Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Dig A Divot: Munchkin Karl Slover is Really Most Sincerely Dead
As blogger, I must aver, that Karl Slover will no longer stir. And he's not only merely dead, he's really most sincerely dead. Slover, small in stature, big on ears, and one of the last original Munchkins left on the planet, has died at the age of 93.
The cause of death was not made public, but I'm guessing he succumbed after a Monopoly house landed on him.
And then there were three. The passing of Karl Slover (aka Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky and Karl Casitzky) leaves only three surviving Munchkins (Jerry Maren, Margaret Williams Pellegrini, and Ruth Robinson Duccini) from the original cast of The Wizard of Oz. Slover, laborious Lilliputian that he was, portrayed no less than four, count 'em, four Munchkins in the beloved classic. I'll be damned if I can ferret out more than two.
Captivating as The First Trumpeter.
Arresting as one of The Sleepy Heads.
Wikipedia lists two more roles -- a soldier and follower of the yellow brick road -- but suffice it to say, Slover did not stand out amid the elfin throng. He fared much better as Sam the Barber in one of cinema's absolute anomalies and curiosities of celluloid, the all-midget western, The Terror of Tiny Town.
The little shaver as Sam the Barber, about to perform his unique brand of tonsorial thaumaturgy on Sheriff Joseph Herbst in The Terror of Tiny Town, the Citizen Kane of all-midget westerns!
Watching a bantam buckaroo tie off his Shetland pony and walk under the hitching post and swinging saloon doors is amusing the first three times. It takes about fifteen minutes for the novelty to wear thin. When it does, all that's left is a troupe of untrained, at times unintelligible, performers hired for their size (not acting) range, firing cap pistols and trying their best to engage us through music.
And what a soundtrack it is! Think Alvin and the Chipmunks on helium. The sick-making Mister Jack and Missus Jill heard throughout the picture, could be the single worst tune ever recorded for the movies, and that includes You Light Up My Life, all of the songs from the musical remake of Lost Horizon.
Born in Prakfalva, Kingdom of Hungary, the scanty Slovak, and confirmed bachelor, lived his life in Dublin, Georgia. He spent his remaining years putting in personal appearances at Oz conventions where he could be heard bemoaning the fact that Toto received more in his pay envelope. He undoubtedly arrived at the Pearly Gates eager to ball out Saint Peter over the lack of Dunkin' Munchkins residuals awarded him.
More like this:
- Dig a divot: Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini is really most sincerely dead — Aug. 8, 2013
- Movie Poster Rejects You've Never Seen: Jaws, Batman, Supergirl, more — May 22, 2012
- The Title or Trailer Game 2: The New Batch — Nov. 7, 2011
- Bread for the Dead, TJ Style — Nov. 3, 2011
- Comic-Con Days 1 - 4 Photo Funnies — July 25, 2011