Friday, October 28, 2005

Bon Voyage, Captain Fork.

Or "Capt. Fork," as he was invariably abbreviated. He was really Craig "Chris" Dexter Calame, or "C.M. Calam" when credited as a writer, but you could just call him Mugsy. That was the name he went by as a performer on "The Uncle Floyd Show," a mainstay of my television viewing in the late 70's and early 80's. I know nothing about him, except that he seemed like he could be one of my older brothers' cool friends, and he never failed to make me laugh. He was not an actor or a comedian, but certainly an entertainer. It may have been something as simple as dangling an enormous balloon from a stick and string, repeatedly bouncing it off Floyd Vivino's porkpie hat until Floyd blew a gasket. It may have been his puppeteering, somehow sparking the dour, stiff Hugo Man of a Thousand Faces into a happy-go-lucky chorus boy. Even if a Bob Dilly bit ran several verses too long, it was still fun to watch. It was like watching a friend, and you tend to be more charitable with friends. Besides, who knows how to make you laugh better than your friends? But that was the Uncle Floyd Show for you, and maybe you had to be there. Anyway, so long, Mugsy! Walkin' out! (Oh wait, that was Artie Delmar...)


Blogger MO'SH said...

Very nice. I was saddened to hear of his death. "The Uncle Floyd Show" certainly informed my young comic mind.

We'd probably have only 3/4 of what we talk about now without it.

"Bon Voyage, Captain Fork" was the title I was gonna use for my memorial (you bastard). But after reading yours, there's really no point in writing one.

Snap it, Pal!

Sat Oct 29, 02:13:00 AM 2005  
Blogger psaur said...

I hope you will at least publish a pic of the box your UF tapes came in. That's priceless...

For either Christmas or his birthday, I got mo'sh a bunch of Uncle Floyd tapes, bought from none other than Mugsy. When I realized I was ordering tapes from Mugsy himself, I emailed him a bunch of fanboy questions which he dutifully answered to my spazzy delight. The tapes arrived in a USPS priority box which Mugsy had decorated with caricatures familiar to any fan. When I got it in the mail, I held it and grinned like a syphilitic corpse. (Sorry. That was bad.)

But anyway, please, by all means, write your memorial. Do you realize that Mugsy was about 31 when we started watching UF? That was the unimaginable age I would be in the year 2000, as I calculated so many times in my youth. That year seems now like a long time ago. But the Floyd show seems like yesterday. And Mugsy doesn't seem dead, at all, and probably never will. That's worth a shitload of memorials.

Sat Oct 29, 06:07:00 AM 2005  

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