The following article is taken from Disney Magazine, Winter 1999-2000. It profiles Maynard Smith, a cast member that achieved a good deal of fame over the years of his employment at Disneyland Park due to his extreme characters and various Disneyland-only personas. He is probably most famous for playing "Evil Twin Maynard" as a cast member at the Haunted Mansion.
the job fits...
Meet Maynard Smith, the happiest guy at the happiest place on earth.
By Dan Persons
Disneyland is famous for its helpful, smiling cast members. But even in that crowd, attractions host Maynard Smith stands out. He's the guy using finger puppets to direct passengers to their doom buggies in the Haunted Mansion and serenading the babies as he helps parents park strollers outside a Fantasyland theater.
DM: Instead of just wearing different uniforms at various attractions,
you've invented a repertoire of personalities. Who are these characters,
and how have you tailored their personalities to fit the attractions?
Smith: All my characters are named Maynard - and we're all "brothers." There's Skipper Maynard, who lives in the trees with the monkeys and sometimes for fun comes down, boards a Jungle Cruise boat, and takes people on tours. There's Evil Twin Brother, who lives in the Haunted Mansion dungeon- they built that fence around the mansion to keep him in. There's bespectacled Professor Maynard, who lives in the laboratory beneath the Imagination Institute in Tomorrowland. And then there's Captain Maynard, who works at the Astro Orbiter.
DM: What's your job as the captain?
Smith: I'll come up to one of the little kids in a rocket, salute and say, "Welcome, commander. What is your name? Jimmy? Very well, Jimmy, my name is Captain Maynard. I'll shortly be sending you into outer space, where the birdies fly - tweet, tweet, tweet." I keep my tone very serious; I never talk down to kids.
DM: How do visitors to the Haunted Mansion get your special treatment?
Smith: One of the things I'll use is a fubber frog that I hold in my hand. I'll be looking at the people as they're getting into the doom buggies, shining the flashlight on myself, looking real threatening and going, "Ooooooh, oooooooooh!" Then I'll flash the light on the frog, and it'll go [voice shifts to a froglike croak] "Arrivederci!"
DM: How do people react?
Smith: It startles them for a second; it's just funny. You're looking for something big, mean, evil, and here's this one little thing that's totally unthreatening.
DM: While all the Disneyland cast members use the phrase "onstage" when they're out in public, you really take it literally.
Smith: It all refers to the theater. We have the idea of "cast member." We have "onstage,' "backstage," and "stage set." It's like having a beautiful Broadway stage to work on. It's even better than the theater, though, where people sit in soft chairs but are distanced from the action. Here, we're all IN the action.
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