Wednesday, January 14, 2009

R.I.P. Ricardo Montalban

Now here is a death that really affected me today. Ever since he played Khan on the original Star Trek I have loved Ricardo Montalban. I still remember my favorite SNL skit (done is Spanish) Qell es mas Macho? (who is more macho?) and two of the choices were Fernando Lamas or Ricardo Montalban. Of course we know who the most macho was. He elevated everything he did by lending it a kind of class and strength that you really can't explain but you knew was special. By bringing him back to reprise his role of Khan, the villian in Star Trek 2 he singlehandedly chewed the scenery and saved that franchise. I would argue that there would have been no Star Trek 3-10 or maybe Next Generation, Voyager, DS9 or Enterprise if ST2 hadn't been the success that it was. How many of us geeks can remember those lines he spit out with the grace and skill of a the best of the Shakespearian actors? Anyone that can out ham Shatner is a true professional. Late in life he starred as the grandfather in the Spy Kids movies and lended his vocal talents as Senior Senior Senior on the fantastic Disney cartoon Kim Possible. How could I forget his most famous role to most as Mr Rourke on the 70s TV show Fantasy Island. Much mocked for "da plane boss..da plane" line by Herve Veleashez it still stayed on for six years and I have seen more episodes of that show that I care to admit. He even did memorable commercials for the Chevy CORDOBA with its 'fine corinthian leather seats' Proff that mockery is the most sincere form of flattery. The boys at Topless Robot suggested doing the following and I couldn't agree that its a great tribute to a great man.

"I think we should all take a moment to go to some highly crowded location today, like a mall or restaurant, and scream KHAAAAAAAAAAN! at the top of our lungs in his honor."

"I'll chase him 'round the Outer Nebula and 'round Antares Maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!"

"No, no you can't get away. From hell's heart I stab at thee...for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

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