February 26th, 2006


RIP Darren McGavin, Don Knotts, and Tung Piu

This was a bad week to be a character actor. McGavin, Knotts, and Bill Tung have all died. McGavin, of course, attained immortality in his portrayals of ink-stained reporter Carl Kolchak in THE NIGHT STALKER and of the Old Man in A CHRISTMAS STORY. Knotts attained immortality as Barney Fife on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, but could always be counted on to offer an enjoyable turn in pretty much anything (I'll always remember him fondly for his guest shots on THE NEW SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES). Tung, born and often credited in his native Hong Kong as Tung Piu, started out as a horse-racing commentator but wound up playing avuncular characters in movies, often as a supporting player to Jackie Chan (you might recognize him from such films as the POLICE STORY series, PROJECT A, and DRUNKEN MASTER II). Mysteriously, though his career saw him playing roles from diverse backgrounds and across a wide swath of time and space, you could pretty much bet that whenever he appeared in a movie his character would be named "Uncle Bill."
cass groovy

Vigilantism: not just a good idea, it's the law!

As part of a review of The Brave and the Bold 102, The Comic Treadmill points out that in 1972, vigilante justice wasn't just a fact of life in Gotham City -- it was the law. (Scroll down to the section on "Lawyer.")

Apparently, Section Three, Clause Two of Gotham Ordinances states that "Citizens aggrieved by uncontrolled crime may enforce their own police procedures."

How awesome is that?!

(I believe that the Silver Age Gotham City also had laws on the books forbidding anybody but Batman and Robin from wearing their costumes. Which is goofier, but not as outrageously wonderful.)