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Monday, April 07, 2008

The Heston laid to Restin'

Charlton Heston, the man, the myth, the legend, died on Saturday. He was 84. Dang.

For some reason the news made me a bit emotional—you know, tears and stuff.

Weird. Maybe because I am reminded of my own mortality. Maybe because I hate to see legends die. Maybe because I JUST watched Planet of the Apes the other day—as well as everyone else who watches those AMC shows. Maybe it’s the Valium they have me on for this virus. Maybe all of the above.

The guy was Ben-Hur for crying out loud! And, Moses!

Heston was often lampooned on SNL. Comedians loved to have fun with his distinct demeanor. He was easy to “make fun of” but you know they all loved him. No one can really dis the Heston.

Soylent Green was one of my favorites. Slow? Yes. Cheesy? Uh-huh. Cool? Indeed. Soylent Green is people baby, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Did you ever see “Soylent Red” done by the late Phil Hartman? Funny stuff.

He was a dude. Of the real dude variety. A man’s man. He was a master marksman and archer (Ted Nugent loved him). A spokesman/former president for the NRA and a former steel mill worker out of Chicago. Don't know that I always agree with NRA politics but I still love the Heston. (p.s. for a chuckle watch this Ted Nugent interview)

But, he also had a certain sensitivity that shined through. I always wanted The Heston to be my grandpa.

Green CineDaily reminds us : : :

It must be noted, of course, that during the final decades of his life, Heston effectively overshadowed his acting career with his off-camera activities as spokesman for the National Rifle Association and other conservative causes.... Indeed, many people - most people? - were so accustomed to thinking of him as a right-wing grey eminence that it was all too easy to forget that, as a younger man, Heston was active in the civil rights movement - he marched alongside Dr Martin Luther King (along with Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier) during the 1963 march on Washington, DC - and campaigned for such decidedly non-conservative Presidential candidates as Adlai Stevenson and John F Kennedy.
Manhattan online gossip mag Gawker began their post regarding his death, “Well, you can have his gun now.” At which, I tried not to laugh. (for those of you who are confused, the NRA famous bumper sticker “you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers” should help clear things up. I might have been mad thinking they were dissing The Heston but the rest of the article was good.

He has some killer audio presentations you can download or purchase from various places like Amazon. His voice is so great. Heston reading the Bible? Awesome. Classic. On iTunes.

Nothing like hearing The Heston read Hemingway.

On days when I want to relax and take in some easy listening, nothing beats The Heston reading Plato, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Sartre, or Nietzsche. Obviously joking on the “easy listening” part but then again, nothing makes Nietzsche more approachable than The Heston.

Funny, I have always had this dream of writing a book and having The Heston do my book on CD. Some sleepers would do well to have The Heston make them cool. And, some cool books would have been over the top with The Heston at the helm.

Just picture “Sex God” or “Traveling Mercies” being read by The Heston. Genius.

You will be missed, my friend.


Paul J. said...


Tim M said...

I vaguely remember the Soylent Red bit with Phil Hartman. Wasn't he saying Soylent Red was something barely offensive, but dramatisizing it like the Hes?

"Soylent Red is ANIMALS!"
Makes me laugh just thinking about it, Hartman was so funny. What was Phil syaing SR was though? I CAN'T REMEMBER!!!

Speaking of Phil, ever see Hartman doin Sinatra, spoken to Sting as Bily Idol "I got CHUNKS of guys like you in my stool!"

John said...

@Tim M : : : if I remember, he just kept changing the color. It was promos for sequels--same plot, different color. Over dramatized. I sure miss Phil Hartman.

Tim M said...

I didn't know he matched with MLK. How cool is that! Thanks for this post Jvo, Heston rocked.

My cousin and I used to watch this movie "Mountain Men" with Heston in it. It was one of those movies you just roll around laughing at because it's so bad, and Heston made it all the more enjoyable because of his signature over the top style.

danp said...

Okay first... I miss Charlton "the" Heston. More so than when John "the duke" Wayne left this planet. Yes, JVo The Heston was THE man's man. But second, I too miss The Hartman. Captain Carl... "Whehhmennnnn!"