The Many Faces of Jack Webb


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Pretending to be remorseful

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Skeptical

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Inquisitive

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Bored

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Amused

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Wondering if he can sneak away to Craft Services for a puff of a sweet, sweet Chesterfield

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Ready to question the shit out of you

As you can see, Jack Webb had to be one of the most versatile actors to ever hit the small screen. His specialty was delivering the deadpan dialog of the character he is most known for, Sergeant Joe Friday, from the TV show Dragnet.

Dull, stiff, and downright boring. Some would argue droll as well.

That’s your man.

But oh, Webb’s character was also dickish (not blunt) with a chip on his shoulder who loved nothing more than to pontificate and pummel hippies and beatniks into submission—or perhaps boredom—by relentlessly asking questions of them, sometimes in their own vernacular so they would “dig his rap,” if you know what I’m saying.

Wasn’t that brilliant? Such poetry about the dangers of LSD and pot delivered in under two minutes without even stumbling over one word and with just a twitch of the neck for slight emphasis. Like he just pulled it out of his ass! It’s so credible! That man’s a fucking GENIUS!

(Honestly, I often wonder why Colonel Potter never just told him to STFU and beat him into a bloody, monotone pulp.)

So why did I just go off on a tangent about Webb?

Because my brother, whom I have not spoken to in at least a few years, idolizes him. He’s practically the spirit of Webb personified and he takes it as a compliment.

He visits his grave. He acts (dickish), speaks (monotone), and walks (like he’s got a stick up his rear) in the fashion of Webb’s character. He’s even got the same damn haircut. He’s a bit delusional about Webb/Friday and wants to much for him to be a part of his life that he’s gone as far as to tell people that my dad worked on Dragnet when he was younger.

Well golly gee, that would be really something if it were true but alas my dear brother, if you are reading this, you know damn well it’s not. And I challenge you to prove otherwise and justify it with a comment.

Imagine, lying about your dead father in order make yourself come up smelling like a rose. It was that lie that was the proverbial straw which broke the camel’s back and caused what I’d consider irreparable damage to our relationship, a relationship that had already been under a great amount of strain.

There’s absolutely no fixing it. There’s no remorse, regret, nor  heartache. It’s broken.

And for someone who loves Joe Friday so much, I’d think that he’d be a little bit more inclined to live closer to the man’s trademark line: “Just the facts.”

If only…

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