Another You

This is partly a sketch from Wilder’s Haunted Honeymoon notebooks, to that extent it begins with a sustained dispensation of surrealism as a compulsive liar released from a sanitarium in the care of a con artist performing community service finds himself recognized as another person, a millionaire.

It’s then revealed that the business manager has hired actors to play the missing millionaire’s wife and friends to parlay the stooge into an acquisition of the fortune for himself by way of a hunting accident. To this end, the con artist is suborned.

The greatest comedy is achieved with consummate deadpan and fulminating invention, the patient resists with all his might and bursts into character on the winged edge of sanity after so much provocation, his keeper frankly avails himself of the estate laid open and says when hired, “I don’t usually work with amateurs”, the would-be actress in her role as pampered Beverly Hills housewife similarly tells the manager, “I will not be handled”, and the madman in a stovepipe hat given him by his fellow inmates steps onstage at a German restaurant to sing her a yodeling love ballad that reveals in Wilder a previously unsuspected resemblance to Soupy Sales (cp. also Hanky Panky).