Christopher Walken Reads Where The Wild Things Are

Per­haps you saw Spike Jonze and Dave Egger’s twee, sun­lit, aching­ly earnest adap­ta­tion of the Mau­rice Sendak clas­sic Where the Wild Things Are. Per­haps you found it irre­sistibly charm­ing. Per­haps, how­ev­er, you missed the sharp edges of Sendak’s lean adven­ture, its under­cur­rent of fer­al vio­lence, its flir­ta­tions with mat­ri­cide and can­ni­bal­ism. Well who bet­ter to con­vey such fright­en­ing under­tones than mas­ter of casu­al men­ace Christo­pher Walken?

Just above, hear him read Wild Things like you’ve nev­er heard it before. Walken’s inter­po­lat­ed com­men­tary on the illus­tra­tions draws our atten­tion to a few fea­tures we prob­a­bly missed in our sev­er­al hun­dred read­ings of the book, such as the pos­si­ble sui­cide of Max’s ted­dy bear and a poten­tial swarm of giant insects in his trans­formed bed­room. After you hear Walken’s take, Max’s harm­less sup­per­time day­dream might give you night­mares.

Walken has long enjoyed enter­tain­ing the kid­dies with his creepy inter­pre­ta­tions of children’s sto­ries. Just above see him read the Three Lit­tle Pigs in 1993 on the British com­e­dy series Sat­ur­day Zoo. Once again, he adds his own explana­to­ry com­ments. He’s a lit­tle more Bil­ly Crys­tal than Cap­tain Koons this time, and if his deliv­ery doesn’t make you LOL, his day-glo sweater and wick­er throne won’t fail to. Host Jonathan Ross liked the read­ing so much he invit­ed Walken to read again in 2009 on his BBC show Fri­day Night with Jonathan Ross. This one’s for the old­er kids—a dead­pan ren­di­tion of Lada Gaga’s “Pok­er Face,” below. Can’t get enough of Walken’s read­ings? Don’t miss Kevin Pollack’s spot-on par­o­dy of the actor Mick­ey Rourke once called a “strange being from anoth­er place.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christo­pher Walken, Vin­cent Price, and Christo­pher Lee

Hor­ror Leg­end Christo­pher Lee Presents a Heavy Met­al Ver­sion of The Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy

Lou Reed Rewrites Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” See Read­ings by Reed and Willem Dafoe

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness.

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Comments (8)
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  • Razumikin says:

    That’s not real­ly Christo­pher Walken read­ing “Where the Wild Things Are,” but it’s a pret­ty decent imper­son­ation.

  • hugh says:

    It’s a guy named Chris Howard, who was a part of a com­e­dy duo a while back. Ran­dumb­i­fy is their cre­ation.

  • Doreen says:

    I’d love it if the reporters cov­er­ing this all over the web would con­firm that C.W. is not the read­er!

  • William L says:

    From the YouTube page which fea­tures this video:

    Pub­lished on Apr 24, 2011
    Christo­pher Walken reads beloved Chil­dren’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” but has to impro­vise as it is most­ly pic­tures.

    Sub­scribe to get more dumb ran­dom weird­ness.

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