Monday, January 25, 2010

The Secret Greatness of Gavin MacLeod

To my mind, Gavin MacLeod is a secretly amazing actor. Why? Because, unlike actors who essentially portray the same character over and over in every role, Mr. MacLeod achieved the rare feat of creating not one, not two, but three very memorable TV characters who are each totally distinct and separate from one another.

I'm referring, of course, to the acerbic but neurotically lovable copywriter Murray Slaughter from Mary Tyler Moore; the avuncular yet imposing authority figure Captain Stubing from The Love Boat; and last but not least, tubby criminal mastermind "Big Chicken" from Hawaii 5-0.

"Big Chicken" is one of the all-time great TV villains. In this scene (posted above), he threateningly sings "Ain't No Big Thing" from a prison shower in a weird attempt to intimidate Gerald O'Loughlin. And, okay, maybe this performance falls short of the mark in terms of being "harrowing" or even "powerful"...but it is most definitely unforgettable television.


  1. That was...AWESOME. YouTube never lets you down.
    I didn't remember that Gerald O'Loughlin was in that scene, too!
    Too bad Big Chicken never got his own show...

  2. I know!!!! I was excited when I found the clip...and then I was extra excited that Gerald O'Loughlin was in it. I didn't remember his name (I had to look it up), I just thought, "Hey! There's...that guy that I like!!"

    Gavin McL probably got an Emmy at some point for Captain Stubing...and I'm *sure* he won for Murray Slaughter...but he shoulda won an Emmy for "Big Chicken," if only for that shower scene. :D