Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Moviegoing Memories: You Had to Be There

They say of umpires, referees and offensive linemen that success is found in going unnoticed. The same goes for movie audiences. As any regular moviegoer knows, it only takes one asshole – with a cellphone, a grunting tic or a need to emote to everyone within 30 feet – to spoil an otherwise enjoyable cinematic experience or to make a tedious movie completely insufferable. Sins range from texting (Hey, iPhone Dude, how about turning off your highbeams!) to showing off one’s comprehension of the plot (Actually, buddy, you’re not as smart as you think, because I figured out he was Keyser Soze 15 minutes ago.) to acting as if the theater is a high school cafeteria (So, kids, you paid $10 to sit in a dark theater and entirely ignore the movie, why?). Yet every now and then a movie audience can enhance the theatrical experience. Usually it’s by being completely quiet – creating an exhilarating, palpable stillness – but not always.

As a jumpstart to The Cooler’s return to blogging action (after a real-world job induced quiet period), here are my three most prized “you had to be there” audience experiences:

Four Rooms
If you read Part I of The Conversations: Quentin Tarantino, you know this story. It was Christmas Break of my freshman year of college, December 1995. I was home for the holidays, which just meant leaving one college town (Pullman, Washington) for another (Eugene, Oregon). It was a Friday night and the local theater was packed with teens and twentysomethings who, not quite a year removed from the debut of Pulp Fiction, were so hungry for a fresh bite of Tarantino that we were more than happy to sit through vignettes by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell and Robert Rodriguez in order to get our fix. Happy until the movie started, that is.

If you’ve seen Four Rooms, featuring four stories unfolding at a Los Angeles hotel on New Year’s Eve, starring Tim Roth as a Wile E. Coyote-esque bellhop named Ted, you know it’s one of the most uneven films of the past 25 years. The opening vignette by Anders, The Missing Ingredient, involves a coven of witches, a quest for semen and an extended topless performance by Ione Sky, and yet somehow it’s incredibly boring. The second chapter, Rockwell’s The Wrong Man, about some unusual sexual role play between a husband and wife, isn’t much better. Roth’s bellhop spends much of the Rockwell episode at gunpoint, and about midway through I could sense the audience was hoping that someone would pull the trigger and kill Ted the bellhop, thereby ending our Four Rooms misery two rooms in. Instead, it went on.

To describe the audience as restless at the movie’s midpoint would be to undersell it. I don’t recall anyone yelling at the screen in frustration, but I also don’t recall anyone being silent. People were mumbling, groaning, huffing and puffing. People were shifting in their chairs, shuffling their feet. I don’t remember anyone leaving early, but I also can’t imagine that anyone failed to consider it. You could almost hear people thinking of all the other things they could be doing on a Friday night. Stuffed with fidgety hormonal bodies, the theater was warm and the heat from our frustration was making the temperature rise even more.

Then the unthinkable happened. Along came Rodriguez’s The Misbehavers, starring a flamboyant Antonio Banderas as the father of two mischievous kids left alone in their hotel room but under the responsibility of the well-paid Ted the bellhop. Hijinks ensue. There’s a hypodermic needle, a dead body, a lit cigarette and then a floor-to-ceiling inferno. It goes from cute to clever to chuckle-worthy to crazy-funny in about 10 minutes. The audience, which had pretty much given up, was slapped back into consciousness. Suddenly were weren’t just watching, we were invested. People laughed. People cheered. (I know, I know: that’s a cliché. But people really did laugh and cheer. What do you want me to do?) People celebrated. We celebrated that we were enjoying ourselves, that Friday night wasn’t ruined, that there might be hope for this movie after all. And Tarantino was yet to come!

Thus you can imagine our surprise when Tarantino arrived with a whimper, or, more accurately, a whine. As Ted enters the penthouse suite, he is greeted by Tarantino’s Chester who – this shouldn’t have been a surprise – talks, talks and talks, and tries to play cool. It was entertaining enough as compared to The Missing Ingredient, but QT was losing his audience. We’d come to see Tarantino filmmaking not Tarantino himself. A rambunctious crowd fell silent and the energy was cooled by the air conditioning. The bubble of excitement created by The Misbehavers had burst. The fun was over. Or was it?

