Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Borgnine Saturday, everyone!

Hail to the Chief!

Easter weekend can be a tricky one. Good Friday is on the books, and Easter Sunday's what it's all about. And while I seem to recall from my Catholic school years that the day between the two was considered Holy Saturday, that always seemed like more of a holiday by default - a result of its being bookended by two Big Ones, as opposed to honoring of any specific event.

With a perfectly good holiday sitting idle, it was decided some years back to claim the day for a great man who still walks among us; a man who, thanks to the frequent Easter weekend re-runs of Jesus of Nazareth, we also tend to think of at this time of year:

Ernest Borgnine.

But it's not just for his stirring portrayal of The Good Centurion in that all-star miniseries from 1977 that we celebrate the actor we affectionately think of as "The 'Nine." No, we also honor him for his role as Fatso, in From Here to Eternity; for Shack, in Emperor of the North; for Dutch, in The Wild Bunch.

For Mike Rogo, in The Poseidon Adventure; for Sam Paxton, in The Trackers; for Baldo Cacetti in Spike of Bensonhurst; for Santini, in Airwolf.

For Ragnar, in The Vikings; for Barney Yale in The Oscar; for Isaiah Schmidt in Deadly Blessing; for Sheriff Lyle Wallace, in Convoy. For Cabbie, in Escape from New York.

And what about Quinton McHale of McHale's Navy? Or Jonathan, from Little House on the Prairie? Or even the Mermaid Man, from SpongeBob SquarePants?

Can any sane person argue against such an encomium, for such a man?

Today is Borgnine Saturday. Plan your celebrations accordingly.

need more Borgnine? check out how Ernie spent Golden Globes night here.