Poor Clint Howard. When I was a kid and Gentle Ben was on in syndication, I really disliked him. I watched the show because there were hardly any channels back then. It was either Gentle Ben or The New Zoo Revue, and I wasn't going to watch that.
I saw the show again as an adult and I still didn't like Clint Howard, but now I felt guilty for not liking him. And I didn't realize that bears were so stupid-looking.
I was reminded of the words of Werner Herzog in Grizzly Man:
And what haunts me is that in all the faces of all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed, I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the bears. And this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food. But for Timothy Treadwell, this bear was a friend, a savior.It's frightening---a show about a boy and a bear that could turn on him at any moment. Jodie Foster was mauled by a lion on the set of a Disney movie. I don't know if Clint Howard had any close calls with the man-eating prehistoric monster he was forced to co-star with.
Clint Howard may be a perfectly nice fellow. But he's a Ted Cruz supporter. He looked at Ted Cruz the way he looked into the soulless, beady little eyes of his TV bear. To him, he was a friend, a savior.