There’s a humorist in the house!
That’s right! I’m not just a lout with language anymore! No wanker with a dictionary any longer! I’m an honest to Murgatroyd humorist.
In a soon to be published book about the greatest movie of all time, Slap Shot, I was called a humorist!
Of course, it was by a guy who doesn’t know me. And IS Canadian. So we should wait for the official results before processing bets.
What I’m babbling about is a friend of mine, Ken ‘Toe’ Blake, is, without question, the biggest fan of Slap Shot in the world.
I say that even though I have a sign autographed by cast members and the scriptwriter stating that I am the #1 fan:
Ken, obviously, has many friends who love the movie. One of his friends, Jonathon Jackson, had an idea for a book which became, The Making of Slap Shot: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Hockey Movie Ever Made.
Between you and me, they could have left out the word hockey.
Ken lead Jonathon to me because of a short script I’d written, ‘Cause My Family Has Money, and it turns out Jonathon added that little fact to his book.
I haven’t read the book but Ken was kind enough to let me check out the naughty bits about me.
Here is an excerpt from The Making of Slap Shot: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Hockey Movie Ever Made by Jonathon Jackson:
An even more bizarre yet hilarious Slap Shot project is an unproduced “mockumentary” called ‘Cause My Family Has Money’, written by Boston humourist (there it is! Right there in print!) Chris Zell. It takes its title from a line in the original film’s script, spoken by Lily Braden to Reggie Dunlop when he asks her why she talks dirty. In Zell’s work, the line explains how a well-to-do family can buy everything desired by the heart of a man who becomes fanatically obsessed with a particular film.
“I’ve always wanted to write something Slap Shot-related yet not a sequel or rewrite. Something that captured the spirit of the thing but stood on its own,” Zell says. “I didn’t have rights to use the characters anyway so if I was going to spend time doing something on spec I’d rather do something I knew I could get away with.”
Zell became friends with Ken Blake, which took him into the realm of what he calls “the world of extreme Slap Shot fans.” And they’re out there, of course, the ones who ask the Hanson’s obscure questions about the time on the score clock. They’re the ones who compile treasure troves filled with logical fan items like jerseys and baffling items like tickets held by extras who sat in the War Memorial seats during Chiefs games. “Pucks and posters and trading cards that weren’t a twinkle in the eye of the Universal marketing department were now sought after by fans, many of whom weren’t even born when the film was released,” says Zell, who was both appalled and fascinated by what he observed. His fascination turned to inspiration and, over a single weekend, he created the character of Fred Henderson.
“Fred, from childhood, was very bright and obsessive. One year he decided to watch every movie released in 1977. That all changed on February 25th when he watched Slap Shot. From that moment on his life was focused on this movie. I’m not talking about just watching it every day, that’s a given. He needed to collect everything, know everything and know everyone connected to the movie. I’m not talking about the tidbits and trinkets someone like Ken collects, that would never be enough for Fred. He needed, and would get, everything. The locker room, Joe McGrath’s office, the Hanson Brothers parade float. I thought about what every collector would covet and gave it to Fred.”
Fred tried to date and live a normal life but gave up when the one girl he liked not only drank root beer, her name was Anita. His wardrobe consisted not only of Chiefs jerseys but also of the clothes of both Reggie Dunlop and Joe McGrath, as well as each item of clothing from the infamous fashion show. Fred’s other possessions include, among many other items, the Federal League trophy, Jim Carr’s wig, Dickie Dunn’s typewriter, Reggie’s boxer shorts, Ned Braden’s jock strap, the opera glasses used by the old lady who wanted a better look at Ned and, disgustingly, the needle and thread that Chiefs trainer Charlie was using to sew “Killer” Carlson’s lip back together before he went after Barclay Donaldson the second time. As Zell puts it, his work is something even casual fans would find funny, but it’s full of “inside jokes that. . . people in Ken’s tribe would eat up.”
So there you have it. In print. I am humor man!
Now my only problem is trying to figure out how I’m going to break it to my friend, Fred Henderson, that I created him.
Good luck, Jonathon! I hope the book is a huge success.