Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
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The Death Pool and Dom DeLuise
When I heard that Dom DeLuise died the other day, a bunch of things popped into my mind.
As a kid, I loved him in the Mel Brooks movies (Space Balls, History of the World, and Blazing Saddles). I also enjoyed him in the Burt Reynolds films; especially the closing credits, where they'd show outtakes from the movie.
I remember as an 11-year-old, my parents watching his movie "Fatso" on HBO. I barely remember that film, other then a scene in which he has his refrigerator chained up so he doesn't get to the food inside it. And I remember watching my mom laugh harder than I'd ever seen her laugh.
I wonder now what an overweight actor like that does when he's first given the script for that film. Does he call his agent and say "Why did they want me for this role?"
I called my mom and we talked about Dom. She mentioned he was a chef, something I didn't know.
I tried to think of what his earliest movie might've been. Sometimes you are surprised when you find out someone like Jack Nicholson, had bit parts in movies in the early 60s, a decade before he became famous.
Dom did a movie called: Who is Harry Kellerman and why is he saying these terrible things about me?
Gotta love the 60s. They had movie titles that were sentences.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Yes, they do. And they also come up with normal movie titles that are only a few words long! I mean, how did they even put movie titles like that on those old marquees?
I remember a few weeks ago looking in the paper at what movies were playing. They had to shorten the movie title "Confessions of a Shopaholic" to "Con of a Shopaholic." And since a period wasn't used in "con" it took me a minute to figure out what that even was.
Anyway...something else popped into my mind with the death of DeLuise -- Those "death pools" that people always do. I've always thought they were in poor taste. And I always thought they were poorly done. Even though I did once participate in one, and I won big. Although, I cheated. I had heard that Don Ho was having heart problems, so I put him on my list. Three months later he died.
Part of the problems with a death pool, aside from the obvious that it's sick to be betting on which celebrities will die...some people just don't properly put them together. Because, you have jokers that just pick every actor over the age of 80. Other people do these where it's a point system, so the younger the person is, the more points you get. This way, you can't just pick the cast of Cocoon or The Golden Girls, and clean up.
The problem with those pools though, is everyone picks the Lindsay Lohens of Hollywood -- young actors that are known to party hard.
The year that I won it, I tried to get creative. I would pick younger actors, but I also went with heavy actors. I had John Goodman, who I had seen on Letterman the week before and he seemed to have trouble breathing. And it wasn't like he was running a marathon. He was just sitting there talking, and was getting worn out from the experience.
I'm guessing that someone won a Death Pool recently, with the death of Bea Arthur and now Dom DeLuise. But I'm guessing these people cost more people over the years. After all, Arthur lived into her 90s. And Dom was 75 when he passed away. Who would've guessed the'd live that long?