Morrissey A-Z: "Little Man, What Now?"

D

Deleted member 29235

Guest
Looks Familiar is the show with Denis Norden presenting nostalgic look backs with celebrities.
I think, however, Goddard is conflating 2 shows when he describes it as guessing people 'obscured in silhouette'.
I don't recall that in the show. My dusty old brain seems to think Bernie Winters or similar hosted a show with guessing silhouettes, but can't find anything about it.
Regards,
FWD.

Yes, I remember 'Looks Familiar' but I don't think it's the one I'm thinking of.
 

Nikita

Senior Member
Probably because it is between two songs I immediately adored, I did not pay much attention to Little Man, What Now? until I gave my Viva Hate tape to a good friend who, when giving it back a couple of days later, told me he was obsessed with it.

I have to confess that I became too and it is now my favorite song from the album, with Everyday and Alsatian.
 

The.Truth.

about Ruth
The "about" section speculates that it is Malcolm McFee and has a couple of specific details. Did he ever appear on a show like Looks Familiar?

Little Man, What Now?​

Morrissey
A reference to Morrissey’s love of 1960s kitchen sink drama. The song details the fall of a minor celebrity from a TV star in the 1960s to an unknown in the 1970s. With the… Read More
Produced by
Stephen Street
Release Date
March 14, 1988
View All Credits
1122


[Verse 1]
An afternoon nostalgia
Television show
You spoke in silhouette
(But they couldn't name you)


Although the panel were
Very polite to you

Oh, but I remembered you
From Friday nights 1969
ATV - you murdered every line
Too old to be a child star
Too young to take leads
Four seasons passed
And they axed you
Nervously juvenile
(Won't smile!)
What became of you?

Did that swift eclipse torture you?
A star at eighteen
And then—suddenly gone
Down to a few lines
In the back page of a teenage annual



Oh but I remembered you
I remembered you





About​

2 Contributors
A reference to Morrissey’s love of 1960s kitchen sink drama. The song details the fall of a minor celebrity from a TV star in the 1960s to an unknown in the 1970s. With the title originating from the 1932 book, Kleiner Mann, was nun? (Little Man, What Now?) by Hans Fallada, based upon German social problems, and lyric themes borrowed from the old Judy Garland song “I’m Just an In-Between,” about being at once too young and too old. There are contrasting theories of who the titular “little man” is, with the two most common names mentioned being Roger Tonge of Crossroads and Jack Wild who appeared as the Artful Dodger in the musical film, Oliver!, and later on ATV’s Look Familiar. However, more recent opinion has swung towards the actual subject being actor Malcolm McFee (d. 2001, Braintree, Essex) who, unlike Wild or Tong, did star in the song’s cited ATV series that ran for four seasons (“Please Sir!”} which was followed by the sequel series The Fenn Street Gang) and did largely disappear from public view after this initial run of TV success.
 
Just a wonderful, wonderful song.

'An afternoon nostalgia television show, you spoke in silhouette but, they couldn't name you.'

Memories of Ordsall and Kersal in the late 80's with this on the turntable.
 

Light Housework

lazy painter
The "about" section speculates that it is Malcolm McFee and has a couple of specific details. Did he ever appear on a show like Looks Familiar?

Little Man, What Now?​

Morrissey
A reference to Morrissey’s love of 1960s kitchen sink drama. The song details the fall of a minor celebrity from a TV star in the 1960s to an unknown in the 1970s. With the… Read More
Produced by
Stephen Street
Release Date
March 14, 1988
View All Credits
1122


[Verse 1]
An afternoon nostalgia
Television show
You spoke in silhouette
(But they couldn't name you)

Although the panel were
Very polite to you

Oh, but I remembered you
From Friday nights 1969
ATV - you murdered every line
Too old to be a child star
Too young to take leads
Four seasons passed
And they axed you
Nervously juvenile
(Won't smile!)
What became of you?

Did that swift eclipse torture you?
A star at eighteen
And then—suddenly gone
Down to a few lines
In the back page of a teenage annual


Oh but I remembered you
I remembered you




About​

2 Contributors
A reference to Morrissey’s love of 1960s kitchen sink drama. The song details the fall of a minor celebrity from a TV star in the 1960s to an unknown in the 1970s. With the title originating from the 1932 book, Kleiner Mann, was nun? (Little Man, What Now?) by Hans Fallada, based upon German social problems, and lyric themes borrowed from the old Judy Garland song “I’m Just an In-Between,” about being at once too young and too old. There are contrasting theories of who the titular “little man” is, with the two most common names mentioned being Roger Tonge of Crossroads and Jack Wild who appeared as the Artful Dodger in the musical film, Oliver!, and later on ATV’s Look Familiar. However, more recent opinion has swung towards the actual subject being actor Malcolm McFee (d. 2001, Braintree, Essex) who, unlike Wild or Tong, did star in the song’s cited ATV series that ran for four seasons (“Please Sir!”} which was followed by the sequel series The Fenn Street Gang) and did largely disappear from public view after this initial run of TV success.
I like this part especially:
Nervously juvenile
(Won't smile!)
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Barely two minutes long, but Viva Hate would not be the same without it.
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
James Maker insists it's about Malcolm McFee.
According to his autobiography 'Autofellatio', he even posted on here to correct someone else who thought it was about Jack Wild.

The quote from his book:

"With his agreement, I once wrote to a Morrissey fan website forum under the pseudonym Abigail Lawson to point out that ‘Little Man, What Now?’ was not, as popularly believed, a lyric about the British child actor Jack Wild. It is a circumstantial verse to the actor Malcolm McFee who appeared in the 1970s British television series, Please Sir! Abigail Lawson received no less than seventy-five death threats. Impressive."


The post by 'Abigail Lawson' from 31 July 2004:

 
T

Trans

Guest
I love this song. His vocal here really makes me think of the smiths even though the music is different. I do really enjoy the music here though as it makes me feel like a tense person on a conveyer belt and the short length of the song and it’s abrupt end makes me feel like someones story cut short. I don’t know, weird feelings I guess but I love the song
 

Ketamine Sun

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magic magic pure magic, touching from beginning to end.

‘ too old to be a child star, too young to take leads ... ‘


💙💜🖤
 
M

Mozzer1980

Guest
I can't imagine that this song is not on this album and not in that order. . . An integral part of the iconic (at least for me) Viva Hate. 8/10
 

Erik

#23
The "about" section speculates that it is Malcolm McFee and has a couple of specific details. Did he ever appear on a show like Looks Familiar?

Little Man, What Now?​

Morrisseyhttps://genius.com/artists/Stephen-street

[Verse 1]
An afternoon nostalgia
Television show
You spoke in silhouette
(But they couldn't name you)

Though the panel were
Very polite to you

Oh, but I remembered you
Friday nights 1969
ATV - you murdered every line
Too old to be a child star
Too young to take leads
Four seasons passed
And they axed you
Nervous juvenile
(Won't smile!)
What became of you?

Did that swift eclipse torture you?
A star at eighteen
And then—suddenly gone
Down to a few lines
In the back page of a faded annual

Oh but I remembered you
I remembered you

I fixed the lyrics
 
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