Alex Karras – Adios, Mongo

Alex Karras, from his ABC Broadcasting Days – Image From Wikipedia

Alex Karras was many things, and I will not attempt to wax philosophic about those that I didn’t know. Football player, sports announcer, sitcom actor – all these things and more, you’ll find written about far more eloquently in the days to come. But to me, he’ll always be the inscrutable Mongo from “Blazing Saddles”, a key piece in the carefully-constructed madness of Mel Brooks’ movie. It’d be too easy to stick a photo of him from this well-known role at the top of my post, so I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to learn a bit more about him. For what better way to commemorate the passing of a beloved icon, than to see him in more than one dimension? RIP, Alex.

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15 Responses to Alex Karras – Adios, Mongo

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    Good tribute John! I recall his football days as a heck of player … thus it was interesting to watch him transition from the field to acting.

    • I had heard a bit of his football career, but was unaware that he was suffering from dementia he may have received from one of his (many) football-playing impacts. He was part of a class-action suit against the NFL – it’ll be interesting to see if his passing elicits any response from the powers-that-be.

  2. julesagray says:

    We’re all only pawns in game of life. RIP, Mongo. It all has to go where choo-choo go.

  3. Oh wow I had NO idea he was suffering from that disease. He was so funny in Blazzing Saddles. Gosh sorry to hear he passed. 😦 He had a sitcom with his wife I recall watching it Webster I believe.

    • Yes, “Webster” was just one of the many things he did in life. It came as a shock to me that he was suffering the dementia – I had heard nothing of it, or of the lawsuit. Let’s hope something good comes of that.
      And thank you for stopping by!

    • Jon Stewart did a nice, simple tribute in his “moment of Zen” at the end of The Daily Show – Mongo’s famous quote, followed by him punching out the horse, then just a simple card with Alex’s name and dates. Just the right mix of hilarity and sobriety. Classic.

  4. tom says:

    While linked to Paul Hornung in the betting deal, Karras faired much better in retirement from the game. superio talent?

    • It’s interesting how various players fare after their sports career. Alex most certainly did well for himself. Kinda makes you wonder what the “secret formula” for success is…

  5. pegoleg says:

    I will always think of him from Blazing Saddles, as well. “Mongo, straight!”

  6. I guess I’ll just say the same as others–Mongo! I’m not a big football fan, but I remember him from television and always knew who he was as an actor. Who he was as a man, I really don’t know. I had the impression he was a very nice man. RIP, indeed. Debra

    • He did indeed seem to be a very nice man, Debra. I hope something good comes of the class-action suit over his dementia. That would be an outstanding epitaph to an already amazing life.

  7. Barb says:

    I guess I’ve been watching too much of the debates because I didn’t know of Alex’s passing. Fitting tribute.

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