Monday, January 25, 2010

What Ever Happened To . . . The Cowardly Lion?


Cowardly Lion moved to Emerald City in 1939, after escorting a Kansas farm girl named Dorothy Gale, two other acquaintances, and her little dog, too, on a journey from Munchkinland.  Gale, Scarecrow and Tin Man were on a quest to meet the Wizard of Oz, hoping that he would help Dorothy return to Kansas, give the Scarecrow brains, and the Tin Man a heart.  Hearing their story, Lion decided to join the merry band of travelers and ask the Wizard to give him courage.  After overcoming many challenges along the way, the Wizard granted the quartet's wishes and Lion received his courage.

It was that very courage which led to his untimely death.

On the morning of September 22, 1951, Courageous Lion (as he was now known) was standing in line at Emerald City National Bank when a trio of flying monkeys swooped in the front door and ordered the customers to get down on the floor.  While two of the monkeys held the terrified citizens at gunpoint, their leader approached the window and demanded that the tellers fill several bags with unmarked, non-sequential bills.  Courageous Lion attempted to negotiate with the monkeys, suggesting that they let the customers leave and keep him as the lone hostage.  The monkeys, not speaking English, chattered angrily and fired their weapons into the air.  Lion took this as a "no" and, in an attempt to overpower the monkeys, was shot several times and died instantly.  He was 22 years old.

In the twelve years since he'd first arrived in Oz, Courageous Lion owned and operated Lionheart Security Service, providing protection to citizens and businesses of Emerald City.  His participation in the 1939 assassination of the Wicked Witch of the West had made him a local celebrity, so his untimely death caused great sadness and grief throughout the Land of Oz.

"He was wonderful," remembers Dorothy Gale.  "When I first met Lion, he was afraid of his own tail.  My dog Toto terrified him.  But he overcame his timidity and proved to be a very brave and loyal friend.  I'll miss him terribly."

Lion's friend Scarecrow, chairman of the philosophy department at Emerald City Institute of Technology, pointed out the irony of the situation.

"Prior to our appearance before the benevolent Wizard, Lion possessed a disproportionate level of trepidation, particularly for a member of the species Panthera Leo.  Normally one would expect to see excessive aggression in a specimen of his size, but he was quite subdued.  However, once the Wizard bestowed a medal upon him, which was actually a psychological ploy, Lion began to assert himself and displayed the characteristics and behaviors more typical of his feline heritage."

When asked to explain that again in plain English, Scarecrow replied, "Oh, right, sorry.  Before we met the Wizard, Lion was a big ol' chicken.  After the Wizard gave him a medal and said that it meant he was now courageous, Lion started acting brave."

Tin Man no longer lived in Oz at the time of Lion's death, and therefore could not be reached for comment.  After receiving his heart, Tin moved to Los Angeles and became an adult film star.  He is best known for his work in the underground cult classic Tin Man's Got a Massive Heart On.

Lion's last public appearance was as a guest on the OZTV talk show Afternoons With the Lullaby League.  He told the show's host Missy Munchkinella, "Yeah, it's sad, believe me Missy, when you're born to be a sissy, without the vim and verve.  But I knew that I could show my prowess, be a lion, not a mou-ess.  You know, if I only had the nerve.  The Wizard unlocked a certain confidence within me, and from that point on I knew that I had to remain in Oz and defend its citizens whenever I could."


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17 comments:

Mariann Simms said...

I never liked the lion as he annoyed the beejeebies out of me...so I'm kinda glad he's dead. :)

Moooooog35 said...

I could have sworn I've seen him on 'Celebrity Apprentice.'

Nope. Nevermind. That's Donald Trump.

They have the same hair, though. Amazing.

Realliveman said...

Ok this is funny as $h!+! Great post!

Jenn Thorson said...

Someone SHOT him?

The noive!

Quirkyloon said...

Forget the Lion. The Tin Man went porn on us?

Oh man!

I always loved The Tin Man. He WAS my fave.

Another dream bubble busted.

Thanks Knucklehead!

Suldog said...

So sorry to hear of Mr. Lion's demise. He was a credit to lily-livered scaredy cats the world over.

M.J. said...

Whattayou Barbara Walters or something..Too funny!

Eva Gallant said...

It's just wonderful to be brought up to date on these characters!!
Brilliant!

Shanna R. Riker said...

Well at least he died a hero...

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Ahhh...

I remember the Tin Man's first gig in "Tin Man Shows Wood", followed by his classic "Deep Wrench".

The Good Cook said...

Tin Man gone porno... I always suspected he had a heart on for celebrity... his one shot at main stream movie making was a flop, don't you remember "Oil Can Alley"?

FunnyGirlGoesBlog said...

LOL, Tin Man Has A Massie Heart On. Classic!

otin said...

The Scarecrow got a hell of a brain.

I guess the tin man would be the logical porn choice, as he could keep himself hard.

That poor damned lion. See what courage gets you!!! lol

The T-Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The T-Dude said...

I love the Scarecrow bit...reminds me of half my college profs.

I did a similar thing with the characters from Peanuts on my blog, I thought you might enjoy it.

http://thet-dude.blogspot.com/2009/12/peanuts-characters-later-years-part-1.html

http://thet-dude.blogspot.com/2009/12/peanuts-characters-later-years-part-ii.html

nonamedufus said...

I would have thought the Tin Man might have gone on to be a big rock star. He played a mean ax. Great story nonetheless. Well done.

Bonehead said...

Tin Man's Got a Massive Heart On! Classic!

We've lost a good lion.

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