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Bill Corbett’s New Look

July 13th, 2009 by Kevin Murphy · 48 Comments


It’s not easy being a Bill Corbett – riffer, writer, actor, father, amateur soft drink developer. Mixing a career and family can be tough, even confusing, evidence when Bill sent his young daughter to close a contract in Hollywood. (She was a pit bull at the negotiating table, by the way).  This leaves Bill the Artist very little time to concern himself with Bill the Look.  I’m here to help him.

corbettBill wears the Regular Guy T-shirt and jean ensemble as well as anybody.  But for important events like convention panels, movie premieres and parent-teacher conferences, we need to ramp up Bill’s look to near-Bruno levels of daring.  The runways of Paris and the old copy of GQ from the Supercuts waiting area proved to be gold mines.

Lanvin Spring Summer 2007 Ad Campaign Mens.preview

I wanted to start with something dressed up yet free-moving for Bill, who’s known to spontaneously launch into his Pilates routine just about anywhere – hotel lobbies, luncheons, autograph signings.  The sock-free, shirt-and-matching tie lends a chic elegance without straying too far from its T.J. Maxx roots.  The only problem with this particular look for Bill is that he isn’t a skinny, flat-chested girl.

0039h 1

This seems near perfect.  This neo-Hellenic shift is flowing, with classic, classic lines, cool and breezy yet sophisticated. A dream to accessorize.  But with Bill’s skin tones, the only color that would work for him is saffron, and unfortunately that shifts the whole look from Western Canon to something more Tibetan monkish, which diminishes the sexy dimension of the look.

Joey Pants 1 2

Then it struck me:  Hats!  The right hat completes an outfit and balances the look, allowing Bill to be daring yet sensible in day and evening wear.  Look what it did for Joey Pants – the day he decided to routinely wear hats, his career skyrocketed, and he became the timeless, enduring Hollywood dynasty that he is today.  Was it talent, power, the ever-shifting chessboard of show business?  Hell no, it was the hat.


But which hat?  First we tried out a free-spirited Thomas Dolby top-to-bottom retro thing, great for sci-fi conventions, but for street wear, the beatings Bill would take made it a lateral move.

emporio armani fall winter 2008 11408 2

But building on the headgear, Armani dropped this stunning number into our laps.   Just look at the detail – sequined water polo helmet playing off the sauna-suit vest and mink arm-warmers.  Sporty, versatile, and made of NOW.  I’m predicting that this will be Bill’s look this fall/winter season, but the down vest and wool sweater can be a bit uncomfortabel for San Diego in August.

men leggings

Dressing up in the summer heat means leggings, and here are two stunning examples that I think Bill would look smashing in.  Note the subtle nod to the classic “I forgot my pants” dream on the right, and the exquisite detail of the garter-and hose on the left, each capped by that sporty neo-hairnet that makes the whole ensemble just POP.  We were excited to try this look on Bill, but a touch disappointed when he immediately threw up all over himself, which told us we had better lean in a more traditional direction.

Bill's New Look

And here it is, a classic gentlemen’s look with a modern rakish flair.  The porous top is airy and cool while retaining an elegant line, perfectly accenting the modal cutoffs in modern earth tones. rocky2 1 And nothing can beat an animal-print fedora so huge it instantly brings to mind Rocky the thug from the Bugs Bunny Cartoons.   This is the Bill we all know and love, now dressed to take on the world boldly, yet stylishly.  Go get ‘em, tiger!

Next time, it’s Kevin’s new look. And dear God but he needs it.  And I need your help!  Please submit your ideas, links, sketches of the made-over Kevin to this address.

Kevin Murphy by UltimateHurl.jpg

Kevin painting done by UltimateHurl

Tags: Fashion · RiffTrax

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BDiamond on Jul 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I find it a bit suspicious that you write so convincingly about haute couture. I’m keeping an eye on ya.

    (Mostly because you’re just so FABULOUS!)

  • 2 kingubu on Jul 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Clearly, the only hat worthy of Corbett’s noble pate is The Fez.

  • 3 Dan Noutko-Kennedy on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I raise my glass of Cap’n Corbett’s new raspberry/rhubarb Riffer Water to toast the sidesplitting dressing down of your fellow farceur. Skoal.

  • 4 AJ on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

    You should a fashion show at Comic Con!

  • 5 J. Billington Swackhammer on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Bill’s looking quite apocalyptic in that photo. Perhaps something in a Mad Max ensemble, or can’t we get beyond Thunderdome?

  • 6 Tim on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:47 am

    “The only problem with this particular look for Bill is that he isn’t a skinny, flat-chested girl.”

