Gene Wilder, 1933–2016
And now he’s dead.
There are very few good clips from The Producers, Gene Wilder’s first major film role, available online, which may be for the best: The Producers is easily one of the ten funniest movies ever made and if you haven’t seen it — or worse, if you only know it from the musical version — you should enjoy the total experience of watching it as God intended, as a complete film. Do that tonight, in honor of Wilder, who passed away today. Just to list some the titles in which he starred is to be reminded of the quiet yet profound part he played in the development of a certain kind of humor in the movies: Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, The Frisco Kid, Willy Wonka, (I even liked The Woman in Red but I was not of a very discriminating age when it came out and have not seen it since), and of course Blazing Saddles, from which the clip above comes (and about which there are not enough disclaimers to be made in the current climate). He was a legend who never wore out his welcome, which is something that we rarely get to say about anyone anymore. Wilder was 83.