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You need no ticket to make a place for yourself here where humor, black and otherwise, comes to you from the stage where the human comedy itself is being played, its performance trumping the things dark and tragic and found in the world of literature.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Heads Up!

It was once claimed that the late Del Close, improv master and Second City mainstay, had stipulated in his will that his skull be preserved to star as Yorick in the future. (Insert your own there's no business like show business joke here.)

Not quite so, for better or worse. Here's Wikipedia's statement on the matter: "Before passing away, Close requested that his skull be given to the Goodman Theatre for use in Hamlet productions, on the condition that he should receive credit in the program as Yorick. However, in 2006 it was revealed that an alternate skull was given to the Goodman instead."

In skullduggery closer to home, when I won a bunch of SFF pulps on eBay once they were sent to me in a reused box that had originally transported body parts, including a skull. That the mags had come from the Forrest Ackerman (Famous Monsters Of Filmland) estate made the whole thing even creepier/funnier. (The eBay seller worked at the Museum Of Natural History, IIRC, and obviously wasn't above absconding with some packing materials.)

Although my literary pursuits don't seem to include detached or exploding heads, offhand a few movie moments come to mind:

The Crawling Eye (aka The Trollenberg Terror) (1958)-- "Eye" rips off head of Sherpa type with tentacles.

Clash Of The Titans (1981)-- Perseus (Harry Hamlin) claims the head of Medusa. (This was the film also responsible for the now comedic catchphrase "Release the Kraken!")

Scanners (1981)-- Perhaps most well-known modern cinematic exploding head.

The Fury (1978)-- Amy Irving makes John Cassavetes go all to pieces. (With her mind!)