his A Prairie Home Companion reminded us of why we don't watch radio. Only Bobby Altman could make actors talking over each other in an incomprehensible aural muddle into an acclaimed style.

Of course Bobby begged me repeatedly to come out of retirement and star in his films, but I said, "No, no! Sally Kellerman needs the work. All I need is a good shag."

But Bobby will always be even closer to my heart in a very special way. You may remember his announcement at the Oscars last year that he had had a heart transplant. Well it was no news to me, because darlings, I got his old one!

Au Revoir Bobby Altman. Two-thirds of your work will always be cherished, and that's a hell of a lot more than most directors. In the words of that dear Canadian bone rack Celine Dion, Your heart will go one.

I hope!

8 comments:

Bryan Miller said...

As always, Ms. Morehead's liquor soaked view of the world enables here to see things clearly!

Tallulah Morehead said...

I'm sorry darling, what the hell did you say? I can't read this. Could you write in a LARGER font? I can't see it. Have we ever been married? Thanks for visiting.

Sam said...

Perhaps we could write in a LAGER font, for you to see better.

Did you mean to say to Bobby, "your heart will go ON," or is there a layer of meaning to "go one" that I'm somehow not tuning in?

I've gone one, for example, and then I've gone two, and then my wife walked in, and all was chaos.

Miss Morehead, you are remarkable. Having remarked, I will go now.

Toodles, which is a cross between poodles and a tuna. Hope you are the same.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Sam Darling,

How lovely to have another of Bobby's many acquinti checking in.

When I wished to Bobby that his heart will go on, I was neither ironic nor metaphoric. I was very literal indeed. I want his heart to go on because I depend on it for circulating what blood I have left about what extremities I have left, which grow more extreme as the years stretch. It's the only system I have for getting vodka to my brain, where it does me the most good.

I adored Bobby's improvisational techniques, and wish the many dictatorial-but-brilliant directors I worked with during my glory years with PMS (Pari-Mutal Studios to you youngsters in my readership) had employed them, as memorizing the dreck the writers turned out was always such an irksome chore. How refreshing it would have been to just make it all up on camera, and then go for a drink. Or even better, go for a drink, and then make it all up on camera, and then go for another drink. If there's anything Hollywood has never needed, it's writers.

My readers may not know, but Sam and I have acted together onstage some years back, in a small theater Sam ran, and it was all completely improvised, as neither one of us was much good at memorization anymore anyway.

As for your hope that I be a cross between a poodle and a tuna, tis only too true. I have a poodle-style haircut in my bikini area, and it has an odor reminiscent of tuna.

Cheers darling!

Sam said...

And, may I say, it is one of the finest cassaroles you've ever played.

But, I'm living in the pasta...

Happy to set them up for you, Miss Tallulah, as long as you will keep knocking them down. And I can't imagine you doing otherwise.

There is sex, and I'm sure you do it Miss Tallulah, but that grisly mental image is particularly revolting. I mean, how nice. You go girl!

As to my theatre, you call it "small?" It was miniscule, sometimes run like a nursery scule.

We did a lot of shows before and after, but your tenure, Doug, if you're in there, was a major turning point at The WILD SIDE Theatre.

You brought many solid comic techniques, an encyclopedic knowledge of how comedy works, and the willingness to share your great gifts as a Player and Director, for which I will be forever grateful.

And of course, there were all those multi-gifted actors you brought with you from the late Bill Hudnut's group, who were hyper-creative, galvanizing, and catalytic, until they converted.

My favorite Hollywood summer was when your wonderful group of lunatics piloted my theatre through situation comedy, high drama, screeching soap opera, tumult, fisticuffs, and drag.

...and, then there were our SHOWS!

I miss those days, six shows a week, for a dozen years. What a horrible, delightful, grind of a breathtakingly-overloaded series of brilliant experiences, to coin a phrase. One with too many syllables.

