Physics meets comedy with Charles Fleischer
Ryan Summerlin January 10, 2013
Comedians as a whole are pretty smart, but genius? There’s maybe a handful that I’ve worked with that could easily be in that category, and one of them is at the Tahoe Improv through Sunday.
Just spend the day hanging with Charles Fleischer and you, too, would find out.
I’m not talking just “brain smart,” knowing current affairs or observing and commenting on the atrocities of everyday life. I’m referring to quantifying and theorizing on topics as to how the universe was formed or the mathematics of decision making and why we come to such a conclusion. You know, everyday stuff.
Charles once said, “I’m thinking the universe is either a dodecahedron or a cheeseburger, and for me, that’s a win-win.”
He’s kinda shy in social situations but when he warms up to you he really opens up. One day out of the blue he was explaining the relationship between the numbers 27 and 37. As Charles puts it, “The numbers between those two (27 and 37) affect everything from protons, neutrons to croutons. That is the blueprint for infinity.” He was referring to the concept known as Moleeds.
Yeah, I know; I, too, was scratching my head, but when we both came back down to earth it made sense.
It’s a fine line between insanity and being a comic, and fortunately Fleischer falls on the side of the funny, and in doing so you experience the genius side of him.
Even though he’s probably best known as the guy who voiced the lead character in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” I was more impressed with his role in “Back To The Future” where he portrayed both young and old versions of the character Terry (who owned the Hill Valley Western Auto store in 1955) and was later seen outside the Courthouse in “Back To The Future III” in 2015.
He played alongside not just Michael J. Fox but also Christopher Lloyd in both “Roger Rabbit” and the “Back To The Future” movies. It should be noted that Fleischer was so good voicing Roger Rabbit that Zemeckis used Charles to voice several other characters in the film that included Benny The Cab and the two sinister weasels, Greasy and Psycho, and made a special appearance in the two-year anniversary re-issue of “Roger Rabbit” in a collector’s DVD.
Fleischer appeared in countless other motion pictures including 2004’s “The Polar Express” (another Zemeckis project) as the voice of Elf General, and in 2007’s “Zodiac” playing the creepy in-the-basement character of Bob Vaughn. He also was in one of my favorite flicks, “Gross Anatomy,” which starred Mathew Modine, Daphne Zuniga and Christine Lahti. You can see him next in the apocalyptic thriller “Dystopia.”
His standup is just as good as the roles he plays onscreen, incorporating the entire audience into his show, serv