11/22/2010

The Great Kahn



I watched Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles again the other day. The 1974 film features Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp. She is a "Teutonic titwillow" hired by the greedy and ruthless Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) to "seduce and abandon" the film's protagonist, Bart (Cleavon Little).

Brooks based Lili Von Shtupp on Marlene Dietrich's character in Destry Rides Again; the image, the speech, and the body language.

One of my favorite scenes in Blazing Saddles is Kahn's celebrated musical number, I'm Tired. Kahn's enormous aptitude for comedy makes the scene very amusing. Unlike most comedians, Kahn can be really funny without going over the top; that's what makes her an extraordinary performer.




I'm Tired

Written by Mel Brooks
Performed by Madeline Kahn

Here I stand
The goddess of desire

Set men on fire
I have this power
Mowning, noon, and night
It's dwink and dancing
Some quick womancing
And then a shower
Stage door johnnies always suwound me
They always hound me
With one wequest

Who can satisfy their lustful habits?
I'm not a wabbit!
I need some west

I'm tired
Sick and tired of love
I've had my fill of love
From below and above
Tired
Tired of being admired
Tired of love uninspired
Let's face it I'm tired

I've been with thousands of men
Again and again
They promise the moon
They always coming and going
And going and coming
And always too soon!
Right, girls?

I'm tired
Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a cwying shame?
I'm so tired
God dammit I'm exhausted

I'm tired

Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a cwying shame?
I'm so tired

Soldiers:
She's tired
She's tired
Sick and tired of love
Give her a break
She's had her fill of love
She's not a snake
From below and above
Can't you see she's sick?
Tired
She's bushed
Tired of being admired
Let her alone
Tired of love uninspired
Get off the phone
She's tired
Don't you know she's pooped?

Lili:
I've been with thousands of men
Again and again
They sing the same tune
They start with Byron and Shelley
And jump on your belly
And bust your balloon!
Aye!
Tired
Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a fwiggin' shame I'm so...
Let's face it
Everything below the waste is kaput!



2 comments:

Kyle said...

Kahn was indeed a brilliant comedienne. I've always felt that the "I'm Tired" scene was overpraised. I like it, but Kahn's work everywhere else in the movie is what made me love her (although I ultimately think she's even better in Young Frankenstein)

Iza Larize said...

I also like her in Young Frankenstein, especially when she sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

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