Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Best of Blanche

By Branden Barker

We said goodbye to a great comedienne last week when Rue McClanahan, 76, died following a stroke. Her passing leaves Betty White as the sole ‘Golden Girl,’ but Rue forever lives on through her most notable character, Blanche Devereaux. Who could ever forget the Southern belle’s sexual appetite, “perky bosom” and that impeccable comedic timing? Not me. Not us.

In memory of Rue’s passing and in honor of the sexiest of those ‘Girls,’ I’ve compiled our Top Five Blanche Devereaux moments:

5. Blanche’s not-so-perky bosom. The girls decide to audition for the community theater production and Blanche decides to one-up the others with inflatable breasts. When she gets carried away during a scene with the leading man, her new breasts pop and deflate. Hilarious. Check it out here.

Best Blanche quote: “You, sir, are nothing’ but a lowdown, carpet-bagging, scallywag! And as God as my witness, I will never shampoo your hair again!”

4. Blanche comes to terms with her brother’s homosexuality. Despite the endless comedy, Blanche could be serious. When she found out her brother Clayton was gay, she acted like many sisters would have in the 1980s. She didn’t understand it. She couldn’t fathom why her handsome brother wasn’t interested in women. It took two episodes, but Blanche tapped into her inner gay icon and welcomed her brother and his partner into her world. Blanche was before her time in many areas.

3. Blanche’s seduction. Our favorite tramp isn’t happy when she can’t get her latest suitor in the sack. It just doesn’t make sense to her. She’s never had to work so hard at a sexual conquest. She lures her beau to a theme motel, fully equipped with mood lighting and sound, a remote-controlled bed and a trapeze swing. She basically does everything but criminally assault the man. It turns out he just hasn’t been with a woman since his wife died and wants to take things slow. Of course that’s it. And Blanche’s record isn’t tarnished. See it here.

Best Blanche quote: “I am nothing but a cheap, tawdry slut!”

2. Blanche performs at the Rusty Anchor. It was Dorothy (Bea Arthur) who first stole Blanche’s show at her favorite hot spot, The Rusty Anchor. Blanche became jealous when Dorothy started singing and attracted all her men. So she stole it back. Dressed in red sequins, Blanche hops up on the piano and starts the show. While singing “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” she gets wrapped in the mic cord, accidentally kicks off a shoe and nearly re-breaks the hip of a man recovering from surgery. Writers can often help a person be funny, but physical comedy depends completely on the actor. Rue did not disappoint. Ever.

1. Blanche’s delirium. When Miss Devereaux decides to be a great southern writer, she finds herself awake for 72 hours. By about the 73rd, she’s completely out of her mind. What she’s written makes no sense. She’s a mess and she’s convinced a bag of egg yolks are eyeballs or little balls of sunshine. Rue’s comedy is at it’s best in this episode. She had already won an Emmy at this point, but I’m pretty sure if she had submitted this episode as an Emmy clip, she would’ve won a second. Check it out here.

Best quote: “My God! I'm hallucinating'! I see little balls of sunshine in a bag! Does this mean something'? My brain's gone! [a few moments later] Rose, what is this? Yellow eye balls are staring' at me!”


  1. I religiously watched this show after school back in the day, yet I don't recall any of the episodes at all.

    I DO remember thinking, "When I'm old, I'm gonna be just like Blanche. Wait & see."

    ...turns out, I'm more like Rose in my old age.

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