“Hey dum-dum. You give me gum-gum!”: One of the most beloved attractions at The Museum of Natural History is “Dum Dum” the talking Easter Island tiki statue from the 2006 movie “A Night At The Museum” starring Ben Stiller.
‘Dum Dum’ is actually a Moai carved by the Rapa Nui people from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500AD. Nearly half are still at Rana Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island’s perimeter. Eleven of the 887 statues have been given to museums around the world and have become well loved, especially ‘Dum Dum’.
Their story is extraordinary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai
Night at the Museum (2006)
Easter Island Head: Hey! Dum-dum!
Easter Island Head: You give me gum-gum!
Larry: I give you gum-gum?
Easter Island Head: You new Dum-dum. You give me gum-gum.
Larry: Gee, okay, you know what? I have no gum-gum. Sorry. And my name isn’t Dum-dum. My name’s Larry.
Easter Island Head: No, your name Dum-dum. [People screaming]
Easter Island Head: No, your name Dum-dum. [People screaming]
Easter Island Head: Oh, you in trouble, Dum-dum. You better run-run. From Attila the Hun-hun. [Larry runs as Attila and his gang are chasing him]
Easter Island Head: See you later, Dum-dum!
Larry: [on his second night at the museum] Morning, dum-dum.
Easter Island Head: Me no dum-dum. You dum-dum. You bring me gum-gum?
Larry: Yes I did, fathead. [holds up a handful of gum]
Larry: Lots and lots of gum-gum.
Easter Island Head: Mmm!
Easter Island Head: [shouts] Quiiiiieeeeeeettttt! [silence]
Easter Island Head: My dum-dum want to speak.
Many of you may not know that “Dum Dum” was also a hit pop song by Brenda Lee in 1961 ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ3bhgQWeJA
MONDAYS ON MEMORY LANE – BACK STAGE WITH AGNES MOOREHEAD: It is Sunday,February 4th, 1973 and Agnes Moorehead, better known to mortals as Endora, was giving her last performance in the George Bernard Shaw play “Don Juan In Hell” at the old Palace Theatre in Times Square New York. I had to attend the performance since the shocking notice had been in the papers that past Friday that Sunday the 4th would be the final performance after only a total run of 24 performances.
Shocking? Yes. You see the cast included: Paul Henreid of ultra film classic “Cassablanca” and “Now Voyager”, Edward Mulhare of the TV series “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, Ricardo Montalban latin film star as lover and villain and of Star Trek fame. Directed by esteemed actor John Houseman. But most of all…there was Endora. From 1964 till 1972, one of my sheer pleasures was watching witty, chic, acid tongued Agnes Moorehead play Endora, mother-in-law to Darrin Stevens on the beloved TV classic series “Bewitched.”
I was still a bell-bottomed sophmore in high school and unfortunately not smart enough to secure the autographs of the entire incredible cast, my main goal was Endora/Agnes! So after the show I ran to the stage door and waited and watched for the luminaries to leave. Paul Henreid left, Edward Mulhare left and Ricardo Montalban left. Ninety minutes went by and the nervous question was – where was Agnes?!
In a panic I ran into the main entrance of the theatre to enquire if she was still in the theater (perhaps she had snuck out.) One of the ushers who still there cleaning up pleasantly said “Oh she’s still here! You want to meet her?!”
Huh? This doesn’t readily happen. These were still innocent times though. The history of celebrity security is basically divided in two. Before December 8, 1980/John Lennon’s assassination and after December 8th 1980. No one thought anything to stop this star struck kid in the platform shoes and huge bellbottoms from running to find Agnes Moorehead in that huge, huge theater. I raced down the aisle. “Wait!”, I thought, “slow down, don’t appear too eager or as if you don’t belong.” I slowed my pace but my heart beat only faster. The cavernous theater’s aisles led me to the side of the stage where a stagehand volunteered to show me to her dressing room. I was in disbelief! You know how incredible it was to be behind stage of the legendary theater where the greatest of the greats had performed? In the vaudeville days it was Ethel Barrymore, Bert Lahr, Fanny Brice, the Marx Brothers, Will Rogers and Lillian Russell. In modern times such incredible luminaries as Judy Garland, Bette Midler’s first show, Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall, Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross. The film “Citizen Kane” premiered here on May 1, 1941 . . .and there I was. To quote Eve Harrington in “All About Eve” ‘You can breathe it, can’t you?!’
