Today in History: 2007: Marcel Marceau, R.I.P.

22 Sep

September 22, 2011

Marcel Marceau died four years ago today. He was 83 years old.

Marceau was the world’s most famous mime. While his face may not have been familiar, everyone knew his trademark striped shirt, bowler hat, and large flower. Frankly, he has not been missed.

He was a mime. And mimes are totally annoying. First of all, they don’t talk. Punch them in the nuts, they won’t groan. They are like the guards at Buckingham Palace, but less funny. Mimes walk around on nice summer days and pretend that they are struggling in the wind. Mimes laugh and cry at little flowers. Mimes get in your face and don’t get out until you give them money. Only pretentious PBS people like mimes. Supposedly they are practitioners of an art that goes back to ancient Greece. Big deal. The ancient Greeks had some funny ideas about young boys too.

Marcel Marceau’s funeral was a sight to see. A line of a dozen mimes strode side by side, pretending to be carrying an invisible coffin. The last in line pantomimed dropping it on his foot and limped the rest of the way. One in front pretended to pull the coffin with an imaginary rope. The eulogy was equally moving. Marcel was remembered by many of the mime community with these touching words:  “               .”

Before he was laid to rest, the assembled mimes first struggled to get out of an invisible phone booth, then laid their oversized flowers on the grave.

So Rest In Peace, funny man, let’s hope the art of mime ends here.

6 Responses to “Today in History: 2007: Marcel Marceau, R.I.P.”

  1. bmj2k September 22, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Before anyone asks, yes, you read this before. This is a slight re-edit of the same piece that I’ve run on this day three times before. Hey, who says tradition is dead?


  2. Joe McTee September 22, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    First off, agree, not a fan of mime. But there was one interesting and funny bit that I will always remember about Marceau. He was the only person to utter a single word in Mel Brook’s Silent Movie!


    • bmj2k September 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Yes, and it was a brilliant moment. I assume Brooks gets the credit for it, but give Marcel his due go being in on the joke.


  3. retrojim September 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I thought this post would have been done with only pictures.



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