As Tarantino’s The Man From Hollywood shifted into a story about a bet involving a car, a Zippo lighter, a cleaver, a pinky finger and $1000 in cash, the audience perked up again. We were invested again. We leaned forward in our seats again. Tarantino hadn’t lost his audience, after all. QT knew that after going over the edge on Rodriguez’s adrenaline rush, we were bound to crash. Tarantino cushioned the fall. We were in his grasp. We just didn’t know it until Tarantino began to tighten his grip.

When The Man From Hollywood climaxed with a sudden burst of cleaver-powered frenzy, the theater erupted. Truly, the crowd applauded as if at a live sporting event, as if we were part of the action – because that night we were. I’ve seen Four Rooms since on VHS and DVD and it’s hard to believe this is the movie responsible for one of my most priceless theatergoing experiences. But then maybe that’s part of the beauty.

Scream 2
Yep, you read that right. Not Scream. Scream 2. Once again, it was December and I was in college, but winter break hadn’t yet arrived. That’s crucial. The savvy Hollywood marketers were offering free screenings for Scream 2 on various college campuses, and one of them landed in Pullman. I’d seen Scream with friends when it came out, and we all had a good time with it, but I had no intention of seeing Scream 2. Not ever, and certainly not on the night of the free screening. See, it was finals week at Washington State, and, well, let’s just say I was a little behind on studying.

My friends, on the other hand, were not. They thought seeing Scream 2 sounded like the ideal study break. And so two of my roommates from the previous year pestered me until I broke down and agreed to escort them to the movie. We bundled up and walked to the theater, me complaining the whole way about how I really shouldn’t be doing this, that I had too much to do, that my friends owed me one. Soon we were filing into the packed theater, lucky to find three seats together at a one-screen movie-lovers’ hell that had once been a post office. Not only did this place lack stadium seating (still a luxury in 1997), it was the kind of place where people in the back of the theater had to hunch over if crawling out of their row during the movie in order to avoid being silhouetted on the screen. Meanwhile, there were no cup holders on the armrests because the seats were so close together that there were hardly any armrests.

But we weren’t there for luxury. We were there to blow off a little steam, though I sensed I wasn’t the only one in the theater who was a little preoccupied with everything else he should be doing for the next two hours. And then the movie started: It began with a scene in which a group of college kids walk to see a scary movie, one of the kids complaining that it’s finals week and he should be home studying. The symmetry wasn’t a mistake, nor was it lost on the audience. The room let out a warm knowing laugh, and from there Scream 2 had us.

Over the years I’ve attended various (midnight) screenings of classic or cult films in which folks in the theater try to get into the participatory spirit, shouting out their favorite lines or applauding the arrival of the hero, but this Scream 2 viewing marks the only time I’ve been in an authentically participatory audience. People screamed. People laughed. People clapped. But mostly people yelled at the screen, mocking the stupidity of the characters who were always walking toward certain death. True, we were supposed to do this; this was the intended response. But we weren’t satisfying an expectation. We weren’t rats stepping on a lever and hoping for more food. We got into the spirit of the movie because the movie got into us. It was organic. Unforced. Totally genuine. Even I got into it, shouting at the screen with everyone else in a room so loud I could hardly hear myself, never mind the dialogue.

If you want to know what this experience was like, watch Jarhead and take note of the scene in which a theater full of Marines goes ape-shit watching Apocalypse Now. It was like that.

Schindler’s List
I presume I don’t need to tell you: there was no cheering at this screening. On this December night, back in 1993, no one was restless. No one laughed. Save for the kid in my row who got up midway through, presumably to use the bathroom, I don’t remember anyone getting up from their seat during the 195-minute film. But here’s what I do remember, what I’ll never forget: The movie ended. The credits rolled. The lights came back on. Slowly, so slowly, people gathered their things to leave. Two rows in front of me, I watched a woman dabbing the tears off her face as she tried to put on her coat and shuffle down her row at the same time. Without meaning to, her husband had left her about 30 feet behind, and there she was standing mostly alone, lightly crying.

Then it happened. From the other end of the row, another woman walked up, reached out her hand and touched the woman’s shoulder. They shared a nod first. Then a smile. And then they hugged.

Two strangers. Two people who had done nothing more than share a movie in the general vicinity of one another comforted one another. And I thought: This is why I love movies.

So, Cooler readers, what are some of your most cherished “you had to be there” experiences at the movies, moments when the audience left as much of an impression as the film itself?


Jess said...

