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[Groop]Re: "Groo" in McHale's Navy



On Sun, 13 Aug 2000 11:07:21 -0600, Vaughn Seward
<vaughn@sewardconsulting.com> wrote:

>I was watching an episode of McHale's Navy recently and was surprised and a 
>little amused when one of the crew members was referred to as "Groo". I did 
>a little research and found that it this was a nickname for Seaman Lester 
>Gruber who was played by Carl Ballantine in this 1960's sitcom.

>P.S. It seems a little uncanny that Lester (esp. his nose) so much 
>resembles our comic hero Groo (I believe Lester Gruber is the guy in the 
>far left on the first black-and-white picture found in this website). Is is 
>possible that Sergio and Mark subconsiously based Groo on this television 
>character?

ME: Highly unlikely...however, it's an odd coincidence that you bring
this up, as Carl Ballantine is a good friend of mine, and was a
semi-regular voice actor on GARFIELD AND FRIENDS.  I had dinner with
him about a week ago.

There actually is a distant GROO connection there.  One of the best
nights I ever spent in a theater was in the early 70's, when Phil
Silvers starred in a production of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY
TO THE FORUM.  It's my favorite play, and bits of it have turned up in
a lot of things I've done since then, including GROO.  For instance,
though Sergio came up with the idea of the character Arcadio, I tend
to write his dialogue to echo the character Miles Gloriosus in
FORUM...and I sometimes find myself imitating the rhythm of a joke
from that production.

Anyway, the role of Lycus -- "a buyer and seller of the flesh of
beautiful women" -- in that version was played by Carl Ballantine.
And one of the beautiful women he was selling was Charlene Ryan, who
is now married to Sergio.

Carl Ballantine is one of the funniest men on the planet.  If and when
we get a GROO animated project going, I would have him do the voice of
Pal.

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