The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Fred Willard, RIP
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Fred Willard doing Joe Garagiola doing the Westminster Dog Show.

 
Hide 56 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. He will be missed.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  2. The interesting thing about Fred Willard was that he was not a comedian per se, and he wasn’t a writer. All he was was a fantastic comedic actor. RIP Jerry Hubbard

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  3. Marty says:

    In danger is former A’s mgr. Art Howe, in the ICU with Covid. Steve might recall that Howe singlehandedly kept the Dodgers out of the playoffs in 1980 – 4 RBI.

  4. The sad news made me look up old videos of Fernwood 2 Night and America 2-Night, in which Fred Willard plays the slightly dumb straight guy sidekick to Martin Mull’s wiseguy smartaleck talkshow host character.

    Viewing them, I realized that the show wouldn’t have worked without Fred Willard and his comedic talent, though back in the day I focused on Martin Mull. It also made me nostalgic for a time when a TV show could actually be titled Talk to a Jew, ostensibly sending up smalltown prejudice, but could play the humor both ways—just for kicks—and slip in double entendres such as “plain as the nose on your face.”

    Rest in peace, Fred Willard.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  5. @Marty

    Y’know, it’s generally no great crime to go OT, but this is a deceased man’s obituary tribute for pete’s sakes, and you almost immediately bring up some other person. Better manners are in order, wouldn’t you say?

    De mortuis nihil nisi DE MORTUIS!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  6. @Clifford Brown

    Jesus, that character’s as needy as a Republican politician. One of his specialities.

    The master of building the suspense of cringe to excruciating levels.

  7. @PiltdownMan

    Fernwood 2 Night was classic.

  8. Cortes says:

    What happens to the bowling trophies?

  9. If you’re of a certain age your first memories of him were more or less straight:

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
  10. MEH 0910 says:

    SCTV – Indecent Exposure

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  11. anonymous[398] • Disclaimer says:

    I knew Willard was getting up there in years but I was under the impression he was about ten years younger.

  12. @anonymous

    There appears to be some confusion about whether Willard was born in 1933, which would be consistent with his graduating from VMI in 1955. and with news reports, or in 1939, as he himself once said.

    In either case, I had a general impression that he was about Martin Mull’s age, and not older by a whole decade.

  13. He never looked his age, and that’s a compliment to anyone in any time of life.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xHPzEERuGA.

  14. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    So, it just wouldn’t be proper to bring up that, in addition to the sad passing of Mr. Willard, Phyllis George, a former Miss Something-Or-Other (I can never keep them straight) , and a “pioneering woman sportscaster”, also passed away. As did a female film director named Lynn Shelton.

    No disrespect to Mr. Willard, who was a very fine comedic actor. I liked his performance in several Guest films, my favorite of which was A Mighty Wind.

    But, in addition to all those, I have to note the passing of my late friend Billiam Warr. He was born in Occupied Japan and the English speaking doctor, really didn’t, so the intended name of William, which his mother remarked was sometimes shortened to Bill, became Billiam, and although he went by Bill or Billy, they never corrected the paperwork. He was a very devout, and one of the rare politically conservative, loyal members of The Community Of Christ (which used to be called The Reorganized Church of…), a gentle soul, who was a retired employee of the Bell System and worked at the Lee’s Summit plant when it had the distinction of having under one roof a vacuum tube manufacturing line, a line for discrete semiconductors and another fab line making digital ICs. It was thought to be the only one ever with all three activities in one building. After Lee’s Summit became surplus to Bellcore/Lucent and was spun off he stayed with Bell and retired out of a central office. He built bluebird houses and shot, limed, poisoned, and otherwise exterminated starlings with a vengeance, as they killed bluebirds and purple martins, and he had several weird old European cars including a DAF Dafodil, two DKWs, and a very rare Janus, which was like an Isetta except it had two identical “front” doors. (Alas, it only had one steering wheel and was designed only to be driven in one direction.) He was sort of a Fred Willard-like character in some ways, but was mechanically very talented. He had several bouts with cancer, finally succumbing to advanced liver failure thought to have been caused by exposure to semiconductor dopant gases in the seventies.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @slumber_j
  15. Anon[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, did you ever run into Willard at the Tiki Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood?

    https://www.tmz.com/2012/07/19/fred-willard-arrested-masturbating/

    “Fred Willard was arrested for lewd conduct last night in Hollywood when police allegedly caught him with his pants down in an adult movie theater … TMZ has learned.

