The Loved One


This black-and-white 1965 dark comedy featured Jonathan Winters and a slew of famous people. And, if my e-mail is any indication, this film has become something of a cult classic! Bernie Kopell has a small, recurring, and funny role as the assistant to Guru Brahmin. Brahmin isn't a guru, so much as a fat, drunken slob of an advice columnist. The "Guru" needs an assistant to read his mail out loud to him, answer letters for him, and keep him from passing out....



Throughout the film, the Guru receives letters from a confused young woman asking his advice. After his assistant reads one of these letters to him, he dictates his reply. The final sentence begins, "And furthermore, you silly bitch," which startles his long-suffering assistant. Then the Guru changes his mind about that last sentence, saying, "Strike the 'bitch'."



Now, here's a sight rarely seen on film -- health and fitness devotee Bernie Kopell with a cigarette in his mouth!



While reading the young lady's third letter out loud, the assistant finds out the hard way that his boss has had too much to drink: A loud thump announces the fact that the man has just passed out and landed on the floor.



Utterly disgusted, he flings the letter's not like the Guru has actually been paying attention to it, anyway!



As if it's part of a typical workday for him, the assistant finds himself picking the slob off the floor.



The Guru regains consciousness as his assistant parks him back in the chair, where he belongs.



The Guru's assistant repeats what he had just read to him, hoping for a semi-coherent reply to the letter. (This gives you just a little taste of how wacko this movie is!)