So, I was thinking. There should be a Dabney Coleman Index of National Greatness (DC-ING). I’m not sure how the math would work out here. Maybe something like Speaking Lines*Minutes of footage/Number of roles for any given year. Because, as I was saying the other day, there really was something amazing going on back in 1983-84. Ricky Stratton almost caused a nuclear war! Matthew Broderick almost caused a nuclear war! The kid from ET almost caused a nuclear war! But they didn’t. And you know why? Dabney Coleman was there every step of the way — whether playing a gruff but lovable secret agent, an irascible but lovable talk-show host, or a harried but lovable computer scientist.
I mean, Reagan may have been president, but Dabney Coleman was keeping us safe — and in stitches! ROTFL! This gruff, but lovable paternalism may have been just what we needed to get our dance on — and boy did we ever get our dance on back in 1983-84.
But then, Matthew Broderick fracked it all up by killing people in 1987 — and the charm was gone.
Is it a coincidence that in 1986, Dabney starred in one of the greatest TV mini-series of all time? And then Slap Maxwell. And then what happened? After the unjust cancellation of Slap Maxwell — he could only bail out Matthew Broderick so many times — nada. Lame TV movies… up until 1997-99, when he had a minor star turn as Principal Prickly in Recess (“I recently ordered you kids a whole new set of balls.” ROTFL)! Everybody knows how great the USA was in 1997-1999! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Of course, that was followed by crap crap crap for nearly ten years until — his admirable star turn guest-starring as Dr. Bart Jacobs in the exceptional Treat Williams vehicle: Heartland. Obviously, he has thus helped usher in a new period of national greatness. The question is, of course, will his career continue to ascend throughout these next years, or will he rather cede his place, like Moses, to a Joshua generation Dabney Coleman facsimile?
What do you make of this, Dave? Pretty compelling, right?