The ALT.OBITUARIES News Group
2009 Dead Pool



RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards



Contest Rules
It's that time of year again when I sit here and think, why the hell am I doing this. Fortunately for you, I'm doing it because I'm insane and so are the people who do this with me. So here we go. The 2009 alt.obituaries Deadpool Call for Entries.
Very little has changed. Your instructions are as follows: Send me the names of 40 people you think will die in the next year. They should be famous enough to merit an obituary from a major news organization. Thanks to Philip, this is a global deadpool, so we accept sources from around the world. Get your list into me before December 31, 2008, 7 PM EST. We have our very own mailbox. It is
aodeadpool at gmail dot com
Someone will send you a confirmation email. If it's me, it'll probably say something like, "Nice list!" If it's Bill, it's more likely to say, "Hey fucktard, ya bettin' on Patrick Swayze being a solo?"

This is how the list should be formed and sent. Now read carefully. I'm determined that everyone do this correctly this year. I'm skeptical, but I'm determined.

Put your list into alphabetical order. Last name first, first name second. WRITE THE LAST NAME IN ALL CAPS, then follow with the first name in upper and lower case. Like this:

BUSH, George W.
CASTRO, Fidel
In parentheses next to the name, tell me who they are. In 2008, JD Baldwin had a solo with William Gibson. Because he wrote 'playwright' on his list, I didn't have to ask him whether it was the playwright or the other writer. And he didn't have to lie and say "uh, the playwright." In other words, if there are two presidents with the same name, give me another hint. If there are multiple ways of writing someone's name (terrorists, royalty, pseudonyms) please make it clear.

Then, give me your real name and your player name. If you want to change your player name from last year, tell me. If you don't want to give me your real name, you can't play. Make sure to send the list from an email address I can use to communicate with you. In the subject of the email, put your player name as follows:

AMELIA's 2009 Deadpool List
(Now don't put my name in your email. That's what we call an example)

You can only play one list under one name and e-mail address. Your mom, dad, the kids and the neighbors can all play as long as they use their own name and their own e-mail address.

If you pick someone who has been missing since, for example, September of the previous year, and they find the body in October, a year and a month later (like Steve Fossett), it doesn't count unless the medical examiner rules the person lived at least until January 1st of the current contest year.

Let me know if you're available for guest updates. Please don't volunteer if you can't write good.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but don't put already dead people in your list. If I catch it, I'll write to you to make a substitution. If I don't catch it, you got dead people in your list. If someone on your list dies before the end of the year, I'll write to get a replacement. Do not send me extra names. Please.
SCORING
AGE
AT DEATH
POINTS
AWARDED
< 20  25
20-29  22
30-39  20
40-49  18
50-59  14
60-69  11
70-79  8
80-89  5
90-99  2
100+1

The scoring is the same as always. I don't want to make the chart. You can find it at www.aodeadpool.com The younger they are, the more points you get.

For scoring consideration we will accept 2009 obituaries up through the 15th of January 2010 (you know, providing they died on or before December 31st 2009).

EXTRA BONUS POINTS
AWARD
NAME
CRITERIAPOINTS
AWARDED
Solo PickOnly entrant to select that person5
Duet PickOne of two entrants to select that person2
Trio PickOne of three entrants to select that person1
Daily DoubleTwo hits on same day10
Hat TrickThree hits on same day50
 Selected person dies on birthday15
Year-End
Special
Hits occurring from December 25th through December 31st10
 Youngest hit of the year25
If you're looking at the standings on alt.obituaries, you'll see players who are tied in point total are listed in alphabetical order. This year, the tie will not go to the alphabet. It will go to the player with the most hits. If they are tied with hits, it will go to the player with the most solos. After that, the most duets. After that, I don't give a fuck.

You're in charge of telling me about a hit. Most of the time, I'm already on top of it, but sometimes, it slips by me. Sooner rather than later, please. Many global sources are valid. We haven't had too many problems in the past, but please try to limit your very local picks unless they have some national or international importance.

Spouses and children of the famous are not automatically famous even if they have a major obituary. They must have their own fame. This is a gray area. I expect trouble. If you have a pick you're not sure of, submit and we'll let the rules committee decide.

Someone is not famous merely for the manner in which they die. They must have achieved prior fame. I really shouldn't have accepted Sunny Von Bülow.

I wish you wouldn't play super-geezers. So to discourage it, there will be no bonus points. You're looking at one point for the last surviving hat-pin maker. Think about it. Be more creative.

People on death row are eligible if:

a) they die from a cause other than execution, or
b) their level of celebrity is such that their passing would have been newsworthy even before their crime and/or conviction; or
c) their crime (or some element of their trial, conviction or incarceration) is newsworthy enough that they have wide name recognition.
Hence, Claus Von Bülow is acceptable.

Saddam Hussein was a valid pick under "b." Ted Bundy or Timothy McVeigh would have been valid picks under "c." Ordinary murderers are not acceptable. In many ways.

