Saturday, April 17, 2021

Quips and Quotations (Workplace Safety Edition)


1937-2021

All the guys on the set smoked. They just dropped their butts and stepped on them. The producers worried that I might step on a smoldering cigarette and go up in flames...They gave me synthetic hair, which was flame-retardant.


--Felix Silla, stuntman and actor, Cousin Itt on TV's The Addams Family



Numerous obituaries are reporting that Cousin Itt was the only television Addams Family character to not have appeared first in a Charles Addams New Yorker cartoon, but as someone who as a kid used to check out Addams' cartoon collections from the library, that didn't sound right to me. Not much googling transpired before I found the above, though in the interest of fairness, I will note "Itt" is both not capitalized and spelled differently--Kirk


 

17 comments:

  1. Hi, Kirk!

    Although he wasn't a household name, actor Felix Silla played a character that millions of TV and sick humor fans knew and loved. Through his portrayal of Cousin Itt, a hirsute creature that made Chewbacca look clean shaven, he gained immortality.

    Another death that gave me a painful twinge this past week was that of child star Lee Aaker, whom I watched in the mid and late 50s in the role of Rusty of "B-Company" in the Western style TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

    Thanks for remembering Felix Silla, the man under the hair, good buddy Kirk. Itt was all that!

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    1. Shady, I did read of Aaker's death and have heard of the Rin Tin Tin series (long before the TV show, the German shepherd, or a similarly-looking German shepherd with the same name, was a silent film star) I'm afraid I haven't seen a single episode. According to the obit I read, this was another unfortunate case of a child star cast aside by the entertainment industry as an adult. RIP, Lee Aaker.

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  2. Now I know who Boris Johnson reminds me of. Except he's blonder.

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    1. Jenny, all I know about Johnson is that he's frequently compared to Donald Trump. So I imagine he's creepy and he's kooky, mysterious and spooky, and all together ooky (or icky), just like Trump.

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  3. Replies
    1. Mitchell, ever watch the 1970s Buck Rogers TV show, based on a once-popular outer space comic strip of the same name? Silla, just under four feet tall, played Buck's robot sidekick (though Mel Blanc, of Warner Bros. cartoon fame, supplied the voice.) The hunk actor who played Buck, Gil Gerald, apparently stayed in touch with Silla throughout the years. It was he who announced Silla's death via Twitter.

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    2. I do remember the show although I wasn't a regular viewer. And, yes, I too thought Gil Gerard was a hunk.

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  4. Replies
    1. The 1960s, Andrew, when the show aired? I guess it's all relative.

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  5. The only ITT I remember was International Telephone and Telegraph.

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    1. Mike, I always confuse ITT with ATT. Given the popularity of the internet and the proliferation of cell phones, I'm surprised either one is still in business.

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  6. Hello Kirk, On my dvd set of the complete Addams Family (only two seasons, unfortunately), Felix Silla was one of the people on the discussion track and the extra documentaries, and so forth. Watching and listening to all this let me know Mr. Silla and his actual personality much better.
    --Jim

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    1. Well, Jim, then you know Frank Silla better than I do. As a fan of The Addams Family, his obit caught my attention, including the quote about flame-retardant hair.

      The Munsters (another show I'm a fan of) also only ran two seasons. The same two seasons, in fact.

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  7. Replies
    1. Debra, if you mean The New Yorker cartoon, thanks. It was memory as much as research, as I remembered seeing Itt (or it) in a cartoon before. Unlike the other characters like Lurch or Uncle Fester, I think that may be the only time Charles Addams drew what must have been the inspiration for Cousin Itt.

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  8. I adored the Addams Family. One of the fun shows. Was not so much a Munster's fan for some reason.

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    1. Despite surface similarities, JM, the two shows were different in tone.

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In order to keep the hucksters, humbugs, scoundrels, psychos, morons, and last but not least, artificial intelligentsia at bay, I have decided to turn on comment moderation. On the plus side, I've gotten rid of the word verification.