Sunday, April 24, 2011

Interview #10

Captain Geoffrey Spaulding was created for the Broadway musical, Animal Crackers, in 1928, the play itself running for 191 performances, after which it was filmed in 1930.  From the moment he appeared on stage, the audience knew he was a humbug, a fact Spaulding did nothing to discourage.

Interviewer:  When Jack Nicholson's role of Bobby DuPre in the film Five Easy Pieces brought him to the famed truck stop restaurant hold-the-chicken scene, it appeared to have informed the balance of his film career.  Do you think Animal Crackers did the same for you?

Captain Spaulding:  I was always this way.  I could, by the way, make you a good price on some genuine artifacts from the motion picture version.  A tablecloth where I spilled a drink on Margaret Dumont. If that doesn't get you, I have the authentic wig,worn by Billie Burke.

Interviewer:  Billie Burke wasn't in Animal Crackers.


Captain Spaulding:  Just trying to keep you honest.

Interviewer:  There are some critics who see you as the living embodiment of The Trickster.

Captain Spaulding:  Nah, that was Karl Rove.  Brilliant criminal mind.

Interviewer:  Still with the critics, there are those who have written about your use of Margaret Dumont as a foil, somewhat like the master and slave arrangement that formed the narrative device of Aristophanes' play, The Frogs.


Captain Spaulding:  The only frogs I know about are the ones I get in my throat from smoking cheap cigars.

Interviewer:  Could you ever see yourself being portrayed by an actor with the stature of, say, an Al Pacino?

Captain Spaulding:  He lacks a certain something.

Interviewer:  Could you tell me what?

Captain Spaulding:  Eyebrows.  Eyebrows and a mustache.

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