There is no entry fee.

There is a prize, however. Our friend Mark in Maine will send the player with the most points some Moxie soda. But you have to thank him. No one has yet.

All the scoring and updates (those silly little obituaries that I, Bill Schenley and our guest updaters write) will be first on alt.obituaries, and then at www.aodeadpool.com. Many thanks go to Buford aka Jim Daggy for the maintenance of this website.

Send all correspondence to aodeadpool at gmail dot com.

That's all she wrote.

Anything is subject to change.

I hope I haven't left anything out. If I have, I'm sure you'll let me know.

Good luck. And above all, have fun.

Amelia






RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards

Grim Reaper Victim Day  of
Year
Average Number of Kills-Per-Day Peak
Value
Days
Between
Kills
Projected Kills
for the Year
[Kills to Date]
Maria de Jesus dos Santos 2nd     0.5000 Kpd   2.0000 183  [ 1 ]
Sir Alan Arthur Walters 3rd     0.6666 Kpd   1.5000 244  [ 2 ]
Olga San Juan 3rd     1.0 Kpd   ◄► 1.0000 365  [ 3 ]
Griffin Boyette Bell 5th     0.8000 Kpd   1.2500 292  [ 4 ]
Lei Clijsters 11th     0.4545 Kpd   2.2000 166  [ 5 ]
Michael Ogilvie "Mick" Imlah 12th     0.5000 Kpd   2.0000 183  [ 6 ]
Pedro W. "Preston" Gómez Martinez 13th     0.5384 Kpd   1.8571 197  [ 7 ]
David St. Vincent "Dai" Llewellyn 13th     0.6153 Kpd   1.6250 225  [ 8 ]
Hortense Calisher 13th     0.6923 Kpd   1.4444 253  [ 9 ]
Ricardo Conzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino 14th     0.7142 Kpd   1.4000 261  [ 10 ]
Tapan Sinha 15th     0.7333 Kpd   1.3636 268  [ 11 ]
Andrew Newell Wyeth 15th     0.8000 Kpd   1.2500 292  [ 12 ]
Sir John Clifford Mortimer 16th     0.8125 Kpd   1.2307 297  [ 13 ]
Kathleen Elizabeth Byron 18th     0.7777 Kpd   1.2857 284  [ 14 ]
Mary Lundby 20th     0.7500 Kpd   1.3333 274  [ 15 ]
William Murray "Bill" Werber Sr. 22nd     0.7272 Kpd   1.3750 266  [ 16 ]
Sandra Kay Yow 24th     0.7083 Kpd   1.4117 259  [ 17 ]
John Hoyer Updike 27th     0.6666 Kpd   1.5000 244  [ 18 ]
Ingemar Johansson 29th     0.6551 Kpd   1.5263 239  [ 19 ]
Harold Guy Hunt 30th     0.6666 Kpd   1.5000 244  [ 20 ]
Lukas Foss 32nd     0.6562 Kpd   1.5238 240  [ 21 ]
Paul Birch 33rd     0.6666 Kpd   1.5000 244  [ 22 ]
Philip Carey 37th     0.6216 Kpd   1.6086 227  [ 23 ]
Blossom Margrete Dearie 38th     0.6315 Kpd   1.5833 231  [ 24 ]
Willem Johan Kolff 42nd     0.5952 Kpd   1.6800 217  [ 25 ]
Edward Falaise Upward 44th     0.5909 Kpd   1.6923 216  [ 26 ]
Joe Cuba 46th     0.5869 Kpd   1.7037 214  [ 27 ]
Lawrence Horne "Larry H." Miller 51st     0.5490 Kpd   1.8214 201  [ 28 ]
Philip José Farmer 56th     0.5178 Kpd   1.9310 189  [ 29 ]
Wendy Richard 56th     0.5357 Kpd   1.8666 196  [ 30 ]
Paul Harvey Aurandt Sr. 59th     0.5254 Kpd   1.9032 192  [ 31 ]
Colleen Joffa Howe 65th     0.4923 Kpd   2.0312 180  [ 32 ]
Lawrence Hankins "Hank" Locklin 67th     0.4925 Kpd   2.0303 180  [ 33 ]
Anne Wiggins Brown Howard Petit Schjelderup 72nd     0.4722 Kpd   2.1176 172  [ 34 ]
Ronald Arthur Silver 74th     0.4729 Kpd   2.1142 173  [ 35 ]
Jack Lawrence 74th     0.4864 Kpd   2.0555 178  [ 36 ]
Jade Cerisa Lorraine "Jady" Goody 81st     0.4567 Kpd   2.1891 167  [ 37 ]
Louis Henry Saban 88th     0.4318 Kpd   2.3157 158  [ 38 ]
Herman Franks 89th     0.4382 Kpd   2.2820 160  [ 39 ]
Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín Foulkes 90th     0.4444 Kpd   2.2500 162  [ 40 ]
David Glenn "Pop" Winans 98th     0.4183 Kpd   2.3902 153  [ 41 ]
Charles F. "Charlie" Bowman 98th     0.4285 Kpd   2.3333 157  [ 42 ]
Bruce Fletcher Snyder 103rd     0.4174 Kpd   2.3953 152  [ 43 ]
Milton Lewis 106th     0.4150 Kpd   2.4090 152  [ 44 ]
James Graham Ballard 109th     0.4128 Kpd   2.4222 151  [ 45 ]
Kenneth Cooper Annakin 112th     0.4107 Kpd   2.4347 150  [ 46 ]
Bea Arthur 115th     0.4086 Kpd   2.4468 149  [ 47 ]
Gregory Edward Page 117th     0.4102 Kpd   2.4375 150  [ 48 ]
Timothy Wright 120th     0.4083 Kpd   2.4489 149  [ 49 ]
Dominick "Dom" DeLuise 124th     0.4032 Kpd   2.4800 147  [ 50 ]
Ian Cundy 127th     0.4015 Kpd   2.4901 147  [ 51 ]
Dominic Paul "Dom" DiMaggio 128th     0.4062 Kpd   2.4615 148  [ 52 ]
Robert Müller 141st     0.3758 Kpd   2.6603 137  [ 53 ]
Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean 151st     0.3576 Kpd   2.7962 131  [ 54 ]
Danny La Rue 151st     0.3642 Kpd   2.7454 133  [ 55 ]
