TNB Night Owl–Dad, Can I Borrow The Car?

Last week Micheline voiced appreciation for Kurt Russell. With no ideas as to what movie to feature I decided to do a little digging. Russell has quite the resume, with a hundred acting credits listed on Internet Movie Data Base. In his late teens and early twenties, Russell was a contract player for Disney. That is where this week’s movie came from. It’s not THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES, nor is it THE HORSE IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT. No, this little gem doesn’t even show his face. Instead, Russell provides the voice-over for a short gem called DAD, CAN I BORROW THE CAR? (1970/1972). As regular readers of Friday’s night owl have witnessed, I’ve seen some strange things. This tops the list, by far.

DAD, CAN I BORROW THE CAR started out life as a 20 minute short film, playing alongside such Disney fare as THE ARISTOCATS and SON OF FLUBBER. Two years later, it was more than doubled in length to be shown on the TV series, The Wonderful World of Disney. What’s it about? Good question. There is a young man (voiced by Russell) who is in love with wheeled vehicles since birth. He even came out of the womb honking. In pre-school he loves anything with wheels (and makes witty observations like when he grows up he’ll have to watch out for woman drivers). In elementary school he admires soap box derby cars, and the teenage girls who adore the race winners. There’s a montage of strange cars, a plastic model car that doesn’t seem to want to be built, go carts and dirt bikes that remind us of how many of us or our friends broke bones in childhood, and more montages.

Things start to get stranger when our nameless narrator gets to Driver’s Ed class. The kids use what was probably high tech driving simulators. That in and of itself wouldn’t be too strange…except the simulator is voiced by a computer so emotionless it makes HAL 9000 sound downright Shakespearian. He–and us the audience–learn not to run over kids, not to be distracted by an attractive woman at the side of the road, and to make sure and count how much money a robber leaves a bank with.

This takes us about halfway through. Then there’s demolition derbies, a used car salesman trying to sell junk heaps, foreign cars trying to sell themselves, and the strangest customized cars human eyes have ever witnessed.

I could go on and on, but it’s best witnessed for yourself. Here’s the full television version:

Someone uploaded the theatrical version in two ten-minute segments. This is the stranger version. One can only imagine it was designed for the LSD connoisseurs in the audiences:

Question of the night: What was your first car?

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