Jenn Tisdale is a D.C. stand up comic. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenn_Tisdale.
No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.
Now, because I am not a monster I want to mention that Tim Curry had a stroke in May and is fine. HE’S FINE. That being said, where has he been? One thing always delighted me about Tim Curry’s career and that was the film Legend. Tim Curry was in the movie Legend and he played the devil. He played a very healthy, well-exercised (not exorcised) version of The Devil. I found myself oddly attracted to him. Or is it odd? He’s a bad boy. I like bad men. I like warm environments. I like horns, I guess.
Before he was The Devil he was just a wonderful British stage actor captivating audiences in productions such as Hair, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Pirates of Penzance, and of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show which led to the film version of the same name. Curry played that Sweet Transvestite Dr. Frank N. Furter where he wore lingerie better than I ever could. For God’s sake keep a grip on yourself, Janet.
Did ya get a load of that pearl necklace? *WINK*
Following The Rocky Horror Picture Show he was devilishly fantastic in Legend then made the switch to comedy in Clue. Now you wouldn’t think a movie based on a board game could work (COME ON BATTLESHIP I WISH SOMEONE HAD SUNK YOU JUST GIVE ME 2 HOURS OF ALEXANDER SKARSGARD) but this film had such an amazing fucking cast there was literally NO way it could go wrong. Plus, like the game itself, we were provided with multiple endings. Personally I’d probably use the candlestick in the library because I’m a fancy gal who likes to read.
I could listen to a British person say nonchalantly all day. They just love getting rid of unnecessary vowels. What happened when we came to America? We shed that pesky religious oppression and gained useless syllables.
Curry also dabbled in television. He was in, what I consider, one of the best Halloween films ever made: The Worst Witch. In this movie a young Fairuza Balk is a bumbling witch who can’t get her shit together. Interestingly enough, 10 years later, she starred in The Craft where she was literally THE worst witch. I saw this film while on a date and halfway through my date leaned over to me and whispered: These girls remind me of you and your friends. You’re the really crazy one.
Tim Curry has a minor role in the film but he STEALS the show with a dazzling performance of a song entitled Anything Can Happen on Halloween. When Curry says anything he really means anything. Allow me to break some of it down for you.
1. Your dog could turn into a cat (this is impossible, medically speaking)
2. There may be a toad in your bass guitar (highly unlikely, while some argue the bass guitar is one of the easiest instruments to play, pretty sure a toad can’t do it)
3. Your toenails grow long and your hair turns green (this happens when you die, kind of, so technically this could be a thing, if you die on Halloween)
4. Your dentist could turn into a queen (this is true and not true…your dentist won’t become royalty but he could conceivably come out of the closet on Halloween)
Pay special attention to the kickass graphics and my FAVORITE line in any song ever written. After the “dentist could turn into a queen,” line he INEXPLICABLY sings “has anybody seen my tambourine” then PULLS A FUCKING TAMBOURINE OUT OF HIS CAPE. What? I don’t wish ill will upon Tim Curry but if his epitaph doesn’t read: Here lies Tim Curry, he never found his tambourine…then NOTHING makes sense in the world.
Speaking of TV, Curry returned to his dark roots with the TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s It. HOLY SHIT. Obviously clowns are terrifying when they are trying to spread joy, but when they are trying to kill children? That’s a whole new level of fear. Curry played Pennywise the Clown (not Pennywise the band but they are pretty awful too) a fun-loving trickster who just wants to rip your child limb from limb. There is one scene where he does just that and the line I remember vividly and creepily is Pennywise saying “We all float down here…” The movie stayed fairly true to the book apart from the final scene when, after killing Pennywise (who at this point was a spider, inexplicably) the protagonists all decide to bang in order to create a stronger bond. That’s not so bad, but wait, they were all 12 year old children and there was one girl. Stephen King…WTF.
I’d say this was the height of his career. Soon after he appeared in some passable films like The Hunt for Red October and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Yonkers?). He did star in The Three Musketeers, that weird version with Kieffer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and a young Chris O’Donnell. This was one of those bizarre movies where some people have accents but mostly everyone just landed in France from a flight out of LAX. It’s also interesting to learn that evidently A LOT of folks had mullets in 17th Century France. Don’t quote me on this but I’m fairly certain Tim Curry’s facial hair won some kind of award here.
He’s mostly doing voice over work now, and can you blame him? His voice is like sexual caramel. I’d still like to see him return to the stage or screen, of course, whether he’s terrifying me or amusing me I’d like a bit more Curry in my diet. I can handle it.