Last night was a night for "Chuck," and even though I was here in Jersey, I accidentally found myself participating. The panel discussion was being moderated by "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof, who you may remember referred to me (with affection, he says) as "a pain in my ass" shortly before season four began. Since that interview ran, Lindelof and I have reached a detente, and as a joke, I bet him five bucks if he would ask Josh Schwartz the same kind of "When are you going to give us some answers, man?" questions that people like me are always demanding of Lindelof himself. One of those suggestions was "What's the hidden meaning behind the Wienerlicious uniform?," and Damon agreed to ask it, but only on the condition that I offer up my own theory. This is what I came up with, which I understand was read verbatim last night:
To me, it's obvious. Chuck, like Seth Cohen before him, is the central character in a Jewish assimilation fable, grappling with his place in a secular, Gentile, post-Holocaust world. The CIA (or NSA; I can never remember who works for whom) has obviously done deep psychological profiling on him. Having read the works of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, they understand his neuroses and ambivalent feelings towards his heritage, and have decided to tap into those fears and keep him off-balance by placing their operative in a chain restaurant whose uniform invokes the deepest traditions of the culture that gave rise to Hitler, and, in turn, the formation of the Jewish state.Not surprisingly, everyone on the panel went with theory #2.
That, or someone thought Yvonne Strahovski would look good dressed like an Oktoberfest wench.
Now, as Bill Cosby once said, I told you that story so I could tell you this one.
Later in the session, Schwartz turned the tables on Lindelof and asked him whatever happened to the four-toed foot statue from the "Lost" season two finale. Lindelof's reply (and you may want to take it in the spirit of an evening in which he was willing to ask the Saul Bellow question), per a very detailed account of the event over at Futon Critic:
"That's actually a great story," Damon responds. "We did the four-toed statue on the show and basically we got a note back from the network, which was, 'This is too weird.' We're like, 'Do you watch the show? This is too weird?' And essentially they said, 'Could it be a six-toed statue?' If someone could explain why a six-toed statue is less weird than a four-toed statue, that's exactly what we will do."That silly foot may be my favorite unanswered "Lost" mystery, so I hope he and Carlton and ABC can come to a peace accord on that.
To see a clip of the event, click here.