We are one more lost genius closer to Armageddon. One of my favorite actors a comedic genius who had a way of not just being funny but making you LOVE him is gone. Gene Wilder was brilliant; the kind of actor that made it all look easy. From every crazy moment of Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory to the psychotic, neurotic meltdowns in Young Frankenstein, Gene Wilder was always on point. He had a goofy face and a jew-fro that set the bar for jew-fro’s. Gene Wilder was not only a great actor but he also wrote Young Frankenstein, one of the best most artistic comedic movies of the last fifty years. Another script I loved is the Frisco Kid where he plays a Hassidic Jew in the old west with Harrison Ford. Check it out if you can.
Here is why Gene Wilder is the last of an era, heart. There is so many scenes in Willy Wonka that are insane and edgy but in almost every scene Willy Wonka is lovable. Even when Willy is being a raging dick you can still see the twinkle in his eyes. Today’s comedies have become so hard, so edgy and I don’t see it changing. The only way to get laughs in the last decade seems to be by being mean, Steve Carrell aside. Gene wilder was never mean he was always beautifully neurotic, excitedly manic and lovably lovable. Willie Wonka had the most sensitive douche bag meter, “The Kid” in Blazing Saddles was a drunk badass who was faster than the camera could capture. If you can watch Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein without laughing then frankly you are dead inside.
Gene Wilder was a light in the world of comedy, and rare because he was GENTLE and hilarious. He always played it so real, funny without going for the joke. Scare you with his psychosis one minute and breaking your heart in the next. I loved Gene Wilder and hope in my life to do one scene half as good and with as much heart as he did, I’m Christopher Titus and sadly this is the Armageddon update.