This week’s assignment from the League is simple: The Oscars. Well, I stayed up way too late last Sunday watching the Oscars, and Bradford and I tied in our Oscar picks. I appreciate the fanfare that goes along with the show, even if people say the awards aren’t legitimate anymore. Sadly, I hadn’t seen most of the Best Picture nominees, so I can’t comment on whether the best film won. I am delighted that Tarantino and Christoph Waltz won another one, but other than that, I was happy just to play along and guess who would win.
When I read the assignment, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. Should I write about my interest in film history and offer some tidbits about the awards ceremony? Should I find great moments in history that involved people named Oscar? And then it hit me. Only one man would do for this post–a man who’s always behind the scenes, getting things done. I’m talking, of course, about my main toy squeeze, Oscar Goldman.
Oscar Goldman was part of the Six Million Dollar Man toy line, though I can’t imagine many kids were excited to see him. I mean, his briefcase is pretty ginchy, but other than that, he’s a guy in a plaid jacket, mock turtleneck, slacks, and loafers. It’s like having an action figure of your friend’s dad. To be honest, I didn’t even know he existed in toy form until I saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin. In it, Andy (Steve Carell) is one of us–a toy collector and general geek. In one of my favorite scenes, Cal (Seth Rogen) and David (Paul Rudd) are at Andy’s apartment, and Cal asks why he has the Six Million Dollar Man’s boss. If you’ve never seen it, it’s hilarious. So a couple of years ago, I rescued my own Oscar Goldman from an indoor flea market, and he’s been one of my favorite toys ever since. People call him the most boring toy ever, but I know better. Sure, he’s the man behind the curtain, but he likes to kick back just as much as anyone. For example, he regularly gets together with the other Oscars in our house.
Here, you can see Oscar and his pals, Oscar, Oscar, and Oscar, relaxing just before their weekly movie night. Oscar Goldman likes the Grouches because by comparison, he’s downright whimsical. The Grouches have to take a break from grouching, and Goldman forces himself to close the briefcase and put down the headset for a couple of hours to recharge before the next busy week begins. So, what do they watch? Well, as you’d expect, they like films and TV shows with Oscars in them. Last week, they took a break from movie night to watch the Oscars telecast, though they were disappointed that no one named Oscar took home an award. (Apparently, they were confused by the concept–they thought it was a celebration of the best guys named Oscar.) In past weeks, they’ve watched Oscar, a madcap comedy starring Sylvester Stallone as a gangster. They’ve been watching episodes of The Office (the American version). Oscar Goldman loves Oscar, not only for his name, but also for his accounting prowess. Oscar admires anyone who knows his way around a spreadsheet.
Tonight, the Oscars are watching their favorite Oscar movie: The Odd Couple. The Grouches love it because of Oscar Madison, their hero. He’s messy and grouchy, and his apartment looks like the inside of their respective garbage cans. Oscar Goldman loves the film because he can appreciate Oscar Madison for his name, but he really identifies with Felix Unger. Though he doesn’t really understand the appeal of being untidy, he loves the Grouches. If not for sharing a name, they may not have become pals–they’re the Oscar Madison to his Felix Unger, but somehow they make it work. And really, sometimes great friendship comes from the oddest places.