The Pantheon: Clue

Everyone has their own personal Hall of Fame. The books you read a thousand times without getting bored. The actors that knock every single performance out of the park. The television episode that perfectly encapsulates what you like about a show. These are the gems of the entertainment world - the unimpeachable properties that earn a rare A+ in the report card of your heart.

The first thing that gets enshrined in my pantheon is Clue. I fell in love with the board game as a kid. And why wouldn't I? After all, it combines murder mysteries, secret passages, colorful characters (literally!), and the person who wins is the one who solves a logic puzzle the fastest. In short, everything I love.

I've played my way through most of the variations and spinoffs of the game: Clue Master Detective, the computer version, the Sega version, the VCR version, the iPod app, and so on. None of them is terrible, but none have been able to really improve on the original. I still like to take it down off the shelf when I'm able to find a willing group. You can keep your Taboo and your Cranium. Just give me Mrs. White, a lead pipe, and a billiard room.

Then there's the movie Clue, which is also lovable for an entirely different set of reasons. The first time I saw it, I laughed my head off, despite being so young that half the jokes sailed a mile over my head. This was the first movie I saw Madeline Kahn in, and she was so wonderful that it inspired me to seek out her other films, for which I'll always be grateful. I have lost count of the number of times I've watched this movie, and despite knowing every word and gesture by heart, I never get tired of it.

I know it's not the most highbrow film in the world, but it always brings an idiotic grin to my face, and I'm sure as hell not going to undervalue that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make some monkey's brains. Although popular in Cantonese cuisine, they're not often to be found in Washington, D.C.


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