Hugh Hopper 158th     0.3544 Kpd   2.8214 129  [ 56 ]
Huey Long 161st     0.3540 Kpd   2.8245 129  [ 57 ]
Edward Leo Peter McMahon Jr. 174th     0.3333 Kpd   3.0000 122  [ 58 ]
Jerri Lin Nielsen Fitzgerald 174th     0.3390 Kpd   2.9491 124  [ 59 ]
Farrah Leni Fawcett 176th     0.3409 Kpd   2.9333 125  [ 60 ]
Michael Joseph Jackson Sr. 176th     0.3465 Kpd   2.8852 127  [ 61 ]
Karl Malden 182th     0.3406 Kpd   2.9354 124  [ 62 ]
Mary Isobel "Molly" Sugden 182th     0.3461 Kpd   2.8888 126  [ 63 ]
Leo Mol 185th     0.3459 Kpd   2.8906 126  [ 64 ]
Oscar Gottfried Mayer Jr. 187th     0.3475 Kpd   2.8769 127  [ 65 ]
Robert Strange McNamara 187th     0.3529 Kpd   2.8333 129  [ 66 ]
Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. 198th     0.3383 Kpd   2.9552 124  [ 67 ]
Henry William Allingham 199th     0.3417 Kpd   2.9264 125  [ 68 ]
Harry John Patch 206th     0.3349 Kpd   2.9855 122  [ 69 ]
Mercier Philip "Merce" Cunningham 207th     0.3381 Kpd   2.9571 124  [ 70 ]
Robert Wilson "Bobby" Robson 212th     0.3349 Kpd   2.9859 122  [ 71 ]
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino 212th     0.3396 Kpd   2.9444 124  [ 72 ]
Sidney Zion 214th     0.3411 Kpd   2.9315 125  [ 73 ]
Budd Wilson Schulberg 217th     0.3410 Kpd   2.9324 125  [ 74 ]
Eunice Mary Shriver 223th     0.3363 Kpd   2.9733 123  [ 75 ]
Les Paul 225th     0.3377 Kpd   2.9605 123  [ 76 ]
Allen Shellenberger 225th     0.3422 Kpd   2.9220 125  [ 77 ]
Virginia Davis (McGhee) 227th     0.3436 Kpd   2.9102 126  [ 78 ]
Robert David Sanders Novak 230th     0.3434 Kpd   2.9113 125  [ 79 ]
Muriel Duckworth 234th     0.3418 Kpd   2.9250 125  [ 80 ]
Edward Moore "Teddy" Kennedy Sr. 237th     0.3417 Kpd   2.9259 125  [ 81 ]
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim 238th     0.3445 Kpd   2.9024 126  [ 82 ]
Dominick John Dunne 238th     0.3487 Kpd   2.8674 127  [ 83 ]
Mady Rahl 241th     0.3485 Kpd   2.8690 127  [ 84 ]
Aubrey Leland Oakes Buxton
Lord Buxton of Alsen
244th     0.3483 Kpd   2.8705 127  [ 85 ]
Francis Edward "Frank" Coghlan Jr. 250th     0.3440 Kpd   2.9069 126  [ 86 ]
Armand "Army" Archerd 251th     0.3466 Kpd   2.8850 127  [ 87 ]
Larry Simon Gelbart 254th     0.3464 Kpd   2.8863 127  [ 88 ]
Crystal Lee (Sutton) Jordan
(aka: "Norma Rae")
254th     0.3503 Kpd   2.8539 128  [ 89 ]
Patrick Wayne Swayze 257th     0.3501 Kpd   2.8555 128  [ 90 ]
Mary Allin Travers 259th     0.3513 Kpd   2.8461 128  [ 91 ]
Irving Kristol 261th     0.3524 Kpd   2.8369 129  [ 92 ]
Richard Arthur Ferrante 262th     0.3549 Kpd   2.8172 130  [ 93 ]
Susan Denise Atkins 267th     0.3520 Kpd   2.8404 129  [ 94 ]
Sir Howard Morrison 267th     0.3558 Kpd   2.8105 130  [ 95 ]
William Lewis Safire 270th     0.3555 Kpd   2.8125 130  [ 96 ]
Russell Allen "Rusty" Wier 282th     0.3439 Kpd   2.9072 126  [ 97 ]
Elizabeth Claire Prophet 288th     0.3402 Kpd   2.9387 124  [ 98 ]
Victor "Vic" Mizzy 289th     0.3425 Kpd   2.9191 125  [ 99 ]
Joseph Wiseman 292th     0.3424 Kpd   2.9200 125  [ 100 ]
Margaret Fitzgerald 293th     0.3447 Kpd   2.9009 126  [ 101 ]
Clifford Peter Hansen 293th     0.3481 Kpd   2.8725 127  [ 102 ]
Soupy Sales 295th     0.3491 Kpd   2.8640 128  [ 103 ]
Lou Jacobi 296th     0.3513 Kpd   2.8461 128  [ 104 ]
Michelle Triola Marvin 303th     0.3465 Kpd   2.8857 127  [ 105 ]
Claude Gustave Lévi-Strauss 305th     0.3475 Kpd   2.8773 127  [ 106 ]
Francisco de Paula Ayala García-Duarte 307th     0.3485 Kpd   2.8691 127  [ 107 ]
Carl Ballantine 307th     0.3517 Kpd   2.8425 128  [ 108 ]
William Henry Avery Sr. 308th     0.3538 Kpd   2.8256 129  [ 109 ]
Gojko Stojčević (Patriarch Pavle) 319th     0.3448 Kpd   2.9000 126  [ 110 ]
Edward Albert Arthur Woodward 320th     0.3468 Kpd   2.8828 127  [ 111 ]
Samak Sundaravej 328th     0.3414 Kpd   2.9285 125  [ 112 ]
Al Alberts 331th     0.3413 Kpd   2.9292 125  [ 113 ]
Thomas David "Tommy" Henrich 335th     0.3402 Kpd   2.9385 124  [ 114 ]
William Julius Lederer 339th     0.3392 Kpd   2.9478 124  [ 115 ]
Granville Richard James Oral Roberts Sr. 349th     0.3323 Kpd   3.0086 121  [ 116 ]
Jennifer Jones 351th     0.3333 Kpd   3.0000 122  [ 117 ]
Arnold Stang 354th     0.3333 Kpd   3.0000 122  [ 118 ]
Knut Magne Haugland 359th     0.3314 Kpd   3.0168 121  [ 119 ]
Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid 364th     0.3296 Kpd   3.0333 120  [ 120 ]

