Friday, June 26, 2009

Passing Through

-When three...its always three...huge stars pass away in the matter of a few days, it becomes time to think about life, both the brevity and the lasting impact.

Ed McMahon transformed being a sidekick into its own art form. Hi-ohhhh!...You are correct Sir!... and Heeeere's Johnny. How many of us can say we have phrases such as these that will immediately bring our name to mind? Ed made being an announcer and sitting on the couch next to the show host into something very, very cool. Johnny knew from the beginning that Ed was a huge ingredient in the formula that made the Carson show successful. And together they changed the face of late night TV. Their bits and skits will forever take us back to the time when talent and wit were the main elements of TV comedy...not pre-packaged, scripted nonsense. Ed and Johnny constructed a template. Too bad nobody chooses to use it anymore. Imagine the fun those two will have together in TV heaven!

We all knew Farrah Fawcett would be leaving us...and that it was just a matter of what day. The documentary a few weeks back on NBC left us with the impression that it would be days...not months. The impression was correct. I, like most other men my age, proudly displayed the Farrah poster in the 70's. One knew that you could only fantasize about being with her. But it didn't matter... the fantasy was enough. Every era has iconic sex symbols. Farrah was THE symbol of the time. The hair, the smile, the everything...all perfect. It didn't make a bit of difference if she wasn't the greatest actress in the world (an image she almost overcame) we just wanted to see her...the more the better. Too bad her passing was knocked off the top of the headlines by that of a mega-star.

Michael Jackson. What can you say about him except that his mind and body contained so much talent as to be other-worldly. His ability to write music, and perform it, was so different, and so far-and-away superior to the average that, in his prime, he had no real peer. He was the Elvis, or The Beatles of his era. But, as amazingly different as he was musically, most of us also found his weird personal choices and lifestyle to be unacceptable. So being MJ, or Jacko, all came crashing in. To die at 50 will likely serve to solidify his place as a cultural icon. Almost all of our entertainment greats seem to leave the planet early.

These people certainly made our bodies a more interesting place to be. I'm glad I was passing through at the same time.

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