I was reminded about this recently. I did author this topic before, at The Heirophant, but it's a fun little subject, so here are some thoughts on the actor Gene Wilder, in relation to Manson's work.
Several of Manson's favoured cultural reference points and influences have featured Wilder, either as a main character, or a supporting role. Obviously, the most significant of these is Willy Wonka, in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, nods and outright tributes to which are to be found all over the initial Spooky Kids and Portrait of an American Family eras of Marilyn Manson. It seems unnecessary, but I shall illustrate with a visual nonetheless, just to consolidate the topic.
Also, Manson's "Child Catcher" character from the front cover of Smells Like Children can be interpreted as embodying Wonka also, given the top hat, (stop hated?) and also that Manson has commented on the dual nature of Willy Wonka in print before:-
"It's a character that I've always identified with and who I paid tribute to on Portrait of an American Family by recreating the boat ride scene as an intro to the album. If I could be any one other character I would love to be Willy Wonka, even if it was just so I could see up Veruca Salt's skirt. He's the most enigmatic character in a Children's film. He was both Christ and Satan." - Marilyn Manson, 2001
The links to Wilder's Wonka are fairly evident, and Manson has oft cited it as his favourite film, but there are other movies that are worth attention. During EAT ME, DRINK ME, on Putting Holes In Happiness, three cultural icons are mentioned.
"If you're Bonnie I'll be your Clyde"
Bonnie And Clyde, the 1967 film about criminals Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, also features Gene Wilder in his first film role as "Eugene". The scene can be viewed here:-
The gang force Eugene and his girlfriend off the road in their vehicle, and during conversation he is shocked to find that she is 33 years old, evidently incongruous with whatever age she has told him she is, meaning both literally and metaphorically, their love could be just a car crash away...
The other cultural reference point of Putting Holes In Happiness is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein --- "Blow out the candles, on all my Frankensteins". This is significant, amusingly, to Wilder's role in the Mel Brooks comedy, Young Frankenstein, in which he plays the title role, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the book's original protagonist. The role, not only by title default, but also by sketch comparison, is amusing, because one scene which features discourse between Frederick and housekeeper Frau Blücher sees her tell he and his assistants to "stay close to the candles", when ascending a staircase. The viewer will at this point note that the candles she holds are not even lit, which is noted visually by the other characters.
Candles are used for comedic purposes on several occasions during the film, most notably when Frankenstein's "Monster", burns his finger on one after misunderstanding a directive about cigars.
Even though I was previously under the impression that it was a composite moniker for comedy purposes in the film, Blücher also refers to Frederick as "Herr Doktor", which although I later discovered to be a genuine,though ambiguous German medical term of address, still provides an amusing link to the "character" Manson plays on The Golden Age of Grotesque...
Also, as an aside, Wilder played the role of the Mock Turtle in the 1999 Television adaptation of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland:-