Monday, June 23, 2008

Great Goobledy-Goo !













Sometimes when it's just too much; the school, the work, the misrepresentations, the maltreatment, the unfairness of it all, all a man can do finally, is just throw up his hands, and exclaim - "Great Goobledy-Goo!".

That was the catch phrase of Fred Sanford's good friend, Grady Wilson, on TV's "Sanford and Son" from the 1970's. It's still rerun on different cable channels apparently, and was really part of the golden age of television.

In the midst of less than fortunate news from school, frustrations at work, leading to feelings of malaise combined with stunned surprise, I found myself simply throwing my hands up at one point this past week, and just shouting out, "Great Goobledy-Goo!", just like Grady used to when Fred would spring on him some impossible, outrageous-sounding news. "Great Goobledy-Goo!" just seemed like the most appropriate response this week to the incredible, the bizarre, and the outrageous.

Grady (actually, the actor Whitman Mayo) was one of those great side characters who would just come in and steal the show, and I was always happy when he appeared on "Sanford and Son" because he was just so damn funny! He was a befuddled, confused older man, with a heart of gold, and an outrageous perception of the world around him. It seems that many of my generation still remember him (how funny!) for his show-stealing performances, and Wikipedia had this to say about the actor, Whitman Mayo:

In 1996, the show Late Night with Conan O'Brien wished to use him in a sketch, but were unable to locate him. The show then started a tongue-in-cheek search for Mayo called "Where's Grady?". After three weeks and over 50,000 calls to NBC from fans who claimed to have spotted him, Mayo finally appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien to a standing ovation from the audience, and the highest ratings Late Night with Conan O'Brien had seen in years. Mayo revealed that it was his mother who told him of the search after a repairman saw his picture in her house and told her she could be eligible for a reward.

Unfortunately, Whitman Mayo died in 2001, but Grady Wilson is still out there somewhere, exclaiming, "Great Goobledy-Goo!" to a new generation of TV viewers, at all of the infamous, nonsensical, bizarre news that people receive everyday. I say Great Goobledy-Goo to you too, Grady, wherever you are.

2 Comments:

Blogger willowtree said...

My sister looooves watching Fred and Lamont. Grady is like the Ethel to Fred's Lucy, my favorite character was Esther! Whenever she and Fred got together you knew it would going to be a good (at least very funny) time. I think even she would say Great Goobledy-Goo at life sometimes hehe.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I remember Aunt Esther, always with a Bible in one hand (many times beating Fred in the head with it), and occasionally with a pistol in the other! Their back and forth (Fred and Esther) was the stuff of classic comedy.

10:29 PM  

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