Posts Tagged ‘Steve Carell’

The old “Call forwarding from the shoe phone to the cell phone so you don’t know where I am and then I appear on the roof behind you and surprise everyone” trick.

Oh yes, I know I should be doing my civic duty and watching election coverage on one of 899 channels… I will wait until tomorrow to find out who the new owner of America country will be.  Instead, I caught another film that I missed out on last summer.  I believe that my introduction to the television series Get Smart
came in the 7th grade.  My cousin (whose last name is Maxwell) became a favorite target of our junior high phys ed instructor.  He was known as Maxwell “Get” Smart and I was known as “Get Dumb.”  It was about this time that reruns were playing on Nick at Nite (whatever happened to the “classic tv” that was promised on this channel and its sister channel TVLAND).

The movie, starring the always brilliant Steve Carell as wildly inept CONTROL agent 86 and Anne Hathaway as the capable agent 99 was very fun.  A total update of the series while retaining much of the original.  Clippings in the opening credits of past villains such as “The CLAW” (NOT CRAW… THE CLAW) and Mr. Big (who was not so big after all).  The series of doors that led to the telephone booth that dropped agents to headquarters.  Agent 13 (Bill Murray) hidden in the most ridiculous of places and Fang. Plus a brief cameo by an original series cast member.

I will not dwell too much on the plot because like the series it is just silly, mindless fun.  However as always Max and 99 are hot on the trail of KAOS’ own Ziegfried and (no… not Roy) Shtarker.  Some of the villains had an almost Bondian quality.  There was an 8 foot behemoth whom I almost expected to have a mouthful of steel teeth.  I could have sworn that it was Richard Kiel, the same actor who played Jaws (of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker) as well as Mr. Larson from Happy Gilmore, but alas it was not.  Shtarker also bore a similar appearance to Oddjob (from Goldfinger).

All I can say is that if you enjoyed the original or if you enjoy Steve Carell’s work, go out and rent Get Smart.  There are enough in-jokes from the series to keep the fans pleased and enough fun and excitement to keep the new entertained.


The television series Get Smart was created by Mel Brooks in the 1960s as a spoof of the James Bond phenomenon. Don Adams played the bumbling Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) to the much more competent Agent 99 (played by Barbara Feldon). Originally, 99 was to be Agent 69; however, as many would guess, the name was changed to prevent any sexual censorship.

Each episode finds the CONTROL agents (spies who actually punch time clocks) on missions to thwart the evil plans of counter agency KAOS. Two of the memorable recurring villains was Ze Craw (NO, NO…. not Craw, The Claw) who had a large magnet in place of his left arm and the evil Siegfried (who incidentally was a master magician (who used the “old gun in the rabbit trick.”)

Like Bond, Max has several devices at his disposal (the shoe phone and the inflato-jacket to name but two). The most memorable device is the Cone of Silence that never worked. 86 and the Chief would be surrounded by a large transparent bubble. However, there was a sheet of plexiglass placed between them which made it impossible for them to hear each other.

On Friday June 20, new audiences will be introduced to the characters when the comic genius Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway assume the roles created in the 1960s. This time instead of being the top agent of CONTROL, Max is promoted from analyst to field agent and goes on his first mission. This should matter little since Mr. Smart bumbled his way through 5 seasons on television but somehow always managed to foil the evil plans of KAOS. Facing every kind of danger imaginable…. AAAAND LOVING IT.

Some bits of trivia form the series:

Barbara Feldon was taller than Don Adams. Mr. Adams would stand on platforms to remedy the situation or Ms. Feldon would scrunch or sit down.

The acronyms CONTROL and KAOS actually stood for nothing.

Agent 99’s real name is never revealed.

The Chief’s real name was revealed as Thaddeus.

Get Smart Sweepstakes: Enter to win a free trip to Russia and Finland!

Get Smart – Season 1

An Odd House Call

Everyone knows that most famous people do not become so overnight. In fact, the majority of today’s stars led everyday lives and some of them probably wished that they had. Here is but a sampling of the “odd jobs” and other highlights of some famous people.

Dan Aykroyd and Steve Carell both worked for the postal service.

Jennifer Aniston was a telemarketer.

Warren Beatty was a rat catcher.

Lucille Ball was fired from an ice cream parlor for not putting bananas in a banana split.

Boy George (of the 80s group Culture Club who created the Broadway flop musical Taboo) was fired from a supermarket for wearing the store’s bags.

Finally in the 1970s, Tim Allen (in the would rather forget category) spent two years in prison for dealing cocaine.

