Sunday, January 26, 2014
I wasn’t too bad at theorems in high school geometry. (Okay, I got a C, but that was the result of being totally preoccupied with the circumference of Lisa S.’s fabulous freshman breasts.) It’s been thirty years since then, but I’m gonna take a crack at a theorem here…
Theorem. Walter Matthau (as Sen. Russell Long) in JFK: “That dog don’t hunt...”
Sound bite of “Chop Top” in Primus’s “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”: “Dog will hunt!”
Proof. Walter Matthau was not a fan of Primus (Matthau ≠ Primus).
As additional support, I offer that, to my knowledge, after Matthau died in 2000, not a single Primus album was found among his music collection.
So even had Matthau gotten up to leave the premiere and go home after his appearance half an hour into the film—which I’m betting he did—the aged Matthau likely didn’t make it out the theater door before the aforementioned Lee Bowers segment caught his attention. Okay, it’s possible that Matthau wasn’t a regular listener of the radio stations playing Primus’s new single at that time, but according to Variety’s archives, Primus was mentioned in no fewer than nine issues of that most famous of trade papers in 1991—so Matthau surely was at least aware of the band, thus making a tenuous connection in his mind between the song and the film highly probable. It’s baffling why such a fresh and dynamic sound as Primus wasn’t Walter Matthau’s cup of tea—perhaps he was still attached to those tiresome hair bands of the late ‘80s—but why Walter Matthau didn’t enjoy Primus is irrelevant mathematically. As their aforementioned statements show, Matthau and Primus were clearly at odds philosophically, as well as regards canine behavior; thus, my theorem is airtight.
On a related note, I am currently developing a corollary concerning Jack Lemmon's attitude toward Sonic Youth.
(Images from JFK copyright Warner Bros.)