Your Questions Answered, Part III

Crazy times here, people. With some extraordinary willpower (not my own), the universe has been bested in the midst of bad weather, and I'm back and warm and here for your blogging pleasure. We're nearing the end of reader questions (and who am I kidding, it's Thanksgiving and no one should be reading this anyway - there's family and football and food and and and...). You get the point. Today, I'm going to group two questions together.

The first comes from Maggie:
2. What film or TV character would you most like to be & why?
And the second from Belle:
Coming off Maggie's - what character (TV/film) would you most like to invite to dinner? Why?
Now I fear that my answer may disappoint a little here, mostly because there are some pretty big hitches in my willful suspension of disbelief. For whatever reason, I can imagine being fictional characters from shows that are unrealistic in the present or past but not the future.

So though I watch shows like "Heroes" and "Battlestar Galactica" (holy crap! thank goodness you asked this question - I had no idea there was a special BG episode on the 24th!), I have a harder time thinking about who I'd want to be from those shows.

And worse, I have a hard time picking a single favorite of nearly anything and adding in possibilities (film and tv? how do you pick just one?). So for Maggie's question, I've got a couple of answers based on those things. First, I'll give the one that I can almost suspend my disbelief enough to allow for, and second, I'll put what I came up with when I really pushed the limits of it. But I'm just going to do tv.

So here goes: who would I be and why from TV (the almost real version):

Magnum, P.I.

I don't think based on this opening I even need to explain. But, if you must know, living a life of leisure, solving mysteries, driving a Ferrari at excessive speeds, a friend with a helicopter, living on a beach in Hawaii? Even without the moustache and the action hero love life, how could you resist that?

Now then, who would I be and why from TV (the to hell with reality version):

Bugs Bunny

Now, to be fair, I have a hard time deciding between Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Pepe Le Pew, but Bugs wins for cultural cachet (not to mention he tends to get the best of Daffy - unfairly, I think). Not only is he an icon, but when HE takes the wrong turn at Albequerque, he winds up somewhere cool. He's funny, fuzzy, and he and his pals taught me nearly everything I know about classical music.

Just because, here's a link to some Bugs goodness (and it's one of my favorites).

Incidentally, there were runners up here and they weren't all cartoons. They included Animal from "The Muppets" and Starbuck from the new "Battlestar Galactica."

Now Belle's addendum to the question is even more fun to deal with. Here the suspension of disbelief thing is really a problem for me because I'm actually inviting someone to dinner. Dinner invitations carry all manner of considerations. Obviously, I'm overthinking this.

So, from TV, who would I invite to dinner and why?

Johnny Carson

Here's the thing. I value funny. And if someone's coming to dinner, they'd better have something to say. Johnny would seem to have both. Think of all the people he interviewed and the stories he must know that never got told. And who couldn't he interview and make funny? And think about this, he did it in a suit and was able to make jokes about sex on TV in the 1970s. He didn't have to do the coked up, disheveled thing (I'm looking at you, Dane Cooke). He just was. He recognized funny: think of all the comedians whose career was made on his show. Plus, he carried a sidekick who, near as I can tell, was there only in case someone got out of control.

Also - and this is probably the biggest reason - I wonder whether he'd laugh at one of my jokes. That would be awesome.

Maybe I should try and come up with some more modern answers, but I don't really watch any real TV these days. It probably doesn't help that some of the other possible answers included Captain Kangaroo, Soupy Sales, and Martha Quinn.

Man, I'm getting old.


11 Responses to “Your Questions Answered, Part III”
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Belle said...

Okay. I get the Johnny Carson, but not sure about Magnum. You want to be Magnum? That I could get, maybe. But face hair???

November 22, 2007 at 7:27 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Really, Belle, it's about the Ferrari and the care free lifestyle. I've done the facial hair - never just a mustache (well, except for at Halloween - and it's more a pain in most cases than it is worth.

But be honest, as mustache's go, that's one of the better ones.

November 22, 2007 at 7:42 PM
Dr. Crazy said...

