Director David Fincher has a movie coming out in November called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, based on the story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald (you know the guy who wrote The Great Gatsby, that book you read in AP English). It's about a man who is born in his 80s and ages backward. If you think this sounds familiar, then you're probably remembering Mork From Ork's son Mearth from Mork & Mindy. Come on, admit it. You know you are. We compare and contrast the two below. Nanu Nanu!
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, arguably one of the best American writers. Mork & Mindy was written by Garry Marshall, arguably one of the best American television creators. Winner: dead heat.
- Mork's son Mearth was born after Mork and Mindy got it on and Mork laid an egg, freaking everyone out. Benjamin Button was born in a hospital (against the common wisdom of the day which was to give birth at home), and freaked the hell out of everyone. Winner: Benjamin Button.
- Mearth was played by TV funnyman and impressionist Jonathan Winters, while Benjamin Button will be played by tabloid target and one time Pringles pitchman Brad Pitt. Winner: Mearth. Winters used to crack me up when I was a kid, sue me.
- Mearth ages backwards, which means you have Jonathan Winters asking like a baby and talking in a goo-goo voice most of the time. Benjamin Button also ages backwards, but talks in a normal voice. Winner: Benjamin Button. Jonathan Winters is definitely funny, but that baby voice gets annoying.
- As evidenced in the photo above, Brad Pitt has to wear some old man makeup to look like the elder Benjamin Button, whereas Winters was already fairly older when playing his part, so no makeup was required. However, the movie is also putting the cool new Contour 3D cgi mapping systemto use in order to make synthetic old people, which is a catapult to coolness. Winner: Benjamin Button. We love high-tech aging systems.
- Mearth's special "aging problem" led to much hijinx and sitcom wackiness and Mork and Mindy tried to hide their rotund, overall-wearing son from the neighbors, while Benjamin Button gets to examine his life in reverse, leading to lessons and touching moments, probably with swelling music. Winner: Benjamin Button. We're a sucker for a good musical score.
- Mork & Mindy was directed by a slew of different television directors, including Garry Marshall. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is being directed by David Fincher, who also gave us The Game (yes!), Alien 3 (boo!), Fight Club (rad!), Panic Room (bad!), and Se7en (woot!). Winner, Benjamin Button. David Fincher's worth the risk.
While Mork & Mindy will forever be ingrained into my brain cells as part of my childhood, this Fincher-directed adaptation of this classic Fitzgerald story will probably mean more to me now that I'm aging the normal forward way. At some point, something will come along and dislodge my memories of Jonathan Winters as Mearth, and then I'll never be able to write lists like this again. The world of science fiction weeps.