Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21

Today's Laurence Tureaud's birthday, but you can call him Mr T. He is the closest thing we have to a living American myth, but I can share some historical tidbits with you: He created the Mr T persona while working as a bouncer. While working the door at some club, he would wear the gold chains, rings and other jewelry that got left behind after some fight in the establishment, so whoever lost their items could get them back without re-entering the club. He wears the Mohawk in the style of a Mandinka warrior, an ethnic group of the African continent; he discovered the hairstyle while reading National Geographic.

His combination of radiating strength and public saavy made him a natural as a celebrity bodyguard, in every sense of the phrase. He parlayed that into an acting career, then into cartoons and pro wrestling, then merchandising. Matter of fact, I started a cereal box collection a few years ago, just to have an excuse to buy a box of Mr T cereal again.

Never mind that the box was empty. Never mind that the cereal tasted like tart packing material, even back in the day. Ebay had that box, and I went for it.
A new generation's discovering Mr T: besides his current status as a pitchman and reality TV star, he's been doing impressive work in cartoons like The Proud Family and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In 2010, he has a CGI "Mr T" movie in development, and he's got his own video game forthcoming, as well. That's not so surprising, considering what he did to World of Warcraft.

That's enough jibba jabba for today. Stay in school!

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