Welcome back! The first one that pops to mind is watching "The Girl with Pearl Earring" at a weekday matinee and a woman knowingly telling her husband "That looks like a Vermeer" when they actually posed the girl with her pearl earring and he (VERMEER) began painting. A bit redundant, but it always makes me laugh and groan thinking about it.

Unknown said...

I remember going to see the SOUTH PARK and being amazed at how hard and how often the entire audience laughed all the way through the film. I had to actually see it again because some jokes were drowned out by laughter. I have never seen a packed theater react so unanimously to a film.

Then, on the opposite side of the spectrum, I remember seeing FARGO and the offbeat humor had different parts of the audience laughing at different times. It was really a fascinating experience to see who found what funny.

Kevin J. Olson said...

Okay...this is an awesome post. I will try to limit myself here:

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade -- It was the first movie my brothers and I returned to for multiple viewings...each time I remember being equally enthralled by what I was watching, and it was at that moment I understood what a summer blockbuster was (Batman would come out a little later...and I remember sitting on the floor of a sold out theater in Portland watching that movie). Every showing (I think we went about three or four times) the audience was hootin' and hollerin'; thrilled by what they were seeing.

2. Kill Bill: Volume 2 -- I'll never forget seeing this twice in one day. It's one of the best theater experiences I can remember because the audience didn't make a peep the whole way through...which is hard to do these days.

3. The Life Aquatic -- An entire row of what I assumed to be frat boys talks through the first half of the movie and then gets up and leaves because "this isn't the Bill Murray we paid to see". My friend Kyle and I always get a laugh out of that.

4. No Country for Old Men -- Twice I saw this movie in the theater, and twice I had loud old people trying to guess what's going on or asking for them to turn up the volume (that's not's mean as it sounds). One patron in particular kept letting his wife know (very loudly) that when Chigurh opens the duct with a dime that " can open anything with a dime...yup!" My friend Brandon and I still quote that line to this day.

5. Magnolia -- I saved the best for last. I was in high school when this came out and was a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson. About 2 hours and 30 minutes into the movie the film breaks down and people start leaving the theater. I inform them that the movie is not over (knowing that it was at least three hours in length), and that they may not want to leave because I had heard from critics that the ending was a HUGE surprise. So, I convinced about 30 people to stay in the theater and stick it out (they were getting antsy, not to mention laughing during the entire Tom Cruise scene where he's by his father's deathbed)...needles to say there were audible guffaws and confusion when the frogs started dropping. I got plenty of evil glances on the way out the theater as I was awe struck by what I'd seen, but as people were passing me to get out of the theater (I never leave until the credits are over) they were making their point known that that was the stupidest ending they'd ever seen. I felt bad for them...but it still makes me laugh to this day...maybe I reached one of them, haha.

Craig said...

1. The Exorcist. I had seen this on VHS and TV before, but a Halloween midnight showing in the Varsity Theater at my Jesuit university early in my freshman year was another wholly glorious experience entirely. The undergraduate audience had the wild raucousness of a WWF crowd, and the projectile vomiting of the more inebriated among us rivaled Linda Blair's onscreen. What is more, the Varsity Theater was where most of us took a Western Civilization course during the week, taught by an authoritarian Jezzie named Father Donnelly. And when Max von Sydow began the very intense exorcism sequence, the students began chanting: "Donnelly! Donnelly! Donnelly!"

2. Pulp Fiction. Seven years later, also at the Varsity, this time as a graduate student. I had seen "Pulp Fiction" once during its successful initial release, but it was near the end of its run and the audience was pretty thin. The second time, on campus, had a sell-out crowd: every seat was filled, and the audience seemed to have been primed for the pump. Whereas everyone at "The Exorcise" had been laughing at the picture, the audience for "Pulp Fiction" was with the film, exploding at repeated intervals, completely invested and absorbed. A great moviegoing experience.

3. The Phantom Menace. I know you had positive experiences in mind, but I had to include this one. A few days before the premiere of Lucas's prequel -- which you may recall received a passing mention or two of anticipation -- Roger Ebert printed a letter written by a woman attempted a pre-critical strike by admonishing Roger or anyone else who dared to give the movie a negative review. "My child loves Star Wars! Panning the movie will destroy his childhood! Won't somebody think of the children?" was the gist of her argument (as if she had to worry about Ebert panning anything). Fast-forward to my local theater, where I sat in the back bored to tears, the only thing keeping me awake being the incessant restlessness of all the kiddies whining and yammering and running up and down the aisle, completely uninvested in the movie. I wonder if hers was among them?

