- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Romantic clown

“The appeal of [‘Threes Company] was John Ritter’s character, Jack Tripper.

“Tripper’s character approached women with the same determination Lucille Ball’s Lucy devoted to money-making schemes that would legitimize her in the eyes of Ricky Ricardo. But Ritter imbued Tripper with an inner decency that acted like a noise-cancellation filter for the more abrasive and tasteless aspects of the show. …

“Ritter’s Tripper was one of those scheming characters who could never quite pull it off, a Wile E. Coyote in a leisure suit, but you rooted for him because of the quiet dignity with which he took his medicine. …



“A typical show would have Tripper on the living-room couch, putting the moves on a woman … only to have the central ‘Flintstones’-style plot misunderstanding/false assumption boil over in a riot of slammed doors, tossed clothing, angry words, and pratfalls over the couch. …

“Ritter was a gifted physical comedian, whose double-takes, tied-together shoelaces, mouthfuls of sour food, bumps on the head, and tumbles through a closet full of women’s clothes were overlooked by critics because of the show’s well-deserved reputation as a trendsetter of jiggle TV.”

—Bruce Stockler, writing on “‘Father’ Ritter,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Moose mischief

“[Monday was] the publication day for Charles Moose’s as-told-to insta-book about the Washington sniper shootings. The more we learn about Moose, the happier I am that he no longer runs the police department of Montgomery County, Md., where I live.

“First, Moose is already yakking it up like mad about the snipers [on television] in the rush to market his book. But the accused haven’t been tried yet. Either Moose will only say things so vague as to be meaningless, or he’ll make specific comments on the case, potentially prejudicing jurors and raising the terrifying prospect he could slip something that allows the guilty to get off. What does he care about most, justice or money?

“Wait, we already know — money. …

“It turns out that when Moose was police chief of Portland, Ore., his wife Sandy Herman Moose, who worked for the police department, accused another department employee of sexual harassment. … The Mooses received an undisclosed amount of money, in return for not making public accusations against Portland. Word is the city government of Portland was very happy in 1999 when Moose announced he was leaving for the Maryland job.”

—Gregg Easterbrook, writing on “What a Relief This Guy No Longer Carries a Badge,” Monday in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

‘An aura about her’

“Audrey Hepburn … was an unusual beauty. To me, she was staggering, but she had big feet and was painfully thin. Stack her up against Marilyn Monroe, the acceptable beauty of the time, and if you ruled out emotions, I guess you would have said she would never make it. …

“She had an impish sense of humor. Underneath it, she was actually very calculating about things like fashion and career and friendships — no dummy, she! She was very smart. …

“And there was an aura about her. She was that unusual. I would be surprised at most any man who wouldn’t be enchanted and fall in love with her.”

Director Blake Edwards, writing on “Icon: Audrey Hepburn,” in the October issue of Premiere

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