Mistah Fwench!

I think it's because he reminded me of Santa Clause, but I've always liked Mr. French. You know? Sebastian Cabot? The narrator of Winnie the Pooh. The "Gentleman's Gentleman" to Bill Davis. The gruff "nanny" to Buffy and Jody - of Family Affair fame. He was the babysitter I always wanted. He was no nonsense and gruff, but dad-gum-it, that man had cookies on the kitchen table every day when those kids walked through the door after school. So every day, (before and in my very early days of elementary school), Mr. French was right there - inside my television - along with Captain Kangaroo, and teensy weensy Buffy and Jody and a teensier weensier Mrs. Beasley. And he was my television babysitter.

And today, is the late actor's birthday. He was born on July 6, 1918! He died at the age of 59 in 1971.

But it seems the rotund man with the honey warm voice put his vocal talents to more than the narrator of Winnie the Pooh. Just check out this video.

Yes, Mr. French does Bob Dylan. And while he catches a lot of crap for his interpretation, we're talking about improving on Bob Dylan. BOB "I sound worse when I'm off the cigarettes" DYLAN!! Let's be serious. The song had no where to go but up.

And confession time: I own a copy of it on CD, (an album called "Golden Throats" also featuring the lyrical strains of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy). Yes, I'm just that Mr. French obsessed. What's more, on an upper shelf in my kitchen, there resides a Family Affair lunch box, complete with a cartoony interpretation of the episode when Jody takes a snip from Mr. French's whiskers! (That one was a nail biter.)

Anyhoo, the day can not be allowed to pass without notice. He was a lovely actor. A lovely vocalist, And yes, he was my favorite babysitter. Happy birthday, Sebastian Cabot!


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