Professor Feitlebaum need are you now that we where you?
Just one of those one-thing-led-to-another things.
Not to go too far back, let's start with, I was looking at the cast list for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963).
Just to read the cast list is a slice of culture, a fog of of nostalgia, and a (mad^4) world of memories of a million smiles and laughs they gave us.
I was only (counts on fingers and toe) eleven years old when the film came out. At the time, it was the most hilarious thing I'd ever seen. Come to think of it, it may still be. I never understood "rolling in the aisles" until I did during that movie.
At my age, a lot of those comedians were far more of my parents' generation than of mine, but at age eleven in the 1950s and early 1960s, you still got your parents' culture. And, if you were lucky, your grandparents'. So I knew most of them well enough, some of them less so. Lots of "wow!" of recognition, with much "where do I know him from?"
Down the cast list I came to the fellow who played the hardware store clerk. I remember, at the time, recognizing him. "Where do I...?" Not by name or remembered roles, but just as one of those great characters I know from all over. Didn't he do something with Disney? In IaMMMMW, his was a small part, but I was amused by his having the role, as with so much of the rest of the star-laden cast, major role or cameo.
According to MatineeClassics.com, the mother who saddled him with the given name Winstead Sheffield Glenndenning Dixon Weaver rescued him with the nickname Doodlebug. Weaver started in radio in the late 1930's, developed his famous character Professor Feedelbaum with Spike Jones, In film, his career spanned from an uncredited cowhand role in My American Wife (1936) to a SF comedy Earthbound (1981), and through those decades, besides his many roles, he also created color silent comedy films for television in the 1960s and a spoof on the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby.
To a kid, he was a funny-faced guy who was funny. In his unfortunate real life, I read, after four failed marriages, he took his own life at age 71, in 1983. Born, lived, and died in L.A. So happened that the day I looked him up was the day before his birthday, May 11.
I don't miss being a star. I don't miss anything because I live in the now.
Nothing means anything when you're in pain. I have a nice house and an income but not a thing to live for.
And as if that wasn't enough of a downer to end on, I discovered on iMDB an entry for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad MAD World: The Sequel (2015).
Well, here's what he was all about, a somewhat uneven playlist from YouTube, ending on a Spike Jones bit that doesn't feature Weaver, but I figured I'd include it anyway. "Inspirationally related."