Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life of Reilly: Who Do You Have to Blank? - A Multimedia Extravaganza

As we celebrated the beginning of spring last March 21, 2006 I wrote a column called “Where Do You Get Your News?”. It told of a Sunday night in March when I was watching Grey’s Anatomy in its old timeslot and a teaser came on for the 11 o’clock news announcing the death of local news legend Bill Beutel.. This past Sunday night, I was getting ready to watch the Sunday night Eyewitness News when just moments before airtime, the studio caught fire (off the air) knocking the station off and canceling the evening newscast. Oh well, I thought, what could possibly be going on on a Sunday Night of a holiday weekend?

Little did I know…

As I meandered around the house unpacking yet another box, Trophy Wife plopped down on our computer and started chatting on MSN Messenger using my id. While chatting with my buddy Craig, he got word of a news bulletin, and I was able to find out last weekends big news story in a rather unusual fashion,…. Through an online chat.. Here is the transcript….

Craig says:
OH NO!!!!!!
Craig says:
Nate says:
Craig says:
Craig says:
Craig says:
Charles Nelson Reilly, Tony-Winning Comic Actor, Dies at 76
Craig says:
Nate says:
get the heck outta here!
Craig says:
he died friday!

And that is how I got my news that fateful Sunday night. Today we present a multimedia extravaganza… a salute to Charles Nelson Reilly!

Chuck had been mentioned in several prior columns, including this past January 11th when a Charles Nelson Reilly t-shirt was the punch line to an otherwise true story of a man leaving a gay bar near my old Roselle house who showed an interest in getting to know ol’ Nate a little better.

Since I have been a Match Game fan from the days I was a little pisher, I thought today’s column would be a multimedia salute to Chuck. I used to love watching him bicker with Brett Somers, they were like a wacky aunt and uncle. As a kid I was totally oblivious to his gayness... heck I was decoyed when he would appear on Tattletales with one of his female acting friends.

We begin the salute with a radio interview I did with Gene Rayburn back in 1990 where he spoke very highly of the contributions Chuck made to that legendary game show. This originally appeared on the blog on January 19, 2006...

Here is a clip of Chuck on Match Game when Charles helped a woman set a new record as the show’s biggest winner.

Here is a clip where Chuck misbehaved and was sent down to the lower tier!

Here is Chuck on a 1972 episode of Ive Got a Secret in the pre-Match Game era.. Check out the other game show legends on this episode…not to mention a very very young and very very hot Price is Right model Janice Pennington!

Special thanks to Mr. Match Game for providing those 3 clips to You Tube!

And finally in his later years, Chuck did a one man show called The Life of Reilly. It was made into a movie last year that has been shown periodically around the country and will be released on dvd later this year. Like Tony Randall, Chuck was the kind of guy who didn’t want to be known for just his TV work… Chuck was an acting teacher and also was involved in many successful theatrical productions. In this trailer for his movie, he has a very interesting way of talking about breaking out of that TV persona…. We have a no obscenity rule on this blog.. But due to the context of this clip I will make a rare exception. This is not safe for work, and watch out for the salty language!

In conclusion - here is the quote posted by Pumpstradamus, a take on the traditional Jewish exchange with a mourner...

z"l C.N.R., ha'makom yenachem et'chem b'toch sha'ar avalay broadway v'matchgame.


Craig said...

Thanks, Nate, for paying homage to this timeless legend. And I'm really quite honored that it was I who was graced with the fortuitous opportunity to break the tragic news to you, especially with the quiet, reserved dignity that Charles deserved.

("NATE!!! NATE!!! GET NATE!!!!")

Pumpstradamus said...

And thank you, Nate, for paying tribute to me with the last words to this column! As you well know, I have a special fondness for Charles - and not just because Baby Pumpstradamus shares a Jan. 13th birthday with both him and Rip Taylor (an equally famous and fabulous example of faygahlic flamboyance... on second thought, for my son's sake, maybe I shouldn't be publicizing that bit of trivia so proudly...!!)

Nate said...

Hey fellas,

I appreciate your comments. Indeed it was Craig who broke the news.. as opposed to the way I heard about Gene Rayburn when my friend Mike left me a msg on my machine saying.. "Gee you must be upset about Gene Rayburn!".. What a way to find out!!

As for the Pump.. I am very much aware that Chuck and Baby Pump share a b'day... and I have told Trophy Wife many times that I think that Charles Nelson would be a great name for a boy for any future kids we have..