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…Bowie’s cameo in Yellowbeard (1983)

Yesterday I used the video clip of Bowie’s brief scene in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (actually, i think he briefly appears again in that movie) to illustrate my post about the ten most disappointing movies of all time. I also mentioned that he was in Yellowbeard. This is a clip of his entire appearance in that movie. You would think thirty seconds with Eric Idle, Madeleine Khan and Bowie would be enough to generate a chuckle. Sadly it does not. The main gag is visual— Khan says she was intimidated by a shark, and when Bowie turns, we see he’s wearing a fin. Although his apprrance is uncredited in the movie, I have heard this role referred to as “Mr. Shark.”

Bowie made his way into this movie because he ran into Idle and the movie’s lead, Graham Chapman, in Mexico while Bowie was on vacation and the two Monty Python alumni were filming. They asked if he’d make an appearance, he agreed and this is the result.

Bowie also appears in a documentary about the making of the movie called, Group Madness, which I have never seen.

Two last things about Yellowbeard: there are enough funny moments in the movie that my friends and I borrowed some of the jokes to imitate, much as we did with almost every actual Python gag, during our teenage years. The disappointment has more to do the potential the movie had for having more such moments.

Also, there’s a comparable movie called Eric the Viking staring Terry Jones, also of Python, in which John Cleese also appears that is even worse than Yellobeard. Yellowbeard made the list and Eric didn’t because, by 1989 I just didn’t have the same high expectations.

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