“It’s hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking. It’s so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It’s that hot!”
I said the above while talking with my dad about the 35°C/95°F weather and he started laughing. Another of our long-time favourite schticks is:
“Gooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll! Time to rock it from the delta to the DMZ! Is that me or does that sound like an Elvis Presley movie? Viva Da Nang. Oh, viva, Da Nang. Da Nang me, Da Nang me, why don’t they get a rope and hang me? Hey, isn’t it a little too early for being that loud? Hey, too late, it’s 0600! What’s the ‘O’ stand for? Oh, my God, it’s early!”
It had been ages since I’ve seen Good Morning, Vietnam so it was nice to watch it fairly recently with friends. Written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson, the 1987 drama-comedy is based on disc jockey Adrian Cronauer’s career and time in Vietnam. His humor, musical choices, and news reporting are popular with the troops, but not with his superiors.
The film is unavoidably serious. The comic relief reflects what Cronauer did for the troops’ morale. He believed that just because they were in a dire situation didn’t mean they couldn’t have a few moments of much needed laughter. His superiors disagreed.
Good Morning, Vietnam trailer
Good Morning, Vietnam is one of my favourite films with Robin Williams, the other being Dead Poet’s Society. Mainly known for stand-up comedy at the time, it’s one of his earliest dramatic roles. He was approached about the role specifically because of his humor, many of the radio sequences were impromptu improvisations. While watching it I was surprised to see Forest Whitaker, Robert Wuhl, and Bruno Kirby, actors I now recognize.
My recollections about the film blurred through the years, but I practically grew up with the soundtrack. Featuring the Beach Boys, Martha and the Vandellas, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, the Vogues, the Castaways, and several others, the album spans Rock n’Roll, Soul, Motown, and Jazz. My dad’s been cruising to its tunes and Williams’ schticks since I was a kid, and still is. I eventually bought my own copy of the album, which is currently in my car.
What’s your favourite Robin Williams role? If you’ve seen Good Morning, Vietnam, what did you think?
Interview about Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poet’s Society
Adrian Cronauer on the film’s accuracy