Christopher Walken Inducted Into Humanity Hall of Fame
posted by Matthew on 3/11/02
First of all, I’m reaching out to you, my W-D readers, for a little help. If you are part of the management, own, operate, or work for a newspaper, magazine, or any such print media or happen to know someone in one of these positions who would be interested in any of the following articles:
-In-depth piece on the TV show Iron Chef including interviews with the Chefs themselves in Japan
-In-depth piece covering the English music scene this summer, including major concert reviews, trends, and possible interviews with bands such as these: Oasis, Pulp, Spiritualized, The Charlatans etc.
-In-depth piece covering the sport of mixed martial arts in Japan, which regularly draws upwards of 40,000 people to the Tokyo Dome, including coverage of the UFC in America and interviews with fighters from both the UFC and Japanese fighting promotion Pride
-In-depth piece reviewing the finest, most respected restaurants in Paris
-In-depth piece covering the world of puroresu, the Japanese version of pro wrestling, with historical background, influence, a critical review of its style and underlying cultural ramifications, along with interviews with the stars of the oldest, most respected, and recently the most successful puroresu organization, All Japan Pro Wrestling
There are many other pieces that will be available, but right now I’m just shopping them around and seeing what I can get. Any offers will be considered. You can see examples of my more serious work at Baptizing By Fire.
Humanity has the amazing ability to spit out one or two truly great people per generation; not ‘great’ in the “Bob’s a great guy” sense of the word, but great in the “the perceived, impossible-to-pinpoint transcendence of common humanity.” These are men and women whose presence and capability to affect their fellow man separates them from the pact, marking them as not only fellow people stuck on an insignificant rock in the middle of the universe, but also undefinable cultural and historical icons, ideas and values barely shrouded under the name of a certain individual. They are the Humanity Hall of Fame. Among their ranks, one would find men like:
World’s Most Famous Jew: Take That Seinfeld and Woody, you pedophiles!
No wonder I had to be so poetic: Imagine trying to get laid with this forehead.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
18th Century Vogue: I loan my wardrobe out to Kaga-san on Iron Chef
Wha??: I can’t wait for Snoop Dogg to die so I can get some of his stash.And, of course, the man among children.
Robert De Niro
I’m so cool I don’t need a punchline.
Today, I officially induct one more great modern man to the Humanity Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, we are talking about a banner selection, a 1st round draft pick, a mercurial force of nature whose appeal is so completely unexplainable that I have no choice but to try and explain it anyway. He is the man, the legend, the pale faced angel of quizzical deliveries and uncomfortable dance interludes...
I’m...not too sure...I come...from this planet
Christopher Walken. Where do I begin? Well, let’s break down why Christopher Walken is so cool, piece-by-piece.
He’s Just A Little Odd
Yeah, if Walken is just “a little odd,” then James Brown is just “a little black”
Well, I guess the most obvious place to begin with is that the man is seriously fucking weird. As comedian Jay Mohr reported, this a man who rather have a tail than the ability to fly because, “Everyone could look at the tail and realize, ‘Oh, Chris is angry, better not mess with Chris today.” despite the fact that a dog waves it tail when it’s happy.
Plain Fucking Weird
One of the key’s to Walken’s weird charm is his deadpan voice, its slow rhythm heightening the listener’s tension and suspense. Walken generally talks in some type of deranged, dyslexic iambic pentameter, starting with one declamatory syllable, then a pause, a couple rapid-fire syllables, a pause, a short, muted syllable or two, pause etc. It is like he’s listening to a drunken, stuttering drumbeat in his head or, inversely, having mini-acid-flashbacks that distract him every couple of seconds.
There goes the Law of Gravity
Christopher Walken has the ultimate badass disturbo-black-pompadour-of-swankness. Levitating about his tight, pale face, this thick black poof of hair only serves to mesmerize anyone who comes in contact with it, and, for a brief moment, distract them from Walken’s overwhelming weirdness. The hair is somewhere in between Fonzie and Vince McMahon, but, let’s be honest, the hair is pure, unadulterated Walken. Wouldn’t that be the worse cologne ever? Can you imagine putting on a dab of Walken in the morning? Which reminds me...
The Unsettling Effeminacy
Those lips on a guy are obscene
Though it has somewhat faded with the onset of age, Christopher Walken’s sharp facial angles, absurdly tight skin, and soft features...well, let’s just say he reminded me of shower time in prison. Wait...nevermind. Anyway, he did have a shockingly effeminate visage and, when you least expected, it would suddenly spring on you that Walken was one or two surgeries away from being one draconian, crazy-eyed piece of ass...Maybe not.
In most of his movies, Walken finds a place to incongruously insert a dance scene where he can show his classically trained dance skills. Of course, what Walken doesn’t seem to realize is that watching Christopher Walken dance is not only funny, but also unexplainably frightening. This is the same man who Hollywood has taught us to seee as an off-his-head maniac, a carefully measured orator of death, and when he decides to bust a fucking move, your first reaction is laughter followed, creepingly, by the feeling that a classically trained dancing lunatic is somehow more disconcerting than a normal, uncoordinated lunatic. Of course, that didn’t stop his award-winning music video for Fatboy Slim, “Weapon of Choice,” from being, by far, the best video of the year. Let’s be honest, ANY music video that has the balls to just go wall-to-wall with crazy Walken dancing is among the best videos of the year. However, any music video that combines dancing Walken with flying Walken is just too good to be true.
Dancing Lunatics Say the Darndest Things
There are so many, but I’ll just cover a few of my favorites. There’s, of course, the beautiful scene in Pulp Fiction where Walken, in military uniform, visits the child of a fallen comrade, a man who died by Walken’s side in Vietnam. Walken holds in his hand a special watch, a watch given to the young boy’s father by his father, who in turn got it from his father.
The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any of the slopes were gonna get their greasy yellow hands on his boy's birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.
Then, of course, there’s the one redeeming quality in the awful film True Romance where Dennis Hopper tells mobster Christopher Walken, in great detail, how all Sicilians are descended from black people, which, Walken, being a racist mobster, of course takes offense to, and, unsurprisingly, kills Hopper. Maybe Hopper should have taken a clue from his introduction to Walken, earlier in the scene:
Hopper: Who are you?
Walken: The Anti-Christ. You get me in a vendetta kind of mood, you tell the angels in heaven you never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you. My name is Vincent Coccotti.
Well then. Try working that response into a daily conversation. Finally, we have the most simple, indisputable great Walken quote of all time, from the movie Suicide Kings, which, by the way, may have the coolest movie pair of all time, mobster Christopher Walken and Denis Leary as his underling. It is badass on many levels. Anyway, some idiots decide to kidnap Walken so that he’ll use his underworld clout to save one of their sisters, who also happens to be kidnapped. Halfway through the scheme, when it becomes clear that things aren’t working out right, Walken, in the midst of one of his finest performances, sums everything up with the succinct, classic:
“You didn’’t think this through too good, did you?”
Excellent. For these reasons, and so many more, I induct Christopher Walken, pale faced, slow talking, oddly effeminate, dancing fool and general alien, to the Humanity Hall of Fame. There are few better.
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