Mail from our readers
Most postcards you get this time of year feature a golden beach or a pristine mountain lake and offer variations on that brain-baked theme: ”The weather’s here. Wish you were beautiful.” Since we stuff our mail-ballot box, we always know exactly what the postcards we get are going to look like, all year long.
What we don’t know in advance is just how many cards we’ll receive and what they will tell us.
The Twin Peaks ”coffee break” card asked Peaks nuts, who were in a fit of pique over the series’ season-ending cliff-hanger, to condemn producers David Lynch and Mark Frost to a whole ”summer without doughnuts and coffee.” We received 373 signed responses, including one from ”Elvis Presley” and another from ”Laura Palmer.” The vast majority of readers agreed with us that Lynch and Frost had been naughty to tease viewers. But some thought we were letting the producers off too easy and added such additional punishments as: ”No cherry pie, either!,” ”Make them watch Just the Ten of Us!,” and ”They should have to drink fishy coffee and eat bird-blood-soaked doughnuts.” One irate viewer even suggested the duo sell ”I killed David Lynch” T-shirts. But our favorite response was the reader who was aghast at the prospect of the series returning this fall: ”Please, not a Saturday-night slot! I haven’t learned how to use the timer on my VCR.”
Our Dick Tracy postcard sought nominations for comic book and strip heroes who should be promoted to the big screen and for the stars who should play them. This opportunity to package a Hollywood blockbuster proved irresistible to 582 of you. Among the most pitchable in the hunk division were Tom Cruise as Spiderman (A Cruise missile in spandex tights? We can see the movie ticket lines forming already), Mel Gibson as the Green Hornet (more skintight costuming), Alec Baldwin as Iron Man, Kevin Costner as Captain Marvel, and, as Prince Valiant, Tom Selleck. In the brawn category, Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger slugged it out for such juicc roles as the Phantom, the Punisher, and Thor. Cher and Bette Midler were among the actresses offered up as Wonder Woman, but the most inspired female casting put Roseanne Barr in B.C. as a cavewoman. Most inspired casting in the men’s division had Tom Hanks as Steve Dallas of Bloom County, Dustin Hoffman as Mister Magoo, Danny DeVito as Barney Rubble, and Jack Nicholson playing Uncle Duke in the celluloid Doonesbury. Nonactors tapped for comic roles included Donald Trump as Richie Rich and Dan Quayle as Beetle Bailey.
The postcard that asked readers to grade NBC’s revamped Today Show generated 254 responses. Nearly half doled out Fs or more creative nasty grades (two Es and a Y), with Deborah Norville and Bryant Gumbel singled out for abuse. A few attacked ”Joe Garbageola.” Two readers who gave D’s to the Today Show summed up the rejections: ”They’re trying too hard! Yuck!Relax — it’s okay to be No. 2 for a while,” and ”Boring set, boring locations, and boring anchors. No new additions can save it.”
Our call to pick your favorite movie monster tempted 387 of you to put stamp to postcard. The top vote-getter was the killer creature from Alien and Aliens, which one buff said ”makes the Gremlins look like a bunch of newborn baby bunnies.” Godzillllcame in second, but was clearly tops in the hearts of his fans, one of whom called the lizard ”the Elvis of monsters.” Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon tied for third. Faye Dunaway and Bette Davis were chosen for their wicked work in Mommie Dearest and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. And in the insult category, some readers maintained that Ronald Reagan, Madonna, and Roseanne Barr are all ”scary.”