OK, as I was saying yesterday, once I heard that Chuck Norris was Oklahoma’s “most famous celebrity” winner, I was a bit afraid to talk about any other contenders for the crown once I heard that Chuck Norris was their winner. Partly because I wasn’t sure if Chuck had left any of his challengers standing, and if he had, I didn’t want to give him any reason for paying them a visit, if you get my drift.
Plus, if memory serves, somebody from Oklahoma cheated last week and peeked.
Butt OK, OK, all is forgiven. (Isn’t it cool how when I say “OK” it means both ‘OKay’ and OKlahoma? Is there a word for that?)
Anyway, at the risk of jeopardizing the safety of “a whole bunch” of famous Okies, I’ll review some of the candidates who could have held the title for the last, brief, agonizing moments of their lives. Until Chuck Norris showed up to claim his rightful prize.
Just one final warning before we get underway: if you are in Oklahoma right now, look around. If you can’t see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from total annihilation…so let’s be careful out there.
We begin with Oklahoma’s cowboys and Indians: Gene Autry, William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd, Geronimo and Black Kettle…wait a minute, Black Kettle? I know damn well I can’t call the Kettle Black – at least not without being called a racist.
So let’s change the subject and listen to some Gene Autry. I think this song has more meaning to average American’s today than it did back when he recorded it in ‘44, which, coinky-dinkily, was also the caliber of Gene’s six-gun.
Now on to the rest of the Okie recording artists: Leading the parade is American Idol # 4, the lovely and talented Carrie Underwood. I was really nervous all through the competition that year, because I saw what happened when Carrie got mad at her high school prom.
I think, with that anger management issue she has, she’d be a great “alternative to Chuck Norris” choice, and probably the only one in the batch that would stand a chance of surviving. There are other musical Oakies too, of course including Roy Clark, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, and John Denver, when he wasn’t Rocky Mountain high. Butt let’s face it, Carrie, as creepy as she is, sure can sing!
If musicians aren’t humming your tune, how about movie and TeeVee stars? Ron “Opie” Howard (he’s got that Big Guy ear thing going for him), James “Rockford” Garner, Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford. At first, I thought Lon Chaney might have a reasonable chance against Chuck. After all, he usually plays a mummy or some other walking dead creature.
Then I realized, Chuck Norris would round-kick the life into him, just so he could kick it out of him again. And in case you were wondering, no; Lon is not related to my BPPCSB, the real Dick Cheney.
Normally I wouldn’t have put Joan Crawford in the mix at all, since she wasn’t actually born in OK, butt as we all know that’s not a prerequisite, and she was raised in Lawton. Actually, as an actress, I would have written her off, butt she also has another claim to fame: she practically invented the Sharpie eye brow, something fairly indispensible around here.
As you can see, she started out OK:
Butt things went downhill rather quickly as she began to age a bit:
Towards the end there, she does look like she could’ve kicked Chuck’s butt.
I think it’s obvious that no one on the wrong side of the law would stand a chance against Chuck. Nevertheless, Oklahoma has its share of infamous outlaws including Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd - hey OT, butt speaking of “pretty boys” Brad Pitt is an Okie too! – butt back to the bad guys: Belle “Queen of the Outlaws” Starr, and Carry Nation. OK (heh heh) technically, Ms. Nation was not an official outlaw, butt I bet you’d have a different opinion if they hadn’t repealed prohibition. And speaking of “repeal”…no, that’s a different post.
Outlaws and criminals remind me of politicians, and that reminds me of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers, American cowboy, comedian, social commentator, vaudevillian and actor. From about a million quotes, here are three of my favorites:
- "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."
- "If stupidity got us in this mess, why can't it get us out?"
- "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
Oklahoma does have one politician I love, and wish he was back in the game: JC Watts. Born in Eufaula, JC lead the Sooners to two consecutive Big 8 titles and represented Oklahoma’s 4th congressional District from 1995 to 2003. Then, breaking the typical politicians career arc, JC returned to the private sector to earn an honest living. If I was coach of the R-word team, I’d put him in the game!
I wasn’t going to cover anymore sports figures, butt when Dewey found out I was doing an Oklahoma update, he insisted that I tell the story of Okie Mickey Mantle’s record breaking 535th home run. The “gift” pitch was thrown, late in the 1968 season, by Tiger pitching legend Denny McClain. Denny knew Mickey’s career was near the end and, like all batters, Mickey wanted to break the then home run record of 534. Denny was having a record season. He finished the year winning 31 games for the first time since Oklahoma’s Dizzy Dean won 31 games in 1934. No major league pitcher has won 31 games since.
Butt let’s let Mickey tell the story of that 535th home run himself:
I’m running out of time, and I know there are oodles more, like perky Mary Hart, Anita Bryant, Dr. Phil (who is persona non grata with MO until he dishes the dirt on Orka), and, of course, everybody’s favorite radio guy:
And so now you know… the rest of the story.
I sure hope that makes up for the short shrift Oklahoma received yesterday, due to the ‘Chuck Norris intimidation by proxy’ syndrome.