Friday, April 6, 2012

Master of the Souse

As Alton Benes
If you remember the Seinfeld episode called "The Jacket" (Jerry has a "fabulous" new suede jacket; he's wearing it when he and George meet up with Elaine and her father Alton Benes for dinner...) then you remember the tough-guy actor Lawrence Tierney, who played Alton.

As Sam Wild in Born to Kill
Lawrence Tierney (1919-2002) was a Brooklyn-born actor who was either too busy playing the tough guy for real in his real life to make his career work out, or maybe he couldn't separate the gangster thug roles he played from reality.  The difference is, in the movies he was in, such as "Born To Kill" and "The Devil Thumbs A Ride," when he got locked up, the director hollered "CUT" and they opened the cell door right away.  In real life, in the jails he was in, it didn't happen that easily.  Tierney was arrested over a dozen times, for fighting and/or drunkenness, and he didn't give up the booze until 1992, following a stroke.

The cast and crew of "Seinfeld" said that Tierney certainly would have been brought back for further appearances as Elaine's gruff Dad, but the cast and crew were scared of him.  He tried to steal a kitchen knife from Seinfeld's apartment set.

As Don Brodka
He was also on "The Simpsons" as security guard Don Brodka, who caught Bart trying to rip off a copy of the video game "Bonestorm" from the Try-N-Save discount store.  Reports are that he intimidated and threatened people at the recording of that episode (called "Marge Be Not Proud" from December, 1995.)

The thing is, we saw that "Jacket" episode the other night.  George kept singing bits from that "Master of the House" song and Alton told him to "knock it off, chorus boy" and then on his way back home (to Maryland - remember, Elaine was from Towson!) old Alton couldn't get that "M of the H" song out of his mind.

And now, neither can I.

Master of the house
Doling out the charm
Ready with a handshake
And an open palm...

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