For nearly a dozen years now, the world has been cruelly deprived of Jerry Orbach, the Bronx-born character actor who made a name for himself through numerous Broadway and off-Broadway roles before conquering film and television. But, even though the man himself is gone, that doesn’t mean that the world should be denied a flashy car emblazoned with his familiar, hangdog likeness. This, at least, is the extravagant dream of Los Angeles-based artist Brandon Bird.
Internet denizens may recognize Bird as the man behind that Law & Order coloring book as well as the Nicolas Cage Adventure Set and an oil painting called Lazy Sunday Afternoon, in which Christopher Walken is shown to have created Optimus Prime. Bird’s latest endeavor, however, will require some help from the public. The artist has set up a Kickstarter campaign for what he is dubbing the Jerry Orbach Memorial Art Car. The goal is to raise $22,000, with which Bird will purchase “an old boat of a sedan” and then pay “some of Southern California’s automotive artists” to transform it into a vehicular tribute to the actor. The artist makes his unusual pitch in the form of an elaborate L&O parody, in which he appears to be grilled by an impatient Sam Waterston:
Thus far, Bird has a long way to go before he reaches his goal, but he has promised that if the campaign is successful, most of the money will go toward the artists who are actually customizing the sedan in honor of the actor. Bird envisions an airbrushed mural of Orbach on either the hood or the side of the car, along with “some pin striping and a basic glossy or sparkly paint job.” Rewards for donors range from Orbach-themed bumper stickers and air fresheners to a “simulated ride-along” and the privilege of having one’s name etched into the Orbach-mobile itself.
The campaign runs until October 19, but September is an ideal time for this project, since Orbach was well known for extolling the virtues of that month in song via The Fantasticks. Should Bird’s pitch somehow fail to melt donors’ hearts, perhaps this will do the trick.