Final Projected Total: 120 ... Final Actual Total: 120




RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards

 
    Obituaries    

«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 2nd
Age: 115
Worth: 1 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Allen Kirshner
1. Maria de Jesus dos Santos

When Allen Kirshner sent over his list this year, he wrote a note telling us how much better he had prepared for his 2009 game, having watched the more experienced players rack up the hits. So he did lots more research. He was determined to improve over his rookie year.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce that Allen Kirshner has gotten the very first hit of the 2009 AO Deadpool. Sure, it's the oldest person in the world, Maria de Jesus, who has died at 150 or something. Sure, he only gets one (1) point for the hit, since we don't give out bonus points for picking people just because they're still eating rice pudding. Sure, it won't last long, because there are four other hits waiting for their updates.

But with this one point, right now Allen Kirshner is in first place, and everyone else is in last. And I think that's very cool. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 3rd
Age: 82
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: McKie
2. Sir Alan Arthur Walters

My luck, the second hit of the year is an economist, a British economist, a British economist who worked for Thatcher, a British economist who worked for Thatcher and whose monetary ideas created several million unemployed-never-to-work-again British citizens. Even though I have two close relatives who are economists, and should know a little something about this subject, I don't have a clue as to why, having done this, he earned the title of "Sir." That may be something like Bush giving Franks, Tenet and Bremer the Medal of Freedom.

So I wrote to the person who got the hit to see if he would perhaps contribute the update, but did I hear from him? Noooo. Unlike me, he knew too much about the subject to respond. Suffice it to say that Sir Alan Walters has died. He was 82.

McKie, a new player, but well-known to those of us who have followed the Telegraph obituaries (or the obituary conferences) over the years, has gotten this very dull, yet very stylish hit. He gets 5 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 10. Welcome to the wonderful world of the alt.obituaries deadpool, McKie. Don't think you're getting out of writing updates this year.

