Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Charles on Film -- Manson Through the Years

There are a handful of sure things in life: the other line at the toll booth moving faster, a dog's undying loyalty and the fact that Charles Manson will never ever get paroled:

After 11 failed bids for freedom, notorious killer Charles Manson, now 77, is up for parole later this month.

The parole board rejected his bid in 2007, saying Manson "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."

Manson refused to participate in that hearing, describing himself as a "prisoner of the political system." He also declined to participate in any psychological evaluations in 2007.

That'll show 'em.

Manson's crimes were indeed horrific, and yet his famously demented interviews and excellent beard have made him fodder for popular culture like no other mass murderer. So to commemorate his imminent not-release, here are five of Manson's more memorable pop culture doppelgangers.

Of course, these are all from TV movies. He is a murderer, after all.

Bob Odenkirk -- The Ben Stiller Show (1992) One thing you'll notice when (if) you rewatch this short-lived sketch comedy series is how terribly unfunny Stiller actually is. The biggest laughs come from Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick (I know, right?) and the criminally underappreciated Odenkirk. After watching this, go purchase all four seasons of Mr. Show with Bob and David and declare your house the Republic of New Freeland.

Steve Railsback -- Helter Skelter (1976) Manson's speech at the Tate/LaBianca murder trial is probably offered in first-year criminal law courses as a primary example of why you should never let your client testify on his own behalf.

Trey Parker -- South Park (1998) Everyone tends to do the same voice when they play Manson, and it's not necessarily his. It's close, but those portraying him always have to kick it up a notch, as if saying Manson was crazy. Well, let me tell you something: I've learned from watching a bunch of Manson clips (aside from a strange desire to listen to The White Album) that YOU'RE the ones who are crazy, and it's high time you start taking a deeper look at YOURSELVES, and judging the LIE you live in.

I think I need a nap.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar