Charles Nelson Reilly died this week. And I will miss him.
For those of us who are children of the 70s - the Electric Company and Zoom generation - Reilly was a fixture on the boob tubes in our homes. He was a smart, talented, and witty actor who wasn't above being an utter goofball for the entertainment of children. (Dear lord, do any of the rest of you guys have nightmares about Lidsville?) He was a regular on MatchGame, of course, and popped up on shows all over the dial. The X-Files episode where he played writer Jose Chung has to be one of the best they ever did. (He played Chung again on the only funny episode ever of the dark drama "Millennium" - it was pretty damn good.)
When I worked for another MatchGame alum, Reilly came by to visit the office on a stop in the DC area. I was floored. I called a friend and said, "Holy shit - the Bic Banana was at work today!"
You *do* remember the Bic Banana, right?
Ah, the jingles of youth.
His one-man stage show, "The Life of Reilly," took the audience through his amazing and off-kilter life, from a kid raised by - for real - an institutionalized father, a racist mother, and a voluntarily lobotomized aunt to a Tony-winning actor and TV icon. The last two performances of "The Life of Reilly" were filmed, and a movie version was released last year. It's out on DVD, and I want to rent it. I could use one last big laugh with the Bic Banana.
Rest well, Charles. Thanks for all the giggles. May you *blank* in peace.