On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 1 Issue N°17

Date: April 24, 1995
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv01i17.zip

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Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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DATE: April 24, 1995
ISSUE: 17
VOLUME: 1
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Greetings again everyone,

As promised, here's the rest of the Mr. T biography that I posted the first half of last issue...
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In 1975 he worked for a while on the Chicago educationalscheme as a gym teacher. In 1978 he decided to do something definite about his religious beliefs and was rebaptised in the Cosmopolitan Community Church in Chicago.

In 1982, Mr. T was 'spotted' by Sylvester Stallone; he was on the TV show "Games People Play," taking part in "The World's Toughest Bouncer" contest -- tossing two stuntmen about quite casually! His role in "Rocky III" was originally intended as just a few lines, but Stallone built up the part around the man. Mr. T also appeared in another boxing film, "Penitentiary 2," and in a cable TV special, "Bizarre," before accepting the role of BA in "The A-Team."

Mr. T is 5'11" tall, and weighs somewhere between 216 lb and 237 lb (the former is the lightest report I've encountered, the latter is his fighting weight given in the second bout in "Rocky III.") That gold jewelry IS real, and is worth around $300,000. He is reported to earn around $80,000 a week for his role in the A-Team, though, and gets $15,000 for a personal appearance, so he can afford to support his eccentricity! His earrings are especially made so that they won't damage his ears if they are caught during a fight (they'll just slip free), and he wears seven because of the religious significance of the numbers 3, 4, and 7. (?? Can anyone explain this exactly to me? --nicole) It takes him about an hour to put it on, incidentaly, and most nights he cleans it in an ultrasonic cleaner... although some nights he sleeps in it "to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt." He gives much the same response if asked if it is heavy--nobody ever asked those enslaved ancestors if THEIR chains are heavy! He has a point.

He makes little effort, he claims, to keep his body in shape, and is a confirmed junk food addict-- triple-decker hamburgers have been mentioned! He currently lives alone in a tower block apartment in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. He spends a great deal of time with his family in Chicago, however, and with his 13-year-old daughter Lesa (the result of a teenage love affair) who lives there with her mother. He is very active in community work, and is often to be found in MacLaren Hall, Los Angeles, a shelter for abused children bevcause, he says, "There's no telling how many lives you can turn around." He is very conscious of his responsibility toward the children who admire him and never drinks, smokes or takes drugs of any kind. He refuses to take any acting role that casts him as 'bad', and isn't keen on doing what he refers to as 'mushy scenes.' "My style," he says, "is always a hungry fighter."

In the break between seasons of The A-Team, Mr. T has been making a low-budget comedy movie, "DC Cab," which also stars Gary Busey and Musical Youth. In it, he plays a taxi driver who protects kids from hoods. Also in the works is "Rev T," in which he plays a garbage collector who lauches a neighborhood compaign against drugs and crime. NBC is also making a series of cartoons based on 'the adventures of Mr. T.' He has made several guest appearances; one in "Silver Spoons" (which we don't get in the UK), and in the season opener pf "Diff'rent Strokes." In the latter, the A-Team spends the week filming in the Drummond Apartment, and little Arnold has an identity crisis when he learns that his new girlfriend is only using him to meet Mr. T. He attempts to emulate his idol (he looks ridiculous with a Mandinka!) and is told, firmly, "You gotta be your own original." That's probably Mr. T's most valuable statement.

For the future, Mr. T hopes to become a preacher in about five years' time. When asked at a Press conference whether he is as thick as BA Baracus, he observed (quietly, because he usually DOES speak quietly!), "It takes a smart guy to play dumb."
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Next issue I'll try to dig up some other article you all might enjoy. Now here's the answer to last week's trivia challenge:

>This week's question is concerning one specifc episode:
>"The Grey Team," the last episode of the series (or next to
>last episode, depending on how you want to argue the point...).
>Anyway, this episode is chock full of in-jokes, specific to the
>series and tv media in general. I counted five in total. How
>many can you catch?

1. Murdock's "Fini" t-shirt
2. The character Mrs. Grehosky -- as in Babs Greyhosky, author of several A-Team scripts (this was a common gag they pulled, naming characters after writers or directors)
3. The reference to "Uncle" Stockwell
4. Sarnoff the Russian General (as in Sarnoff, the founder of NBC)
5. Finally, the names M. O'Herlihy and J. Ashley on the movie marquee
in one of the background shots -- Michael O'Herlihy was a frequent TAT director, and John Ashley was one of the producers of the show.


This week I have three A-Team "riddles" to pose:
1. We all know about Murdock's love of trash bags, but which team member likes "garbage--dirty garbage"?

2. "When was the last time I didn't have a cigar for you?" Face told Hannibal once. Actually, when *was* the last time Face didn't have a cigar for Hannibal, and why?

3. "Coming out of the closet, Hannibal?" BA joked in the "Mexican Slayride episode." But who did Hannibal put *in* a closet once although it certainly wasn't his first choice?

That's everything I have to report this issue. One person wrote me this week saying he would be interested in hearing what everyone's favorite Face scams were, and also their favorite quotes. I'd like to hear it too, so send in your list of faves! My favorite scam was probably the one in "Mission of Peace" where the old guy Face was with (who later turned out to be a master conman himself) took over the scam and left Face wondering what the hell was going on. I also loved the bit in "Holiday in the Hills" where Face gets the engine from the hillbilly lady.
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Subj: Here's a piece of trivia for you...
Date: Wed, Apr 19, 1995 8:31 PM EST
From: [email protected]
X-From: [email protected] (Kate Orman)
To: [email protected]

I'm just grabbing the back issues of OTJ, and a mention of the action figures reminded me that a couple of them (Hannibal and Murdock, I think) featured in an Australian band's music video. The song was "Idiot Grin" (which the figures kind of suited :-)), but I can't remember the name of the group. I can find out, though.

Kate Orman
"What she may do with a word or two is much too grim to tell."
- Jack Prelutsky, "The Witch"
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If you can find out the name of the band, let me know, I'd love to chack out the video sometime. The only Australian bands I can name off the top of my head are INXS and Men at Work...?

Anyway, good luck to everyone who's got final exams coming up or in progress now.

Until next time...
nicole
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Quote of the week:

"You look just like that guy at Lucy's in Saigon."
                                               -Hannibal

"Yeah? Well you look just like Lucy!" -- Face
                          (from "Till Death do us Part")
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