Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Celebrity Jukebox #53: Madeline Khan

I was a big fan of Madeline Kahn when I was a teenager. I probably liked her more than the movies she appeared in. I was never quite on the right comedy wavelength to appreciate Mel Brooks movies (I hated the farting sequence in Blazing Saddles, but loved the meta ending), however Madeline Kahn was great in it. I also remember loving What’s Up, Doc?, in which she appeared alongside Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand. I haven’t seen that movie in over 30 years. I should watch it again. 

Madeline had a great singing voice too. Although you might not know it, because she often sang in character and purposely out of tune. Her most famous song from Blazing Saddles was even released as a 7” single…

Madeline Kahn – I’m Tired

Could be my theme tune. Without the sexy stuff, obviously. Just the tired.

Let’s delve into the record library, starting with an instrumental tribute…

Old Mexico – Madeline Kahn

Although they’re mentioned in the lyrics, this tune from a popular Canadian band was dedicated to Alan Arkin and Madeline Kahn. No idea why.

The Tragically Hip – We Want To Be It

I can’t find out much about our next act…

Serengeti & Sicker Man – Impress A Girl

And you walked in
Michelob Mum, Madeline Kahn
That’s a doozie
Clipped my nails, took a bath again

…but I can tell you that it refers to a beer commercial Madeline made in the 80s.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then you might be more taken with this “indie / country” outfit who quote surf rock, Ennio Morricone and Elvis Costello among their influences.

Vox And The Hound – Madeline Kahn

The song’s about adultery, but the title they chose is a reference to Madeline Kahn’s character in the movie Clue. (Yes, they made a movie about Cluedo. It goes without saying that Madeline Kahn was the best thing in it.)

My pick of the day comes from John Grant, who can always be relied upon to throw the name of cool actors and actresses into his songs. Here he laments the untimely passing of today’s star, who sadly died of ovarian cancer in 1999.

Upper class, middle class, lower class, Sassafras,
Everybody these days thinks they’re a bad ass
How am I supposed to live in a world with no Madeline Kahn?
My favourite girl is gone


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