Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lotsa Guys Are Dead

They say it comes in threes. Or maybe we just stop counting.

Gerald Ford passed away yesterday. I'm not political but I liked Ford. At a time when the country was getting more intense, he had a laid back way about him. He didn't put on airs because, like most vice presidents who get the promotion, he didn't expect to be there. He did the best he could in the time he had and left with grace, clumsy jokes aside.

James Brown died on Christmas. I was introduced to James Brown like the rest of my generation; through Eddie Murphy. Like every great impression, it made me laugh first and research second. It's said Brown created hip-hop, supplying artists with loops for a solid decade. Listen to his albums and you'll see why.

And in the quietest news, Joe Barbera passed away last week. In the 1950's Joe took the money he and Bill Hanna made creating Tom and Jerry and opened their own studio. The cartoons they created were decidedly low budget but their characters became icons. The Flintstones. The Jetsons. Yogi Bear. Huckleberry Hound. Quick Draw McGraw. Scooby Doo. This was a studio that for twenty years could do no wrong. I loved how they treated Marvel and DC's characters with Superfriends and Fantastic Four. And as a Bilko fan, I have a special place in my heart for Top Cat.

All three will be missed.

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