Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don Knotts, 1924-2006

During my childhood, my parents often told me that there were certain shows that I was not allowed to see. I expressly remember coming home from one outing and immediately turning on the telly to catch the latest enthralling episode of "Wonder Woman." I was just starting to get into the show when my mother loomed over me (I was sitting on the floor) and said in a loud and booming voice, "You are forbidden - FORBIDDEN - from watching 'Wonder Woman' ever again!" Years later when I reminded her of this incident, she claimed not to recall it happening. I can assure that it did.

However, a little thing like my parent's commands didn't always stop me. What can I say, I generally obeyed the Ten Commandments but I wasn't a perfect boy. The temptation to watch the television located in the basement was too great. My parents generally wouldn't hear the basement TV from the living room, so I was able to be sneaky from time to time.

Another forbidden show was "Three's Company." Since the program was generally filled with sexual innuendos and double entendres and a man lived with two women, it wasn't thought of too highly in our house. However, I watched it in the basement from time to time. By far, the best character on the show was Ralph Furley, the lascivious but loveable landlord to Jack, Janet, Chrissy and Cindy. He replaced the Ropers, the original landlords of the show. Furley's facial reactions to situations were classic, thanks to the rubbery face and talent of Don Knotts.

I'm sure Mr. Furley's leisure suits will come back in fashion some day. Anyway, thanks, Mr. Knotts, for giving us such memorable characters in Mr. Furley, Barney Fife, and Mr. Limpet.

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