    According to law enforcement sources, LAPD undercover vice officers went into the Tiki Theater in Hollywood and found the 78-year-old “Anchorman” star watching last night’s feature … with his penis exposed and in his hand.”

  16. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Please turn up the whimmer.

  17. @ScarletNumber

    How much overlap is there:

    Who is funny at acting?

    Who is funny at telling jokes?

    Who is funny at writing?

    Who is funny in everyday life?

    I think there is a fair amount of overlap, but not a huge amount.

  18. @anonymous

    Common feature of handsome men.

    cf. Eastwood, Garner, Shatner

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  19. He was one of those understated types who could make odd look truly funny.

  20. Christopher Guest has said he will not be making any more mockumentaries, which is too bad. They were such gentle fun in a world too full of F-this and F-that.

  21. Bernard says:

    Fernwood was a classic. RIP Mr. Willard

  22. A123 says:

    He had a lengthy career. He even got a Stargate SG-1 role.

    PEACE 😷
    _______

  23. @Anon

    Those vice officers better stay out of Biden’s basement.

  24. slumber_j says:
    @Anonymous

    I liked his performance in several Guest films, my favorite of which was A Mighty Wind.

    He was really great in that.

    • Replies: @J1234
    , @anonymous
  25. @Steve Sailer

    “Who is funny at acting?”

    Play it straight, the Willard way.

    “Who is funny at telling jokes?”

    No one. Jokes aren’t funny.

    “Who is funny at writing?”

    Horror writers. But they keep it a secret.

    “Who is funny in everyday life?”

    Those gifted with an innate sense of humor who don’t try to monetize their gift.

  26. @Anon

    “with his penis exposed and in his hand”

    Of course it was. Better it was Fred Willard than the also recently deceased Jerry Stiller. Stiller resembled one of Dr. Moreau’s human/orangutan hybrid creations. Public display of that penis would not have been easy on the eyes.

    • Replies: @For what it's worth
  27. J1234 says:
    @slumber_j

    Without a doubt, the greatest catch phrases…that never caught on. Only Fred Willard could pull that shtick off that well. My other favorite comic moment in that movie was the Eugene Levy character’s album, Calling it Quits. Many great moments throughout, actually.

    I didn’t realize Fred was that old. Always looked rather young for his age. Condolences to his family.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  28. @Desiderius

    Shatner and Eastwood clearly now look their ages.

    Willard never did.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  29. black sea says:
    @Anon

    I don’t think that really counts unless a potted plant is involved.

  30. WC Fields was funnier off screen than on, when sober, and he could tell a joke, and he wrote a book.

    In England, Constant Lambert was sort of famous as a composer for the movies, but to his friends he was not a celebrity, but instead the funniest person they met – one of his friends wrote almost an entire novel about him (Anthony Powell, Hugh Moreland).

    BTW, in that clip from the mocking “rockumentary” Spinal Tap, with Willard in a USAF uniform greeting the band as they show up to play a gig at the airbase, the humor is not based on Willard as the USAF protocol officer BEING uncool, the humor is in everybody in or with the band REALIZING that, outside of their world, they are just as uncool as him. Watch the eyes of the actors and the actress as they see how much they resemble Willard – they get it.

  31. Muggles says:

    Willard often played a cringe inducing con man of sorts. Saying outrageous and unbelievable things with the utmost sincerity.

    Whenever you saw him, in most things, you knew you were in for a treat.

    I can’t really think of any other comparable actors today. Most who try that shtick come across as being deliberately stupid in a obvious way. Willard had that acting talent of seeming to believe every word he uttered. And looking hurt if the response was skepticism or disbelief.

    I have no idea what he was like in real life, but as long as you didn’t lend him money he was probably a hoot.

  32. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    They’re in their nineties. They still don’t look their ages.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
  33. @Steve Sailer

    It’s funny how there are plenty of comedy writers who couldn’t get on stage and tell a joke if their lives depended on it. And they are such cretins that they aren’t fit for being seen in public, never mind on television.