There are 69 players this year, an increase of 11 over last year. In case anyone wanted to know. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 3rd
Age: 81
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: James Neibaur
3. Olga San Juan

Olga San Juan was an actress known as the Puerto Rican Pepperpot, perhaps to distinguish her from the Venezuelan Pepperpot or the Dominican Pepperpot. You would think that there wouldn't be too many Pepperpots in Hollywood, but you never know. It is astonishing how someone could make an entire career out of stereotype, but really, what choice did she have. They weren't into reinventing people in those days. Still, she was an American citizen, born in Brooklyn, so presumably she knew the English language well enough not to mangle it. And there she was in tropical musicals shot on soundstages. I wonder if she ever played a role that didn't involve a nightclub. I make fun, but she was a successful career-woman with a heavy accent and that couldn't have been easy at that time. She made a film with Preston Sturges, she starred on Broadway in "Paint Your Wagon," she played sidekicks to some of Hollywood's most exotic women. She sang one of my favorite songs in One Touch of Venus ("That's Him") She did all right. Now she'd be someone like JLo.

I didn't even have to look at the master list to know that this hit was the work of our resident film nut, James Neibaur. Ms. San Juan aka Miki, The Cuban Cyclone, Conchita, Nita Nova, Guadalupe, Amber LaVonne was in her 80's, so he gets 5 for the hit and 5 for the solo. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 5th
Age: 90
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Charlene
4. Griffin Boyette Bell

Oh, it's going to be a great year in the AO Deadpool. Charlene volunteered to do the update and what a terrific job she did. I didn't change a word. I even left the u in rumoured. Ok, I put in a comma.

Former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell accomplished much in his long life. As a moderate conservative Democrat (and how strange that description reads in 2009), he negotiated compromises between segregationists and civil rights leaders in his native Georgia, guiding the state away from the violent conflicts that tore apart much of the South in the 1960s. His nomination to the post of Attorney General was denounced by the NAACP but supported by Carter's nominee for UN Ambassador, Andrew Young, who said he would "prefer a Southerner who has been struggling with the problem of civil rights actively for several years over a Northern intellectual liberal." He was the first AG to actively hire women and minorities in large numbers and despite it being rumoured that he was hired only because he was an old golfing buddy of Jimmy Carter, he presided over an era of professionalism and independence at the Justice Department that seems almost unimaginable today. Ironic, then, that he supported George W. Bush in 2000 and in 2004.

Yet Bell will likely be best remembered around the world for one thing. In 1978, he let it be known that he had sneaked rooster pepper sausage, a supposed aphrodisiac made from ground pork, rooster spur peppers, and a secret blend of spices, into The White House under the noses of the Secret Service. When asked to confirm the rumour that the sausage was an aphrodisiac, he denied the allegation emphatically which, naturally, proved to the Beltway crowd that the sausage was the real thing. The Department was inundated with requests for samples or recipes and, at a time when the Justice Department was defying the federal courts over releasing names of alleged domestic spies, newspapers such as the Arizona Republic published thundering tongue-in-cheek editorials demanding ingredient lists. Yet Bell refused to budge, claiming that he only had enough sausage for the President. I guess the President had only enough sausage for Rosalynn.

Griffin Bell considered himself a moderate and, fair to the end, he announced his impending death on December 28 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, giving us deadpool players plenty of time to slot him into our 2009 lists. He died January 5, 2009 at the fair and moderate age of 90.

Charlene writes in the plural about deadpoolers, but the reality is, she got this hit all by her lonesome. That's 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Very well done. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 11th
Age: 52
Worth: 19 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: I Drink Your Milkshake
5. Lei Clijsters

Lei Clijsters was the father of Kim Clijsters, a former World #1 ranked tennis star, the first Belgian, man or woman, to hold the top spot in the rankings, singles and doubles simultaneously, mind you. But Papa was a star in his own right. A professional football player for the KV Mechelen club, Lei Clijsters was Belgian soccer player of the year in 1988, and was on Belgium's national team in 1986 when it made the World Cup semi-finals. Here's a longer article about Clijsters. It seems to have been translated from the Flemish or whatever it is they speak in Belgium. It's pretty wild. But thorough-like.

www.clubbrugge.be/en/nieuws/bericht/4245/Former-Club-player-Lei...

Lei Clijsters was 52 when he died of lung cancer last week and as sad as this is, it's good news for a new player whose name, I kid you not, is I Drink Your Milkshake. I Drink Your Milkshake gets 14 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Welcome to the pool, I Drink Your Milkshake. Heh. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 12th
Age: 52
Worth: 19 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Amelia
6. Michael Ogilvie "Mick" Imlah

I am delighted that I was able to persuade a famous obituarist and transplanted Scotsman (or is it Scots?) to write the following. Andrew McKie, thank you so much for this marvelous update:

     Mick Imlah's name was not generally well-known; No contemporary poets' names are well-known, even to the reading public. But in Britain he was well-known amongst those who read poetry, though until last year he had published only one collection. But everyone found Birthmarks an extraordinary debut that promised much and revealed a talent already mature in voice and formal command of poetic structures (Imlah sometimes wrote in hexameters, for God's sake.)

