Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cass Elliot

Do you like Cass Elliot? I do. She was one of the Mamas and the Papas, along with Denny Dougherty and John and Michelle Phillips. Of the four, only Michelle is alive today. If you watched Knots Landing, you'd know her as Paige's mother Anne. She's a good actress and she had such a good voice in the Mamas and the Papas. All of them did. But Cass had the standout voice. She was the first to die. Denny and John lived long enough to see their 60s. Cass was barely in her 30s when she died.

You're sitting there thinking, "Well what the hell's your point, Stan? I love 'California Dreamin'' and 'Monday, Monday' and 'Dedicated to the One I Love' and 'Dream a Little Dream' and the rest. But what's the point of your post?"

Cass did a lot of TV. She was the first woman to host "The Tonight Show" (she was a guest host during Johnny Carson's reign). She also did a lot of guest spots and hosted her own specials twice.

But she made a movie in there too. "Puffnstuff." As in, "H.R. Puffnstuff, he's your friend when things get rough . . ."

In the movie she plays a witch attending a witch's convention at Witchie Poo's place. Martha Raye plays another witch. Cass gets to sing a song with all the other witches and she gets to sing "Different" solo.

She also has the only funny moments in the movie.

The writers were smart enough to give her one liners. They give them to Martha Raye as well bu Martha Rae neither seemed funny nor interesting. She would say a line and then throw her mouth open like a donkey. Like, "Here, kids, I'm funny!"

No, Martha Raye, you weren't.

But Cass is given lame lines like "It's a falsie!" (A 'witch' has her 'nose' taken off.) And she makes them funny. Just with her attitude.

I knew Cass was a great singer, one of the greatest voices of the 20th century, but I had no idea she had talent as an actress, natural talent.

You believe her as the Witch and don't think, "Oh, it's Cass!!!!!"

It's a shame she wasn't given more opportunities to demonstrate that.

If you're a Cass fan, here's a heads up, "Puffnstuff" can be streamed online at Netflix.

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