The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Don Adams Dies at 82

Don Adams (1923-2005)

Before I ever saw a James Bond movie, I was well-versed in the cliches of secret agent skullduggery by the '60s TV classic Get Smart, starring comic Don Adams and with brilliant behind the scenes work by co-creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. But Adams did the heavy lifting in front of the camera, with a razor sharp sense of timing to pull off every "Would you believe...?" and "Sorry about that, Chief."

Adams was also a gifted impressionist, and is equally remembered for his cartoon voice work (I spent a healthy chunk of my childhood trying to ape Tennessee Tuxedo), but it was Agent 86 that followed him through his career, getting dusted off every decade or so for another attempt to recreate the magic of the original.

So his death this week from a respiratory illness comes as sad news, although learning that he was the only survivor of his Marine platoon on Guadalcanal, and that he was a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion, makes one realize he's already been to heaven and hell.

For more on Adams remarkable life and career, check out the obituary written by son-in-law and talented character actor Jim Beaver.


idigworms said...

Here is something I did: a Don Adams MP3 Tribute.

celery said...

that obit. by the son-in-law was shocking. i can't believe that he didn't consider howard bannister on "check it out" as a serious role. max wright would have killed for that part.

VP81955 said...

Don Adams' trademark voice was actually based on an exaggeration of, believe it or not, William Powell. Whoever thought there was a link between Maxwell Smart and Nick Charles?