Monday, August 29, 2016

Please, Tell Me More

Ironically, I never saw Gene Wilder's version of Willie Wonka, but the first R rated movie I ever saw was Blazing Saddles. To be honest it happened by accident: on a hot summer day when I was 12 somebody's mom dropped us off at the Fox Theater down at the Plaza, the outdoor shopping center in our area. In those days, nobody had air conditioning and the nearest mall was half an hour away, so the movies was the only alternative to the pool for cooling off.

I guess someone else picked the movie, and I just followed the crowd and settled into my scratchy red seat with my Goobers, lemonade, and popcorn. When the lights went down I had never heard of Mel Brooks, Cleavon Little, or Gene Wilder, but 93 minutes later I would never forget them.

It wasn't just that the humor and language was so obviously inappropriate for our group, although it really, really was, it was also hilarious. From that day forward, that crazy hair and those pale blue eyes would be instantly recognizable to me, and even in the dumbest movies with the broadest humor, he made me laugh.

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