Ah, poor Peter Brady. Convinced he had no personality, he decided to adopt that of Humphrey Bogart, and his “Pork Chopsh and Appleshaush” line became famous.
But Peter isn’t alone. We all, (and when I say ‘we,’ I mean mostly ‘me,’ and a few others out there,) adopt the mannerisms and idiosyncratic personality traits of others. Sure, children pick up accents and phrases from their folks, but I don’t mean just direct influences, I mean like hero emulation. Like Peter did with Bogie.
“Actions speak louder than words” the saying goes. Verbal communication is so limited that facial expressions and body language can change their meaning entirely when the two are combined. Or add some sarcasm, or levity. Or simply make the point all the more obvious.
Being such an impressive device in communication, I, of course, try to incorporate a lot of facial expressions throughout my day. Some I use more than others, and some are directly swiped from the following sources...
1. Don Knotts - The Sniff.
Ol’ Barn‘d do this sniff when boasting about his superiority in various topics. Don Knotts used this repeated as Barney Fife, Mr. Furley, or in his many movie roles. The sniff is a great way to brag, rub in a win, and be sarcastic without seeming too serious.
2. Norman Fell - ‘Mr. Roper: Aside,’ (AKA, the ‘Camera Mug’)
The best thing that the show Three’s Company had to offer, (aside from its liberal dowsing of prime-time T&A, of course,) was Mr. Roper. His all-too-infrequent zingers at his muumuu-draped mate were best when accentuated by this look. It was a proud-of-himself, enjoying-his-own-joke-kind of look aimed directly at the camera.
3. Benny Hill’s “Wha...?”
Benny Hill, among other things, was a master of facial expressions. Many of his skits were done in complete silent pantomime, serving to showcase this ability. His "WTF?" expression requires no explanation.
4. Mr. Spock’s Eyebrow - Fascinating.
Put simply, if you can do this, you should.
5. Kryten - Cheekiness.
Kryten, the service mechanoid from BBC's ‘Red Dwarf,’ was full of great expressions. Not bad for a rubber-faced android. Although the opportunity to employ this expression is infrequent, ‘Cheekiness’ is among my faves for it’s pure cheese value.
6. Moe - “Why You...”
There is no better way in the world to show someone that a) they are mistaken, b) you knew better, and c) they are due for a slap, eye-poke or some kind of disappointed retribution.
This pretty much sums up my entire catalog of facial expressions, (I'm a kinda shallow guy.) If I can feel something, anything, then I can fairly accurately express it with one of these.
And as Peter would say, “That’s Shwell.