Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lynne Thigpen

First let me start by saying that it is hot, hot, hot outside today. The weather folks said it could go up to 90 today. I was just outside and I believe them. It isn't particularly humid so it was okay. Unfortunately the warm weather has brought out the penchant for folks to expose more and more of their bodies. Now ladies, I'm addressing this to you. NOT EVERYONE HAS THE LEGS FOR MINI-SKIRTS-DEAL WITH IT!!!!! And yes, I have already been disgusted by people's ungroomed feet. Yes, I get that not everyone can afford or even wants to have a pedicure, but at least wash your damn feet before you unveil those paws for all to see.

Years ago when I was living in Virginia I got addicted to the children's program Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego? I absolutely loved this progarm. I always liked geography and I thought this was a wonderful way to present geographical information to children. The a capella singing group Rockapella sang the very catchy theme song that I still find myself humming. They also were the voices behind a Folger's In-Your-Cup song. Here are the lyrics for Carmen Sandiego:

"Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?"

Well she sneaks around the world from Kiev to Carolina,
She’s a sticky-fingered filcher from Berlin down to Belize,
She’ll take you for a ride on a slow boat to China,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Steal their Seoul in South Korea, make Antarctica cry uncle,
From the Red Sea to Greenland they’ll be singing the blues
Well they never Arkansas her steal the Mekong from the jungle
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

She goes from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe,
Chicago to Czechoslovakia and back!

Well she’ll ransack Pakistan & run a scam in Scandinavia.
Then she’ll stick ‘em up Down Under & go pick-pocket Perth
She put the Miss in misdemeanor when she stole the beans from Lima,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Oh tell me where in the world is . . .
Oh tell me where can she be?

Ooh, Botswana to Thailand, Milan via Amsterdam,
Mali to Bali, Ohio, Oahu . . . !

Well she glides around the globe & she’ll flim-flam every nation.
She’s a double-dealing diva with a taste for thievery,
Her itinerary’s loaded up with moving violations,
Tell me where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

One of the characters of the show was The Chief. The Chief was the head of the Acme Detective Agency. Her agency was trying to capture Carmen Sandiego who was the head of an international crime syndicate. The contestants were tasked to use their knowledge of geography to located Carmen. The Chief would ask the contestants questions that would propel them around the world. The Chief was played by Lynne Thigpen.

I had seen Lynne Thigpen in different roles throughout the years, but I just thought she was quite wonderful playing The Chief. She passed away in 2003 and I can remember how her death really saddened me. I think we always feel a bit sad when a performer that we like passes away, but I really felt terrible about her passing for a long time.

I think at the time the media wasn't saying what caused her death. I have read some reports that say it was a circulatory ailment and some that say it was a heart attack. She was 54.

Here is an article about her and here is a Muppet salute. Here is an article that talks about all of the audiobooks she narrated. She had such a deep, resonant clear voice that leant itself so well to an audio format.

I hear that they are making a Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego movie that should be out next year (2006). I don't know who will be portraying The Chief, but whomever it is, they will have some big shoes to fill.

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