Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blazing Saddle Methodists

I attended our annual district "set up" meeting Monday evening. I still laugh at the name of such a meeting! I'm in a large mostly rural district so we all commute to a central location so that almost everyone has a 45 minute drive to get there. Maybe I'll work up some thoughts on "set up" some other time. Since my calendar, at this point in the year is generally full 12-18 months out, I'm always amused at the important dates that are given for an event a month away! It will certainly be curious to see how the old ways of United Methodism fit into the Call to Action approach and expectations as the whole denomination appears to be moving toward a more efficient, production based approach to ministry.

When I got home I was vegging in front of the TV, flipping channels catching news and miscellaneous shows, when I found "Blazing Saddles." I don't think I've ever seen the whole movie, and this was a language edited TV version with interesting footnotes explaining elements of the historic classic movie from that distant cultural time (1974!). I was instantly drawn to the cast of old characters and was sucked into it for a few minutes. Blazing Saddles was the typical Mel Brooks spoof packed with all sorts of "inside jokes" based on the times and shared with the world.

I stalled at the movie just as Harvey Korman and Slim Pickens appeared. They made me laugh before there was even any dialogue because... well because they are comedic geniuses & I know to expect fun. You may recall that in the movie Korman was the evil Hedley Lamarr & Pickens was his helper Taggart. What caught me off guard was a reference to Methodists! I had to go to IMDB to see if I'd heard correctly or if somehow the "set up" meeting was merely boomeranging on me.

Remember the scene where they are plotting and Lamarr is telling of all the types of bad guys he needs for the plan to succeed? If you know the voices and mannerisms it's best for you to mimic Pickens and Lamarr as you read this!

Taggart: What do you want me to do, sir?
Hedley Lamarr: I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down.
[Taggart looks for a pen and paper while Hedley talks]
Hedley Lamarr: I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, ..., train robbers, bank robbers, ...and Methodists.
Taggart: [finding pen and paper] Could you repeat that, sir?

Could you repeat that, indeed! What a strange thing to hear after a Methodist set up meeting!

It makes me wonder though-- do you know of other movies where Methodists are mentioned in the script? and what is the context? How are we portrayed? Share the movies you know & your thoughts on Methodists in the movies.

2 comments:

Rev. Shannon Karafanda said...

A River Runs Through It:

"They were Methodists, a denomination my father referred to as Baptists who could read."

Rev. Shannon Karafanda said...

In the Halloween episode of The Simpsons titled Treehouse of Horrors XIX, Homer is a hit man. Krusty the Klown becomes one of his victims. In an act of revenge, Krusty comes down from heaven and points a gun at Homer.

Homer: Before you kill me, at least tell me: what is the one true religion?

Krusty: Eh, a mix of Voodoo and Methodist.