Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Special Talent

I have a very special talent. Perhaps a few examples will explain.

I was watching the movie The Breaks this weekend with my wife, who said the guy playing the character "Chris" was "somebody from another show, but I don't know who." After but a few minutes' thought, I said, "That's the guy who played Cockroach in The Cosby Show." His name is Carl Anthony Payne II. Google it if ye doubt the claim.

OK, maybe that isn't such a big deal. But bear with me. Later in the same movie, the main characters get thrown in jail where they share a holding cell with various gangbangers and eccentrics. One of the prisoners is a dreadlocked guy in a wheelchair who can't talk. In no time flat, I ID'd the actor as the guy who played Lamar Latrell in Revenge of the Nerds. Mind you this was a non-speaking part, and the two movies were made 15 years apart. But it was him. The gentleman's name is Larry B. Scott, and contrary to a rumor of the late 1980s, he did not die of AIDS.

Larry B. Scott as Lamar Latrell in Revenge of the Nerds, about to throw the special aerodynamic javelin designed specially for his limp-wristed throwing motion. By the way, I noticed immediately that Kevin Costner's brother in Field of Dreams was "Poindexter" (Timothy Busfield)  from this very same movie. 

But even that pales next to my greatest feat. Last week we were watching The Rockford Files and a railway porter briefly spoke to Jim Rockford. The actor portraying the porter? I don't know his name, but it's the guy who played the crazy uncle who put A-1 steak sauce on his hamburger in the old commercials. May God strike me dead if it isn't the same guy. I don't think he appeared in the credits on the Rockford Files episode, and he isn't listed on the IMDB page for the episode, but it is him. If you have Netflix you can see for yourself. It's Season 1, Episode 5, "Tall Woman in Red Wagon."

"What's hamburger, chopped ham? No, it's chopped steak!"

I'd enjoy it if I could somehow profit from this ability. Funny thing is, I'm terrible with faces in real life. Unless a person has a really distinctive appearance, I need to see him/her four or five times before it sinks in. Also, within a single movie, I often confuse two of the main characters because I can't tell them apart by appearance. I'm the person who's always saying, "Why is he trying to kill them? I thought he was on their side."

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