The Birds endures as an Alfred Hitchcock classic, and as one of my favorite movies. I can watch it over and over on a loop, and I often do. Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright and Jessica Tandy are perfectly cast – along with a great supporting cast. And although he doesn’t have a major role, we remember one guy vividly. Having only a few lines, and credited simply as ‘Drunken Doomsayer’ – he’s the drunk spitting out funny bunk we all love to trunk.
And, yes, we’ve seen the alarmist drunk before. We’ve seen the alarm sounding drunk in many films, though perhaps most powerfully in Hitchcock’s sci-fi chiller, The Birds. During the memorable diner attack, as Melanie Daniels speaks to other frantic guests, our merry drunk keeps shouting out drunkenly, ‘It’s the end of the world!’ – how could we ever forget such a moment?
He’s duly admonished by a waitress (unforgettable brown noser Roz in masterful comedy, 9 to 5) with a bible passage, which he quickly confirms. A drunk slamming back shot glasses spouting scary biblical warnings – what more can a film fan want in a tight little thriller scene?
Doomsayers Are So Much Better When Drunk
Why do we love alarmist drunks being drunk and loud in movies? Maybe because they sound more alarmed or scared or just plain shit assed than most other times. Accordingly, and effectively, some of that yellow stained shit soon finds its way onto our own asses.
We live vicariously and shit assed though the cinematic drunk alarmist.
Laugh Trek sat down with ‘Drunken Doomsayer In Diner’ from The Birds to hear his take on his most famous role.
Brother, you nailed it. You truly were the definitive Drunken Doomsayer.
‘Thanks. I didn’t have as many lines as Hysterical Mother In Diner, you know the one Tippi Hedren slaps – she was truly amazing – but I’m damn proud of being as drunk and as comedically irritating as people tell me I was for them in my scene.’
Did it take many takes to get it just right?
‘Well, playing a drunk, that part proved so damn easy. I just drank and drank until I was absolutely dead ass, stinking punch drunk as a skunk. The lines? Eh, that just boils down to practice and tons of rehearsal. Lots of bottles always handy, of course. Booze, Armageddon bible warnings along with my irritating acting – all meshed together quite easily.’