Imagine, then, my shock, shame and sh...sh...shit, why can't I think of a third one? Anyway, imagine all that when I caught a few minutes of SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT this lunchtime and resolved to find out what Jerry Reed had been in lately - the last thing I really remember him being in was 1983's SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT PART 3 so maybe "lately" is the wrong word to use.
Well, it turns out "lately" is exactly the right word to use because Jerry Reed became The Late Jerry Reed on September 1st of this year. I feel especially guilty about missing this because now I have wronged him twice over.
You see, as a little kid, I loved SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT (ditto CANNONBALL RUN, HOOPER and anything else with car chases where the authority figures end up in a pond) but I did NOT love Jerry Reed's character, Cledus "Snowman" Snow. In fact, I thought he was a bit rubbish. I thought he was rubbish because he wore red trousers. I thought he was rubbish because he wore a bodywarmer. Most of all though, I guess I thought he was rubbish because he was a normal man, because he was not The Bandit.
Well, I was a fool. I was a fool to fall under the spell of that vainglorious lout, The Bandit but I was double the fool to deny the value of this decent, dependable everyman. The Snowman was cool and I should have realised it sooner. From now on, every time I slide SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT into my VCR, it will be to appreciate the understated heroism of the man in the truck, bodywarmer and red trousers.
I wanted this to be more of an apology than an obituary so i wasn't going to put a clip up but he seems to be having such a good time in this one, I thought it'd be a shame not to. And if you don't like the music, just turn the sound off and enjoy the suits!