    Um…he’s not?

    Oh. I guess I’ll have to rethink the image of Bill I’ve had all these years.


  • 7 James Shearhart on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Once can never go wrong with a top hat….

  • 8 Fantagor on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I would suggest consulting any leftover sketches from the Jackie Coogan bit (Space Children). The daring-do of a German dance hall outfit sounds just DREAMY on Bill.


  • 9 Casey on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Bill you are thinking about the now, and the near future WAY too much.

    The day will come, as it does to most, that the only outfit worthy of lying against your body will be a gray jumpsuit.

    Knowing that you are heading in that direction… why not embrace it now instead of troubling yourself with “style” and such?

  • 10 Bill Corbett on Jul 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Kevin –

    Many thanks for the excellent fashion help, which I sorely need. I’ll experiment with the above ensembles.

    Not sure this was the appropriate place to offer such advice, though, since it has nothing to do with the historic Pruane2/ Fifty Cent meeting. THAT and that alone should be the focus of our blog from here on out.

  • 11 bullwinkle on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Well Kevin, your stylish capri pants were a step in the right direction.

  • 12 Fatguy on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    The fashion world is full of pranksters….now I know.

  • 13 chrismartindeed on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Throw in a miniature car and a parade and you’re bound to make a sale.

  • 14 BEMaven on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Um, Mr. Murphy? I’ll need some measurements first.

    Starting with the length of your beard.

  • 15 karen on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    cowboy boots, leather jacket and a sparkly teeth noise maker while you say “HEY!”

  • 16 wakachiwaka on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Hmm… someone should come up with a catchy nickname for Bill while he sports his new oversized-hat and ensemble.

    I know – how about, “Fedora”?

  • 17 Erica on Jul 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    My attention span is way too short to figure out which one is Bill’s new outfit. But I’m sure Bill’s getting on with his bad self, yo.

    As for Kevin, I suggest the Raggedy Andy look. Simple, Colorful, Summery. Again, you’re welcome.

  • 18 Erica on Jul 13, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Is b-Corb taken?

  • 19 Margoo on Jul 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    As far as the first androgynous redheaded suggestion is concerned: I would think the biggest flaw would be that (as far as I know) Bill doesn’t have a third foot growing backward out of his right ankle, so it would be difficult to reproduce that look entirely.

  • 20 Matt on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    You’re spot on about the Joey Pants/Hat connection, it’s just always THERE whether you notice it or not, perhaps it is his true master? Frightening stuff. As far as Bill’s new look, barring effeminate business man and futuristic snowmobile driver, I would agree that stylish castaway is made of win for the summer, spread the word, people!

  • 21 Mystok on Jul 14, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Why not let Joey Pants be your designer, you can never go wrong with Joey! In fact, the new season of “What Not To Wear” should feature Bill’s makeover by Joey Pants while Stacey struts around looking all hot to distract us from Bill’s pasty body.

  • 22 Wook on Jul 14, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Egad. Are these things really meant to be worn in public? How much are these designers paid, I wonder, for playing drunken mixy-match in mom’s closet? I’m betting that the Thomas Dolby visor look would elicit the LEAST of the beatings.

    Whoops. Blundered right into Kevin’s plan. Sorry man.

  • 23 Wook on Jul 14, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Just to make sure that I’ll never work in this town again:

  • 24 Adam on Jul 14, 2009 at 9:21 am

    First step for Kevin’s glamorification: replace beard of hair with beard of bees.

  • 25 Wook on Jul 14, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I’m thinking opera cape.

  • 26 Erik at RiffTrax on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Needs more plaid!

  • 27 bullwinkle on Jul 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I second this!

  • 28 BEMaven on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Well, okay. Since you asked…

    With one eye on the iconic movie ‘300′ and the other eye on Abercrombie-Fitch, I came up with this suitably cross-eyed ensemble. Try not to think of it as Victoria’s Naughtiest Secret. Go ahead and try.

    I started out with sandals, the best possible companions for the substantial feet of Midwestern beef-eaters, interweaving retro black leather with techno silver reflectors to signal Kevin’s arrival into the realm of haute couture… and to warn off errant roller bladers.

    And is there a subliminal trace of glitter painted on Mr. Murphy’s toenails? Mum’s the word.

    Moving up Kevin’s legs, I sensibly chose not to linger. Trousers might as well scamper to the hamper when these gams enter the game. Like the limbs of the majestic Redwood, Mr. Murphy’s sturdy set of pins should never be cheated of sunlight.

