CDA: Robert Forster (and f/u on Rip Taylor)
Oh, darling Robert Forster. I'd never heard of him before I saw him in *Jackie Brown,* but sweet Jesus, he blew me away in that movie. That strong and silent type, it does a number on me every time. But he added an element of square, which sealed the deal. Here he is in the scene when he first meets Jackie Brown:
And my dear friend Scott sent me the photos he took in 2005 when we had our unforgettable interaction with Rip Taylor. I've reprinted the story below.
And Rip Taylor! The one and only! The best way I can make a tribute to him is to share what I wrote when my dear friend Scott and I had an interaction with him in 2005. We were going to see *La Cage Aux Folles.*
We had a little time to waste, so we went to a little store that sells lots of Broadway tchotchkes. We walked through the door just as someone was walking out, and Scott said, “Is that Rip Taylor who just walked out of the store?” It was! We went back outside and talked with him, laughing riotously, for the next twenty minutes. You might know Rip Taylor, even if you don’t recognize the name.
He was at his peak in the 70s, making frequent appearances on *The Gong Show* and hosting *The $1.98 Beauty Contest*, throwing confetti everywhere, wailing like a gay banshee.
SCOTT: What show are you going to see?
RIP: I’m not going to a show, I’m not feeling well…
ME: Hence the scarf?
RIP: My dear, I never go anywhere without a scarf. I’m going back to the hotel, I’m going to curl up in front of the television. What show are you going to?
SCOTT: We’re seeing *La Cage*.
RIP: Fabulous. Have you seen it?
ME: I have, I’m excited to see it again.
RIP: So you saw it earlier in the run?
RIP: With Daniel Davis?
RIP: [leaning forward, in a conspiratorial tone] I hear Robert Goulet is having trouble remembering his lines.
SCOTT and ME: [laugh heartily]
RIP: But I’m sure the rest of the cast is very helpful.
A cute guy walked by, saw us talking with Rip, and interrupted us.
HIM: Excuse me - - my brother and I saw you in Las Vegas in 1967.
RIP: You need to go back there.
It was unclear whether he meant back to Las Vegas, back to 1967, or both. We enlisted the guy to take pictures of Rip with Scott, Rip with me, and Rip with Scott and me. Scott says Rip grabbed his ass when the photo was being taken, which explains the surprised, amused, and frightened expression on his face. Rip cuddled up to me in a very affectionate and cozy manner, which made me laugh my head off. We also took a photo of Rip with the cute guy (Rip is sticking out his tongue at him, due to that Las Vegas ’67 remark) and a photo of Rip with two women walking by.
On the train home that night, Scott said, “What was Rip doing out in that neighborhood at 7:30 PM on a show night, when he was feeling sick and just wanted to go back to the hotel? He was walking around wanting to be recognized, that’s what he was doing.”