Liz, We Hardly Knew Ye

Hey there, ‘Redheads… I’m getting to this installment a little late tonight, just under the wire for it to count as a Wednesday blog. I need to keep my arbitrary streak chugging along. I’ll be brief. Just a couple quick thoughts about the news of the passing of Elizabeth Taylor. In a time when celebrity actually meant something, she was one of the brightest stars. Today, celebrity is so devalued it might as well be on the first shelf of a skee ball prize counter. In her later years, she became more of a tabloid caricature of herself, hanging out with Michael Jackson, and marrying enough times to qualify as a serial monogamist. Her career highlights included two Oscars and she was the voice of Maggie Simpson when she spoke her first words. I was looking at her IMDB credits. She apparently also supplied a voice for an episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. That’s range, people.

I was shocked that she went before Zsa Zsa Gabor. Zsa Zsa outliving Elizabeth Taylor is like Morehead State beating Louisville. Here’s a fun fact: We all know that some celebrity obits are written in advance. Well, the guy who wrote Elizabeth Taylor’s obituary died six years ago. There’s going to be a new wave of beloved celebrity death as time creeps on. People like Betty White, Hugh Hefner, and John Cleese. Speaking of which, a happy belated 80th birthday to William Shatner. Surely the best of times. All I’m saying is cherish them while they’re still here.

See you Thursday.


Hey there ‘Redheads… Wow, what a week. We haven’t seen a celebrity whack-a-mole like this in quite some time. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and now Billy Mays are all preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising on the wrong team. Ed and Farrah were no surprise as both were in failing health. Michael was shocking but not surprising. The one that got me was Billy Mays. Has anyone checked on the whereabouts of Vince, the ShamWow guy? Speaking of which, I just found this gem…

Billy, we hardly knew ye… You were only available for a limited time.

I’m not going to do a bunch of jokes about the recently deceased…last week tore a chunk out of the pop culture iconography that I grew up with. Ed McMahon did wonders for my self-esteem, always letting me know that I might already be a winner. A lot of people don’t realize or remember that he hosted the television talent competition of the 80’s and 90’s. Before reality television brought us American Idol, Last Comic Standing, and America’s Next Top Model, there was Star Search. He also raised the role of second banana to an art form on the Tonight Show. I got a chance to meet Ed McMahon back during my DC101 morning radio days, he sat right across the console from where I was. Nice guy. He favored us with a short song, that they still use to close the show. It went, “The day is closed. Another day is gone from us. It’s gone away. It’ll be back tomorrow though. We’ll celebrate. Ho-ho. Ho-ho…” Here’s to ya, Ed.

Despite being oddly unaffected by the sudden news of Michael Jackson’s death, I couldn’t help but add to outpouring of memories and catchy status updates that flooded Facebook on Friday. Here are a couple pretty cool Michael Jackson mash-ups…

Sandman’s Scream (MJ vs. Metallica)

Only Billie (MJ vs. NIN)

The one memory of Michael Jackson that I have that’s worth sharing, is from back in 1987. This was right when he was teetering on the precipice of androgyny. I was watching his 3-D movie, Captain EO at Epcot Center. When MJ stepped on screen, I remember thinking, “I didn’t realize Sigourney Weaver was in this movie…”

On the lighter side of the news, I was checking out one of my favorite irreverent t-shirt websites, They let people submit ideas and they turn the ones they like into stuff you can wear, while giving credit and royalties to whoever thought it up. Well, turns out they liked one of mine…

Voila! My idea splattered on a shirt. Pretty cool, huh? Morbid, but cool. If you’d like to wear some of this fresh to death irony, click here.

To be continued…