“What the hell do you mean, ‘who’s Larry Storch?'”

“I mean I don’t know who the hell Larry Storch is! Who the hell is Larry Storch?”

Infuriating, isn’t it? If you’re like me, and find yourself in this situation at least once a day, you can understand why there are so many sudden, unexplained attacks across America every day. Chances are, it’s someone who knows who Larry Storch is attacking someone who doesn’t know who he is.

Here’s an example that may sound woefully familiar to you: several years ago I got set up on a blind date, and I gallantly called the young lady up in advance to verify the time and place where we’d meet–which, by the way, was a Denny’s on Wilton Boulevard, since I wanted to impress her. She asked me what I looked like, and I told her (again, wanting to impress her) that I resembled actor Larry Storch.

“Who’s Larry Storch?” she inquired.

“What the hell do you mean, ‘who’s Larry Storch?'” I screamed, a volcanic eruption of blazing hot fury erupting like a million geysers from every fiber of my tortured being.

“I mean I don’t know who the hell Larry Storch is! Who the hell is Larry Storch?” she persisted, incredibly unaware of her own utter stupidity.

“What are you, incredibly unaware of your own utter stupidity or something?” I shrieked, kicking the glass walls out of the phone booth that I was standing in and repeatedly smashing my body into the frame until the whole thing fell over into the street with a resounding crash. “ARE YOU SOME KIND OF A TOTAL F**KING IDIOT? GRRRRRRR!!! By the way, that’s the Denny’s on Wilton Boulevard, not the one next to the bowling alley on Burton Street.”

Well, she never showed up. She was probably too embarrassed by her own utter stupidity to show her face, and you can hardly blame her, but she could at least have stopped by my house later for the obligatory blind-date sex that I have come to expect over the years. I’ve never actually had sex on a blind date, of course, but I have come to expect it. Anyway, it’s just as well, because I found out later that she looked more like Larry Storch than I do.

I guess one of the reasons that women who look like Larry Storch don’t know who he is might be that people are reluctant to tell these women that they look like Larry Storch. But that’s still no excuse for never having heard of him. Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of “F Troop” or “Ghost Busters” should not only know who he is, but should in fact consider him to be one of the greatest human beings who ever walked the face of the earth, next to Robert Loggia and Ben Gazzara. They should also know who Forrest Tucker is as well, since he co-starred in both of those series with Larry Storch.

Well, I brought all of this up at a political fundraiser that I attended several years ago, in an attempt to liven up what I considered to be some pretty boring chit-chat amongst a gaggle of pseudo-sophisticates who were standing around sipping drinks and tittering a lot. When the mayor’s wife gaily inquired, “Who’s Forrest Tucker?” I poured my drink in her face. As I congratulated myself for my restraint, another total moron–I think it was the mayor–chimed in with, “How dare you! And ‘Ghostbusters’ was a movie with Bill Murray in it, not a television series!”

Again I held my temper, and responded by merely flinging the hors d’ouevres table over, drenching several people with caviar and other gooey, expensive treats. But then, just as I was returning to my usual casual demeanor, I heard a voice say, “Yeah, and who the hell’s Larry Storch?” The next few moments are still a blur in my memory, but the next day there was a picture of me on the front page of the newspaper in which some quick-thinking photographer had managed to catch me in mid-air as I hurled myself at the governor with the crazed look of a kabuki dancer.

My interest in politics continued when I later attended the Carter-Ford debate and, after furiously waving my hand for several minutes, managed to get called upon to ask the presidential candidates a question. When the guy held the microphone up to my face I took a deep breath, cleared my throat, and asked, “How do you feel about Larry Storch?” A perplexed Jimmy Carter smiled uncertainly and asked, “Who’s Larry Storch?”

Just as I was about to charge the stage and hurl myself at him, Gerald Ford responded confidently, “Larry Storch is the greatest actor who ever lived. Perhaps even the greatest human being who ever lived.” Banging the podium to emphasize each word, he added, “I…love…Larry…Storch!” The audience erupted with unrestrained cheers and applause! Well, I did, anyway. And I sure as hell voted for Gerald Ford that year. Jimmy Carter won, though, and, as you might expect, my extensive campaign to have Larry Storch’s Birthday declared a national holiday was totally ignored by the government of the United States of America for the next four years. Talk about malaise. That, and possibly the Iran hostage situation as well, resulted in Carter losing his bid for re-election. Take that, Carter! Betcha know who Larry Storch is now! HA-haaaaa!

Well, I’ve cut down on my attacks in recent years. Maybe because of the wisdom and maturity that come with age, or maybe because I was getting beaten up a lot. But the realization that attacking people because they don’t know who Larry Storch is might not be a good thing to do finally came to me as I was discussing future attacks with my trusted consigleri, Tom Hagen. Tom, not a wartime consigleri, is often the voice of reason in contrast with my unrestrained hostility, as can be heard in the following exchange…

TOM: Now, former President Carter and the Governor of Texas are on the run. Are they worth it? And are we strong? Is it worth it? I mean you’ve won…you want to attack everybody?

PORFLE: I don’t feel I have to attack everybody, Tom. Just people who don’t know who Larry Storch is, that’s all. Are you gonna come along with me in these things I have to do or what? Because if not, you can take your “F Troop”, your “Ghost Busters”, and your “Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” DVDs…trade ’em all in for Adam Sandler movies.

TOM: Why do you hurt me, porfle? I’ve always been loyal to you. I mean, what is this?

PORFLE: You’re right, Tom. I should stop attacking people who don’t know who Larry Storch is.

TOM: Well, you should try to cut down, anyway.

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