Many funny women have graced the screen over the years, from Mabel Normand to Lucille Ball to Tina Fey, but one woman's impact was unlike any other -- Madeline Kahn's.
When Star Trek was looming and there was a loud undercurrent of chatter about the previous space-led films, my brain got punny and came up with "The Wrath of Madeline Kahn." At first, I explained away my attachment to the title as part of my love of word play. But soon, I realized it was more than that. Kahn's wrath is a lot of what made her such an indelible comedic figure in Hollywood, one that grabbed two Oscar nominations for her craft.
We always see wrath as this bubbling explosion of anger that hunts down victims near and far. But with Kahn, it was all caught within herself -- wrath (of anger and exuberance) trapped in a human-shaped globe, a sizzling plasma ball. She always seemed like a bomb waiting to explode, whether it be her careful composure inYoung Frankenstein, or her desire to find a primitive man as she peels the layers away, or most appropriately, her discussion of anger as Mrs. White in Clue. "I hated her ... so ... much ... I-it-it ... flames ... flames ... on the side of my face ... breathing ... breathle ... heavy breaths ... heaving ..."