     He was influential as a critic and an editor, and as poetry editor at the Times Literary Supplement his name, and his poems, frequently appeared in print. He worked on anthologies, notably the New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. This surprised people who hadn't known he was Scottish (his family moved south from Milngavie - pronounced Millguy - to Dulwich when he was 10.) But the Scottishness was there in his themes: lost causes, drink and Scottish history were recurring subjects in The Lost Leader, his second and final collection, which was assembled after he had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

     It appeared last year, 20 years after his debut, and was instantly recognised as by far the strongest collection of the year. The form of these poems, most frequently compared with those of Browning, because of Imlah's remarkable facility for ventriloquism, show phenomenal technical range and command. The blend of strictness and susceptibility was very Scottish, too. The title poem, about the retreat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's army after the second Jacobite rebellion, included the lines:

"Let each seek his own safety
The best way he can -
And down the hill again
In coats of soaking silk
We only had to weigh
That foreign sentiment,
That sauve qui peut,
If we'd wanted to save ourselves...."
The collection won this year's Forward prize.

     His disease defeated him, but the quality of his work pretty well assures its survival amongst those who care about verse. Mick Imlah died aged 52, on the day the winner of the TS Eliot prize for poetry, for which he had also been nominated, was announced. He was a runner-up.

I have to admit that his name would have been unknown to me if we didn't have a subscription to the Times Literary Supplement, so I was familiar with his work and, alas, his illness. Mick Imlah was 52, so I (Amelia) get 14 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 19. Hey, I get to be first. For a day or so. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 13th
Age: 85
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selectors: Direcorbie
7. Pedro W. "Preston" Gómez Martinez

Preston Gomez, who was the first manager of the San Diego Padres, and who was best known for aborting two potential no-hitters by pulling the pitcher after eight innings, died from injuries suffered after being struck by an automobile last March.

Although losing 1-0, Clay Kirby was three outs away from tossing a no-hitter against the world champion New York Mets when Padres manager Preston Gomez pinch-hit for Kirby with Cito Gaston. Gaston, who is currently the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, struck out. Jack Baldshun, who replaced Kirby on the mound, promptly gave up three hits and two runs. Gomez had about the same amount of luck a few years later (1974) when he took Don Wilson of the Astros out of the game for pinch-hitter Tommy Helms. Wilson was on the verge of throwing his third no-hitter.

As much as the AO Deadpool wanted to throw a no-no at Direcorbie this year, it was not to be. Not only does he get a hit, but a solo shot, too. Five points tallied because the luckless Gomez was 85, and another five bonus points for being the only deadpool player to remember Pedro the Padre. Total: 10

(a Bill Schenley update) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 13th
Age: 62
Worth: 12 ₧
Popularity: 4.29% of entrants
Selectors: Death Eaters
Ed Varner
I Drink Your Milkshake
8. David St. Vincent "Dai" Llewellyn

(This time, I'm going to start by saying this is a Bill Schenley update.)

Sir David St Vincent "Dai" Llewellyn, 4th Baronet of Bwlfa, son of Olympics showjumper Sir Harry Llewellyn, has died at age 62. Three players had him in the AO Deadpool. Three players ... and I'm sure that not one of them ever heard of the "Seducer of the Valleys" before November of 2008.

Stories of his debauched lifestyle abound. Dai Llewellyn was celebrated in London for his serial seductions of "It" girls, models and actresses, his relentless appetite for partying and his outrageous indiscretions. In other words, this guy bebopped everything that couldn't crawl away. Once, during lunch, while in the middle of an interview, Llewellyn dashed out of the restaurant without saying a word. He returned an hour later and explained to the journalist that he had forgotten about his secretary, whom he had left blindfolded and tied up in his bathtub. Fuck. He was British. They wrote the book on degenerate sex. And then there was the embarrassing incident at a party in Cape Town. Llewellyn took a fancy to Nettie, a friend's date, and discreetly skirted her away to an unused bedroom. There was a reason the bedroom was unused - the bed was broken. The blissful couple paid no attention to the wobbly bedposts - that is until the bed collapsed and not so discreetly crashed through the floor and deposited Dai and Nettie into the party below.

