Week 466 (CXXXIII) : Spit the Difference

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Copyright The Washington Post Company Aug 11, 2002

The Pennsylvania Dutch

Ex-congressman James Traficant

Poetry by Yeats

The Redskins' offensive line

A foofy little poodle

Five corpulent porpoises

Original sin

A mole on one's butt

The dad in "Zits"

A Wall Street Journal editorial

Jordan's Queen Noor

Capital punishment

This Week's Contest: Tell us the difference between any two of the above items. (Example: The difference between Traficant and a mole on one's butt is that the mole has better hair.) First-prize winner gets two more promotional items from the movie "Eight Legged Freaks." The movie, which is a paean to small-town America, hopes to garner good publicity by distributing to newspapers (1) an icky black spider bearing the imprint: MADE IN CHINA, and (2) a bug that pops out of a wooden box with all the sheer terror-inducing suspense of Mister Rogers opening his door.

First runner-up wins the tacky but estimable Style Invitational Loser Pen. Other runners-up win the coveted Style Invitational Loser T-shirt. Honorable mentions get the mildly sought-after Style Invitational bumper sticker. Send your entries via fax to 202-334- 4312, or by e-mail to U.S. mail entries are no longer accepted due to rabid, spit-flying fanaticism. Deadline is Monday, Aug. 19. All entries must include the week number of the contest and your name, postal address and telephone number. E-mail entries must include the week number in the subject field. Contests will be judged on the basis of humor and originality. All entries become the property of The Washington Post.

Entries may be edited for taste or content. Results will be published in four weeks. No purchase required for entry. Employees of The Washington Post, and their immediate relatives, are not eligible for prizes. Pseudonymous entries will be disqualified. The revised title for next week's contest is by Phyllis Kepner of Columbia.

Report from Week CXXIX, in which we asked you to come up with examples of bad casting. A glut of submissions (more than 7,000) created the real possibility that we may have missed crediting an entry similar to one of those we are publishing. If you have been so abused, please accept our sincere unconcern. The hemorrhage of entries also allowed us to reject willy-nilly the unexceptional and cliched, such as Fat Person Playing Skinny Person; Effete Man Playing Manly Man; Lout Playing Sophisticate. Likewise, we ignored simple surface wordplay, such as Dan Quayle in "A Beautiful Mind" or Liberace in "The Man In the Gray Flannel Suit" or Sharon Stone as Jerry Mathers's mom. It was possible to cross a credulity line: No ink to Penny Marshall as Richard III, Sylvester Stallone as Joan of Arc, Lee Marvin as Dorothy Gale, or Abe Vigoda as Jim Morrison in "The Doors."

In short, we sought the plausibly implausible: miscasting that transcends the merely inappropriate or physically incongruous to reach a cosmically mismanaged pairing of actor and role.

Several people wrote in that we could never hope to out-awful the real-life examples of John Wayne as Genghis Khan, or Mickey Rooney as the Japanese neighbor in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." You judge.

(And last, two pressing matters: Stunningly, Russell Beland of Springfield came through with five winners, attributed here to others, leaving him only one in his Punishment Bank. Also, below we run some of the overflow results of last week's cartoon contest, in which you changed the final line of dialogue in actual comics.)

{diam}Sixth Runner-Up: Hugh Grant, Sean Hayes, Truman Capote, Tony Randall, Gary Coleman, Pauly Shore, Martin Short, Jaleel White, Nathan Lane, Al Franken, David Hyde Pierce and Woody Allen ARE "The Dirty Dozen." (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

{diam}Fifth Runner-Up: Marty Feldman as James Bond. (Ken April, Arlington)

{diam}Fourth Runner-Up: Elizabeth Taylor in a remake of "National Velvet."

(Ralph Bolgiano, Fulks Run, Va.)

{diam}Third Runner-Up: Ingrid Bergman as Gidget. (Hugh McDiarmid, Lansing, Mich.)

{diam}Second Runner-Up: Desi Arnaz as Henry Higgins. (George Kaye, Silver Spring)

{diam}First Runner-Up: Hattie McDaniel as Scarlett O'Hara. (Jerry Duncan, Annandale)

{diam}And the winner of the eight-legged freaks:

James Dean as Kris Kringle in "Miracle on 34th Street."

(William I. Rothstein, New York)

{diam}Honorable Mentions:

Barney as Godzilla.

(April M. Musser, Arlington)

Rodney Dangerfield as Jack Torrance in "The Shining." (Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Clark Gable as Charlie Chan.

(Jeff Arch, Los Angeles)

Elmer Fudd as Ben from "The Graduate": "Ewane! Ewane! Ewane!"

(William I. Rothstein, New York)

Charles Laughton, Richard Burton and John Gielgud as the Three Stooges.

(Jeff Martin, Gaithersburg)

Roberto Benigni as "Dirty Harry."

(Mark S. Mundey, Houston)

Sidney Poitier as Buckwheat.

(Annabel Westgrier, Schenectady, N.Y.)

David Spade as Rocky Balboa.

(Jerome Alfred, Fairfax)

Mei Xiang as Lassie.

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson as Vito Corleone. (Stephen Fahey, Kensington)

Bob Saget as Othello.

(Josh Feldblyum, Potomac)

Steve Buscemi as Richie Cunningham in "Happy Days." (Robin Parry, Arlington)

Andy Dick as "Ali." (Dave Ferry, Leesburg)

Bela Lugosi as Curly in "Oklahoma."

(R.J. Sturgeon, Kensington)

Joe Pesci as Ward Cleaver.

(Tom J. Galgano, Bowie)

David Schwimmer as Patton.

(Julie Thomas and Will Cramer, Herndon)

Scatman Crothers as Pippi Longstocking. (Ron Bottomly, Columbia)

Roberto Benigni as Death in "The Seventh Seal."

(Kathye Hamilton, Falls Church)

Abe Vigoda as Dil in "The Crying Game." (Jason Russo, Falls Church)

Albert Brooks as Dracula.

(Judith Cottrill, New York)

Jon Lovitz as Jesus in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." (Tony Souk, Vienna)

Rex Harrison as Skipper from "Gilligan's Island." (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

Tweety Bird as Mothra.

(Stephen Dudzik, Olney)

Kermit and Miss Piggy as Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

(Cecil J. Clark, Arlington)

Beavis and Butt-head in "My Dinner With Andre." (David Moore, Bowie)

Mr. T and Pee-wee Herman in "The Defiant Ones." (Todd Gillett, Williamsburg)

The Osmonds as Tevye and his family in "Fiddler on the Roof."

(Paul R. Gordon, Washington)

Camryn Manheim in "The Seven Year Itch." (Jennifer Logue, Quincy, Mass.)

Wayne Newton and Kathie Lee Gifford star in "West Side Story."

(Jan Verrey, Alexandria)

Rick Moranis as Shaft.

(Seth Brown, Williamstown, Mass.)

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