Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wanders: Richard Libertini

Guys like Richard Libertini don't get Oscar nominations. You know why they don't? Because the world sucks, that's why.

Because he's played supporting and bit parts on practically every television show from the seventies on, without doing enough "serious" film work.

Because he's never had a big meaty supporting role where he discovers his wife is cheating on him the same week he's diagnosed with a rare brain disease and gets to die a horrible death so the much less interesting lead actor can learn something from all of it.

Because he's dependable, talented and never a problem.

But mostly, it's because people are stupid. Well, the people in the Academy, that is. I mean, is there anyone on earth who hasn't enjoyed a Richard Libertini performance in something? If you're not sure which movie you saw him in, or which one you enjoyed the most, just pick up the remote and start clicking. Odds are even after about ten minutes you'll come across one. That's how much this guy works. Personally, I put him on my short list for his hilarious turn as General Garcia in the original The In-Laws. That's a performance that is entertaining, perfectly timed and expertly played but it's also played entirely for laughs and that's not Oscar worthy.

Yeah, yeah, I know, "Screw Oscar!" That is, in fact, my view most of the time. But it's also a peer award and that's important to people in the industry, people who have been working their asses off for decades with no recognition. And it would be nice if every now and then someone like Richard Libertini got a lifetime achievement award for, you know, a lifetime of achievement!

But that's not going to happen. What is going to happen is I'm going to give him my heartfelt thanks for providing me with something more than entertainment all these years. I'm going to thank him for providing me with assurance and comfort. You see, whenever Richard Libertini comes on the screen, I am assured that no matter how bad the show or movie I am watching may be, it will be good while he's onscreen, and that brings me comfort. If the show or movie is good, well, it's all icing.

Celebrate and Testify! Richard Libertini, Wanderer Extraordinaire!