We had many gifted people work out at TWS, on their way to achieving various levels of Hollywood success. Michael McDonald of "MAD TV," Jamie Kennedy, you and me Doug, and hundreds of other wonderful, creative folk.

Someday, somebody must write a book about it all, although various infidelities and outrages must be regrettably omitted.

The author of that book must be someone of character, integrity, and the ability to gloss over and overlook my many horrendous character flaws, in return for a cut of the royalties, and perhaps a large cash bribe.

Glad to see you doing so well, Doug. Miss Tallulah, you are living proof of Doug's genius.

By my estimate, some 98 proof.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Sam darling,

I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out who this "Doug" you were referring to was, until it finally dawned on me (Coincidentally, at dawn) that you were referring to the elderly gay man who types these things for me, and who typed my autobiography as well, Little Dougie McEwan.

This "Comments on 'Bye Bye Bobby Altman'" tribute page was created to praise the works of one person and one person only, one of the greatest figures in the history of motion pictures, someone whose work revolutionized they way movies are made and seen, someone who launched the careers of many other fine talents. I refer of course to ME. I'm sure Little Dougie did nice things for your theater, such as inviting ME onto your stage, but let's face it, to my readers, blathering on about Dougie is just "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH."

As to talents who passed through The Wild Side Theater (Named in honor of my backside, which was terribly flattering of you, Sammy.) we mustn't forget Little Yvonne DePatis-Kupka, who went on to do Dame Edna Everage's hair on her "Dame Edna's Hollywood" series, and her Fox special "Edna Time." That is truly scaling the highest heights of show business stardom! There is no higher calling in life than being a hairstylist, and only the cream dela cream get to do my dear little friend Dame Edna's wisteria locks.

Thank you for your lovely compliment on my Pubic Poodle Cut. I'm proud to say it attracts tourists from around my globes.

As a better-selling authoress myself, I should tell you that infidelities and outrages are the only parts worth reading. Don't leave them out. Highlight them! That's what I want to read.

Must go. The tryptifan is kicking in, and I don't want to spill this vodka tonic (HEAVY on the vodka. Just the merest whisper of tonic) all over my keyboard.

Happy Thanksgiving darling. Cheers

Sam said...

Why Miss Tallulah,

Of course I remember Yvonne DePatis. That's a name I've not heard in a long time, before the dark times, before the...Empire.

Long before she was a hairstylist, or at TWS, Miss Why-vonne was a dear friend who worked in the movie biz, at the very same studio with me, back when we made "Ghostbusters," and "2010," some 23 years ago, which would make this the year 2033.

I know she was a great fan of yours, as are we all.

I'm delighted to hear Miss Why-vonne has done Dame Edna's hair.
I used to hear from her about the Rick & Ruby show, I don't know if you've heard of those two in your long Hollywood travels, but I digress.

I certainly don't mean to detract from your lushly careening Hollywood career, Miss Tallulah. It still burns with a bright blue flame.

Just wanted to give some well-deserved jocular mention to your most athletic supporter, Doug McEwan, whom you describe as an elderly gay man.

You know, it's funny, we worked together years and years ago, and I don't remember him being elderly at all.

Anyway, I hope you spent the day eating some turkey, and then the two of you sat down to a yummy Thanksgiving dinner.

Tallulah Morehead said...

The lovely Miss DePatis-Kupka actually arranged for Little Dougie to meet Barry Humphries the first time he did so, for which he remains eternally grateful.
And I do indeed remember the delightful Rick & Ruby, and saw them perform in West Hollywood, ast the studio 1 Backlot when Little Dougie dragged me down there incognito. I remember Ruby describing where she grew up as "Not the end of the world, but you can see it from there." and saying something that applies to me so extemely well, and to Little Old Dougie as well: "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

Thanksgiving had lots of turkeys, but sadly, I got no stuffing.

And just to make a token return to topic, Bobby Altman was a good filmmaker.

Cheers.