    Your pal Jeff Martin seems to be an exception. He looks normal enough. Does he ever talk about his days writing for Letterman? When you were in college together, did he seem funnier than most of the other kids you knew?

  34. @Desiderius

    lots of unpleasantly overweight women look ok in pictures, and lots of scrawny guys look ok in pictures.

    Shatner and Eastwood seem to still be there mentally, and they may look like young bucks in their early 80s in a good photograph, but I am sure that, in person, neither one looks a day younger than 90.

    Biology is what it is.

  35. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @J1234

    In my opinion, Spinal Tap was good, but A Mighty Wind was truly magnificent, much better than Inside Llewyn Davis in my opinion. All the actors, none of whom were music professionals, had to play their own instruments and sing.

    The one guy playing the now forgotten tenor guitar was a nod to the guy in the Kingston Trio. Tenor and plectrum guitars are four string instruments intended to allow tenor and plectrum banjo players to double on guitar easily. Those instruments themselves are largely forgotten, aside from the Mummers and occasional dixieland revival bands, although tenor and plectrum guitars were listed in Martin catalogs well into the eighties and nineties. I’m sure the number actually built in many years was “zero”. There was a sort of revival of tenor guitars at around the time of the movie and Eastwood offers a solid body electric tenor guitar in its catalog now, again, it can not be very popular.

    • Replies: @J1234
  36. @Stephen Dodge

    Clint Eastwood turns 90 in two weeks time, on May 31st. He certainly looks his age (and seems to have aged rapidly in recent years) but he carries himself better than many 90 year old men. The video below is from November, 2019, six months ago.

    And here’s William Shatner from November 2019. Shatner is about nine months younger than Eastwood.

  37. Geschrei says:
    @Stephen Dodge

    Shatner and Eastwood seem to still be there mentally, and they may look like young bucks in their early 80s in a good photograph, but I am sure that, in person, neither one looks a day younger than 90.

    Can’t speak for Eastwood, but I met Shatner face to face in February 2019, when he was three weeks shy of his 88th birthday. He had just spent an hour plus on his feet, regaling an audience of 1500 with anecdotes from his career.

    While clearly a far cry from his Capt. Kirk days, he could have easily passed for a man in his early 70s. My father, who was born six months after him, was a withered shell of a man by the time of his death the year before.

    Biology is indeed what it is, but some folks’ biologies are better than others.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
  38. Neoconned says:

    Didn’t he get arrested the other year for wacking off in a porno theater in LA?

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  39. @Geschrei

    Geschrel – well, you saw him in person, and I have no reason to think you are not trustworthy, so I can’t argue with you – I have seen starship captains in person, but not that particular one.

    I think Shatner has been very wise to spend so much time with horses and other animals, nothing keeps you younger than being the sort of person who knows how important animals are.

    Sorry about your father. I am in my late 50s and, unfortunately, my father was almost senile at that stage of life. And “almost senile” is the nice way of putting it. It was difficult for everyone who cared about him, including me.

  40. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    OT:

    I just learned, a little late, that the notorious (in some circles) Ramsey Kearney has died.
    The following tells part of the story:

    Singer-Songwriter Ramsey Kearney Passes

    Robert K Oermann • March 18, 2020 •

    Longtime independent country recording artist and veteran Nashville songwriter Ramsey Kearney died on Saturday (March 14) at age 86.

    He is best known for collaborating with Mel Tillis in co-writing Brenda Lee’s 1961 international pop smash “Emotions.” The song has also been recorded by Juice Newton (1994), Pam Tillis (2002) and Little Rachel (2009), among others.

    Kearney’s other notable copyrights include “Nine Little Teardrops” for Sue Thompson (1961), “Lonely People” for Eddy Arnold (1964) and “Big Flicking Baby” for Moe Bandy (1978).

    William Ramsey Kearney was born Oct. 30, 1933 in Bolivar, Tennessee. He began his career with his own radio show on WDXI in Jackson, 1948-52. He served in the Army in 1953-55.

    After stints in Memphis and Knoxville, he headed to Nashville. He first gained notoriety in Music City as a staff writer for Cedarwood Publishing.

