Over at the Onion A/V Club, Nathan Rabin has determined that the best way to honor the passing of Bea Arthur is to dig up the most surreal piece of cultural flotsam he could find that starred the comedienne. In this case, it was her bone-jarringly wrong-headed cameo (along with an equally out-of-place Harvey Korman) as the barkeep at the cantina on Tatooine in the god-forsaken Star Wars Holiday Special, which was only broadcast once, in 1978, and has never been officially released on video. According to Wiki, author David Hofstede ranked the Star Wars Holiday Special at number one in his book What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, calling it “the worst two hours of television ever.”
Rabin says of the Bea Arthur clip, “Like the special itself it really has to be seen to be believed. It’s a hypnotic, nightmarish trainwreck of surreal juxtapositions. It’s essentially Casablanca in outer space with a little Cabaret thrown in, with Bea Arthur in the Humphrey Bogart role. Only, you know, with space monsters and Harvey Korman pouring water into the top of his head.”
It’s also astonishingly boring. So long, Bea.