"His comic delivery is so natural that I don't think he can prevent it. If Fred Willard was a doctor, it would take him 15 tries to convince you he wasn't kidding about your bone cancer."
Frederick Charles "Fred" Willard (September 18, 1933 - May 15, 2020) was an American actor, comedian, voice actor and writer, best known for his improvisational comedy. He sadly passed away
in his sleep from natural causes on May 15, 2020 at the age of 86.
Tropes that apply to his works include:
- Cloudcuckoolander: He was well-known for playing characters with a perpetual spaciness to them. His quavering voice certainly helped him in this regard.
- The Comically Serious: His signature was spouting off inane nonsense with enough straight-faced sincerity to make his characters seem like genuine eccentrics you could actually encounter in real life rather than affected performances by an actor.
- Cuckoolander Commentator: He commonly played inept and unqualified event announcers in Christopher Guest's works.
- Improv: Was known to have been an excellent improviser. According to Christopher Guest, several of Willard's parts in his films were completely improvised; the scripts didn't even include rough outlines for his characters.
- Pigeonholed Actor: His career consisted almost entirely of playing men who were either pompous idiots, Cloudcuckoolanders, or some combination of the two.
- Production Posse: A regular of Christopher Guest's films.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Several of his characters were excessively proud has-beens or never-weres.