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Dom DeLuise
1933 - 2009

Beaks here...

This is the only time I've failed to smile at the thought of Dom DeLuise. Since Mr. DeLuise probably wouldn't want it that way, let's do this...
That's a great scene on its own, but it plays even better in the context of the film. For eighty minutes, Mel Brooks has been throwing everything at the audience: fart jokes, sex jokes, wildly inappropriate racial jokes... he's even scored with a rape joke! But just when it appears that the film is going to devolve into a wild brawl between the townspeople and Harvey Korman's thugs, DeLuise unexpectedly shows up as catty musical director Buddy Bizarre, and he fucking kills! That's what DeLuise did. He made every movie funnier just by stepping in front of the camera. Starting with his uproarious performance as an inept spy in Frank Tashlin's THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT, DeLuise was one of Hollywood's most reliably funny actors; whether cast in a substantial role or utilized as a walk-on scene-stealer, he was going to make you laugh one way or another. List the movies, and I'm sure you can think of one quintessential DeLuise bit: THE TWELVE CHAIRS, SILENT MOVIE, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I, HOT STUFF, THE END, THE MUPPET MOVIE, WHOLLY MOSES!, FATSO, JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY... they weren't all classics, but DeLuise's antics elevated every single one of them. And then there was his turn as Victor Prinzim in the Hal Needham's all-star comedy smash-up, THE CANNONBALL RUN. I was eight years old when I saw this movie in the theater, and for some inexplicable reason, whenever Victor transformed into "Captain Chaos", I was in hysterics. I mean, there was no bit there: it was just a happy, rotund fella donning tights and beating up bad guys. And yet I doubt I have ever laughed harder in my life. So for that, Mr. DeLuise, I'd like to thank you. What were your favorite DeLuise moments?

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