Happy Diamond Anniversary of Birth Alan Arkin.

alan-arkin

I have to give a shout out to one of my heroes, Alan Arkin who turns 75 today and who I have recently (with love in my heart) terribly impersonated.

Arkin is one the great elder statesmen of comedy.  He helped found Second City, played Yossarian in Catch-22, was the successor to Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther series and starred in one of the great comedy classics of all time, “The In-Laws.”  Yet nothing exemplifies how high his star was in the late 70’s then to say HE HOSTED THE MUPPET SHOW.

Yet his later career had been roundly subjected to scene stealing background parts in movies like Grosse Point Blank and Glengary Glenross (but who didn’t steal at least one scene in that movie).

It was in this phase that I discovered him in one of my favorite performances as Anthony LaPaglia’s the mild mannered police chief who at LaPaglia’s urging tries to act more like the yelling and screaming Police chiefs of 70’s cop shows in “So I Married An Axe Murderer” . Nothing is funnier then him storming out and yelling, “Hey Paisane! You screw up one more time I’m going to kick your spaghetti bending butt back to Milan!” And then debating himself on whether it was too ethnic.  Like most of his performances, his nuanced comic timing is buried under Mike Myers being Scottish and doing his Woman Woman Woman poems. So there was nothing I enjoyed more then Arkin beating Eddie Murphy for the Academy Award last year for Little Miss Sunshine.

So here’s to Alan Arkin.  Happy Birthday and sorry again about the impression.

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