Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Open Wide..."

Wacky next door neighbors, elves and Nazis...

Having recently spent close to three hours alternating between looking up my dentist's nose and rinsing and spitting, I had plenty of time to think about the subject of today's blog; all that time spent with my head lower than my feet must have stimulated the blood flow to my brain. By the way, I'd like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of good dental hygiene. OK, now that the PSA is out of the way, on to today's blog - Dentists in Pop Culture. There have been many doctors in TV and movies, and lawyers abound in this litigious society, but dentists are surprisingly few. Here are some who came to mind while sitting in my dentist's chair.

Dr. Jerry Helper - Rob and Laurie's next door neighbor as played by Jerry Paris 0n The Dick Van Dyke Show. Jerry Paris went on to become a successful Film and TV director

Dr. Jerry Robinson -Eccentric orthodontist portrayed by Peter Bonerz on The Bob Newhart Show. Bonerz appeared in numerous sitcoms and went on to become a successful TV director. I see a pattern forming...

Dr. Orin Scrivello - the sadistic dentist portrayed by Steve Martin in 1987's Little Shop of Horrors.

Hermey the Elf - The elf (voiced by Paul Soles) who wanted to be a dentist in the Rankin-Bass holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. His most famous patient? The Abominable Snow Monster of course.

Christian Szell - the Nazi dentist (portrayed by Laurence Olivier) who torments Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man. Whenever I sit in the dentist chair I think about Larry torturing poor Dustin. "Is it safe?"

Dr Alan Feinstone - sadistic serial killer portrayed by Corbin Bernsen in the horror films, The Dentist and The Dentist 2:Brace Yourself.

Dr Tim Whatley "the Dentist to the Stars" (portrayed by Bryan Cranston) who accuses Jerry Seinfeld of being an anti-dentite in the "Yada-Yada" episode of Seinfeld. You may know Cranston from his other television roles including Doug's neighbor on King of Queens, and Hal, the beleaguered dad, on Malcolm in the Middle. He currently stars in the award-winning AMC drama Breaking Bad (for which he won two Emmys.)