Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… Bond-a-rama!

Your Bond-a-rama cast

Australian James Bond fans (er… Oz is a pretty big place; let’s make that Bond fans in the Melbourne area) have a great opportunity to have some fun with the iconic superspy character.

The live show Bond-a-Rama places four actors (three men and a woman) on a single stage to recapitulate all 22 James Bond movies in a single performance. Or, at least parody them — “pisstake” would be the local colloquialism — with a sharp eye for all the dumb stuff in the series, filtered through a basic affection for the cinematic saga. The acting quartet essays 40 characters, including all six screen 007s, in the show. Even the beloved Sheriff J.W. Pepper makes an appearance!

The show’s creators, Michael Ward and Stephen Hall, hooked up with director Russell Fletcher to pull the whole thing together. Research was required:

Rewatching all 22 films from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace was required research for the creative team, Fletcher says. Purists will understand why that doesn’t include Never Say Never Again or the David Niven version of Casino Royale – although that doesn’t mean they’re not fair game. Hall confesses to ”doing a bit of fast forwarding through some of the Roger Moores… I’d forgotten how not-very-good The Man With the Golden Gun is,” he says with an evil chuckle.”

You can read all about it at the Sydney Morning Herald, in Michael Dwyer’s article
Quantum of Silliness. You can also take a look at the show’s Facebook page.

Bond-a-rama is being performed at Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, August 3 to 21. For tickets, call + 030 8290 7000. Tell ’em HMSS ya!

The adventures of 00Bama

Some months ago, we noted how Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” ran a segment comparing U.S. President Barack Obama to James Bond.

Now, you can view videos featuring 00Bama, along with his cohorts Joey B, Hill and Rahm. It’s on, a Web site that’s part of Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks unit, that includes Comedy Central.

For example, in one adventure, 00Bama takes on Detroit’s Big Three. In another, 00Bama questions a domestic terrorist without resorting to “aggressive interrogation techniques.”

We didn’t find out about this until James Jolly, who plays 00Bama on the videos posted a reply to our earlier 00Bama post. (At least we’re assuming it’s the same James Jolly who plays 00Bama.) UPDATE: Yes it is.

Anyway, three 00Bama videos can be viewed at ATOM.COM’S 00BAMA CHANNEL. Mr. Jolly says the “webisodes” will also air on Comedy Central’s Atom TV starting Oct. 5 (technically 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 6).

NOTE: There’s a bit of strong language in spots in the 00Bama videos.


As we type this, Jon Stewart just led off The Daily Show with a segment comparing President Barack Obama’s trip to Europe and Iraq to 007 (and Superman from Superman IV). More tomorrow (when we can perhaps embed the video).

UPDATE: For now, just check out The Daily Show’s Web site by clicking RIGHT HERE. It’s a video called 00Bama: International Man of History.

Speaking of double-naught spies…

The headline and introduction to yesterday’s post got us to thinking about the adventures of double-naught spy Jethro Bodine. (Jethro proclaimed himself double-naught 10 because “that gives me a naught on old 7.”).

We didn’t have to go far. Over on YouTube, somebody edited down The Beverly Hillbillies episode where Jethro first decides to pursue a career as a double-naught spy. Jethro has just seen Goldfinger and, well, take a look for yourself.

A salute (sort of) to the 007 parody Alligator

There have been a number of parodies of Ian Fleming and James Bond over the years. But one that resonates decades after its publication is Alligator, a Harvard Lampoon send-up of Goldfinger.

It’s easy to see why. First take a look at the cover. The Lampoon, which published Alligator in 1962, modeled it after the New American Library paperback versions of Fleming’s novels. The novel’s hero, J*mes B*nd consumes seemingly even more alcohol than Fleming’s Bond did.

The parody’s supposed author was I*n Fl*m*ng. In reality, it was co-written by Michael K. Frith and Cristopher B. Cerf. Cerf’s father was book publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971), perhaps best known as a panelist on the long-running (1950-1967, in its CBS incarnation) game show What’s My Line?

As it turns out Christopher Cerf’s brother, Jonathan, also appeared on the game show. Jonathan Cerf worked at the Harvard Lampoon along with Peter Gabel, the son of WML? panelist Arlene Francis. We wish the connection were closer but it’s an amusing clip:

UPDATE: Of course, Arlene Francis’s husband, Martin Gabel, was in the Sean Connery-Alfred Hitchcock movie Marnie. On another occasion, it was Martin Gabel who figured out that Connery was the mystery guest on What’s My Line?

