The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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What a week!

Posted by ALmod on June 29, 2009

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and now Billy Mays.

Most people remember Ed McMahon from the Tonight Show where he served as Johnny Carson’s “toadie.”  I wasn’t a late night viewer, though I did catch Carson’s last show, and I did watch Jay Leno regularly later on.  (I haven’t seen Conan O’Brian’s version yet, but I have seen his work on Late Night.)  The thing I remember most was his work with Dick Clark on TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes.  I also remember him from his days as the spokesman for American Family Publishers and Star Search.  He’s another one of those faces from my childhood that I’m going to miss.

I never watched the original Charlie’s Angels.  I watched the movies with Cameron Diaz, and I hated the second one.  But I did catch Farrah in several movies, and the memory of seeing her caught in the middle of an all out war between Johnathan Taylor Thomas and Chevy Chase still makes me smile.

Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan when it came to Jackson’s behavior, but I did find myself looking over his videos and performances.  Despite that very strange and controversial personal life, you have to admit he was something special when it came to his work.  He could move like nobody else, and he could sing like nobody else.  It makes me chuckle a little bit because I remember saying something similar about Frank Sinatra after he died.  Like him or not, Frank was a legend on the stage.

I remember getting to watch Thriller for the first time and what a big deal it was.  I remember the Wierd Al parodies.  I remember watching Captain EO at Disney World.  I remember seeing him on stage with N’Sync at the MTV Awards.  I remember seeing him dance with Usher.  Those were some amazing performances, and while it’s nice to have those things to look back on, it’s also sad to know that there will never be any new ones.  He was something special.  There will never be another Michael Jackson.

Billy Mays introduced me to Oxy Clean.  There’s not much else I can say about the guy.  He wasn’t really an entertainer, and I never watched his show on the Discovery Channel.  But I will miss the amusing conversation with my friends whenever we saw him on television pitching something new.  (“Billy Mays is selling insurance, now!”)  Like Ron Popeil, he’s an infomercial face that we recognize.  I’ll miss him.

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