selling Sellers

I've been on a mini Peter Sellers binge.  I never connected with the The Pink Panther series, but I loved Dr. Strangelove.  I've also been particularly into films from the 60s lately, so his work comes up a lot.  I decided to give more detailed study to his work.  Though he's considered to be a dark comedian, I have been discovering and rediscovering  his exceptional range and steady and often unassuming brilliance. It's like watching a fearlessly inventive and uninhibited child sometimes. Trite as it sounds, the man was ahead of his time.

One fun tidbit discovery I made is the BBC radio show, Crazy People (aka The Goon Show), where he established himself as a master impressionist doing a variety of goofy characters, and is credited as a precursor to Monty Python's Flying Circus.

In the past I have posted about his films and said that I believe he is under -recognized.  That might not be true or at least be changing. When we were traveling recently, I was watching television (which we don't have at home) and I learned that TCM is running blocks of his films.  Go TCM.  If you have cable, keep an eye out for them. If you are interested in more about the improvisational genius (and I don't toss that word around lightly), see the Official Peter Sellers site and follow links to even more Sellers tribute sites.  

See below a lengthy, relaxed Michael Parkinson interview with Peter Sellers in 1974 from BBC where Parkinson really let's Sellers cut loose and give a show.  (If only talk show hosts could do more of this today.) It starts with a slightly scary impersonation then shifts to a sweet one, but the interview is loaded with them. and with diversity.  Each part of the interview is about 10 minutes.  Be sure to watch all the way through part 2 at least, for his story of breaking into show business plus a variety of voices he did with The Goons. And part 3 for a behind-the-scenes reenactment of O'Toole and Guinness in Lawrence of Arabia. And part 4 because he speaks to creative collaboration and professional fulfillment.  Then he ends the whole bit playing his uke and singing a song.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

No comments: