To understand this post, you will have to realize that my mom and I LOVE entertainment trivia. We love to find an actor or actress in a television show or movie that we already know from another project. It is even more fun when it is an old show you are watching and you find someone who has since become famous. (This is the 50% of my mother that I love. See People of Interest if you don’t get this percentage reference.)
This all started before there was an Internet, before there was an IMDB.com. While IMDB is handy, it sort of takes the fun out of having to memorize all these actors and roles. My mom doesn’t have a computer and I am usually too lazy to turn mine on just to verify a past role, so we usually do things the old fashioned way–with our brains.
In this way, my mom and I have a code for certain actors. No one else would know who we mean.
This drives my husband nuts.
I will include the most often used nicknames below:
There used to be a short-lived sitcom on television called “Down Home”, which starred Judith Ivey, Dakin Matthews, and Gedde Watanabe. On the show, there was a big burly blond guy who played Judith Ivey’s brother. I don’t even know if he WAS her BIG brother. But this role was played by Eric Allan Kramer. Ever since, we just refer to him as “The Big Brother”. He also was in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”, and often plays a bodyguard (such as on the most excellent “Growing Pains”). He was also on another of my favorites, “The O.C.” (as Ryan & Luke’s soccer coach). Kramer is great in whatever he does. Currently he stars on Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie”.
My mom started this nickname. One time she was like “You know, that big redhead from ‘That 70’s Show’. Claire Danes!” Although I quickly assured her that that role was not in fact played by Claire Danes, the nickname has stuck. So, anytime my mom or I see actress Laura Prepon in something, we say “Hey, it’s Claire Danes.”
HONEY & FRISKY
This one is my fault. I frickin’ loved the 1990’s television show “Homefront”. One time I was trying to tell my mom about a storyline with the black servant couple on the series. I couldn’t remember their names, so I just called them “Honey & Frisky”. The name has stuck. The actual names were Gloria (played by Hattie Winston) and Abe Davis (played by Dick Anthony Williams). They are both very excellent actors. Honey went on to be a series regular on “Becker” with Ted Danson. IMDB.com just gave me the terrible news that Frisky died last February:( See what I mean? IMDB.com can be a blessing and curse.
My mom used to watch “Two and a Half Men” pretty regularly, although I am guessing grandmothers in their 60s are not their target demographic. She seemed to be fond of Jake (Angus T. Jones), until he recently got all crazy Kirk Cameron religious. My mom ain’t down with that shit. But because my mom watched that show, now actress Melanie Lynskey will forever be known to us as “Charlie’s Stalker”. Which I must say is a lot shorter than saying “There is the chick who had her baby in a bar”, referencing one of my favorite movies, “Sweet Home Alabama”. Lynskey was also in “Coyote Ugly”, another of my favorites. She was very good as a disturbed teenager in Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures”, her first role. She is probably the best in the role we will forever identify her with, Rose, Charlie’s Stalker.
What of the Paco in the title, you ask? Once upon a time on NBC there was a little show called “Nurses”. It was a little, unassuming show that could be easily forgettable. Actor Carlos Lacamara played Paco on the show. Paco was always in romantic pursuit of one of the nurses (I don’t remember her name or face. Go figure.). Paco has worked A LOT in television and movies. My mom & I will always be “Hey, that’s Paco!” I always add “Paco! I love Paco!” Sidenote: Paco also played a character named Paco in the memorable episode of “Night Court” with all the pregnant chicks. Sometimes I have a little crush on Paco. He was also in episodes of some of my favorite shows, such as “Misfits of Science” (subject of a future post), “Growing Pains”, and “Friends”. Also was in the movies “License to Drive” and “Independence Day”.
I am sure there are way more of these type of nicknames, but I can’t remember anymore right now. These are the big ones. If I come up with a long enough list of actors I forgot, then I will make another post.
MOM: Am watching independence [day]. Think I saw paco. 12:05PM
MOM: Is Paco Carlos LaCamara? 2:32PM
ME: Yes. 2:33PM
MOM: Then he is in Indep Day. 2:34PM