Sunday, July 24, 2016

You Gotta Have Heart

There are a lot of people who will miss Garry Marshall's work behind the camera. I grew up in the seventies. I watched Happy Days. I watched Laverne and Shirley. I watched Mork and Mindy. I watched Mork and Mindy carefully. I lived in Boulder. I used to give directions to Mork's house to tourists, anxious to soak up the zaniness that seemed to permeate that address and the streets and shops around it. To be precise, this was actually Mindy's house, and it seemed as though she was merely a tenant there, keeping primarily to the upper floor while her newly discovered Orkan friend hung out in the attic. On a trapeze. Zany. Zany enough to periodically run afoul of their downstairs neighbor, Mister Bickley. For the first season, anyway.
I watched Happy Days, because we all did, but I cared about Mork. I cared enough to have my own set of rainbow suspenders. I cared enough to make The New York Delicatessen a regular stop because, as the t-shirt reminded us, "Mork and Mindy Eat There." 
They didn't really. Every year or so, during the run of the series, a crew would pop into town and shoot some exteriors. Mork didn't really live there. Or eat there. A couple times Robin Williams came to Boulder for those shoots, and things went a little crazy for a day or two. It was zany. And then it was over. Mork went on to make movies. So did Garry Marshall. I really enjoyed The Flamingo Kid. I didn't get a job as a cabana boy because of it, but I did sharpen up my gin rummy game. I wasn't as enamored of Pretty Woman as everyone else seemed to be, but I was happy for Garry's success.
And I was amazed at the talent that he seemed to surround and be attracted by him. Not just Robin Williams, but Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks and Bette Midler. And Albert Brooks. One of the funniest things I ever saw Garry Marshall do wasn't written or directed by him. He was just there, acting. He was the casino manager in Lost in America, the guy who listens mostly patiently to Albert Brooks pitch his idea for an ad campaign that will bring back the nest egg that his wife lost in an overnight gambling binge. The Desert Inn has heart.
Garry Marshall had a lot of heart, and he wore it on his sleeve, especially if it got him a laugh. Garry yukked it up on the Terra. Aloha, Garry.

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