Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mr. Chicken has left the henhouse

Now this is sad news:

Don Knotts has died.

Nerds, geeks, dorks, and dweebs everywhere are mourning the loss. As a self-confessed nerd myself, I'm verklemt.

Before Napoleon Dynamite, before Revenge of the Nerds, before Pirates of Silicon Valley, before Star Trek and comic book conventions, Don Knotts showed the world that you could be a geek and still be cool. Knotts's apoplectic portrayals of maladroit sheriff's deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show and wannabe ladies' man Ralph Furley on Three's Company formed a template for generations of intelligent but awkward, socially inept but well-meaning guys trying to make their way in a world that never understood or fully embraced them.

My favorite memories of Don Knotts, actually, are from his film roles, not his iconic TV characters. Throughout the 1960s, Knotts starred in a series of hilarious comedies playing endless permutations of his signature mild-mannered, fumbling, hyperactive, rebel-without-a-clue character. Knotts was consistently brilliant as:Knotts was the rare comic actor who could repeat the same shtick again and again and get away with it, simply because he carried it off so well. He was the lovable underdog with whom we could all identify. Even now, long after his heyday, if you mention the name Don Knotts to most people, they immediately envision his face, his voice, and his appealing milquetoast persona.

Don Knotts was truly an original, and one of a kind. You don't see his like in Hollywood often. I'm sorry to see him go.

Somewhere, even Scooby-Doo is shedding a tear.

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2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Donna offered these pearls of wisdom...

I swallowed a lump in my throat when I heard the news about his passing. My favorite charachter was Henry Limpet from "The Incredible Mr. Limpet". I recall watching this movie with my mother when I was a small child. Last week, I spotted the movie in DVD format listed in a sale flyer and decided it was one that should be added to my library. Funny, isn't it that my son's name is Henry!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

I never thought about how influential Don Knotts was to nerdom. I went on IMDB today and learned a lot of interesting things about him like how he majored in Education and he was a decorated WW2 vet.

Don Knotts, we hardly knew ye.:(

5:17 PM  

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