My old pal Burton Gilliam — of Paper Moon, Blazing Saddles, and salsa commercial fame (New York City!) — just called, and told me to vote for Gary Griffith for mayor.

It was, of course, one of those silly recorded phone calls. Still, I didn’t know that Burton (who used to live in Lake Highlands, I think, and who I know from interviewing him for various free-lance pieces) was supporting the Lakewood councilman. I didn’t even know Burton was famous enough to sway votes, except among those of us who view Blazing Saddles as an important part of U.S. cinematic history. And it does seem a little early in the campaign to bring out the recorded messages.

Besides, if Griffith is doing this now, what sort of actor escalation is next? NYPD Blue’s Dennis Franz for Tom Leppert’s get tough on crime drive? Dancer Tommy Tune for Ed Oakley, who boasts of his support for the arts? Wilford Brimley, who plugs seniors medical supplies, for Max Wells, the oldest candidate in the race?

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