Tom Selleck only makes sense with a moustache. And on him, I've got to admit, I feel that it's weirdly hot. So macho :)

Johnny Carson, though? Really? I feel like you might be 85 years old, Curmudgeon. If I had to pick a talk-show host (and I wouldn't) it would be Letterman. I mean, *really*.

November 22, 2007 at 10:47 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Well, alright, Crazy - the gauntlet's thrown (though I threw out my hip doing it). Who would you pick (assuming Letterman really isn't your choice)?

November 22, 2007 at 11:14 PM
Maggie said...

I'm with Crazy here. Are you, in fact, 85 years old? Because that's who my 85-year-old uncle would invite to dinner. Seriously.

November 25, 2007 at 8:05 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Imagine the horror if I'd say Walter Cronkite. Interesting. You may call consider this an open invitation from myself and Maggie's 85 year old uncle. Who would you pick in the cage match of interesting TV stars?

November 25, 2007 at 9:57 AM
Dr. Crazy said...

Ok, I've given this a lot of thought. The original question was what *character* from tv/film would you most like to invite to dinner and why. I'm inclined not to choose a real live person for my answer, since "character" indicates that I have a whole range of fictional options. And so.

I would choose....

Rob Fleming, the protagonist of High Fidelity. Now, I think that Rob sucks for any number of reasons BUT. What do I want in a dinner guest?

1) Somebody with good taste in music, whom in fact I can dispatch to choose music while I'm busy with cooking and things.
2) Somebody who can talk about a range of topics, from music to TV to books, and who can engage with other people at the dinner party about those things. Oh, and somebody who has strong opinions about those things. That's very important.
3) Somebody whom others will find interesting but who will not be some sort of weird celebrity on a pedestal, because really, nothing makes people less comfortable than having to attempt to make conversation with a celebrity on a pedestal. And, who am I kidding, it's my dinner party and I do not want to be out-shined by any of my guests.

And you may be wondering why I would never pick a talk-show host. Well, silly, it's because a talk-show host would *necessarily* be a bad choice. Either a) people would have this high expectation that the talk-show host would have all of these great stories to tell and would be really amusing - just like on tv - and the host would fail to serve that up or b) the talk-show host would be *performing* throughout the dinner party and it would feel weird and unnatural because other guests would feel as if they were being interviewed or like the host was waiting for them to say something that would set the host up for a joke. In both cases, I think people would be more irritated than dazzled.

So there.

(And am I committed to Rob Fleming? Nah. One could just as easily replace him any number of other characters. But he was the first who came to mind. I will say, though, that I think I'd rather have Walter Cronkite than Johnny Carson. Does that mean that I'm secretly 100 years old?)

November 25, 2007 at 12:17 PM
Maggie said...

Crazy, excellent answer. Because the "character" thing is important. And not to diss the other Dr C's choice further, but I've actually heard that Carson was kind of an asshole IRL for exactly the reasons you give about not wanting a talk show host generally at your dinner.

Sorry to burst your 85 yr old bubble, other C.

I would probably go for somebody like House, or Nate Fisher from "Six Feet Under" or McNulty from The Wire, as I tend towards the melancholic assholes :)

November 25, 2007 at 12:49 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

What's interesting in that, Maggie, is that you're distressed at my choice of a real-life ass even as your own choice is for a fictional one. But I could always play the technicality card and say that I was inviting the character of Johnny Carson - the one we saw on TV - rather than the one you'd get at home. But I'm betting they'd both have the chance at being asses, so why quibble?

I imagine there would be that question about expecting a guest who was a talk show host to be "on," but then I'd suggest that we all hope that from our guests anyway.

November 25, 2007 at 1:04 PM
Maggie said...

See, *fictional* assholes are also charming, witty, troubled, and waiting to be saved by One Good Woman. *Real* assholes are just kind of annoying, and don't actually ever change! :)

Although I like the idea of the character of Johnny Carson.

November 25, 2007 at 1:32 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

It seems to me there's an element of wish fulfillment - and not just the "I want to meet a famous person/funy character" type - we're all shooting for via these character choices.

Not to invite you all onto my black leather couch (I think all therapists should have black leather couches - don't ask), but this seems like grounds for inquiry, doesn't it?

November 26, 2007 at 11:46 AM