Troy Olson said...

Great concept here, Jason.

A few of mine:

-- In high school, watching Stargate with a person in front of us who decided he needed to make explosion sounds and got extremely excited about every action sequence, squealing with glee (he was more entertaining than the movie, though).

-- At college in Idaho, at our local $1 theater, they were showing The Little Mermaid. Myself, my girlfriend (and wife-to-be) and another friend of mine ended up being the ONLY people in the entire theater and proceeded to sing and dance through all of the songs and recite all the lines. Tons of fun, indeed.

-- My friend, Wyatt, and I went to see Braveheart one evening and were not quite prepared for how incredibly violent it was, which, in our sick minds, made it an intensely humorous movie (YOU try to not laugh when brain matter splashes on the camera). Needless to say we received odd looks throughout the film as we were laughing while the rest of the audience was in shock. I've since learned that this is NOT the best way to act in a theater :)

Scott Nye said...

Snakes on a Plane. Say whatever you want about the movie. Feel free. I know it's a huge turd market-engineered to be a midnight movie. But I saw it at midnight, dammit, opening night, with a packed house (plus a few of my friends full-on sitting on the ground in front of the stadium section), and it was the most fun I've ever had in a movie theater.

No Country for Old Men and would be up there, too. The first two times I saw it, actually, were the most still I'd ever felt an audience be. I didn't hear popcorn, rustling around, nobody got up and left, nobody talked...if you told me nobody BREATHED, I'd believe it. And it wasn't just great because of the absence of those distractions, it was because you could FEEL the silence. It was almost tangible, and being in a room with every single audience member completely engaged in the film...that's something else, man.

Oh, and Revenge of the Sith. It came out the last week of my senior year of high school, and almost all my friends were there. Made a few, too. We were at the front of the line, we did Jedi runs with lightsabers around the block. And dammit, we actively loved the hell out of that movie.

Jason Bellamy said...

Great responses, everyone. Good stories. Keep 'em coming.

* Jess: It really can be enjoyable when someone makes a comment to show off their intelligence and in doing so reveals that they are the last person in the theater to realize the painfully obvious. Good times.

* J.D.: That are few things better than being in a packed crowd when a comedy is working. I remember having to see Meet the Parents twice because at least half of the De Niro-Stiller banter had been impossible to hear the first time due to the laughter.

* Kevin: That Magnolia story is priceless. I was fortunate enough to have a friend drive me 90 minutes to the closest theater showing it when it came out. She wasn't sure what to make of it, but thankfully she didn't hate it. That would have been a long drive home.

* Craig: Having attended a Catholic high school run by Jesuits, I can perfectly imagine your Exorcist story. As for Phantom Menace ... Having waited in line seven hours to get an opening-day ticket, seeing that movie ranks as both a thrill and a letdown. The letdown you know about. The thrill was that moment at the very beginning when "A long time ago..." popped up on the screen and my skin tingled at the realization that, at last, I was going to see a NEW Star Wars movie. It was quite a rush.

* Troy: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm jealous of your Mermaid experience. Meanwhile, your Braveheart story reminds me of seeing Hard Target with a buddy and laughing uproariously the whole way through as others nearby cheered as if it could be taken seriously.

* Scott: I saw No Country three or four times in the theater, and part of the reason was to re-experience the rush of that palpable stillness. I know exactly what you're talking about!

Great stories, everyone. Thanks for leaving them. Let's have more ...

Richard Bellamy said...

The moviegoing memories you describe are very dramatic, and in all my moviegoing years, I just haven't had similar experiences in regards to audience response. I've sat with audience members who have thrown out the choice line or two, now and then. I've sat with groups that have talked constantly - constantly! I sat in front of two guys who ate sunflower seeds from a paper bag and spat the shells on the floor. But nothing worthy of an anecdote.

My memorable experiences surround the pure joy of that unadulterated thrill you get when something happens on screen that is simultaneously surprising and satisfying to each member of the audience. In some cases you share an audible, "Oh, yeah!" Sometimes it's just an emotional current that is felt throughout the audience. (And this is why seeing a movie in a big audience CAN be an awesome experience if everyone is feeling the same way about a film. Nowadays, however, seeing a movie with a large audience is usually just a risky thing to do.)

