This Day in Death

8.29.16: Gene Wilder – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:31 pm September 6, 2016

GENE_WILDERMan, John Cena always looks so weird when they have to put him a suit.

 

Gene Wilder, star of such beloved comedies as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, has passed away at the age of 83 due to complications related to Alzheimer’s. And now you all see what a lifetime of this comedy stuff will get you. Personally I’ve been ramping down the humor around here for some time in order to wean you guys off the stuff. Don’t worry; Stick with me and soon the most amusement you’ll be able to tolerate is nodding politely to Spalding Gray monologues before getting a good night’s rest.

Wilder made perhaps his most lasting impact as the titular star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film about a small-business owner who, apparently not giving any kind of a shit about the sanitary requirements of manufacturing consumables, let a bunch of filthy kids run roughshod through his candy factory with their sticky fingers just a-grabbin’ at everything within reach. They were literally swimming around in it at one point, that’s just gross. Unless the real villain of the film turns out to be Typhoid fever you’re just sending a bad message.

Notably, when velour hat enthusiast Tim Burton rebooted the film in 2005 to a somewhat more controversial reception, Wilder himself called it an “insult” and didn’t care for its darker tone. Far be it from me to jump to Burton’s crushed-velvet-ensconced aid, but if you wanna talk cynical Hollywood cash grabs it’s worth noting that Wilder’s film only got funding in exchange for the rights to create actual molar-raping, diabetes-baiting candy as a synergistic tie to the film. Say what you will about modern cinema, but at least nowadays we can go to the movies without anyone trying to convince us that gobs of sugar will fill the dull ache in our mortal souls. Nope, now science has proven that that can only be accomplished by the luxurious yet bold engineering of a 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That’s Mercedes-Benz: The Best or Nothing!

Mr. Wilder’s rule for comedy was simple: Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. “I’m an actor, not a clown,” he said more than once.

With his haunted blue eyes and an empathy born of his own history of psychic distress, he aspired to touch audiences much as Charlie Chaplin had. The Chaplin film “City Lights,” he said, had “made the biggest impression on me as an actor; it was funny, then sad, then both at the same time.”

Hey, did you guys know Wilder was once married to fellow yukchucker Gilda Radner? As a public service announcement, I have to say I highly advise against that kind of thing. You don’t want to marry someone in the same profession as you; It just gets competitive and will likely speed up your already-assured divorce, and you really gotta stick together at least long enough to get on their insurance and have some stuff checked out. See, if you want a strong marriage, what you really need is a mate that does something complementary to what you do without it being too similar. Like let’s say you’re a professional bank robber. Well, see if you can’t find yourself a sleepy security guard to marry. Doomsday prepper? Meet Sam’s Club floor manager. Veterinary tech for an at-capacity animal shelter? Bam! Chef at a fledgling South Korean bistro. Hey, I know it’s not always pretty, but building a stronger society isn’t about aesthetics. It’s like I’ve been saying for years: It’s time to take love out of marriage. And out of our schools, too, come to think of it. When I send my hypothetical children to a public facility I don’t want them coming back with all sorts of twisted ideas about this “compassion” stuff in their heads. It’s against nature, it is!

 

Source: The NY Times

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