Though he spoke most of his movie dialogue in a slow Western drawl, actor Slim Pickens was a pure-bred California boy. An expert rider from the age of four, Pickens was performing in rodeos at 12. Three years later, he quit school to become a full-time equestrian and bull wrangler, eventually becoming the highest-paid rodeo clown in show business. In films since 1950's Rocky Mountain, Pickens specialized in Westerns (what a surprise), appearing as the comic sidekick of Republic cowboy star Rex Allen. By the end of the 1950s, Pickens had gained so much extra poundage that he practically grew out of his nickname. Generally cast in boisterous comedy roles, Pickens was also an effectively odious villain in 1966's An Eye for an Eye, starting the film off with a jolt by shooting a baby in its crib. In 1963, director Stanley Kubrick handed Pickens his greatest role: honcho bomber pilot "King" Kong in Dr. Strangelove. One of the most unforgettable of all cinematic images is the sight of Pickens straddling a nuclear bomb and "riding" it to its target, whooping and hollering all the way down. Almost as good was Pickens' performance as Harvey Korman's henchman in Mel Brooks' bawdy Western spoof Blazing Saddles (1974). Slim Pickens was also kept busy on television, with numerous guest shots and regular roles in the TV series The Legend of Custer, B.J. and the Bear, and Filthy Rich. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Slim Pickens Trivia
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Quotes from Slim Pickens's Characters
Lon: Yer just as purty as a bird on the wing this mornin' miss Louisa.
Maj. T.J. "King" Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
Lyle: Come on, boys. Where's your spirit? I don't hear no singing. When you was slaves, you sang like birds. Come on, how about a gold ole nigger work song?
Bart: I get no kick from champagne. [back up singers vocalize] 'Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all So tell me why should it be true That I get a belt out of you. [back up singers throw some rhythm into it] Some get a kick from cocaine.
Lyle: Hold it, hold it. What the hell is that shit? I meant a song. A real song. Something like, Swing low Sweet chariot. [the workers don't have a clue] Don't know that one, huh? How about "De Camptown Ladies?
Bart: De Camptown Ladies? [other workers echo what Bart said].
Lyle: Yeah. You know. De Camptown ladies sing this song Doo dah doo dah De Camptown race is five miles long Oh the doo dah day [joined by all his cohorts] Going to run all night, going to run all day I'd wage my money on a bobtail nag Somebody bet on the bay Going to run all night, going to run all day I wage my money on a bobtail nag [GUNSHOT in the distance]
Taggart: [rides up] What in the wide world of sports is a-goin' on here? I hired you people to get a little track laid.