Angry Ward Wednesday: Shirley Temple, Olympic Actors and Tanaka’s Toy

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kevin reynolds Meet_The_MattsBRONX, NY – I had a few ideas kicking around for today’s post but none of them seemed hefty enough to carry an entire column. Instead we’ll just go with a mixed bag. Let’s get right to it.

Shirley, You Can’t be Serious. Sad news yesterday that my first boyhood crush, Shirley Temple, boarded the Good Ship Lollipop for that sunny beach on Peppermint Bay in the sky. Back in 1970, when I wasn’t yet so angry, I was absolutely smitten with that little girl with all the blonde curls. She could sing and dance and she was cute. What wasn’t to like? My Dad didn’t have the heart to tell me that she was then a tad older (42!) than I imagined. Anyway, among her other accomplishments, she won an honorary Oscar at age 6, was ambassador to Junoir Blaber’s Ghana, and had a drink named after her. Non-alcoholic, yes, but still impressive. Anyway, happy trails, Shirley Temple.

Going for the Gold and Silver Screen. The Winter Olympics are presently happening. Who knew, right? Anyway, the other day, for no apparent reason, I started thinking about Olympic athletes who went on to pursue movie careers. For the most part these acting ambitions didn’t pan out, with a couple of exceptions. Though in many cases the failures were far more spectacular than you could even imagine. For starters, Johnny Weismuller won 5 swimming gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics and then went on to play Tarzan in the movies. Later in life he ended up as a greeter at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas with one Joe Louis. Jeez. Buster Crabbe won one Olympic swimming gold in the 1932 games and followed in Weissmuller’s loin-cloth-wearing, vine-swinging footsteps as a movie Tarzan. Crabbe gets extra credit for also playing Flash Gordon (my Dad used to take me to see the old cliffhanging serials at Town Hall back in the 70s) and Buck Rodgers. oddjob-hat

Harold Sakata, a Japanese-American weightlifter, struck silver at the 1948 London Games but later found gold aplenty playing Oddjob in the 1964 James Bond flick Goldfinger. Pretty cool. On the flip side of the coin, American gymnast Kurt Thomas was favored to win the gold at the 1980 summer games in the former Soviet Union, but the U.S. boycotted those games. Thomas took out his revenge the only way he knew how, by starring in Gymkata. If you like your Kung Fu with a little gymnastics thrown in, this one’s for you. In 1984 another American gymnast won a gold, a silver, and two bronze medals. That man’s name was Mitch Gaylord. You just try to stop a guy named Mitch Gaylord from making a movie. And make a movie he did. That movie was American Anthem, and it was about a gymnast training for the Olympics; so he really got to stretch those acting muscles, along with his quads. Oh, and let’s not forget Mary Lou Retton playing Tiny Tim in Scrooged! But when it comes to Olympians making movies, the gold standard is still Bruce Jenner. It took balls (for sure, it was a prerequisite) to make Can’t Stop the Music with The Village People, Valerie Perrine, and Steve Guttenberg. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Let’s just say that this movie would make Vladimir Putin’s head explode. Finally, my choice for breakout film star from this year’s games? Canadian Figure Skater Kevin Reynolds, who could easily star in a Clay Aiken biopic or live-action Pinocchio right now.

tanakaplaneMasahiro Worship. Loved the story in Tuesday’s Post about new Yankees Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka renting out an entire Boeing 787 so that his toy poodle, Haru, could fly with him from Japan to New York. Usually I would roll my eyes at such “Yankee-like” behavior, but I gotta say, I smell genius. I’m serious. I know the Yankees haven’t had a great deal of luck with their Asian Imports but I think this guy is gonna win the Cy Young this year. If he brings his poodle with him to games, that will cement it, he will dominate in 2014.

OK, that’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for more Meet The Matts Radio.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.
  • Cookies Corner

    Johnny Weissmueller did a lot of swimming in the Wyoming Valley area and one stunt in the Susquehana River. My Aunt Selma, from Wilkes-Barre, PA told me so and it’s verified. Apparently he was a big deal there.

    • buffalobilly84

      Just as long as he didn’t mention the Susquehana Hat Company!

      • buffalobilly84

        And that video is scary.

        • AngryWard

          Bruce Jenner is embarrassing himself far more now than he could had he made five more movies with The Village People… and Steve Guttenberg, for that matter.

          • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

            Don’t people like Bruce Jenner watch TV programs about people like Bruce Jenner to know what NOT to do???

      • Cheesybruin

        SUSQUEHANA!!!!!!!!
        Good one Billy!

      • SAF

        Bagel Street!

        • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

          Step by step…

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Aunt Selma?!

  • jgclancy

    As I interrupt my sabbatical (before yet another winter storm) I just have to mention that for having no solid ideas for today you pulled it off with this mixed bag of stuff, AW.
    Let me mention that I just read the last week and a half of MtM’s and not one bacon reference…I am depressed. My #5 Aztecs finally lost last night – not happy.Finally, I watch the Olympic snowboarding and think well, the dweeb skateboarders did it.They couldn’t make skateboarding an Olympic Summer event so they took the wheels off and called it snowboarding. Give me a break….wait,I am giving myself a break. Ciao

    • AngryWard

      Enjoy your sabbatical and don’t let those snowboarders angry up your blood. To counteract such symptoms I prescribe no less than one Hot Dog: The Movie viewing per week.

      • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

        Did jgclancy see his shadow???

        • jgclancy

          I did indeed and I will hide for the rest of the winter (along with a nice trip to warm California with Mexican food tossed in along the way).Tonight though there’s a storm a’comin and I have my shovel ready and if I see even one snowboarder….whack!

          Or maybe I’ll drop a safe on the snowboarder ….if I can just get them to go near the Susquehana Hat Company

  • Cheesybruin

    Ward, my boy Biscuit would tear apart Tanaka’s poodle. And if the dog’s a female, he’ll mount and make it count. Was Harold Sakata the father of Len Sakata. Hal looks a lot like Mr. Saito of WWF fame.

    • AngryWard

      I was more a Mr. Fuji guy.

      • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

        And let’s not forget that wrestling is no longer part of the Olympic Games!

  • Big Fat Toad

    I’d like to get my Tanaka on with Kevin Reynolds.

  • DJ Eberle

    I’m a big fan of Masahiro Tanka. He may start the year as the Yankees No. 3 starter, but expect him to move up the rotation by the time the postseason comes around.

    • SAF

      I’m a bigger fan of Masahiro Morimoto! MMMmmmmm sushi! (S/FX: Homer Simpson slurping)

  • WestCoastCraig

    There aren’t many winter Olympic stars in movies, curiously…except of course for Tonya Harding’s porn.

    I hope the Yanks let that dog into the clubhouse, and they can all pet it on the way out to the field like Rhubarb the cat.

    • AngryWard

      T-minus three more snowstorms until my Angry LA Tour. Get your rest, WCC.

      • jgclancy

        I can taste the carne asada already AW

    • SAF

      Are you forgetting Sonja Henie…and her porn career?

    • Marcel Dionne

      What about Mrs. Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones?!

      • AngryWard

        She was in American Anthem!

  • jgclancy

    RIP – Sid Caesar…

    • AngryWard

      I blame… De Blasio!!!!!!!

  • bosoxbruins04

    Mr and Mrs Reynolds must be a trip!

  • Junoir Blaber

    I had to post this http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-february-10-2014/ty-burrell. apparently Phil Dumbphy is a mets fan.

    Also Diff, is this Snowpocalypse 4: Winter’s Revenge?

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