    He next signed with Acuff-Rose, which employed him as a songplugger as well as a writer. As a vocalist, Kearney recorded for the publisher’s affiliated Hickory label in the 1960s, He reportedly staged his Opry debut singing Fred Rose’s “I Never Let You Cross My Mind.”

    When he signed with Tree International, Ramsey Kearney became one of the few songwriters to have been affiliated with all three of Music Row’s founding song publishers. While at Tree, he began recording for NRS Records. The label released his self-penned “Love Me Strong,” “Bud’s Wiser Now” and “Driving Me to Drinking” during the 1970s.

    This marked the start of his long career as an independent country recording artist. He issued more than 20 singles on Safari Records and made the charts with “King of Oak Street” (1985) and “One Time Thing” (1988). He also recorded for Silver Dollar, Nashco, SunJay, Stomper Time and other indie labels.

    His 25+ albums included I Write the Words (1981), I Dream a Rainbow (1982), My Happy Day (1983), Behind a Song (1985, marketed on TNN), Montego Bay (1987) Country Fever (1988) and Golden Dreams of Hawaii (1990), plus an Eddy Arnold tribute LP, a Christmas album, a rockabilly collection and a blues album.

    Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, services for Ramsey Kearney will not be public. To ensure the safety and health of the community, a private visitation and service will be held on Thursday, March 19 at Hendersonville Funeral Home. Burial will take place at Hendersonville Memorial Gardens.

    This is, I’m sure, all quite accurate. But it doesn’t mention what Mr. Kearney is really famous for.

    Mr. Kearney, like a lot of Nashville song pluggers and hangers-on, Tootsie’s bar types, used to do “demo” records for “song sharks”, places that took out ads in Popular Science, men’s action magazines, and other places where you would not find a particularly musical readership, and they’d have these “set your song to music” services. You’d send in your “lyrics” and then, they’d set them to some generic music and have someone sing them to some backing tracks, usually in Texas where there was no musicians’ union, if the writer would pay some amount of money. Most of the players were either Nashville or LA session guys moonlighting under assumed names who would fly down for a few days and crank out a prodigal amount of this three chord, I-VI-V four on the floor dreck. They’d get paid in cash and it never happened.

    The drop was that they told you your song had merit and for this low fee they’d set it to music and shop it around to radio programmers and recording artists. They would-they’d print a bunch of copies of the record, you’d get a copy of your song and about two dozen others on a LP and they’d mail out a dozen copies to random stations who would then throw them in the trash.

    Anyway, this was well and fine until a prankster named John Trubee set out to write a song so bad -both in the sense of lacking any artistic merit and also being downright filthy, nasty, and obscene-that his submission and check would be indignantly returned, hopefully with a poison pen letter of outrage.

    And his submission, entitled “Stevie Wonder’s Penis”, was indeed without merit and also utterly and not even that creatively smutty. Nevertheless, they took his money and the poor Mr. Kearney warbled it in front of the microphone.

    One change was made: to avoid a possible lawsuit, they took the liberty of changing the lyrics to, “A Blind Man’s Penis”.

    Kearney in his later years regarded the reaction with some bemusement; it was, far and away, the most famous song he ever did.

    But that his eulogizer could have missed this aspect of his career by accident seems quite unbelievable

  41. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @Stephen Dodge

    Shatner and Eastwood are at one end of a bell curve of “ability to still function at advanced age” that puts most people to pasture in their sixties or early seventies and takes people out on the other end quite early.

    A very large percent of Railroad Retirement recipients, who tend to retire between 60 and 65, tend to die within five or so years. This is why the system still functions. Many have no outside interests or friends and will just park themselves in front of the TV, eat as if they were still working, and drop dead at a statistically early age. This is also true of utility workers, airline mechanics, steel mill workers and the like. (Airline pilots though tend to stay very active and most get twenty good years in retirement.)

    • Replies: @JMcG
  42. @SunBakedSuburb

    Fred Willard was a Gentile, so no one felt obliged to say how much he sucked and how they never thought he was funny. They did decide to dredge up the fact that he was caught using an adult movie theater for its intended purpose.

    And then they also brought up how much Jerry Stiller sucked and didn’t even look human, more like a Der Sturmer cartoon.

    I’m reminded of that Takimag article where Gavin McInnes said, “Seriously, though, you people who comment on my articles suck.”

