Kids repeat the darnedest things

19 04 2007

Anyone who has seen Will Ferell and Adam McKay’s short film “The Landlord” will most likely agree that it is really funny.  I also congratulate those two on what I think is going to be a very successful venture,

It is a user submitted video site where your stuff has to be funny or it goes away.  It definitely has the potential of being really good, as long as it doesn’t devolve into 500,000 different videos of people getting hit in the crotch with golf balls.

The reason why I mention “The Landlord” is because it features what I can only assume is Will Ferrell’s toddler daughter  as the titular character, Pearl. The video shows her demanding rent money from Will and becoming verbally abusive toward him.  Will used a special technique to get the young lass to deliver that riveting performance that we in the business call ‘Prompting’. Y’see in the days before CGI could make babies dance, sing, blow their head up like a balloon, or uppercut a punk-ass, people had to actually get a child to utter words from their own mouth.  While this was thought to be impossible, there were a few innovators who believed if you found a child that would repeat everything you said, you could just deliver the lines and film the child as they repeated them.  This was quite a breakthrough for many filmmaker who traditionally had to kidnap and orphan, perform and expensive and dangerous growth-stunting surgery on them as a child, so they would still look youthful even into adulthood.  Most people don’t know this but Shirley Temple was between the ages of 24 and 28 for most of her more memorable roles.   The advent of ‘Prompting’ paved the way for television today as we know it.  Why, people wouldn’t say anything at all on television today if it wasn’t floating in front of them on the tele-prompter.

So there you have it.  The little girl is funny because she is prompted to be funny.  That’s not her fault however.  They will just repeat what you tell ’em.  Why the other day we were driving home and there was an accident in the road ahead of us.  My wife, who was driving,  had to change lanes suddenly and she exclaimed “Crap Monkeys!”   Without missing a beat, Mili, from the back seat take it up like a battle cry:  “Crap Monkeys, Crap Monkeys, Crap Monkeys”   We were doing our best not to laugh. But that just goes to show you that you have to watch what you say around kids.



One response

7 01 2009
coffee fiend

did Will Ferrell do this landlord skit specifically for online viewing?

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