Anyway, those special moments shared with a large audience are the following:

1. Steve McQueen jumps the fence in The Great Escape. Audiences had not become inured to that kind of thing back in 1963. And it comes so surprisingly and it's so beautifully filmed and in sync with the score. "Oh, yeah!" I think everyone made some sort of audible response at the same time.

2. "They finally really did it," from Planet of the Apes. I think I heard everybody in the audience THINK, "Oh, my God, it's the Statue of Liberty!" Maybe one person said, "Oh, my God." Mostly it was just a feeling of awe shared in unison.

3. "Get your stinkin' paws off of me..." - from the same movie. The explosion of cheers, cries, applause, and laughter was so loud and so prolonged that whenever I saw the movie in a theater, I never caught the lines after the scene cuts to the menagerie scene. It wasn't until I saw it on video that I heard those lines.

Steven Hart said...

Two moments, both stemming from James Cameron movies.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day. When John Connor's stepmom is being annoyed by loudmouthed stepdad, she makes an off-camera motion that shuts him up. When the camera moves back to reveal that she is actually the T-100, and has just turned her arm into a blade and rammed it through stepdad's face, the 12-year-old boy sitting next to me squealed in pleasure: "Total Ginsu!" Do I need to explain about the Ginsu steak knives that were being relentless marketed on TV at the time? I have yet to watch the movie again without thinking of that kid.

2. Titanic. A couple of -- how do they out it? -- senior citizens spent much of the movie muttering to each other for much of the movie. Then, when the aged heroine climbed the railing and produced the "Heart of the Sea" gemstone necklace, they simultaneously gasped. Then the one woman cried, "Why didn't she give it to that nice young man?"

Will Pfeifer said...

This is going way back, but I remember sitting in "The Empire Strikes Back" on the first showing of opening day, and when Darth Vader revealed his big secret to Luke, you could hear the entire packed theater gasp collectively.

Jason Bellamy said...

Thanks for the additions, fellas.

* Hokahey: It would have been cool to see Apes with its big surprise still intact. I'm envious.

* Steven: "Total Ginsu." That's one of those audience utterances that can become a cult classic among friends. It reminds me a bit of seeing Gladiator with a bunch of buddies. Behind us was another group of male buddies with one girlfriend/wife tagging along. About halfway through the movie, one guy whispered to the woman to ask if she was enjoying the movie. She said yes, but he must have caught her with her eyes closed, because he responded with a cheerful, "No, baby, you're sleepy." It was the way he said it more than what he said, but three of us overheard it, immediately reacted and couldn't stop giggling for a good 10 minutes.

* Will: There's a big secret at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? OK, kidding. Even more than Apes (mentioned above), that is the collective gasp I wish I'd experienced (or, rather, remembered experiencing).

Marilyn said...

OK, several:

1. Star Wars. The audience cheering during the final battle. I and others actually leapt to our feet when Luke dropped his bomb down the hole in the Death Star.

2. The Exorcist. I, too, went to a Catholic university, in a very Catholic city. But this was back when this film opened for the first time in theatres. The stories are true. People were screaming and running up the aisles. It was pandemonium.

3. Bloody Sunday. This very realistic docudrama about the Bogside Massacre in Derry, Ireland, was very intense. After the screening, a man was crying uncontrollably, and several people were crowded around him to comfort him.

4. NOT A MOVIE, BUT A LIVE OPERA. Tannhauser. Staged by the maverick director Peter Sellars, this Wagner opera about temptation and redemption got a restaging as the story of fallen televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, with several layers of supertitles to suggest literal and stream-of-consciousness interpretations of the lyrics. Never in my life had I seen an audience roused as I had this one. People in tuxedos stood up and booed, threw programs, shouted insults when Sellars took his bow. I thought this was the stuff of legend, not real life. It was amazing!!!!

Daniel said...

As you've seen, I put Jurassic Park as one of my favorites, to go along with Titanic and Mulholland Drive. There are many more, but one I'll relay quickly is The Exorcist. Not sure if I've shared this here or not.

I'd never seen The Exorcist before, always been too afraid. But I was in college at BU and my friends and I headed to the Boston Int'l Film Festival to see its re-release a few years ago. Linda Blair was to be in attendance to introduce and discuss the film.

