Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RIP Dom DeLuise

The portly comic has passed. Dom DeLuise's hyper neurotic persona was a mainstay of 70s and 80s comedy. He began as a comedian with an act as a bumbling magician on the Dean Martin show, and was so popular he became a regular. His film career began with a small role as a nervous airman in the nuclear thriller Fail-Safe and then switched to comic roles, most famously alongside Burt Reynolds in the Cannonball Run movies and The End.

He had small parts in the Mel Brooks farces Blazing Saddles and Silent Movie, and starred in his own overlooked 80's comedy Fatso about a lonely porker's attempt to diet. I bumped it to the top of my NetFlix queue; haven't seen it in ages, and remember it was hilarious. Dom suffered from ill health for many years, and switched to voice roles in animated films such as The Secret of NIMH and An American Tail.

He was one of those personalities who seemed to be everywhere, and that's not a fat joke. He made cookbooks, children's books, TV shows. He should have occupied a Hollywood Square. RIP, Dom. You were one of a kind. Maybe not the greatest, but unique and honest to yourself. I hope you get to slap Burt Reynolds around in the afterlife, when he gets there.

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