Who Doesn't Like T?

Did you know that Mr. T, ‘80s icon and one of my personal heroes, is now endorsing a turbo oven? You have to watch the infomercial, if only to hear him “pity the fool”. It looks like a fairly substantial product too, one to endure the inevitable comparisons to the Foreman Grill.

I loved The A-Team growing up, often playing out episodes on the playground in elementary school, ambitiously taking on the role of Hannibal. We didn't have a big black guy in our group at the time, so I gave the B.A. role to the largest of my friends, unfortunately a blonde Dolph Lundgren looking kid. We were all role-playing anyway, so we didn't have to be super-accurate--our Murdock was Indian and it's not like the B.A. kid shaved his hair into a mohawk. The series itself defied all logic as this group of soldiers framed for a crime they didn't commit would frequently take down bad guys who would survive a jeep flipping over but crumble once a solid right hook connected with their glass jaws. Man, I miss hearing this each week:

Mr. T was definitely the standout member of the cast, certainly the most quotable(“Crazy fool!” “I ain't gettin' on that plane, Hannibal!”). I love the shot of him smashing open those doors and I always thought a similar shot in the opening credits to Angel was a bit of an homage. A former bodyguard who gained fame in Rocky III before landing the A-Team gig, he would also voice himself in an Saturday morning cartoon:

He led some kind of group of young acrobats or something, but all you really need to know is yes, the dog had a mohawk, yes, there was some little boy who dressed just like his idol on the show, and yes, there will never be a decade that rocks as hard as the ‘80s. NEVER.

It's a shame T's career waned in the ensuing years, partly due to some shortlived show I don't even remember, and partly due to health problems from T-Cell Lymphoma. He’s so into branding that even his cancer had a “T” in it, but seriously the man is a fighter and has endured. It would be awesome if he made a cameo in the upcoming A-Team movie. He has to. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson might be taking over the B.A. role, but there's only one Mr. T, and his presence would make the movie worth seeing even if the rest of it was horrible. They've got Liam Neeson playing Hannibal though, and he almost always classes up whatever project he's in.

Mr. T is sheer awesome, and television stars today just don't have that same presence. It's a different time, a less campy time, but the time of T was timeless. I pity the fool who says otherwise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooked in a Mr. T. Flavor Wave turbo oven?

I pity the food.

10/27/2009 7:40 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

I'm the one with my hand up

10/27/2009 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Mr. T - he was my hero when I was a kid and like you MCF, I miss hearing the A-Team credits playing out on a Saturday afternoon. I have never met Mr. T, the closest I have managed is meeting Dwight Schultz when he appeared at a convention I helped to organise. He's a really nice, funny guy who went out of his way to make sure the fans had a good time, a class act in my book.

10/27/2009 10:06 PM  
Blogger b13 said...

Do you remember the episode of Different Strokes... with Mrs. T? I think she fought off a helicopter from their balcony when she was their body guard during an episode or two.

10/28/2009 12:12 AM  
Blogger cube said...

I recently caught some infomercial where Mr. T busted through the door. I didn't hang around to watch what it was for, but don't tell Mr. T., OK?

10/28/2009 1:29 PM  

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