On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°15

Date: April 22, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i15.zip

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*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
DATE:   April 22, 1996
ISSUE:  15
Howdy friends!

Well, it's a slow-news issue this time around, but I still have some fun stuff to share. First, the answer to last issue's

Congratulations to Valerie ([email protected]), Sarah ([email protected]), and Irene ([email protected]), who all replied within 24 hours with the correct answer that Hannibal dressed up as a nun in the episode "Beneath the Surface." Though as Irene mentioned,

>What I want to know is, why didn't the other nun he was talking to
>figure out that he didn't belong in drag?

This issue's question: Name (or give description of) episode where the following movies were mentioned:
(a) Flight of the Pheonix
(b) Bail out over Borneo
(c) Chinatown
...and the real hard one:
(d) Bridge on the River Kwai
Now, here's a short articles on George Peppard I came across recently, from the playbill to one of the last things he did, the play "The Lion In Winter."

"Crowning Achievement" by Tony Panaccio (April 1992)
FromEncore Magazine, Parker Playhouse Playbill

George Peppard isn't wearing any underwear. Honest.

In the era that 'Lion in Wintrer' is set, the noblemen and women don't wear undergarments," Peppard commented while talking about his starring role as King Henry II in James Goldman's comedy 'The Lion in Winter.' "That's very telling of the kind of story we tell in this play."

Okay, maybe Peppard is wearing some BVDs on stage, but King Henry didn't. And that's okay with Peppard. He describes Henry as a rogue, the kind of character Peppard has played well - and enjoyed portraying - during his 40+ year acting career.

The rogue in Peppard is evident in his theatrical biography listed in the show's program: no TV or movie credits. Where's Hannibal Smith, the grinning renegade soldier from his hit series 'The A-Team'? Where's the disaffected insurance investigator from his first major television show, 'Banacek'? Where are the myriad movie roles that earned him a reputation as a celluloid tough-guy?

"I purposely don't have them listed," he said recently in a telephone interview that cellular technology allowed him to conduct while he was driving through Beverly Hills. "I'm just listing my stage work. From my point of view, there is a lot of joy in stage work. I love to entertain an audience. Sometimes you can feel like you're a 10-year-old boy again, trying to fool somebody. It's not that I'm knocking the movie and television work. I've made a lot of money in the city I'm driving through. It's provided me with enough to live on and the ability to do as I please, and this is what I want to do. If they'll have me and the show does well, I could do this another two or three years."

What makes Peppard so committed? He likes the character, plain and simple.

"In his first scene, Henry makes the point that the priests are the ones who record the history of the day, so Henry says, 'I know how they'll remember me. They'll say Henry was a master bastard!' He had a good time doing everything," Peppard said.

He explained that Henry is a 50-year-old king during a time when the average life expectancy was about 30 or 35 years old. He was a robust and rugged man whose physical and mental feats became the stuff of legend.

"Travielli, one of that era's most respected historians, called Henry the greatest king ever known," Peppard said. "He once rode his horse 200 miles in 2 days, twice the rate of travel that was the norm in that day. He established the grand jury system that we still use today in judiciary matters. He was a superb warrior and philosopher who loved his people. He was also very amorous, and had innumerable liasons. And he had a keen sense of humor."

And that's what originally surprised Peppard about this play and his role. He had seen a film version of "The Lion in Winter," and didn't think they could create a comedy from it. He soon discovered he was wrong.

"The fights between Henry and his wife, who is wonderfully portrayed in this play by Susan Clark, are the centerpiece of the play," he said. "The audience really looks forward to them. They're extremely funny and they develop the character further. It's fun playing a king, and the fun of playing this king in particular is the fun he has dominating and manipulating the people around him. It's a little mini-kingdom on stage, and he is the center of it all. He takes great pride and pleasure in his role. He is having a flagrant affair with a girl 30 years his junior and he has fantastic battles with his wife that amuse him no end. He's a rogue, and I have a weakness for rogues."

His theater work began in 1951 with a production of 'Home of the Brave', followed up with the plum role of Proctor in 'The Crucible'. From there, he started gaining steam in movies and television projects, but he returned to the theater in the 1980s with the one-man show 'Papa'. a stirring remembrance of literary rogue Ernest Hemingway.

"Hemingway was great fun," Peppard said. "At times, it got to be wrung out and sad, because the man had such a preoccupation with his own death. My research on him was what I read of him and about him, and I did a great deal of that."

With that feather in his cap, Peppard started looking for a role that would provide the fun of playing a good character with the intimacy of playing to the stage. Lion in Winter fit the bill. And it's a bill he said he's very proud to lead.

"I'm very pleased to come to Florida to play this role," he said. "This is a play filled with very wicked wit, scheming and lying and peeks into a real royal family's bedrooms. I mean, there are eight scenes, and five take place in bedrooms. It's a family fight, scathing and hilarious, and it's left all of our audiences bubbling as they left the theater."

As promised, this time around I have what's got to be one of the weirdest, most tongue-in-cheek A-Team stories I've come across. Everyone gets some ribbing in this piece, so take it lightly - Jenna mentioned actually receiving some "death threats"(!) from people when this piece first appeared.

With comments by the authoress, Jenna Russel

Originally published in "Tales from TAT 2" by the TAT Appreciation Society.

(Don't be put off by the first paragraph - it was written in a moment of inspired literary genius!)

The dark shrouds of the night surrounded the small house where four men sheltered as fugitives from the law - thrown together by the unavoidable passages of fate, and all bound to each other by a sense of loyalty and trust which can only be formed to such an extent during the turmoil of war. (Don't wprry - I'll get to the point soon...)

Yet one of these men, namely Templeton 'Faceman' Peck had a dark and foreboding secret, darker even than that mysterious night; a secret he had hidden from his mates for all these years - he was a werewolf.

