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Playing with Mixed Emotions

Updated on May 16, 2013
Playing with Mixed Emotions
Playing with Mixed Emotions | Source

It has been a continual and consistent failing of thespian Thor Hambone’s entire stage and screen career: the inability to act with anything other than maddeningly misappropriate mixed emotions.

Here we see T.H. trying to complete the final scene of the Broadway premier of one of Will Shakespeare’s greatest and most dependably dreary downer tragedies. As the production proceeds, the entire cast and backstage staff are asking themselves: Can Thor just stick with the program, and finish his depressing final soliloquy on a suitably somber note, then slowly shuffle offstage as the lights go down?

No. Of course not.

It appears that the effervescent court jester in him is compelled to bring the audience back from the brink of something ponderous and fateful and fraught with death and rueful meaning, with a last-minute lighthearted lunge, that gaping goofy grin and a whimsical hand-waggle!

When will this clown (pun earned and intended) ever learn?

This is the same sort of denouement that got Mr. Hambone expelled just six weeks ago from the cast of that phenomenally popular television reality show, “Why Do I go Out in Public in Such Sleazy, Grubby, Ridiculous and Embarrassing Garb?” Thor’s job as lead host on the show was simple enough: just fill in the spaces between the video clips of horrific hillbilly fashion faux-pas with mindless chit-chat, winks, nods, smirks, patently forced laughter, and the occasional suggestive wisecrack.

But, no. Thor somehow construed that a crash-course in angst-driven Method acting was called for. He would step all over the audience laughter with some ill-timed raving rant about the pain of being adopted from an insane asylum by an alcoholic werewolf and his murderous carny wife (all fictional and scripted, of course). He once interrupted a boffo scene of an obese woman venturing to a discount store in her barely-there SpongeBob underwear with an extended riff on lighting a cigarette just like a drunken Marlon Brando. Needless to say, the producers were not happy.

The seeds of Thor Hambone’s discordant nature were apparently sown long ago, in his seemingly average and ordinary childhood on the dusty streets of Enid, Oklahoma. There, young Thor would set up a corner lemonade stand that instead dispensed vodka (the lad made quite a killing that summer). He’d enter the Middle School Christmas pageant dressed as the Easter Bunny. He once congratulated a close boyhood chum on being caught masturbating by his mom. Thor would snicker at funerals and cry at birthday parties. His gift to Grandpa on his 80th was a jack-in-the-box. His dream of starring in the lead role of his high school’s musical production of Oklahoma! was foiled when he kept showing up at successive rehearsals as Don Corleone and Luke Skywalker and Fonzie.

And things don’t seem to be getting much better for the ol’ Hambone. His fiancée, the lovely lass Mathilda Mayhew Morningstar, abruptly called off their impending nuptials when Thor pulled a switchblade on her during the wedding ceremony’s practice run-through at the parsonage, then slugged Pastor Weems.

Cleveland's Playhouse Square, where you are likely to see just about every emotion on display
Cleveland's Playhouse Square, where you are likely to see just about every emotion on display | Source

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