My personal favorite odd job of the stars would be for Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg. Apparently, the Whoopster was a mortuary cosmetologist before she became a stand-up comedienne. The thought of going into a funeral parlor to beautify a dead body seems strange at best. However, my mother who is a beautician herself has visited our local mortuary on several occasions for just that reason. She also has a standing appointment for several of her more mature patrons… talk about making house calls. Apparently, they want no one else touching their hair as they make their way into the great beauty parlor in the sky.

To learn more about other stars before they made it big visit this site:

New Must See TV

Now…. I have another show to look forward to on Thursday nights (one of the few evenings on which I actually find enjoyable shows). The Office is a hilarious mockumentary based upon a British series. It concerns the everyday workings of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper company. The ensemble cast is awesome. Steve Carell plays the regional manager, Michael Scott. Rainn Wilson plays Dwight, assistant to the regional manager, . John Krasinski portrays salesman Jim. Jenna Fischer is seen as long suffering receptionist Pam Beasley. Finally, B.J. Novak plays Ryan the temp.

I was lucky enough to become acquainted with the show the other night and tried hard to hold my laughter in as some children were trying to go to sleep so the Easter Bunny would come, but at times it was nearly impossible. I saw the first three episodes of the series in which the characters are introduced.

All three episodes were hilarious, but I would have to say that I enjoyed the health-care segment most. Michael is ordered to choose a new health care package for his staff which will dramatically cut the one already in place. He decides to delegate the responsibility to his assistant. Dwight chooses a plan that is so bad that Michael hides in his office to escape the employee’s anger. Michael also attempts to ease the tension by promising a surprise which turns out to be ice cream sandwiches.

Also memorable was a faux-Punked scene in which Pam believes that she has become the victim of downsizing. I also loved the diversity-integration meeting. So much great stuff in only 3 episodes. Unfortunately, it was getting too late before I was able to see all 6 episodes of season 1. Steve Carell is phenomenal as the jerky but hilarious leader of this fine ensemble. New episodes begin April 10 on NBC. Is Thursday night still known as “Must See TV on NBC?

Spread Some Sunshine

Smiley FaceAny family who sees themselves as dysfunctional needs to watch the movie Little Miss Sunshine. The Hoover clan gives new definition to the term. At the head of the household, we have the motivational speaker (played by Greg Kinnear) who is himself a total loser. The frazzled, chain smoking mother (Toni Collette) whose idea of a home-cooked meal is a bucket of fast food chicken…. cleverly disguised as NOT KFC. The clinically depressed, suicidal uncle (the brilliant Steve Carell) who lost the title of #1 Proust student to the new lover of his ex-boyfriend. The rebellious, teenage, Nietszche follower who has taken a vow of silence (Paul Dano). FINALLY, we have the fun-loving, expletive shouting, drug addicted grandfather (Alan Arkin). They all pile into the family VW van in order to take little Olive (Abigail Breslin) from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.

While on this road trip, the Hoover’s learn some valuable lessons. You should never apologize for yourselves no matter how dysfunctional you are. Little girls who eat ice cream may or may not get fat. AND (strangest of all) pornography can be viewed as a sign from God; or at least be useful when pulled over by the police.

While the film contains a magnificent ensemble cast, one character in the movie deserves extra credit. The poor van that almost seemed to have a personality all its own. It should have been given a screen credit. Its broken horn gave voice to the pain it must have been feeling as it continued on the long journey with a bunch of kooks. Not since THE ORIGINAL Herbie the Love Bug has a Volkswagen been as memorable a character as any human.

Pamper Me

NO…. do not put me in a diaper. I was invited to attend a Pampered Chef party at the house of my very good friends. It was very entertaining. Everyone there got to help make brownies… (which ended up being slightly burned but with a little ice cream, were quite good). I ACCIDENTALLY spilled a smidgen of brown sugar on the floor as I was filling the plopper thing. THEN, I gracefully dropped a scoop of ice cream on the floor…. sorry.

After the demo, we arranged an Oscar night party. I have not seen any of the movies nominated for any of the major awards. I have heard that Gone Baby Gone is not all that great.Only that it is Ben Affleck’s directorial debut and has his brother, Casey in it. We briefly discussed Little Miss Sunshine which I have not seen but hope to. And while we were on the topic of Steve Carell movies, we mentioned Get Smart which will be coming to theatres this summer. I will say that I have seem Norbit on DVD which is up for Best Makeup. That movie should be a contender for WORST MOVIE EVER. I wonder how many movies have ever won both Oscars and Razzies.