The stagehand led me through the winding corridors to one remaining dressing room where the light was still on. “Miss Moorehead…someone here to see you.” There she was, methodically packing her blue suitcase. She came to the open door, “Yes?” as she looked at me inquisitively. “What is it dear boy?” That unmistakable voice, the mannerisms, the posture, the red hair – it was Endora saying ‘speak up!’ I was in awe. I nervously told her had wound my way backstage because I couldn’t run the risk of missing her and just to shake her hand. Her right hand had rows and rows of bracelets that clinked as she took my hand. I had brought with me a rare photo that ABC TV local stations used to focus the camera on when they went to commercial. I nervously watched as she signed it with my ink pen which didn’t take on the glossy photo (this is pre-Flair pen days) and she didn’t have another pen either, so the autograph is sort of scratched into the photo. She surprisingly asked me “Oh, Endora eh? So which was your favorite Darrin Stevens name?” “Durwood” I replied. “Mine too!” she said, “it was so easy and fun for me to say, it was the name we used the most. Is there anything else? I must pack.” I asked if I may take her picture with my little instamatic camera. She regally struck a profile pose. “Now young man, I must go.” She headed back into her dressing room and I wandered unescorted through those wonderful backstage hallways and walkways of theatrical history. Not knowing where I was going, I found myself at the edge of the stage. The lone single ghost light was standing center stage. ‘Why not?’ I thought, this would be my only chance! I peaked out from behind the curtain – no one. I took my first step. My clunky wooden platform shoes echoed on the wooden floorboards as I crossed the stage Judy Garland and all the legends had stood on. When I came to center stage, I stood there for a second and breathed – you can breathe it! I took a silent bow . . . and left.
ENDORA’S NAMES FOR DARRIN STEVENS:
Dagwood, Darwood, Durwood, Durweed, Beady eyes, Charm Boy, Dalton, Dar-Dar, Darius, Darwick, Darwin, David, Dawson, Boy, Delbert, Dennis, Denton, Derek, Derwin, Dexter, Digby, Dino, Dobbin, Dogwood, Donald, Dorian, Dulcin, Dulfin, Dum Dum, Dumbo, Dumpkin, Duncan, Featherhead, Glum-Dum, Tinker Bell, What’s his name and Low-grade mortal.
“WHY DO THEY ALWAYS LOOK LIKE UNHAPPY RABBITS?”: Marilyn Monroe’s (as Miss Caswell) query to Addison DeWitt played by George Sanders when asked to go and meet the theatre producer Max Fabian played by Gregory Ratoff and “go do yourself some good”. She puts back her shoulders and puts on a big smile and goes to do herself ‘some good’ at Margo Channing’s (Bette Davis) ‘blasted party’ for Bill Sampson’s (Gary Merrill) birthday.
Photo taken during the Bryant Park and HBO Film Festival showing of “All About Eve”. Monday, August 13th, 2012. Bryant Park is behind the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. 10,000 people showed up to see Marilyn, 50 years after her death. Marilyn lives eternal.
“FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS, IT’S GOING TO BE A BUMPY NIGHT!”: ‘All About Eve’ is my obsessive favorite film of all time. I own film memorabilia from the film and had the extreme privilege to meet Celeste Holm in 2011 and even attended her 95th birthday party. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when she signed my original 1950 film poster for me.
Imagine my euphoria to find out Bryant Park’s and HBO’s Film Festival was showing ‘All About Eve’, Monday August 13th, 2012. I would have attended if I had the plague. Approximately 10,000 people showed up to see Marilyn Monroe ascend the staircase on George Sander’s arm and make her entrance in the party scene just after Bette Davis as Margo Channing utters one of the immortal film lines of all time: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” The audience stood up, hooted, hollered, cheered, whistled and applauded. It is a truly unique New York experience and I was in heaven . . .