Happy Birthday To the King, Baby


All men think they’re fascinating. In my case, it’s justified. ~Bruce Campbell

Do you think he got, you know, implants for that chin?

If you don’t know who Bruce Campbell is, I’m a) sorry for you that you haven’t experienced this magnanimous manly B-movie god, and b) not particularly surprised. You may watch Burn Notice now and know him as Sam Axe, but unless you’re a pop culture geek like me who just devoured the Evil Dead trilogy, Xena: Warrior Princess, and the aptly named Man with the Screaming Brain, you’ve likely never seen Bruce. And that’s too bad.

I’ve met him twice…he seems just as cool as his on-screen personas. You know, the snarky best friend, the wisecracking cowboy hero, the thief with a heart of gold. He might have been Bruce Willis had he been born in a different time and place. As it is, he’s still too cool. How many other actors can say they’ve wrestled with their own demonically possessed hand, run around half-dressed in the streets of Sofia, Bulgaria, or had their body possessed by Lucy Lawless? Not many.

As for the question of “who the hell cares that it’s this guy’s birthday, anyway?” Well, let’s just say Bruce, like KISS or UFOlogist clubs, has his own circle of die-hard fans. At both book signings I attended, the bookstore managers informed me that Bruce’s events were the biggest events they’d ever had. EVER. Take that, Rachael Ray and Nicholas Sparks.

Bruce is the classic misfits’ hero (and if you don’t believe me, just skim the first chapter of his hilarious autobiography, If Chins Could Kill.) He’s handsome, yeah, and talented…but he never takes himself too seriously and he’s just as willing to star in Alien Apocalypse 2 as Disney’s Sky High to get a paycheck. Truly a blue-collar guy. He knows his roots and has never lost them. No wonder he has scores of “Deadites” who follow him around from convention to convention. He’s a sort of Elvis for lonely goth kids, hormonal 18-24 girls, and would-be backyard filmmakers. And yeah, he has a sense of humor and isn’t (that I know of) a drug addict.

He’s rubbed shoulders with tons of A-listers but will never quite be one of them. And that’s all right by me, because every generation needs its off-the-wall rebel heroes. And Bruce fits that bill perfectly. Today happens to be his 54th birthday (crap, he’s almost as old as my dad!) and I wish him the very best.

Hail to the King, baby…you’re still as groovy as ever.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on June 22, 2011.

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