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  43. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @slumber_j

    “ … to see if, in fact, there’s a reflection..”

    As opposed to fog. What a subtle, brilliant way to convey the character’s hip cluelessness. Does anyone know if he added this? Or was it in the script?

    As performers and movies like this fade away, it becomes even easier to boycott Hollywood.

  44. J1234 says:
    @Anonymous

    Those instruments themselves are largely forgotten, aside from the Mummers and occasional dixieland revival bands, although tenor and plectrum guitars were listed in Martin catalogs well into the eighties and nineties.

    I had an old Martin tenor guitar once that I took on trade to resell. I’m sure it was of that era (late ’50’s – early ’60’s) though I don’t specifically remember.

    They never caught on in a big way because the American acoustic guitar buying public was what I call, “biased towards bass.” To them, bass meant quality of tone – even if it was overbearing and unbalanced – and an absence of bass meant a lack of quality. As a consequence, the dreadnaught and jumbo reigned supreme for half a century or more…and the smaller double-o (00) sized guitars and thereabouts would be thought of as junk, at least after the 1950’s. Even Martins. I even remember an accomplished bluegrass guitarist telling me this in the early ’90’s.

    Some small Gibsons actually were kind of junky (in a cool way), but Martin made all of their instruments to the same basic level of quality, regardless of size, wood or appointment level. I always respected that, and as you said, Martin kept what they considered quality and worthwhile instruments in their catalog, regardless of what the market thought. Small guitars are more popular now, but I agree with you that the tenor is unlikely to make a comeback. Thanks for your knowledgeable comment.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  45. JMcG says:
    @Anonymous

    I know an awful lot of retired linemen, and honestly, none have parked themselves in front of the TV in retirement. I can’t say that very many last into their nineties, but eighties seem fairly common.

  46. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @J1234

    Unlike Fibson and Gender, Martin maintained the integrity of the CF Martin brand name longer and better, but after maybe the late eighties and the early nineties they started putting out some questionable instruments. There were the backpacker travel guitars, the aluminum top “Alternative” thing, and then a bunch of laminated things that were IMO not up to the standard. Their core line instruments have always had at least decent quality, but by the same token they kept questionable design features long after it was figured out that they were huge repair generators. The pickguards invariably shrink and crack the top, because they were put on the bare wood really, really well with a cement that dissolved into both the pickguard and the top. Putting them on after finish meant that the pickguard falls off once in a while, but that is way better than cracking the top. Ninety percent of Martin dreadnoughts are going to need a neck reset sooner or later. The problem is exacerbated by Martin buyers’ love of “cannon” bluegrass sound, e.g., shaving the braces as thin as possible and putting on telephone wire strings. An archtop or Selmer style design would work better for that, but, Lester Flatt had a D-something and they have to too. Don’t you know the world shines out of Bill Monnoe’s ass????

  47. MEH 0910 says:

  48. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @J1234

    Tenor guitars had four strings and were “properly” tuned in fifths, meaning that banjo or mandolin chord shapes and scales still worked. The standard guitar tuning is in fourths except from the G to B which is four frets, a major third I guess, and back to a fourth to the high E.

    That said, a lot of guitar players used what they called “Chicago Tuning”, i.e., tuned it like the top or bottom four of a guitar.

    The only real reason for a four string guitar was so mandolin or tenor banjo players could double on them.

  49. @For what it's worth

    No sensible Scotsman has ever denied that Jews, at the tail, and perhaps on average, have remarkable comedic insight.

  50. @Neoconned

    The charges were dropped, hopefully not for insufficient evidence.

  51. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    http://www.sctvguide.ca/episodes/sctv_s54.htm#Show_2

    The real life inspiration for the SCTV satire “Indecent Exposure”:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Begelman#Embezzlement_scandal

    In February 1977, actor Cliff Robertson received a 1099 form from the IRS indicating he had received $10,000 from Columbia Pictures during 1976. He had never received the money, and discovered that his signature on the cashed check had been forged. Robertson’s report started a criminal investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) verified that the $10,000 check was a forgery, and it was tracked to Begelman. He was ultimately fined and sentenced to community service and a public service, anti-drug documentary for the forgeries.[2]

    Columbia Pictures suspended Begelman on a paid vacation and announced its own investigation. The studio discovered that Begelman had embezzled an additional $65,000 through other forged checks. However, the studio board of directors wanted to keep the matter out of the press. The Begelman scandal led to a rift between Columbia executives. Columbia Pictures CEO Alan Hirschfield was ousted from the studio in 1978 following his refusal to reinstate Begelman on moral grounds.[3] Following a brief reinstatement, Begelman was quietly fired. The studio released a statement saying he had suffered emotional problems.

