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Posts Tagged ‘Gene Wilder’

Willy Wonka and the Strange Oscar Night References

A lot of folks were puzzled last night on Twitter during the Oscars when the show orchestra, from several miles away at Capitol Records, played off Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o with the song “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the ditty Gene Wilder intones when his group of visitors first catches a glimpse of the magical candy kingdom.

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The Delightful M.O. of Octogenarian Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, who turns 80 today, refuses to somersault into the 21st century. Fitting for a man whose stage name was inspired by the works of long-ago novelists Thomas Wolfe and Thornton Wilder.

What appears to be Wilder’s official Twitter is delightfully stalled at the January 2, 2013 mark. Last Thursday, the actor was absent from the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony at the Dolby Theatre honoring Mel Brooks, delivering instead a brief video message. And it’s hard to imagine a Hollywood star memoir being further from the boiler-plate norm than Wilder’s 2006 tome Kiss Me Like A Stranger.

Wilder has gone on to author three novels and a collection of short stories. His latest, Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance, is set during World War II and tells the tale of an American corporal chasing across Europe after a mysterious Danish woman.

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Willy Wonka and the Condescending Twitter Factory

If you search on Twitter for “Condescending Wonka,” words that connect to an infamous Internet meme, you may well be stupefied by the results. There are dozens of such CW-named feeds, some with follower counts that reach into the hundreds of thousands.

In one sense, it’s no surprise that the 1971 Gene Wilder movie has been sliced, diced and co-opted like just about ever other piece of pop culture. But FishbowlLA wondered who sits behind some of the top Wonka goofs such as @WonkaTweets.

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Bill Hader Bows to John Cleese

For the first time since Eddie Murphy in 1983, a Saturday Night Live performer has been nominated at the Primetime Emmys in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Before Bill Hader finds out if he’ll take home the prize, he chatted with Elvis Mitchell for today’s episode of TheTreatment on KCRW.

There’s lots of good stuff about the mysteries of why some SNL skits work and other celebrity hosts don’t, even when they’re killing it in studio. Hader also talks about his admiration for comedians who remained calm amidst the craziness, like Harvey Korman, Gene Wilder and SCTV’s Rick Moranis. In that same vein, he also isolated a formative childhood viewing experience:

“Watching Monty Python and the movie And Now For Something Completely Different in the sketch where John Cleese is the guy teaching people how to defend themselves if anyone attacks with fresh fruit. And the way he plays that is as a real insane person. He doesn’t play it funny, at all. There’s a moment where everyone is listing off – ‘You’ve already told us how to defend us against cherries…’ – but it’s so funny, there’s just a shot of him listening to them and he’s playing it as a psychopath. And that, at a young age, I realized, ‘Oh, that’s what makes it so much funnier.’”

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Hugh Hefner Makes Like Willy Wonka

Remember the famous scene improvised by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where the actor limps out with the aid of a cane only to suddenly somersault to full spryness?

Although there won’t be anything close to that involving Hugh Hefner at the August 2011 edition of his Midsummer Night’s Dream party, there will be eleven lucky golden ticket plus-one winners in attendance, thanks to a first-time-ever Playboy promotion.

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