UPDATE II: We would be remiss if we didn’t note that Christopher Cerf went out to a career in writing for children’s programs such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company. You can get the details by checking out Mr. Cerf’s IMDB.COM PAGE.

An unofficial James Bond short story

As we’ve discussed before, the British film historian Adrian Turner did a 1998 book on Goldfinger, the 1964 film that made 007 a huge film franchise. But the book also contained something else: a James Bond short story.

The story, The Scarlet Letter, is not an officially authorized Bond story. But, in the U.S. at least, there’s something called “fair use” of copyrighted material, which includes parody. We suspect Turner could make the case his story was a parody of Bond, something that would not be confused with the real thing.

However, the story combines elements of sometimes maligned fanfiction. In this case, Turner tied Goldfinger in with Marnie, the Alfred Hitchock film that starred Sean Connery.

The film historian Adrian Turner wrote what amounted to a piece of fanfiction in his 1998 book on Goldfinger where he, too, tied Bond to Marnie. In the piece, an aging Bond gets a letter from the daughter of Pussy Galore about the demise of her mother.

A few examples follow. First Bond reflecting on his past:

There was that dreadful year of 1978, when the garbage was piled high in the streets, the year when England seemed to go mad. Mrs Thatcher’s revolution brought about further turbulence and the England that Bond loved and defended vanished forever…Bond sold his flat for a song and left for Jamaica, where he bought a small but lovely house in the hills above Ochos Rios.

Bond gets a letter.

Bond studied the letter carefully. It was handwritten and postmarked in Boston a month earlier. None the wiser, Bond slit open the envelope, which contained a long letter and a smaller sealed envelope, which was slightly heavy. There was obviously a small object in it, hard and rectangular, about an inch long. He looked at the signature: Moorea Rutland. The name meant nothing to him.

Well, as it turns out the marriage of Mark Rutland (Connery’s Hitchcock character) to Marnie (the heroine of the Hitchcock film) wasn’t work out. Mark Rutland had an affair with Pussy Galore. Upon hearing this news, Marnie commits suicide. Mark and Pussy marry in 1967.

As it turns out that smaller envelope contains another letter and a couple of objects. The text of the second letter tells you all you need to know about who wrote it (at least if you’ve seen Goldfinger as often as we have.

Hi handsome!
I don’t have the words eo express what I feel. I think of you often and hope you are well and at peace with the world. I am unwell but I have found peace. All I have to remind me of you is this little momento of our time together.
Silly isn’t it?
All my Love, my darling James,

With the second note is the “slightly buckled” homer device that Bond had planted on the gangster Mr. Solo plus a small piece of paper with Mr. Solo’s “dired and faded blood on it.” Again, if you’ve seen the movie, you know what we’re talking about.

The payoff:

Bond held the Homer and the piece of paper for a long time, string into space and not resisting the tears which flooded into his eyes.

(Adrian Turner on Goldfinger, pages 180-187)

The Adventures of Secret Agent Alexander Wellington!

awOur good friend Perrin Spychala makes what we think are the absolute best fan-made James Bond parodies in the world.

His “Alexander Wellington” series — there’s five entries, so far — are a laugh-out-loud funny, but loving tribute to the long-running James Bond franchise; one of the conceits of Spychala’s scenario is that the Wellington films have been around for just about as long as 007’s. Hence, the videos of the individual titles come complete with faux “making-of” documentaries; interviews; “deleted scenes;” etc.

Hard-core Bond fans will have a blast spotting the references — including some hysterical casting inconsistencies (on purpose, of course). Speaking of casting, Spychala’s friend and cohort Shane Rubel is excellent as Wellington’s long-standing nemesis, the very Blofeld-esque “Falco.” Regularly-appearing analogues for Q and Miss Moneypenny pepper the series also, with much fun results.

Interested parties can check out Spychala’s Wellington press kit HERE; a short but very funny video clip HERE; and the complete presentation of the most recent Wellington epic, SMILES AREN’T FOR HEROES, over at IFilm RIGHT HERE.

You owe yourself a laugh or two (or thirty), so get acquainted with the indomitable, intrepid secret servant of her Majesty the Queen… Alexander Wellington!