So, this guy constitutes a hit for three deadpool players. Some fucking yo-yo known only for getting loaded and getting laid under adverse circumstances «which, by the way, makes me eligible as a pick for next year's pool». We welcome a new team, Death Eaters, joined by I Drink Your Milkshake[1]who already has an eye on the ROY award this year, and last year's Gold Moxie winner, EdV. They gleefully share in the demise of Dai who, according to his British obituaries, suffered from every disease but ovarian cysts. They get 11 points for the hit and they each get one bonus point. Total: 12

[1] You know, IDYM, that's a pretty queasy team name.
 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 13th
Age: 97
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: The Fireball
9. Hortense Calisher

I have never read a single novel of Hortense Calisher's and this astonishes me. I went to the library and spent a half-hour going through her oeuvre (she was 97 when she died and was still writing up until quite recently which is why I pretentiously use the word oeuvre) and I can't figure out why she escaped my attention. She wrote about New York City, she was Jewish, at least partly so, her novels were complex, densely plotted, filled with intricate character studies and weird-ass plots. My kind of fiction. According to Joyce Carol Oates, she was impossible to categorize because her novels differ from one another so radically. She wrote one book that began and ended in outer space, another about matricide, a short story called "The Scream on 57th Street" .... I could go on and on. If I hadn't been in the middle of 7 books, I would have taken out the whole collection. Not having read Hortense Calisher is a mistake I intend to rectify pretty quickly. Her last book, "Sunday Jews" I found not in the library, but in the bookcase near the laundry room in the basement of my apartment building, where people can exchange books. (Although no one ever takes mine.) I'm ten pages in, and I'm already hooked.

What a cool hit for Fireball's 2009 entry into the deadpool. Ms. Calisher was in her 90's, so he gets 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Bo knows writers. Classy. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 14th
Age: 88
Worth: 5 ₧
Popularity: 110.00% of entrants
Selectors: Allen Kirshner
Brigid
Busgal
Erik
Jenstrikesagain
Kathypig1
Starfish
10. Ricardo Conzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino

I might have written an update that featured all the big, hilarious moments in Ricardo Montalban's career. You know what they are. You all mentioned them. So did all the obits. But as I was doing research on Montalban, I came across a video interview that revealed how frustrating it was for him, a talented, good-looking, charming, smart actor, to get parts and to continue to get them that weren't just about being the Latin from Staten Island, say, or Pepe the Bandit. One problem might have been his refusal to change his name to Ricky Martin, as one studio suggested (this would have been disrespectful to his father). Another was his accent, which couldn't be denied. Still another was that he married young (literally) and started a family and needed the money that all those Latin lovers brought in. But when he was in the theater, on Broadway, in touring shows, in local LA theaters, he was happiest. There he could do Shaw and Shakespeare and Arlen and Harburg. He could act in color-blind casts. Eight shows a week, disbelief could be thoroughly suspended. And I'll bet he was magnificent. Ricardo Montalban, nevertheless a household name, has died at 88.

Allen Kirshner gets the second hit of his new and improved list. Keeping him company are Brigid, Busgal, Erik, Kathypig1 and new players Starfish and Jenstrikesagain. They each get 5 points. That's even better than rich Corinthian leather. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 15th
Age: 84
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Another Lurker
11. Tapan Sinha

Tapan Sinha was a Bengali Indian film director. He was arguably the most uncompromising filmmaker outside the orbit of Parallel Cinema. And last year he was given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award? "Outside the orbit of Parallel Cinema?" Un-fucking-real. My life is spiraling out of control. First, she gives me the priests to update. And as if that wasn't bad enough, then the fucking mathematicians. Now this. A Bengal Indian film director who was outside the orbit of Parallel Cinema. Who the fuck knows what or where outside the orbit of Parallel Cinema means? Anyone? Com'on, let me see a show of hands ... I didn't think so.

And how about that award he won last year ... I wonder if it was anywhere near as important as the one he won in 1991 - the very prestigious Red Cross Film Festival Award. I understand his film beat out "I, the Tourniquet."

As to his movies, I don't know how to put this in a polite manner, but all of his titles sound like, well, like the gagging sound a woman makes when ... « Oh, what have I got myself into here » ... Just picture this: "'Antardhaan!' Where's the Kleenex?" Or, "'Arohi,' quick, where's your sock?" Followed by that all too familiar, "thhhhhooooo ..."

Okay, so Another Lurker gets a solo with this hit. No shit it's a solo. Who the fuck outside the orbit of Parallel Cinema knew this guy even existed? He was 84, so Another Lurker shamelessly gets five points for the hit and another five for finding the most obscure half a dead man to date. Total: 10

(Schenley update) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 15th
Age: 91
Worth: 5 ₧
Popularity: 2.90% of entrants
Selectors: Max Weder
Moldy Oldies
12. Andrew Newell Wyeth

European critics can be very tough on American painters, especially realists. But they've always admired Andrew Wyeth, who has died at 91. Still, a lot of people never *got* Wyeth's art. He was not, as many believe, an illustrator first. He was a painter, and one of America's finest painters. Much of the criticism Wyeth endured has its basis in his own disdain for 20th century art. He was very vocal in his dislike of Picasso, Miro, Pollock and Dali, to name a few. He had few peers. And although vastly different in style, he was greatly influenced by both Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield. All three were regionalists - Wyeth more so than the others. His work seldom strayed from his home in Chadds Ford, PA and his summer house in Cushing, Maine. His most iconic painting, "Christina's World," was set in Maine. Wyeth was inspired after seeing his neighbor, Christina Olson, who had been crippled from polio, crawl across a field. And although he painted Ms. Olson often over the next few decades, the model in the painting was actually his wife, Betsy.

