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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Madeline Kahn Appreciation Day: Beyond Lili Von Shtupp

In preparing for Madeline Kahn Appreciation Day (hosted today, with glitz and verve, by Stinkylulu), I took a audiovisual tour around the avalanche of Kahn's career highlights that can be found now over at You Tube. Up until that point, I had fully expected to write about my favorite cinematic performances by the late, great comedienne. (For the record, they are all included inside the Mel Brooks trifecta: Blazing Saddles, History of the World: Part I, and Young Frankenstein.)

But those choices, while classic, are a bit obvious. So what a thrill to find the gold mine of You Tube, where there are some truly remarkable hidden gems featuring Kahn, easily accessible for all to enjoy. So now you'll find below five of my new Madeline Kahn favorites. Why speak for her, when she can (thankfully) still speak for herself?

The Sisters Rosenszweig
Kahn's Broadway triumph never made it to the silver screen, but this "reading" clip from a Tony telecast captures a fragment of Gorgeous' genius.

Mrs. White's Confession from Clue
Why is this so damn funny? Because Kahn is a master...no one ever got more out of a line than she does here.

Trixie Delight
This monologue, from Paper Moon, hints at the masterful actress Kahn was behind the humor.

With Grover, on Sesame Street
Sweet, gentle, and understated. Kahn here is funny, of course, but it's a far cry from her bawdier, career-making roles. I love this.

Getting Married Today
With chops that best most of the comic leads on Broadway today, Kahn massages Sondheim's classic cold-feet aria with every Borscht Belt trick in her arsenal. Perfect.

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Blogger Dorian said...

Yes! Her "Getting Married Today" made the list! I love her version of that song. I'll be sure to check out these other clips too.

5/29/08, 4:04 PM  
Blogger heather said...

crap. alot of those were showing as not being available. i love madeline kahn, she is like the queen of funny for me.

5/29/08, 4:57 PM  
Blogger Tor Hershman said...

She t'were great in the Brooks' flicks and the clips you posted are most groovin'.


5/29/08, 5:01 PM  
Blogger Billy D said...

Virgins...put on your no-entry signs!

5/30/08, 9:35 AM  
OpenID Tom19057 said...

What a great surprise to find Madeline Kahn Appreciation Day.

Not sure if you guys are familiar with my favorite MK performance, but she is wet your pants hysterical & brings tears to your eyes in "Happy Birthday Gemini". This film is based on a play that takes place in South Philly. The lead character (Francis), a college student in lust with his girlfriend's brother, is turning 21 and is trying to come out of the closet to his macho Italian "Pop". Anyway, Madeline plays the outrageous neighbor, Bunny, who has "hepatitus hair" and an asthmatic son.

Sorry this is soooo long, but after seeing this movie, I was in love with Madeline forever,all the way up to the New Cosby Show.

5/31/08, 2:49 AM  
Blogger Rosserfan said...

I love the "Flames on the side of my face" part from Clue. I have used that in everyday conversation several times.

5/31/08, 7:49 PM  

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