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Happy Birthday, George Clooney!

May 6, 2011

We all like to dream of Clooney pitching woo...I choose to be more realistic about which Clooney would pitch woo to me!

In honor of the 50th birthday of Hollywood’s favorite ageing bachelor – George Timothy Clooney – here’s what the Fry Buttians have said about this glorious achievement in human evolution.

George Clooney sounds like he’s 15! Absent is the deep, sexy voice he’s better known for. This is one of my favorite episodes of Golden Girls. Oh, delicious and awkward Clooney! Sure he’s a big, sexy star now, which is great because if I don’t feel like dealing with him, I know how to avoid him. The same cannot be said of the 80s, where episodic television devotees seemed resigned to their pre-famous, awkward Clooney guest appearances fate. In 1987 alone, he did his tour of duty on the “Nana circuit” with appearances on The Golden Girls, Hunter and of course, M,SW – as Kip in the episode “No Laughing Matter”, which also starred Buddy Hackett and Steve Lawrence. I know, right? He wasn’t the murderer! He wasn’t famous enough yet. While I might fall in and out of love with Clooney, the star, I always respect Clooney, the actor. He paid him some dues!

Michael Clayton is a world weary and conflicted lawyer – not that the big screen has ever lacked for such a character – but George Clooney plays him straight and earnest. Absent are some of the charming mannerisms one comes to expect from a Clooney performance and it is replaced with careful, deliberate craft choices that ought to have earned him an Oscar. Clooney’s Clayton is a sad, struggling caretaker whose ability to both manage crisis and exist in a near constant state of damage control is starting to take its toll on him. While it has not affected his work performance it has caused him to question what exactly is the value of said work.

Now I’d be the first to stand in line to pay cashmoney to see Clooney read and act out the instruction for assembling Ikea furniture and he wasn’t terrible as Ryan Bingham. However, Clooney was not the actor I pictured in the role when I originally read the novel. I pictured William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin or if Hollywood wanted to be smart about things: Don Cheadle. The fact Clooney was cast told me the film didn’t trust us to frame Bingham neutrally and really had to make sure he was hot and saddled with the baggage of his infinitely likable actor in order to distract audiences from Bingham’s less glowing characteristics, which are ample. Without the Clooney, Bingham would just be another white guy with white guy angst and well, we can’t have that.

Raymond J had a few thoughts about Clooney which go something like this:

“I first fell for Clooney when he showed up as Teddy’s boyfriend Falconer on Sisters Sure, it’s completely unoriginal to adore him, and with so many swooning over him you’d think I’d experience a little backlash, but instead he turns me into a blushing grandma, dabbing my forehead while declaring, ‘oooh, I do like that George Clooney.’ His acting range is only slightly above average, but his other talent is in knowing what roles to pick that are within his strengths. Well, that and his ridiculous physical charisma that came programmed into his genes, it’s not George’s fault his eyes crinkle so perfectly when he smiles. I wonder if Tate Donovan ever gets sick of seeing it up close.”

Happy birthday, Mr. Clooney. To the rest of y’all what are some of your favorite obscure or popular Clooney appearances?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2011 8:12 am

    My favorite Clooney sighting was as a guest star on Murder, She Wrote. The only clip I could find was from a German rebroadcast, which seems to make a pretty big deal of it:

  2. May 6, 2011 9:59 am

    Kip! ahahah

    and the other ER

  3. May 6, 2011 10:46 am

    I need to catch up; last thing I saw him in was Burn After Reading, which was a few years ago. I liked him in Three Kings, which the video link below is a clip from. And O Brother, Where Art Tho where he cracked me up as a chatty dandy who wasn’t ‘bona fide.’ I’m curious to see him in more movies where he acts with children. Also, he plays a solid world weary soldier/man-of-fortune (Three Kings, Syriana, Thin Red Line). I’m no psychic, but I see more mentor type roles in his future, where he’ll play father figure to younger up-and-coming actors.

    From Three Kings

    From O Brother Where Art Tho

  4. May 6, 2011 10:48 am

    Wow, that was the linking equivalent of an air ball. Trying again:

    Three Kings

    O Brother, Where Art Thou:

  5. marlene permalink
    May 6, 2011 11:15 am

    Clooney is always a fiiine specimen, and a shockingly good actor. But is it strange that I always found him to be at his best when he was overweight (Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck) or playing a hick (O Brother Where Art Thou?)? What does this say about me?

  6. May 6, 2011 12:59 pm

    @marlene, I think it says there can be such a thing as too perfect.

    @hsofia, you need the = sign between ‘youtube’ and the url.

  7. Q.V. permalink
    May 6, 2011 3:39 pm

    Roseanne! He looked a little Uncle Jesse in that role. One of those people meant for silver hair.

  8. May 6, 2011 6:29 pm

    Xena bless the Syriana era George. It’s my fave!!!

  9. eieioj permalink
    May 6, 2011 7:49 pm

    I like to think of my George Clooney as Seth Gecko. I was 12 when From Dusk Til Dawn came out, and I’m fairly certain my love of heavily tattooed men came from Seth Gecko. Also, the line “I may be a bastard, but I’m not a f*cking bastard” makes me swoon a little bit, too.

  10. May 6, 2011 9:40 pm

    I also loved “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” It was one of the first movies we had on DVD. It’s also one of the few live action Hollywood musicals I like. (And just like in Bollywood, he lip syncs!) It’s one of my favorite movies about the South and I love the way they made Mississippi look. However, I can’t rewatch it any time soon, because the ending is terrifying when parts of Memphis are already underwater.

    I agree that he changed the feel of “Up in the Air” with his suave awesomeness.

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