Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Amazing John Banner


As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

As a child I watched endless reruns of Hogan's Heroes. As an adult, the only television I have watched are reruns again of Hogan's Heroes on over the air broadcast. I think Mom has like 15 channels now, as there are piggyback channels on the main channels and honestly this is better television than satellite in 150 channels.

This though is about John Banner, the actor who portrayed Sgt. Hans Schultz. As I watch this actor perform, I see one of the greatest actors ever on this earth, and he never received any credit for his work.
I watch in most cases, the background actors and scenes as  in most cases, that is what is more interesting than what is the main characters. In John Banner, this man never stands there, but is always doing something to add to the scene.
The nice part of this Bing Cosby Production is the directors and writers, actually wrote for Banner in his nuances, and they captured a great deal of it on camera.

For example, there is a scene in the Col. Klink's office where Klink is the focal point, but the camera is instead focused on Fraulein Helga coming in, and Schultz and Hogan pulling her chair out for her, with Banner acting ridiculous as always.

He never steals scenes, but is always that cherry on top, to just add so much to anything which is taking place.

I love his DONNERVETTER, which is German for "thunderstorm" as in  "You could knock me over with a feather" which is English, but not as fitting.

Good acting is non existent now. People just stand there wooden, and those not speaking, are never adding to the scene in reactions or the things that John Banner was so natural at. A man who weighs 300 pounds, and he never walks, but like Jackie Gleason glides or has a lilt in his step, making each motion count.

The wonderful Allan Hale and Jim Backus of Gilligan's Island were equal to this type of acting in the reactions which they always were skilled at doing, but John Banner was the perfection of knowing how to be the biggest man in the room literally, and shrink back, and knowing how to add to a scene and not steal the scene.

John Banner was something wonderful and he has never been given the due credit he deserved. He is my favorite character on Hogan's Heroes, and his equal was the bit actor of Vito Scotti who portrayed Major Bonacelli, who also played the mad scientist on Gilligan's Island and the infamous Japanese miniature sub commander in one of the most hillarious scenes in television. I make that known, as you probably would never recognize Vito Scotti in these roles as he is so good at acting.


As another note in this Hans Conreid, also played Bonacelli, and would go on to play Wrong Way Feldman on Gilligan's Island in another hilarious role.


These are some of the best actors to be ever portrayed, and they never have been given the credit for their work, and they really should be noticed, for all the skill and the joy they brought to this world.

Nuff said