Since I did a bit player bit yesterday I thought I might consider another. I do, after all, have great respect and affection for thespians who take minor parts. The truth is this mentioning has less to do with bit players and more to do with my recognizing them.
You might have heard of Larry David, creator of Seinfeld. In addition to his writing, he also did the voiceover of George Steinbrenner on the show and intoned a minor character’s part in the “Wig Master” episode. Yesterday, I noticed him in “The Gum” episode rejecting George’s lipstick smeared twenty-dollar bill. Actually, this was Larry David’s last on-screen cameo. He’s standing behind a street kiosk and George, garbed in a Henry the VIII costume, galumphs over to the newsstand to buy a pack of gum. George hands over the money and Larry David who is playing the kiosk vendor says, ““I beg your pardon, your majesty, but we don't accept bills with lipstick on the president.” Great line.
In the wee hours of the night, I also noticed in the “Bully For Martin” episode of Frasier, the guy who played Coach Cutlip on “The Wonder Years”— Robert Picardo. This was a more majestic discovery. Larry David I have seen on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a number of times. I spotted him right away. But, recognizing Coach Cutlip (Robert Picardo) was somehow riveting. I really loved his character on the “Wonder Years”, but it was awesome seeing him arguing with Frasier in Café Nervosa about whose dad was bullying whom.
Maybe you think I’m a bit nuts, but I’m a product of the TV generation, okay maybe a bit of a boob tube junkie, but I love making these discoveries. It makes me feel like a TV Archaeologist discovering a lost nugget of pop culture.
Where else can I can in the present day TV dynamics that are chockablock with Reality TV shows? Some of them are passable at best, but there’s no reason to watch a second time. The more TV I watch the more I go back and search for bit players who I might have missed the first time through. I return again and again for good old, sitcoms because I was bred on them. I even like the canny laughter from the big oldies like “The Honeymooners.” I’ll have to save a page for them at another date.
Sitcoms are kind of a dying breed nowadays. They will soon grow extinct. God bless the reruns