Monday, November 12, 2007

More Wes

In that series of AT&T commericals I can't seem to stop writing about, there's one featuring a salesman who puts on a pair of amber aviator sunglasses and noise-cancelling headphones. The actor's name is Michael Maggart, and you can also see him in Rushmore, as the concierge at the hotel where Bill Murray's character goes after being bounced by his wife.

But he's not really an actor; he's a high school math teacher. The opening scene of Rushmore, wherein Max dreams of solving the hardest geometry problem in the world, was shot in Maggart's classroom.


Anonymous said...

I always thought it was hilarious that, in Max's dream, the teacher claimed that even "Professor Leakey at M.I.T." could not prove this theorem (because, obviously, Leakey was famously a paleontologist).

That was until I heard the DVD commentary by Jason Schwartzman. He clearly didn't get the joke.

Not to name-drop (which is what people always say right before they obnoxiously name-drop), but I've spent a whole lot of time with Schwartzman and he's a very nice guy. But it doesn't surprise me that he hadn't the faintest idea who Leakey was. And Wes did feed him line readings constantly, as did subsequent directors.

T. Nawrocki said...

I have spent no time with Jason Schwartzman, but I'd cut him some slack here. He was 17 when they shot Rushmore, maybe 18 or 19 when they made the DVD commentary, and didn't have the benefit of a college education or even, probably, much of a high-school one. You, hiding behind your anonymity, may or may not have known who Richard Leakey was when you were 18, but I certainly wouldn't hold it against you either way.

I see here that Jason Schwartzman dated Selma Blair, and I would have happily discarded all my knowledge of celebrity paleontologists to make that come to pass. On the other hand, she probably dumped him when he proved unable to identify the inventor of the Skinner box.

Anonymous said...

Well, you're right. I didn't know who Richard Leakey was when I was 17. But I knew who Louis Leakey was, Einstein. He was (and this sounds so wrong) the Big Leakey. The real McCoy, baby! Look it up.

Schwartzy (now that I've name-dropped, I'm going all the way) is a great guy. But when I see Wes casting about for co-writers, I'm worried to see guys who need line readings. That said, I'm ignorant on this topic, because I have yet to see the latest movie.

And I'm sorry about that "Einstein" crack, because you're one of the smartest people I know. Even though you did once say to me "I thought you were just bein' loopy," which stands as one of the funniest replies of all time.

P.S. I don't WANT to be anonymous. I have Google problems. As you know.

Anonymous said...

From Slate's Mickey Kaus:

"About that AT&T ad (sometimes at the top of this page): If home is in Kansas, and fun takes you to California, but work leads to Kentucky, then don't you live in Kanifucky? AT&T says 'Kanifky.' Weak! ... 12:48 P.M."