    Despite the obvious connotation behind in its name, briefs speak volumes about the man who wears them. And Kevin’s drawers scream, “Feathers! Lots of feathers! Vite! Vite!” With a smattering of tar thrown in. Plucked from the over-sized, yet reclusive Wisconsin Condo Condor, this special avian accoutrement has been pressed into service on color coordinated Hanes for maximum impact. Carries the concept of “Smack Down” to a whole new level. Small wonder Mr. Murphy has to beat off women with that ebony-lacquered stick in his hands.

    “Belts and braces,” say the British. And I cheerfully second the motion. To keep onlookers guessing, I tricked out Kevin’s manly upper chassis with a black leather number that wavers between the functions of T-shirt, suspenders, backwoods vest, and Wrestling Federation belt. For extra razzle-dazzle, I adorned the assembly with a series of commemorative plates and coins from a nationally recognized mint.

    Like any sensible creature, I would have normally left Kevin’s beard untouched. But it simply cried out for gobs of Brylcreem to evoke that special glimmer of pirate that all men keep inside them.

    Gilded Viking helmets are not suited for every social occasion. But this one provides extra zing for those magical evenings when Kevin makes his presence felt at the gaming tables. It’s topped with a miniature lightning rod, just in case certain Norse gods take offense with Mr. Murphy’s wardrobe.

    Did I neglect to mention the decorative set of wings on Kevin’s back, also inspired by the Wisconsin Condo Condor? How remiss of me. They add a touch of the recherché, giving him the rakish aura of a fallen angel. Width-challenged supermodels better make themselves scarce when Mr. Murphy comes tearing down that runway.

    A little crazy? Perhaps. But giving license to a grand vision sometimes means going off your medication.

  • 29 Wook on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:56 am


  • 30 Katie Jane on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Love it.

  • 31 Earl Fando on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Tape. Tape is the new fashion sensation. It’s form-fitting, aside from a few stylish wrinkles. It comes in many colors, including the traditional “mildly tanned caucasian” and “duck silver.” It’s affordable, yet avant-garde and matches well with a variety of accessories.

    The only downside is changing outfits. Stings like hell.

  • 32 Earl Fando on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:43 am

    I do not advise the Scotch variety though. Clear tape is a little too “avant-garde” if you know what I mean. Definitely go with the opaque stuff.

  • 33 Erica on Jul 15, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I just had a thought; other than the pictures of Bill, Joey Pants, the cartoon guy, and Kevin, if you saw anyone in real life that is dressed the way those models are, would it not be tempting to beat them up and steal their lunch money? Can you imagine waiting for a bus and seeing anyone in one of those outfits, especially the pucid green shirt with many holes and the Dr. Suess meets Deliverance hat.

  • 34 Houndstooth Mind on Jul 15, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Has anyone anywhere ever worn runway fashions ever? In real life I mean?

  • 35 Erica on Jul 15, 2009 at 7:19 am

    That’s what I’m saying. Maybe in NYC?

  • 36 Wook on Jul 15, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Kevin in a giant suit, ala David Byrne?

  • 37 Houndstooth Mind on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I think the arse whoopin would be worse in NYC!

  • 38 Gina on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

  • 39 Anthony on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I think Kevin’s threads should involve a vaguely gay cravat or perhaps a medieval bliaut and hose.

    Perhaps barelegs with an Irish leine and cloak, and a helmet with an enormous crest on it, a mail coat, and a sword with a vaguely phallic hilt.

    Winter, a massive heavy coat made of deer hides, a Dr. Who style multicolored scarf, and a straw boater.

    Summer, Hawaiian shirt, keep the boater, tacky golf pants worn ironically, sandals. The boater can be accented with a wrapping and bowl to hold some stylish fruit (also great in case one hears some samba).

    Mirrored shades all around.

    Also, a massive back tattoo of the Virgin Mary boxing Robocop, a facial tattoo of barbed wire around the eyes, a rainbow on the left foot, and a big tattoo of a tasteful nude of Joey Pants on the stomach.

    It’ll work. Trust me.

  • 40 daisyj on Jul 16, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Not to be too obvious or anything, but why not just stick with the classic full-coverage-face-mask/leotard/vest-made-of-multicolored-fake-eyelashes ensemble? Some things are just timeless:

  • 41 Erica on Jul 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    The Hamptons, then?

  • 42 karen on Jul 16, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    how about looking like Joey Pants? Shaving the hair off ye face, getting an earring and saying “YARGH” to all pirate fights!

  • 43 euphoriafish on Jul 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    We don’t need another hero!

  • 44 防犯カメラ on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

    ペン型 ビデオカメラ:

  • 45 RU486 on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:19 am

    VigRx :

  • 46 蟻力神 on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:32 am


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