Thursday, January 29, 2009

AS SEEN ON TV/HAT SQUAD: JOHN UPDIKE

John Updike passed away the other day at the age of 76. His stories of suburban angst could probably be best represented by his four novels about "Rabbit" Angstrom, of which at least one was made into a movie. But others of his works were adapted for television as well, including "The Witches Of Eastwick" which was turned into a pilot for a proposed series twice - once in 1992 and again a decade later.

His short stories were the basis for "Too Far To Go" in 1979, and he contributed the story for "Pigeon Feathers" in 1987. His novel "The Christian Roommate" was adapted in 1985 as "The Roommate".

The two "Eastwick" pilots would end up in two different TV dimensions, with the first adaptation (starring Julia Campbell, Catherine Mary Stuart, and Ally Walker, with Michael Siberry as the Devil) taking precedence in Earth Prime-Time. (The other version starred Marcia Cross of
'Desperate Housewives', Lori Loughlin and Kelly Rutherford with Jason O'Mara, now on 'Life On Mars', as Daryl Van Horne.)

But John Updike also appeared as himself, albeit over in the Tooniverse, when he appeared in 'The Simpsons' episode "Insane Clown Poppy". Like other literary figures of our time, Updike appeared at the Springfield Festival of Books. But he was there as the ghost writer of Krusty the Clown's book, "Your Shoes Too Big To Kickbox God"

The following conversation is paraphrased: Krusty the Clown:
Ahhh, book writing! What a scam! Just twenty pages and they eat it up.... and this guy did all the writing for me! What's your name again?
John Updike:
John Updike.
Krusty:
Hey, I didn't ask for your life story!

A minute later, after a little girl (Drew Barrymore) surprised the clown by claiming that he was her father, Krusty muttered that he seltzered himself which caused John Updike to laugh. Krusty:
Hey, shut up, Updike!

BCnU!
Toby O'B

1 comment:

coffee said...

John Updike's passing is sad, but he left a ton of awesome work. "Immortality is nontransferrable" he said appropriately.