Today's Top Five: Mel's

5. Torme - Known as "The Velvet Fog," Mel Torme has one of the smoothest voices in American music history. But I probably wouldn't even know who he was (and neither would you) unless he had appeared as himself almost ten times on "Night Court." Judge Harry Stone was a big Torme fan, and he turned me into one along the way.

4. Tillis - Not widely known among non-country fans, Mel Tillis is the country singer with a stutter and a heart of gold. He had hits like "Good Woman Blues" and "I Ain't Never" but the reason he makes the list is that I saw his show live in Branson when I was about ten. Very cool stuff for ten year old Joel, and I'm making this list so there!

3. Blanc - The voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble and a host of other characters, the "man of a thousand voices" was a big part of my childhood...and the childhood of pretty much every American for the last fifty years or so.

2. Gibson - Let's overlook his latter-day sins (the Jews made him do it) for a moment. Riggs, Max, William Wallace. We could stop there and he'd still be high on the list. But he's also a wonderful (when he's not drunkenly verbally abusing police officers) director. Mel, come back to us.

1. Brooks - "Young Frankenstein." That would be enough. "History of the World: Part 1." That would be enough. "The Producers." That would be enough. "Life Stinks." Probably wouldn't be enough. Good thing he made those other movies.

Honarble Mention:

Saint Mel - Sidekick of Saint Patrick. No, I'm not making that up.
Mel Sharples - Fictional owner and cook of Mel's Diner from the movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and TV series "Alice."