Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sammy Davis, Jr. Quotes from Henry V in The Cosby Show

“Shakespeare.” By Matt Robinson. Perf. Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Arnold Stang, and Sammy Davis, Jr. Dir. Jay Sandrich. The Cosby Show. Season 5, episode 16. NBC. 6 Feb. 1989. DVD. Urban Works, 2007.

One brief line from Shakespeare makes its way into the mouth of a character played by Sammy Davis, Jr. in a fifth-season episode of The Cosby Show.

The plot involves a character who has never learned to read or write. At the end of the episode, he chances upon a retired English teacher—played by the astonishing Arnold Stang (you'll recognize his voice instantly)—who offers to teach him.  Observe:


The quote Arnold Stang’s character gives in reply—“Oh, gods and worms, what mockery!”—isn't from Shakespeare at all. It comes from Winterset by Maxwell Anderson, about which I know nothing.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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