“Purfect With Thuh Chicken…”

I post this video every so often. It’s very calming. I love, love, love, love the way Chris Walken pronounces “chicken” and “pears.” Certain people says certain words perfectly, and I mean better than anyone else in the world. Walken saying “pears” (“peahrs“) is like Peter O’ Toole pronouncing “ecclesiastical.”

I visited Walken’s Upper West Side apartment twice in ’79. I had an excellent thing going with a lady named Sandra who was working for Walken and his wife as a kind of au pair or house-sitter. I remember the oriental rug on the living room floor, you bet, and the wood-burning fireplace in front of it. I don’t know why Sandra and I didn’t last for more than four or five weeks but it wasn’t for lack of interest on my part.

I ran into Walken at the Westport train station in the fall of ’78. This was two or three months before The Deer Hunter opened. I knew him only from his “whoa…who’s this guy?” performance in Paul Mazursky‘s Next Stop, Greenwich Village (’76). I saw him standing on the platform, I introduced myself, Walken was cool and easy, and we wound up talking all the way into Manhattan.

I spoke to him two years later when I went backstage at the Public Theatre after a performance of The Seagull, but he had no recollection of the train trip. Zip. I could have mentioned Sandra as an ice-breaker but I thought better of it.

The chicken-and-pears video was shot, I’m presuming, at Walken’s home in Wilton, Connecticut, which is where I lived for a few years and where I did my junior and senior years in high school. Paul Dano went to high school there also. And Keith Richards has a big home there.

  • Wrecktem

    Chris looks like he has a pretty small kitchen. Very utilitarian. I have the same knife as him.

  • Jesse Crall

    Awesome. The cat at the end is a perfect touch.

  • Yuval

    Wasn’t for lack of interest in Sandra or Walken?

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Sandra will be with me always.

  • jujuju

    i saw that maybe a couple years ago. tried the recipe — pears burnt for the most part, but i’ll try again sometime. i think raisins would go too, maybe a couple apples. peaches — they would work good if you put them in at the last 20 minutes or so.

    ps — they guy had no recollection of the train conversation? none? uh…what to say?

  • drbob

    Did he just handle the raw chicken with his bare hands and then stick his hands directly in the salt and pepper. Would you like some salmonella with your chicken and peahrs?

  • Ray

    Needs more googly eyes!

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    “I could have mentioned Sandra as an ice-breaker but I thought better of it.”

    So you were…”Chicken” to mention the au “Pair”? Perfect.

  • Raising_Kaned

    “Little pearh cookies…”

    This is obviously a great video and story, but I somehow find the implication that Wells hadn’t seen Annie Hall — or at least remembered Walken’s part in it — by the fall of 1978 almost impossible.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    Forgot about it. It was a cameo, anyway, and didn’t/ couldn’t compare with his Bext Stop Greenwich Village performance. Few today even bring it up. Resolved: I must either find a YouTube clip or get a copy of the film on DVD and record Walkn’s choice moments.

  • Jesse Crall

    @Jeff: Nah, Walken’s creepy little Annie Hall cameo gets plenty of love still, although more in retrospect since he’s built a career on that same kind of spooky aura. Maybe in ’78 it wasn’t as noteworthy.

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