The Saville Scandal and ‘Death to Smoochy’: art imitates life

Back in 2002, Danny De Vito’s Jersey Shore production company released a film I have found to be largely unheard of called ‘Death to Smoochy‘ starring Robin Williams, Ed Norton, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show fame, Catherine Keener, Pam Ferris and De Vito himself in a light hearted black comedy (something of a contradiction but accurate, I assure you) where children’s TV entertainer, Rainbow Randolph (Williams) is fired from his prime time children’s show due to his taking of bribes to allow certain children within shot of cameras. He is busted by the Feds and fired. In his place, the TV producers eventually replace him with young, idealistic entertainer Sheldon Mopes (Norton) and his creation, Smoochy the Rhino, who tries to teach kids tolerance, to stay away from sugary drinks and fatty foods and to respect one another through song and dance.

Randolph does not take his dismissal well and constantly tries to undermine Mopes and get reinstated, with little success and hilarious consequences.

So, what has this film got to do with Jimmy Saville and the massive scandal surrounding paedophilia within the entertainment industry in London I hear you say? Well, whenever Randolph is fired, producers of the children’s show, Nora Wells (Keener) and Marion Frank Stokes (Stewart) start to go down their list of known children entertainers and through a process of elimination, they very reluctantly come to Mopes.

And what process of elimination was that then? That each and everyone of the children’s entertainers had massive flaws to their character, whether they beat their wives, have DUIs, take heroin or are paedophiles. This character information is well known among each and everyone in the production team and is not taken to be a rumour that some have heard. Back in the real world, I suspect this is the case among many in the entertainment industry of the 60s, 70s and 80s yet little was done about it.

By the way, I am not saying that Esther Rantzen knew that Jimmy Saville was a paedophile and sexual predator, I simply don’t know and at this moment we must take her word for it. However, what I am saying is that for so many people to come out and say that in relation to Saville and many others that their were merely rumours that they had heard is simply too hard to believe.

Unfortunately, sometimes art imitates life and art in this instance may be far closer to reality and the truth than what we see in the news nowadays. I would recommend you watch this film by the way, it’s quite funny though you may watch it in a completely different light seeing all that’s come out of late.



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