Thursday, February 15, 2007

What about a panda? 

So I took a look at the latest development in the latest funnybook pissing match, wondering if there's one party that's obviously in the wrong. "It all seems so pointless," I thought, "but nothing's black and white."

Then I remembered this, from an interview with David Mamet:


Is there a moment in one of your plays that you really didn’t know was there?


Yes. I wrote this play called Bobby Gould in Hell. Greg Mosher did it on a double bill with a play by Shel Silverstein over at Lincoln Center. Bobby Gould is consigned to hell, and he has to be interviewed to find out how long he’s going to spend there. The Devil is called back from a fishing trip to interview Bobby Gould. And so the Devil is there, the Assistant Devil is there, and Bobby Gould. And the Devil finally says to Bobby Gould, “You’re a very bad man.” And Bobby Gould says, “Nothing’s black and white.” And the Devil says, “Nothing’s black and white, nothing’s black and white—what about a panda? What about a panda, you dumb fuck! What about a fucking panda!” And when Greg directed it, he had the assistant hold up a picture of a panda, kind of pan it 180 degrees to the audience at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. That was the best moment I’ve ever seen in any of my plays.

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If that's taken verbatim, then Mamet was misremembering--Oh, Hell was in the much smaller Mitzi Newhouse, downstairs from the Beaumont.
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