Your Earworm for Today, or: Hook the Uncanny

It goes without saying – so of course I’m saying it anyway – that today’s post is inspired by last night’s Peter Pan Live!, in which Christopher Walken played Christopher Walken playing Captain Hook (seriously, check out his reading of “Prepare to meet thy doom”).

Response has been… mixed at best. To be fair, though, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the whole thing. But it does give me an excuse to go on about a near-forgotten telling of the tale.

Back in 1950 (four years before the more famous adaptation remade by NBC), no less than Leonard Bernstein composed his own stage production of Peter Pan, with Jean Arthur as Peter (yes, the tradition of casting an actress began even before Mary Martin) and Boris Karloff as Captain Hook.

I repeat: Captain Hook was played by KARLOFF THE UNCANNY.

I’ve only ever heard one song from the original recording, one Sunday morning back in my Tulane years. But it was just so much fun that I’ve always wanted to get my hooks (as it were) on the complete album.

Luckily, that song’s still well accessible. So, enjoy Bernstein’s take on Captain Hook, “The Pirate Song”:

Thanks for listening – until next time…

One thought on “Your Earworm for Today, or: Hook the Uncanny

  1. How delightful. Thanks for providing this. Yes, Peter Pan has had almost as many different adaptations as Dracula. And the tradition of casting women as Peter began clear back in 1904, because in England actors under 14 were not legally allowed to work on stage after 9pm.

    I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree about the word “mixed”. The show was panned, and rightfully so. Three freaking hours, a way too girly, unenthusiastic Peter, a bad attempt to substitute Pacific Islander stereotypes for the former Native American stereotypes, and Christopher Walken playing an old lady that looks like Christopher Walken.

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