Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wrongo Starr, R.I.P. The Horn Section Salutes.....Henry Gibson (1935-2009)


Henry Gibson, the great comic character actor best known for his work on LAUGH-IN, passed away Monday one week short of his 74th birthday.

You'll also remember him as the leader of the Illinois Nazi party in THE BLUES BROTHERS, but here at the Horn Section we salute him as F TROOP's most famous guest star, Private Leonard W. "Wrongo" Starr. The first season episode "Wrongo Starr and the Lady in Black" was hilarious enough to warrant a return trip for Henry in season two, creatively titled "The Return of Wrongo Starr".

Gibson worked with many of the greats during his 45 year (!) career. He was Charlie Horse in the Three Stooges' theatrical swan song, THE OUTLAWS IS COMING! (1965). He was Clifford Stool in the very funny and very underrated teleflick EVIL ROY SLADE (1972). He reunited with over a half-dozen LAUGH-IN co-stars on GET CHRISTIE LOVE!, played Napoleon on BEWITCHED (Dick Sargent not Dick York era) and most recently capped it all off with a series of guest appearances on BOSTON LEGAL as Judge Clark Brown.

The clip I've chosen to highlight today is Henry Gibson simply playing himself in the side-splitting KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE (1977), the debut film for AIRPLANE!/NAKED GUN auteurs Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker. Join Henry as he urges us to fight our nation's number one killer, Death.

R.I.P. Henry. And a "Set your DVR's" note: Henry and The Three Stooges are coming up on TCM as THE OUTLAWS IS COMING airs Saturday, September 19th at 6:30 P.M. Central Time.