When Are They Going To Finish The Arthur Trilogy?

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Vol 32 Issue 08

Civilization Collapses

EARTH—Several millennia of relative stability and order came to an end Tuesday as global civilization collapsed, plunging the planet into a chaotic gallimaufry of superstitious cults and roving tribal armies. "Our leader, Astar the King, derives his power from Go-Ard, the one true god who lives in the sun," said former KFC third-shift manager Ernest Billings, who now exists to serve Astar, overlord of much of what used to be the state of Washington. Phillip Trainer, formerly a political science professor at Duke University, predicted that his own city-clan of Babylramia will grow in power and influence until it encompasses the entire world, at which point an eternal golden age of harmony will begin.

Area Power Walker Looks Just Ridiculous

SAUSALITO, CA—A report released Friday by Sausalito city officials revealed that area fitness enthusiast and power walker Linda Williams looks absolutely ridiculous. "Oh, man," the report reads in part, "she looks so absurd. Look at the way she frantically thrusts her arms forward, like some sort of spastic, convulsing marionette. And what is with that bizarre lurching she does with her shoulders and neck?" The report also questioned whether Williams has any idea at all just how unbelievably stupid she looks.

Clinton: 'Fuck This President Shit'

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton publicly distanced himself from the office of president and all duties therein at a press conference Monday. "Fuck this president shit," Clinton said. "I ain't doin' this Chief Executive crap no more." Clinton then stormed out of the White House, heading to Mike's Place, a D.C.-area restaurant, where he ordered a plate of chili cheese fries and read the local want-ads. Clinton is the first U.S. President to resign from office in a profanity-laden rant.

New York Times Adds Color To Target Under-70 Demographic

NEW YORK—In an effort to reach the coveted under-70 demographic, The New York Times announced Monday it will add color to its traditional black-and-white format next month. "Having color photos on the front page should really add some razzle-dazzle and youthful energy to the paper," said Times editor-in-chief Leo Salzberger. "I expect the new look will be very popular among those born in the 20th century." Despite Salzberger's enthusiasm, many of the nation's under-seventysomethings are skeptical. "I may check out the Times when that happens," said longtime USA Today reader Millicent Scopes, 68. "But right now, it looks like something my granddad would read." Salzberger said if the introduction of color is successful, he may experiment with other innovations, including photo captions, page numbers and commas.

Time-Management Tips

In this era of faxing and multitasking, being able to effectively manage your time is essential. Here are some tips to help you maximize your work hours:

My Play

During my years as a hard-bitten newspaper-man, I rarely had time for culture. But after a court order forced my retirement, at last I was free to indulge in artistic pursuits and to pen gripping works of drama. With that in mind, I now present to you my latest play in two acts, The Happy Bed-Chamber.
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    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

Late Night

When Are They Going To Finish The Arthur Trilogy?

Where were you on July 17, 1981?

Like most Americans, I was standing in line for the premiere of the most awaited film event of the century: Arthur. Dudley Moore had just wowed the critics with his turn in the hit 10, and there was much speculation that this would be an even bigger hit. What an understatement!

Nobody, not even the studio that released Arthur, could've imagined the impact it would have on the world. It was just a simple love story about a drunk millionaire who falls for a poor girl and must choose between following his fortune or his heart. But, oh, the power of that story! Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli and Sir John Gielgud became household names. Christopher Cross' theme song went platinum. And, of course, millions of people imitated Arthur every day by getting blitzed.

And where was I during all this hubbub? Why, waiting in line to see Arthur again, of course! I saw Arthur a grand total of 218 times in the theater and 735 times on video, and I read the novelization 416 times before the cover fell off and the binding turned to dust. I went to the Arthur conventions, dressed like Arthur for Halloween, and wrote a manual that includes schematics of all the rooms in Arthur's mansion. (Attention publishers: The book still hasn't been optioned. Hint! Hint!) I even started my own fan club, King Arthur's Court. Our peak membership was seven Arthurians, but three of them have since died of liver cancer.

Yes, I'm quite proud to say that Arthur has been the guiding force in my life. Though I'm not much of a drinker, I gleaned as much from the film as possible and applied it to my daily life. I hired an acid-tongued butler named Hobson. I started shoplifting like Liza Minnelli's character, Linda. I even wore a top hat in the bathtub!

Imagine my joy in 1988 when the long-awaited sequel, Arthur 2: On The Rocks, finally arrived. At long last, I could see more adventures of my favorite characters. There they were, Arthur and Linda, on screen together again, and they were married! Imagine my surprise when I learned they were trying to adopt a child, even though Arthur had lost his fortune. Even Hobson, who died in the original movie, came back as a ghost. I was in heaven! I saw Arthur 2: On The Rocks about 150 times, then I bought the video and watched it until it burned up in my VCR and, ultimately, reduced my apartment to cinders.

So now it's been more than eight years since Arthur 2, and I haven't heard boo about Arthur 3. Let's get cracking, Hollywood—the teeming masses are waiting!

The other Arthurians and I have done a lot of research, and we've uncovered some incredible facts. Did you know that Steve Gordon, the writer and director of the original Arthur, wrote three complete Arthur trilogies before he died? The one in which Arthur takes place is actually the second of the trilogies. The first covers the story of how Arthur's father acquired his fortune, and details his battles with opium addiction. In the third trilogy, Arthur's son returns to his grandfather's native country to become a fig farmer, only to come face to face with a rival Hobson's great-grandson! Word also has it that the only characters who will appear in all three trilogies are the Droids.

Much ink has been spilled about next year's theatrical re-release of Arthur. Apparently, Warner Brothers has uncovered some lost footage, and is re-incorporating it into the movie. The missing scenes include one in which Arthur drunkenly falls into a swimming pool at a fancy dinner party.

Warner Brothers also plans to replace all the old special effects with fancy new digital effects, claiming that Arthur will seem even more drunk than before. Well, I say, why fix what ain't broken?! Give us what we really want: the final installment of the trilogy!

My fellow Arthurians and I may be a small group, but we're very vocal. We've petitioned Bud Yorkin, the director of Arthur 2, to break the silence on Arthur 3, but he won't return our calls. We've camped out in front of Dudley Moore's mansion and sung Arthur's Theme in all-night vigils, only to be manhandled by Dudley's thuggish security personnel. Even Liza Minnelli, who could use the kind of career boost Arthur 3 would give her, has refused to meet with us to discuss the film.

But, by God, we won't give up! We've just got to know what happens next! Will Arthur be able to stay on the wagon long enough to see his son grow to be a man? Will Linda ever return to the stage to reprise her role in Cabaret? And will Arthur and Linda be able to get Hobson out of the carbonite freeze? Dammit, Warner Brothers, we demand to know!

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