Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who passed away Friday, wasn't just one of the great wiseacres in hip-hop, an activist for Tibet and lauded film buff. He was also a hilarious critic of his own critics.
In 2004, New York Times movie writer Stephanie Zacharek penned a not-so-kind review of the band's video for "Ch-Check It Out," which Yauch directed. As Gawker and several others fondly remembered, Yauch fired back with a letter to the editor penned under his tongue-in-cheek director alias Nathanial Hornblower, who sounded like a proto-Borat with delusions of cinema grandeur.
Among other demands, he asked Zacharek to compensate him for the loss of a goat incurred while reading her review, and swore that one day she would be forced to admit, "He is the chancellor of all the big ones! I love his genius! I am the most his close personal friend!"
It might be the best counter-review to a critical pan since Guns N' Roses' "Get in the Ring." That sense of humor is one of many, many things we'll miss from Yauch. And Zacharek admits she's still in hock to him for one goat.
Photo: Beastie Boys members Adam "MCA" Yauch, center, Adam "Adrock" Horovitz, left, and Mike "Mike D" Diamond pose for a photograph during an interview in Toronto in 2006.