    Despite the pressure to remain quiet, Robertson and his wife Dina Merrill spoke to the press. David McClintick broke the story in The Wall Street Journal in 1978, later turning it into a best-selling book, Indecent Exposure (1982). Robertson later claimed he had been blacklisted during the 1980s for coming forward about the Begelman affair, and had few roles during this period.

    Kirk Douglas, in his autobiography The Ragman’s Son (1988), wrote of the scandal:

    This is the town where Cliff Robertson exposed David Begelman as a forger and a thief, with the net result that Begelman got a standing ovation at a Hollywood restaurant, while Robertson was blacklisted for four years. On the bad days, you think of what Tallulah Bankhead said: “Who do I have to fuck to get out of this business?”[4]

    A writer for New West magazine, working on this story, queried Begelman’s claimed alma mater, Yale University, listed in his Who’s Who entry. Yale responded that Begelman had never attended that university. The New West article said that “although Begelman was indicted for forgery and grand theft, the Hollywood types were more outraged that he had listed Yale in Who’s Who. Apparently they figured that everybody steals money. It was the fact that he lied about Yale that drove them crazy.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  52. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910

    Another interesting fact about Cliff Robertson was that he was a pilot and liked to fly a Tiger Moth biplane. However, his movie contract prohibited him from flying the Moth because like most foreign military aircraft it was licensed Experimental. So, California connections between the worlds of aviation and entertainment in those days being what they were, the FAA issued a type certificate on a reciprocal basis with the U.K. CAA and made Mr. Robertson the type certificate holder. Google TCDS Tiger Moth if you doubt this.

    But the interesting consequence of this was that had he so chosen, Mr.Robertson or his licensee could have went in the Tiger Moth manufacturing business, and had a type certificated production aircraft. The DH Moth is a superb trainer, but is very, very slow (a Super Cub is quite a bit faster) and like most English aircraft very labor intensive to build. Each production step requires little skill but there are a huge number of little pieces. At Wichita labor rates the airframe minus engine, instruments, or any avionics (which most Moths had none of, but today would need some of) would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    But…..what if you had labor at a dollar an hour and needed to use a lot of it? Consider the sheltered workshop, a place where the disabled or dysfunctional work for, back then, five dollars an hour and the state paid for four of those five. The State of Kansas had many more applicants for sheltered workshop “jobs” than there actually were jobs available, and in the Johnson,Wyandotte, and Douglas County areas alone three or four hundred easily could be wrangled in, plus the deafers at the Olathe School and various half way houses…..

    Three birds could be killed by one stone. The sheltered workshops had the problem that their products were usually primitive widgets not worth marketing, and they couldn’t keep each worker doing the one simple and highly repetitive thing he or she could manage. Every job on a Moth was simple and repetitive, there were just too many of them to make money at. The tooling was all the sort of stuff EAAers build all the time, just a hell of a lot of little ones. A wing rib on a Pietenpol had a certain number of pieces, the one on a Moth a lot more. Three or four hundred retards and deafers and ex-cons could each make one part.

    And the cherry on the whipped cream was all that goddamned whining about the ole debbil pwoduct wiability, without which Cessna and Beech would love to make affordable singles, but tragically ( cue “We Hate To Leave” from Anchors Aweigh) had to make corporate jets instead. Two words, you Sedgwick County sons of whores: sovereign immunity.

    It merely took a creative campaign to float the idea to make Wichita spend somewhere between a quarter and a half million dollars on lobbying and legal efforts to put the ixnay on this seemingly credible notion. In fact, I never actually got the idea past Robertson’s people beyond a little thank-you-for writing note probably sent by a PR flack. But it was a hell of a good prank, really.

    The sad part is that it really would have worked.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments are moderated by iSteve, at whim.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
Becker update V1.3.2