A few minutes past showtime, some fest employee goes up to the front and announces that Linda Blair's flight was delayed but she is hopefully going to be on hand afterwards for a Q & A. Nobody is too disappointed and they film begins. We're sitting in the almost back row, near the door.

About an hour into I'm fully tensed up, trying to watch the scenes and immediately erase them from my mind (the spider-walk down the stairs has left a permanent mark, however).

A door in the back of the theater opens and somebody quietly sits in the row right behind us, in the seat right behind me. Curious, I discretely turn around and see right in front of me the same face that has been possessed by Satan for the last hour. I elbow my friend, who is also totally freaked out, and we watch the rest of the movie in clenched terror.

The lights come up as the fest employee runs up to the front of the theater. "Ladies and gentlemen, Linda Blair has made it here to be with us!" A women gets up - not in the seat behind me but in the front row of the theater. It's the real Linda Blair. Relieved, my friends and I all have a good laugh.

Jason Bellamy said...

More great stories!

Marilyn: I'd love to see a movie with people running up and down the aisles, or one in which people were actually brought to their feet cheering. I feel lucky for those lively experiences I mentioned in the post, but you've listed some great ones. Thanks!

Daniel: What great stories! Of course, the question I now have is: How freaked out was non-Linda Blair when she went home that night and looked in the mirror!?

The Littons said...

1) The moment in Goodfellas when Spider tells Tommy to go fuck himself, I swear I could feel everyone in the audience tense up and hold their breath.
2) Ghostbusters, opening night. Ray Parker Jr's song had been a big hit in the few weeks leading up to the film's release, so when it came on over the opening credits everyone in the audience sang along, shouting "Ghostbusters!" along with the chorus.
3) Star Wars: Special Edition. Half the audience was in costume, conducting lightsaber battles up and down the aisles before the film started. Also, Luke's first line of dialogue "But I was going to Toshi station to pick up some power converters!" got a huge laugh for Mark Hamill's amazingly whiny, spoilt-brat delivery.

Gray McAdam said...

I understand how late I've come into this story fest, but I just couldn't help myself from sharing my favourite theater going experience. This story, really is the epitome of "you had to be there when it happened" because I have made numerous attempts since it happened to try and describe to my friends exactly how hilarious it was to have been there when it took place, and all I've gotten back in return are pity laughs and a few blank stares.

The movie in question was Scary Movie. My friend and I, who were only 12 years old at the time, decided that we needed (for whatever reason) to see this movie. So, my mom came with us to the theater, bought our tickets so we could go and see the restricted movie alone, and sent us on our marry way.

As we get into the theater, the room is about half full. We take out seats and watch as the empty seats begin to fill with bodies all around us. We make small talk, and eat our popcorn that we've purchased, the small things you do before waiting for a movie. And then, after the theater was at about capacity, darkness.

No, it wasn't the movie. It was a blackout. There has been a power outage somewhere, and our packed cinema was left sitting in the pitch black. The crowd shuffled and started getting louder, asking inaudible questions to one another. My friend and I, at 12 years old, had no idea what the hell was going on.

Then, from somewhere in the middle of the theater, came Chris Rock. No, not actually Chris Rock, but a guy who could have won first place at a Chris Rock sound-alike competition. Above all the other muffled and concerned voices in the theater, this guy pipes up above everyone else and states rather forcefully, "Yo, where the lights at!?"

The theater just died. That was it. Every single person in that room was laughing in unison at this this guys inane question, me and my friend included. It was hilarious. His timing was just dead on. I guess he realized that he had the audience with him now, so after a few more seconds, he said it again, and got a bigger laugh than the first time. It was great.

I want to say that eventually he took it as far as attempting to find the electrical box at the front of the theater and tried to fix the problem himself, but I can't remember correctly if that was him, or someone else.

Either way though, that guy had the entire theater in stitches before the movie even started and when it finally did, the audience was in it for the long haul. To this day I'm not sure if I found that movie to be hilarious because it was, or because that stereotypical black guy before the movie who had us all rolling in the aisles.

Jason Bellamy said...

Gray: Late entry, but always appreciated. The comments are always open here at The Cooler, and the conversations always ongoing.

Though obviously there's some degree of "you had to be there" to your story, you do a great job of telling it. It gave me a smile, and I can very much imagine how hilarious it was at the time.

Thanks for writing in!