Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ode to Rainier Wolfcastle

Ode to Rainier Wolfcastle

The lovable Simpsons character who only guest stars on the show on occasion but when he does have a part, it's usually memorable.

One of his best episodes has to be Radioactive Man (episode 2F17 for the Simpson nerds) where Wolfcastle plays the lead role in a popular comic book series about a man empowered by a radiation accident.

Wolfcastle is an obvious parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger so it's funny to draw the parallels, if only just to hear Wolfcastle's bad Austrian accent. In one scene in the episode, they are trying to teach Wolfcastle Radioactive Man's catch phrase which is "Up and ATOM!" The foreign-born actor struggles with the pun he's obviously missing and keeps saying literatively correctly but character incorrectly, "Up and at them." The banter goes on with the dialect coach a few times and despite Wolfcastle never getting it right, the coach just gives up and says, "Better."

Then there was the big final scene for the movie where they tie Wolfcastle to a barrier and release a tsunami of acid on him. They did give him goggles for protection. When the wave of green, toxic acid was released and burned everything in its path including our star, Wolfcastle exclaims in that cheap Austrian accent as he's being swept away, "My eyes! Zee goggles do nuz-zing."

Another Arnold reference to Wolfcastle which many may have been missed because it went by quick was in an episode titled The Boy Who Knew Too Much [1F19] where Bart Simpson witnesses an accident at the Mayor's mansion, an accident that the Mayor's son is framed for. The Quimby's are an obvious reference to the Kennedy family with the high class living, infidelity, political corruption and the thick Massachusetts accent. In this episode, Mayor Quimby is hosting a party at his mansion for his son. In attendance to the party was our beloved Rainier Wolfcastle with his wife "Mahhhhriiia," solidifying the reference to the real life Arnold Schwarzenegger, husband of Maria Shriver. To add to the parody, Maria Shriver is the niece of former president John F. Kennedy. Of course Wolfcastle would be at this party. He was married to a Quimby (Kennedy)! Double reference. Excellent.

In A Star is Burns [2F31], Wolfcastle goes on Jay Sherman's Critic show to plug his new film, "a mixture of action und comedy. It's called 'McBain: Let's Get Silly'."

[cut to clip from movie showing McBain with a microphone in front of a brick wall]

McBain: Did you ever notice how men always leave the toilet seat up? [pause] That's the joke.
Man: [from audience] You suck, McBain!
[McBain pulls a machine gun and fires into the audience]
McBain: Now, my Woody Allen impression: I'm a neurotic nerd who likes to sleep with little girls.
Man: [from audience] Hey, that really sucked!
[McBain pulls the pin on a grenade and tosses it]

[cut back to interview with Jay]

Rainier: The film is just me in front of a brick wall for an hour and a half. It cost $80 million.
Jay: How do you sleep at night?
Rainier: On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.

Later, when Wolfcastle realizes (eventually) that the critic's review of the film was not a favorable one, he confronts the film critic on the street. Wolfcastle says, "Sherman, I just realized you insulted me! Now you will die." and pulls a machine gun on him. Jay, desperately trying to find a safe way out of the situation informs Wolfcastle that his shoes are untied then runs for it while he's looking.

Rainier: From here, they appear to be tied, but I will go in for a closer look.

[MANY hours later, the sun has set, Wolfcastle is still standing in the same spot staring down at his shoes]

Rainier: On closer inspection, these are loafers.

One last thing about Wolfcastle. How many actors do you know sign their autographs with their character name. Rainier signs all of his "McBain."

And you know they have to make an episode where Rainier Wolfcastle becomes governor of California. You know they'll make it, they have to. It would be criminal to let that one slip by.