Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ed, Michael, Farrah and Billy

What a week. We have lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and BILLY MAYS!

I am one of a million, I know, but here are my quick comments:

-- Ed McMahon. The venerable sidekick, I first became acquainted with him when my parents let me stay up and watch The Tonight Show. Carson and McMahon were an incredible team and I continued watching even when I was old enough to stay up and make my own decisions.

-- Farrah Fawcett. When I heard the news I immediately e-mailed my college roommate to remind him of Farrah's sultry poster that graced the walls of a million male dorm rooms in the late 1970s. We don't recall either one of us having one (I actually had one of her successor on Charlie's Angels, Cheryl Ladd) but we remembered well the famous pose that helped make her famous.

-- Michael Jackson. I was a big fan of the Jackson Five as a young teenager and remember being so impressed with Michael because we were roughly the same age (I'm about 10 months his senior) and he had this incredible voice. As time went on he made some amazing music and nobody can deny his talent. The weirdness and creepiness of his adult life was, however, well -- weird and creepy. While I love some of the songs -- e.g. Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It -- those videos that are getting such accollades don't do a thing for me. Major weird, in my opinion. And although he was not convicted of the molestation charges, there is absolutely no defense for having little boys visit and sleep in the bed with him (nor any excuse for parents who let their sons visit him under those circumstances). His life, in so many ways, ended up being tragic. Really sad.

-- BILLY MAYS!!! I put this in all caps because this is the way you always heard the venerable TV pitchman's voice. My blogger friend Bob wrote a hilarious post a few months ago about Billy Mays. He must have made a mint pitching those TV products like Oxyclean or those beads that you attach to your jeans. He became somewhat of a caricature of himself (laughing all the way to the bank) with his jet black hair and beard and his most recent gig was on ESPN.

We will miss them all. Celebs, like them or not, have an undeniable presence in our lives and culture. We have those "remember when moments." I'll remember all four of these.


Kelly said...

Nice tribute, Bob.

I know it was earlier in the month, but I was also sad to hear of David Carradine's death. Strange circumstances there... and my sister told me yesterday his death is being treated as a murder now. I always liked his role in Kung Fu.

Pam said...

We've certainly had a glut of celebrity deaths in the past few weeks.

Sad, indeed.

I'll miss Billy's voice that was both irritating but never failed to turn my head toward the TV.

Ed, like Johnny, was a stable of my growing up years.

Farrah fought a brave battle with her cancer. She was actually a much better actress than most people knew. And, yes, that poster....

Michael changed the face of music for his generation. His musical talents were brilliant while his personal life was sad, tragic and strange.

I always liked David Carradine. I met his dad once when I was a kid and he was in El Dorado.

May they all rest in peace.

Now, if the media could just give us a rest with the Jackson non-stop coverage!

Steve H. said...

And now Karl Malden has died... Loved him in "On the Waterfront" and "Patton"