Monday, March 15, 2010

Peter Graves, naked men & the LA Times

Nice old guy that Peter Graves. We'd see him at the Gelsons supermarket in Pacific Palisades, pushing around the shopping cart, buying his own groceries. Everyone knew him from Mission: Impossible and the A&E Bioography series, but his true immortality was from the movie Airplane! in which he played the perverted airline pilot who says to a kid visiting the cockpit:

"You ever seen a grown man naked?”

That was the famous line, right? So why does the LA Times, his hometown daily, write that Praves played a "bumbling" pilot whose "one liners" included:

"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"

What's so funny about "Do you like movies about gladiators?" It's out of context without mentioning that it was delivered to a child, or the lines that surrounded it:

"Joey, you ever hang around a gymnasium?"


"Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

The "joke" about Peter Graves' role was that a straight-laced leading man was playing not only an idiot but a potential pedophile. The Los Angeles Times missed that one, and added to the mystery by quoting Graves as saying the role was "in terrible taste." Why the sanitizing?

UPDATE: The New York Times went for the "gladiator" line, as well.

They must have worked off the same press handout.

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