Secret Pop

Feb 26, 2006

The Incredible Mr. Knotts

Don Knotts died on Friday. I'm so sad. I have loved him for years. All those movies, falling in love with his wide-eyed clumsiness, his nervous gulping, his stammering attempts at suave, his raspy declaration that any sip of liquor was "smooth."

One of the old morning shows in San Diego had a guy (Cookie "Chainsaw" Randolph on KGB FM) who did a Barney Fife character on the show. I was listening to KGB at work one morning, and I called in and won the Thousand Dollar Thursday contest on Van Halen's Hot for Teacher. And they put me on the air, and they had Barney talk to me, and I told him I loved him, and they teased me for it. And, really, I was thinking more of how handy that thousand dollars was going to come in when I moved into my own apartment in a number of weeks.

But that wasn't even the real Don Knotts.

I have collected his movies for as long as I've owned media. On VHS. On laserdisc. On DVD. And I have found him delightful even in the movies that weren't delightful themselves. And whether it's a product of getting older myself or just being greedy, I maintain that eighty-one years was far too short.

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