December 22, 2009

"Like Wally Cox... and Don Knotts, Mr. Stang was a natural for roles requiring a milquetoast, a pest or a nerd."

The last of the milquetoast triumvirate is gone.

Arnold Stang was 91. I wish I could come up with some good video on YouTube. I wanted the old "What a chunk o' chocolate" Chunky commercial. (Great commercial, but it never tricked me into trying what was obviously a disgusting candy bar.) Or the garage destruction scene in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." What is YouTube for if not for that?

ADDED: Out of the milquetoast persona, Stang was the voice of the cartoon character Top Cat. Watch episode #1 here. And here's Stang talking about "Top Cat":

29 comments:

Robert Cook said...

Although it's been decades since I saw an episode of TOP CAT--I won't say how many--I was startled at how indelibly the opening credits are engraved on my memory, each part of it as familiar as if I had watched it last week. The same was true when I viewed a few episodes on VHS of Bob Clampett's BEANY AND CECIL at a friend's apartment some months ago. How vivid are the memories of our childhood!

former law student said...

The ads were enough to get me to try Chunky once. It was no worse than Hershey or Nestle, but I decided thinner chocolate bars were more enjoyable to eat.

William said...

I like your phrase milquetoast triumvirate, but, of the three, Arnold Stang was clearly El Nerdissimo. Don Knotts used to give him wedgies when they worked together....He was a kind of subliminal celebrity--instantly recognizable and immediately forgettable.....He seemed to have had a long and pleasant life and left not wreckage in his wake. I would rather have had his life than, say, that of Montgomery Clift or Marlon Brando.

J Lee said...

To show you how long Stang was in the business, here's his first cartoon voice work, from 66 years ago, a 1943 Paramount cartoon called "No Mutton for Nuttin'" -- Arnold actually voices the bad guy wolf here, instead of the star, as he would later with Top Cat or Herman the Mouse (and most of his voice work is in the second half of the cartoon).

RobertL said...

So wrong about the Chunky! Just ask Newman....

Sheepman said...

I don't see how Chunky is obviously disgusting. It was one of my favorites when I was I kid, I think because it had some heft to it.

While I wouldn't buy a Chunky today, I want my chocolate to have some chunk to it. Chocolate needs to be dense and rich and you don't get that with thin or aerated chocolate.

edutcher said...

Arnold Stang and Wally Cox were proof character actors have the job security. I remember him from the very early 50s and I believe he was in another Arnold's first movie - only they billed him as Strong (get it, Arnold Stang and Arnold Strong?) instead of Schwarzenegger.

WV "multiout" What doctors call it when they have to rip someone a new one.

ricpic said...

Stang did a great job as Sinatra's amanuensis (so to speak) in The Man With The Golden Arm, which can be viewed in its entirety on You Tube.

Ann Althouse said...

What's wrong with Chunky is the same thing that's wrong with Raisinettes: It has raisins in it.

Raisins in chocolate! Blech. I don't care how intriguing the shape is. There has never been one moment in my life when I wanted chocolate with raisins. I have never come close to trying it.

Sheepman said...

There has never been one moment in my life when I wanted chocolate with raisins. I have never come close to trying it.

Sounds like a serious aversion. Is it a matter of the taste combination or do you associate raisins in chocolate with something negative, like eating ants?

In any event, you are you are missing out. Juicy raisins covered with dark chocolate is a treat.

Dave-o said...

Maybe it's me, but I don't think it's a good idea for the press to include with the obituary a photo of the guy overlaid by a big red circle with a slash through it.

I'm just sayin'.

Fred4Pres said...

I am a big Top Cat fan.

Christopher Johnson said...

Do they even still make Chunky? I used to love the solid chocolate ones but couldn't stand the ones with raisins in them.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Any relation to Rev. Ivan Stang?

Greg Toombs said...

There has never been one moment in my life when I wanted chocolate with raisins. I have never come close to trying it.

How about some chocolate with your after-dinner wine, Ann?



wv: comoe
Almost an anagram for 'come on'.

Jed's Friend and Supporter said...

Page down a bit and see a great 5 minute video clip of Arnold Stang in his prime!

http://www.tvparty.com/vaultstang.html

Ann Althouse said...

"Sounds like a serious aversion. Is it a matter of the taste combination or do you associate raisins in chocolate with something negative, like eating ants?"

More like turds. Raisins unchocolated seem like small animal turds. But at least you can tell, when you look closely, that they are raisins. Glop chocolate on them and you don't know what it is.

ZZMike said...

edutcher: "... and I believe he was in another Arnold's first movie ..."

I saw that one. The Two Arnolds. The movie was an absolute turkey. But Stang was a delight to watch.

Let's look for it ... here it is: "Hercules in New York" (1970).

Jim C. said...

Mark Evanier has a post which includes a funny story about the time they worked together and Stang was a bit less of a milquetoast.

jvermeer51 said...

There was one more; don't know his name. He had a big head of curly hair; kind of an afro. High voice. Usually played some kind of absent minded intellectual. I remember him on Rin Tin Tin and Daniel Boone. On DB, he saved the fort by making some gunpowder.

josil said...

My memory of Arnold Stang was from the old Henry Morgan radio show. Morgan was very witty and funny in a Fred Allen sort of way and had continuing Problems in keeping sponsors. He would do commercials, like for Schick razors, saying that so-and-so used these razors and was able to save time every morning. Coming out of the house yesterday, having saved time, he was hit by a car and died. All of his commercials were subject to his left-handed endorsements, driving most sponsors away. I loved it!

former law student said...

I wouldn't lump the three together, by the way. While Wally Cox was always a milquetoast, inoffensve and mild, Stang was always annoying.

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