Case of Mistaken Identity #2:
posted by Jen on 9/23/01
Who wants that honey?
She's a smaaaall wonder…and she'll make your heart take flight!
Jerry Supiran was destined for big things. His acting career took off at the tender age of 1, when he appeared on "Little House on the Prairie" in the unforgettable role of Young Almanzo in 1974. From the minute Young Almanzo reared his oblong head from the womb, you just knew he was to launch the career of a truly golden actor. From then on, Jerry starred in incredibly heartwarming TV roles, playing Paul in "Tales of the Gold Monkey" (our own writing superstar Paul can tell you about that one) and then Adam on "Highway to Heaven." Jerry moved on to do more complicated roles such as Bobby Stevens in "Obsessive Love." Of course, Jerry's most notable, most loveable role was that of Jamie Lawson, the porky, practical jokester brother of TV's "Small Wonder." The series was truly incredible, running from 1985 to 1989, and hosting special guest stars such as Lyle Alzado and Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Jerry's acting abilities did not go unnoticed by the experts. He won the Bronze Halo Award of Special Merit and a Youth in Film Nomination for Best Young Actor in a dramatic role. He also scored a Youth in Film nomination for co-starring in "Policewoman Centerfold." Now, let me ask you this…does a child with this resume, these honors, these wholesome good looks, does such a child slip into the fray to be another Hollywood dream deferred?
Some of us may shrug our shoulders and say, "I guess so." But then we look at a face that's just a little uncannily familiar:
"Oh right, that's Jerry Supiran," some of you are saying. No… actually, it's Billy Corgan, age 8. Now, are you feeling confused? Scared? Hurt inside? Let me do the math for you. Smashing Pumpkin's first album was released in 1991. Jerry would be 18 at the time. His days of being "D-D-D-D-J Jay" on "Small Wonder" would afford him the musical ear and vocal flexibility to be the Smashing Pumpkin we know him as today. Not convinced? Allow me to clear up any doubt by drawing upon lyrics from the albums and comparing them nonsensically to some of the best "Small Wonder" episodes. Will this actually prove my theory? Of course not! I just love looking at pictures of that kooky robot!!!1
I used to BEEEE a little boy, so old in my shoes. And look at MEEEEE in this suit, my love.
Not to insult intelligence here, but three times during the run of "Small Wonder," Jamie dated an older woman, most notably the foxy Jessica. Now, do I need to remind you of the most famous "Billy" line?
During one memorable episode, Jamie takes the rap for Harriet's cousin breaking and sneakily fixing a teapot. Even though he despises Harriet's cousin, he doesn't rat him out, proving he's a pretty cool cat.
Billy still feels a bit disgusted about this, dropping subliminal suggestion in "Dreaming": "I'll have a cup of tea (I didn't break it dammit) and tell you of my dreaming." Later, from "Cherry": "You've lost your petals (it was Harriet's cousin!!!1)…and lost the luster of your tattletales." Clearly, Jamie struggles with the lie he is harboring for a snot-nosed cousin he doesn't even like that much. He is dying to have a cup of tea with the family, hoping against hope that the family will somehow "discover" who the real culprit is.
In this episode, as you can probably deduce, Jamie gets his ass kicked by junior high ruffians.
In desperation and remembrance, "Billy" pens the song "Fuck you" and tells these guys "I'm never coming back…I'll never be the shine in your spit. I disconnect the act. Destroy the body – but you cannot destroy the heart." I'll tell you right now -- those bullies never put a FINGER on Jerry again after that song. Not one finger.
This is the episode in which Jamie turns the Lawson family into clones, and forces them to live in his closet.
Predictably, Billy writes "Clones (We're all)" and sings, "We're all clones…[He] is having problems adjusting to his clone status, got to put him on a shelf. You will all wear red dresses, losAHHHHs"
Funny how Billy never let go of that dream, still hoping to somehow get the Lawson's under his tight-fisted control, if only for a moment.
