For those who don’t know what Panto is, it’s like a really rowdy play at the theatre, where babies are allowed to weep hysterically throughout, old men have permission to shout racist slurs at the soap opera actors, most of whom casually blurt out crudely masked sexual references in front of an auditorium mainly comprising eight-year-olds.
As is befitting such a glorious show, Panto season coincides with Christmas.
The big news this year is that Pamela Anderson will be taking part in a production of Aladdin – she’s playing the genie. The results of this have been twofold. Firstly, the audience will feel a shift in the child-to-adult ratio, with a slew of horny fathers wiping sweat from their top lips, as Pammie makes some clumsy reference to her tits. And secondly, it could mark the beginning of a Hollywood Panto season takeover. In years to come we might have De Niro playing Buttons in whichever panto it is that features Buttons. We also think that Ed Norton could really shine as Dick Whittington. But, until then, let’s bask in some of the big names from over the pond who have already lit up these so-called Pantomimes…
Ahh, we loved Henry Winkler when he played The Fonz. We particularly adored it when he used to adopt the two-thumbs-up pose and go “ehhh”, because something really cool had just happened. We also found him rather wonderful to watch in Arrested Development. However, Fonzie fans might be surprised to know that Henry counteracted his rather flaccid attempts at cracking the movie business by sneaking over to England to play Captain Hook in Milton Keynes a couple of years ago. “We don’t have panto in America,” he said, “and it sounds unbelievably fun.” It’s definitely unbelievably something, Henry.
Paul Michael Glaser
Like Henry, Paul Michael Glaser spent most of the 1970s being superhip. In his case, it was playing a cop in cardigans called Starsky. As in Starsky and Hutch. Since then, he’s stamped his mark as a director, being at the helm of one of Arnie‘s finest hours, Running Man, but then slowly he descended into career hell, which culminated in him guffawing on stage for a gaggle of angry Sunderland kids, when he did a turn in Aladdin. That was during his SECOND year of panto.
Who didn’t love Guttenberg in the 1980s? No one, that’s who. He was the wise cracking hero in Police Academy, he did that film about aliens that make old people want to have sex, and then he dicked around with the great Tom Selleck, and the even better Ted Danson. For a time, he looked set fair to become one of the all time greats. So what happened? A very limp 1990s, that’s what. So limp that he never quite recovered, leaving his trolleyed self-esteem to disappear down the plug hole as he tottered around on a swishy US dancing show, then degraded himself further in Cinderella in Bromley. As in Kent.
Who wrote this? Why it was marvellous Josh Burt from sterling Interestment.