No one would have guessed his dreadful alter-ego if they had been a fly on the wall of the bedroom which, out of shortage of decent rooms, he was sharing with the other three. To any nonchalant observer he seemed like just another man - brushing his teeth in an ordinary way and swaying his tanned, slender hips slightly as he bent low over the basin to just an ordinary Country and Western folk song by Dolly Parton. Having performed his night-time ritual, he turned to his mates and flashed that kind of a smile dentists dream about - pure white, unfilled and not a fang in sight.

He bade his three chums "good night" and removed his clothes with a curiously animal-like grace. His tie floated effortlessly towards the chair and his designer trousers and jacket landed gently on the floor. He then eased his tall, athletic body onto the bed, wearing only a pair of brief, black, Calvin Klein underpants.

The leader of this gang of misfits was Colonel John 'Hannibal' Smith. He lounged on the bed, idly smoking a panama cigar, then he gently removed his dentures and hung them on the bed post, as he always did.

The huge black man, Bad Attitude, knelt by his bed, obviously on a hot-line to God, or perhaps reciting his well-rehearsed rags to riches story.

Only Murdock was left, cutting two holes in his baselball cap through which he threaded a piece of string. He then tied the string tightly around his neck in a large, slightly effeminate bow in case his cap was to come off in the night revealing his rapidly receding hairline.

"What a beautiful night," sighed Murdock, his serious tone of voice contrasting with his unintentionally slightly rediculous appearance. "What a lovely full moon."

He was answered by a large snore from BA who had obviously sent himself to sleep as well as thousands of other people with the sad story of his impoverished childhood, and a rather muffled, toothless snore from Hannibal. However Face's reaction was rather different.

He sat up like a shot and felt the adrenaline of fear squirting through his body like a deranged water pistol. he glanced wildly at Murdock and started breathing, or rather panting, very quickly.

"N-n-n-n-n-n-not a full moon?" Face stammered.

"Oh Face, don't do your impression of Paul Hardcastle now - you know I hate that song - how it reminds me of 'Nam. I've told you not to tease me before," complained a rather moody, miffed Murdock who then flung himself onto the other side of the bed in an angry gesture - only to let out a slighty suffocated gasp as his bow tightened around his neck.

Face lay in despair, feeling his body getting psyched up to go through a complete and rapid metamorphosis. He started licking his lips in fright only to feel the hair sprouting already - or was it his moustache? He couldn't remember - either way he knew he looked pretty stupid.

His black silk underpants started straining under the pressure of his rapidly changing body (Wow! Wish I'd been there!), and Face desperately held them at the seams as he remembered they cost him $400. His hands elongated into evil talons, his ears flopped around his shortening neck and soon his matinee idol looks were transformed into a terrifying werewolf albeit a rather small and scrawny one.

After this transformation he stood up on the bed, on all fours, and pricked his ears. Convinced that BA and Hannibal were asleep and Murdock was either likewise or had suffocated, Faceman (sorry, Face-wolf) leaped off the bed and padded along the floor to the door, praying they wouldn't wake.

He paused in the doorway, the full moon throwing large beams of light across his trembling body. Something clanged eerily behind him and Face span round, almost colliding with his tail, only to see Hannibal's false teeth gently rocking in the breeze against the bed post. Face panted deeply and relaxed a little. He then trotted down the staircase, his furry paws leaving uncharacteristically unromantic sticky marks on the lino.

Face roamed the streets, a mothbitten shadow of his former self, when suddenly a family emerged from a nearby McDonald's and spied him sitting forlornly in the gutter.

"Look Daddy, it's a dog!" shouted the little girl, her blonde hair in two high ponytails.

"Yeah, and it's wearing black underpants for crying out loud!" exclaimed her elder brother.

"Ah... who could do that to a little doggy?" said the mother, bending low to remove the offending article. Face shied in embarassment much to the family's surprise.

"Here, wanna beef burger?" said the father.

Face, already seething with indignation for being mistaken for 'a little dog' when he was really a werewolf, barked his anger and wondered how to explain he was a macrobiotic and wouldn't mind a nice cuppa Miso.
"It's got funny teeth," said the little girl, munching her 1/4-pounder.

"Mm... kind of even aren't they - do you think it's got rabies?"

That was the final straw. Enough was enough. Face put his nose in the air, his tail between his legs and trotted away in a dignified manner from the family.

The sun was rising and Face realized he had better get back to the house and change - literally.

He ran as fast as his little, threadbare legs would carry him to the doorway of the house. He hoped to slip in unnoticed through the cat flap, but there in the kitchen was Murdock already making crepes and putting baby oil on the painful red grooves inflicted by his nocturnal string habits. Hannibal emerged after him and spied the 'dog' cowering behind the cat flap.

"Ma - ma - mmmmm," he said.

"What?" questioned Murdock, deftly tossing crepes.

"Ma - ma - mmmmm."

"That's what I thought you said... oh, I see... you haven't got your teeth in yet - I know - we'll play charades... begins with... D? Yes, D. One word. Small? Yep... um, scrawny? Yep... three syllables... um, pa - thet - ic... ah, I see."

(Face readied himself to kill Hannibal when he could manage to squeeze through the cat flap.)

Murdock continued to guess. "Um... behind me? Yeah?" He turned round and melted at the sight of the furry animal.

"Hannibal! Hannibal!" Murdock screamed excitedly, throwing open his arms ready to embrace the dog. 'It's Billy!!"

The End.
Anyway, that's all for now, so until next time!
Quote of the Week:
"I saw the same thing once... on Mission: Impossible"

               (Bad guy, "The Rabbit That Ate Las Vegas")

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