About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Potent Potables for $800

As Brad continues to phrase his observations in the form of a question, I am reminded of the original Jeopardy satire which gave us brilliant categories such as:

  • Colors That End In "-urple"
  • Months That Begin with "Feb-"
  • The Number After 2
  • Point to Your Nose

A Little Bit Autistic presents...Celebrity Jeopardy, featuring the awesome Will Ferrell as Alex Trebec [via Funny or Die]:

(Click here if the embed isn't working.)

Ferrell's comic genius is undeniable, but is it...special? As in, a special talent associated with an autistic spectrum condition. I have it on good authority that Ferrell had some familiar spectral traits as a child:

Born and raised in the Los Angeles, California, suburb of Irvine, in 1968, Ferrell was an easygoing child. "He was born like that," his mother, Kay, told Scott Raab in Esquire. "You know those little Matchbox cars? Will would line up his Matchbox cars, by himself, and be totally happy. You'd say, 'You wanna go to Disneyland today or line up your cars?' and he'd have to think about it." Ferrell was known as a funny kid even in elementary school, where he would punch himself in the head just to make girls laugh.

Makes me wonder. I know what a quirky kid looks like as a kid, but what does one look like as a grown up?

Of course, some would say spectral sitings are misguided, and that our energy would be better spent examining the relationship between autistic spectrum conditions and talent, and the nature of talent itself, rather than inferring autism where we see talent.

Chew on that. Or watch Funny or Die. Either one.


Queenbuv3 said...

I don't think its too far fetched that there are many talented people who are on the spectrum. You have to be a little askew to be original. You have to not care about the normal rules of society and see things from a different angle to be original.

Kris said...

I often see the lists of celebrities and others thought to be on the spectrum. While some of them I agree with(ex: I think Steven Spielberg is a documented Aspie) most times I wonder where it is coming from. Some celebrities are just odd (ex: Johnny Depp, one I have seen on "the list" more than once), it doesn't mean they are on the spectrum necessarily. Some (like Robin Williams) may have something like ADHD, but autism? I disagree. I think it is natural to "See it everywhere" but really I try to keep in mind that most people are NOT on the spectrum, even "odd" people and people with great talent. I think oftentimes it is the talent that sets them apart and makes them seem different, not any disorder. (ahem, Michael Jackson, hello?)
I can't speak about Will Ferrell. I think he is funny but don't know enough about him to have an opinion.

A little boy just 2 years old said...

My opinion: this is some of the funniest stuff EVER!! Thanks for posting.

I've gotta say, it's interesting about him lining up cars ;)

I often wonder that myself - on what this looks like in an ADULT - cause we know what it looks like in our little kids.

Maybe I should let him watch this instead of Sesame Street (j/k: yesterday he was going around saying 'brought to you today by the letter L and the number 7)

Laura said...

Queenbuv3, agree. Also: "restricted interests" and the related intensity can catapult some one down that road, right.

Kris, yes, many of those inferences strain credibility and reason. Robin Williams seems a bit manic or bipolar to me. (I have bipolar in my family, so I tend to "see everywhere" that one.)

ALBJ2YO, the skit is so random, but I love it. I can't even explain why. Oh yeah, we're always about the "sponsored by" letter/numbers. Totally relating to that one!

One other thought about talent and dramatic or cinematic arts. Consider an autistic savant with conventional artistic talent, like Stephen Wiltshire. His renderings are, in part, a function of his extraordinary memory and recollection of detail. Well isn't an impersonation a form of a rendering? So might that kind of talent play out in a dramatic personation. Now consider Will
Ferrell's Alex Trebec impersonation or even better yet, his George Bush impersonation. I'm not reducing theatrical arts to rote renderings, but rather suggesting that recollection of detail might be part of it. Just a thought.

indigo said...

yay, the ferrell. i find him almost touchingly eager to amuse, which i think is maybe part of his effect, but he transcends neediness. i heart him hard.

i have intentionally neglected the "occasional series.." because, yup, i began to see a.s.d.'s everywhere, but also because i found that i was angered when some anonymous folks on the internet decided that zahara jolie-pitt (who is what,4? 5?, and hardly a prominent personality) was "probably autistic and so are most murderers ergo she will probably murder shiloh" or something. jesus. who's next? tutter from bear in the big blue house? i'm a reactionary sort and until this bad taste subsides (and the paint on my homemade "team zahara" t-shirt is dry) it's on the back burner.

having said that, it's nice to be considered a 'good authority' on something. thanks! more cowbell!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Will Ferrell being on the spectrum, but it could be argued that his character Buddy in the movie Elf had some autistic-like behaviors. Autism Unplugged wrote this post about Elf on the Spectrum.

Thanks for the funny video!