Reason 5) Any "Small Wonder" fan who's anyone knows that Harriet, with that nasty moppet of bangs and hideous nasal twang, was trouble with a capital "T." Interestingly enough, Jamie was torn about his feelings for his nasty neighbor; one moment he's cursing her existence, the next, humping her brains out.
In reflecting upon days spent with Harriet, "Billy" penned "Zero," in which he refers to her as a "bullshit faker" and a "fashion victim."
But in the end, "Billy" admits "She's the only one for me she's all I really need she's the one for me."
In "The Birds and the Bees" episode, Jamie destroys Vicki's innocence by telling her about sex; later Vicki gets a first-hand account by catching Joan and Ted Lawson going for it on the living room couch.
Billy Corgan explains sex in the only way he knew how: in the most ambiguous lyrics imaginable. From "Stumbleine": "Sally's in the stirrups…jack it up Judy…he'll be back for more mommy's in the manger…I could never sleep alone." The staggering number of sexual references in this song demonstrate how painfully Jamie perceives sex. Actually, I'm not sure that I know what sex is anymore…so moving right along.
During this episode, Vicky hooks up with the resident nerd, proving to Jamie that even the homelier kids in town can succeed in life. In this episode, Jamie refers to Warren as a space cadet, a nerd, and a fat fuck.
This prompted Billy to later write the now-famous line, "Spaaaaaaceboy, I miiiiiiiisss you….spinning ‘round my head. And any way you choooooooose me, You'll break instead. And then I'll kick your ass for hooking up with my sister." Poor Warren, he never did succeed after Jamie squashed his career like a little bug.
After being forced to wear stupid-looking Halloween costumes, a frustrated "Billy" was prompted to write "Suffer," in which he utters the sad lines "All that you suffer is all that you are…All of your struggles beneath your disguise… Taken down your only son….I hate these ugly Halloween costumes, DADDD!!!"
Wow…that's some powerful stuff. You can almost feel Billy's pain as he struggled to squeeze his cheeks into that cape and put on a happy face. If that damned Harriet wasn't on the scene, they could've gotten away with the old standby Bonnie and Clyde costumes!
Most of us know (if we read his bio) that Jerry Supiran's hobbies as a child were acting, stand-up comedy, performing magic tricks, and eating. The fact that Jamie enjoyed eating was a cute trait of his that tug at our heartstrings; even Billy laughingly wrote songs like "Rhinoceros" and "Where boys fear to tread" which reference ice cream and candy canes. And then, after Billy caught a glimpse of this picture right here, he wrote "Jelly Belly" in outrage at what he had let himself become. Each one of us has a chubby child inside.
As most of you know, Vicki's robotic powers were no small source of amusement to Jamie. He would make her do his homework (that wily fox!!) and force her to clean his room almost every episode. Of course, when Vicki developed magic powers, Jamie was in his glory! As we know from above, magic was his thing! Soon enough, Jamie was convincing Vicki to hypnotize his parents and levitate him.
And then, Jamie fell to the ground, uncomfortably breaking his tailbone. He likened himself to a gerbil, a gerbil spinning around on a wheel, without magical powers and no control of his own body. This was no magician, folks. When Jamie came to this depressing realization, he muttered "Despite all my rage, I am still just a gerbil in a cage." Later, gerbil was changed to rat, and Billy made a fortune.
And finally if you're not convinced, the lyrics to the Billy's own self-named tribute:Set the Ray to Jerry
Born to please, every simple need I stand alone, and my thoughts indeed hate you For ever making me I'm in you, I'll be anything And I want you And I need you And all you are is brand new And I need you Come to me, let me hold you still I'm so tired, just as tired as you Take me for anyone but me All that you feel is never true And I want you And I need you And all you are is brand new And I need you When you say that you are Forever my star I'll never let you go, no, no I'll never let you know Let roar these feelings To the whore of my tears Pure as a light, poured into your eyes Suck you like the sap from a tree Honey from the dew, from the bumblebees, yeah yeah And I want you And I need you And all you are is brand new And I need you When you say that you are Forever my star I'll never let you go, no, no I'll never let you know And I want you And I need you And all you are is brand new And I need you
Life's a bummer when you're a hummer.
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