Max Weder, who is new to the AO Deadpool this year, and Moldy Oldies don't care if it was Christina, Betsy or Helga. They both get two points for the hit and a very picturesque three bonus points. Total: 5

(Schenley update) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 16th
Age: 85
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Philip
13. Sir John Clifford Mortimer

In lieu of actually writing an update for Sir John Mortimer (so many to do!) I will post a piece that ran in the Sunday New York Times Magazine a while back in a section called Domains. It's a wonderful feature with lots of great photography. It shows the subjects in their homes surrounded by all their favorite things. The Q&A are wonderful, and when Mortimer died, I thought of this piece first. I loved his response to the exercise question. The scoring and standings follow.

March 11, 2007
Domains: Sir John Mortimer
The Country Barrister
By EDWARD LEWINE

Eye opener:
I get up at 8 a.m. I have a bath and write until lunch. Before I begin writing, I have a glass of Champagne. It sets my brain racing, but I was on the radio once, and the interviewer asked me, "Are you having counseling for that?"

Always with him:
My wheelchair. I have a broken tendon in my knee, and it can't be operated on. It hasn't made any difference, really, except I cannot go on walks, but then I never went on walks much.

Best recent gift:
A Charles Dickens letter my wife gave me. He was editing Household Words magazine, and someone wrote to say you've lost my manuscript, and he wrote back to say: Really, I am far too busy to worry about people's manuscripts. Please keep quiet.

Where he writes:
My father, Clifford Mortimer, who was a barrister specializing in divorce and a great influence on me, built this house when I was 9. It's at the edge of the Chiltern Hills, with 45 acres of woods behind it. The room where I write is the converted garage.

How he writes:
I use a pen and write on long notebooks, I think you know them as legal notebooks. Then somebody tries to understand what I have put down and types it out.

Procrastination technique:
Opening letters and replying to them.

On his desk:
I have statuettes: Shakespeare, Freud, Oscar Wilde, Moses, Don Quixote and a bouncy Jesus on springs. There's an ivory lady, which was used by Japanese women who didn't like to undress for doctors. They took these statues and pointed to where it was hurting.

His favorite medium:
I've written memoirs, stories, novels, plays and film and television scripts. The most satisfactory is for the theater. You can hear the audience's reaction. The worst is film. Everybody interferes. The director thinks he can do better. His aunt has a good idea, the cleaning lady, everyone.

Obsolete item he won't part with:
I have an old, sort of barrel organ, which doesn't work at all. It is empty, and I use it for keeping things in. It belonged to my father.

Item of clothing he can't live without:
I have a few rather nice suits, made by my tailor in Oxford, Ede & Ravenscroft. The people there think that life consists entirely of tailoring. They judge every politician by the cut of his coat.

Favorite gadget:
The ring binder. Do you have those in America? I think it is a superb invention. I don't think anything more useful has been invented since the discovery of the ring binder.

Three little pigs:
We acquired the pigs last year. My wife was born on a pig farm and has always been very fond of pigs. Of course, they are for eating, which is why they are named Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. You wouldn't want to eat Rufus, Marcus and Esmeralda.

His view:
The garden. It's got two great wide borders going down to a distant statue, and it's got two little woods in it and little dips, which were always there. And it's got lots of strange, precious trees, cherry trees and other ornamental trees.

Perfect day:
Get up in the country. Read good notices of my play in the paper. Then have all my family come down to see me.

Always in fridge:
Bottles of white wine and Champagne, but I don't drink rarefied wines, and I drink any sort of Champagne. I suppose you'd also find bits of food.

Fitness routine:
Absolutely nil. I had a doctor who said, "Do you get breathless when you take exercise?" I said, "I wouldn't know."

What he wanted to be at age 5:
An actor. I was taken to the theater a great deal, and we read Shakespeare aloud when I was young. Mostly, I wanted to show off.

Greatest self-indulgence:
Performing on the stage, which I do from time to time. As it happened, I recently did a sort of play. I read bits of this and that with two actresses in a theater in Islington. I love making audiences laugh and timing jokes. I find that fascinating.

Musical accompaniment:
The music in my play was performed by someone called Jon Lord, who used to be the keyboard player in a group called Deep Purple. I really didn't know Deep Purple until he came to live nearby.

Evening routine:
My wife and I have dinner about half-past 7 or 8. Then we go sit by the fire and watch the television. Bedtime is quite early, about 10:30 p.m.

By his bed:
The radio. I listen to something called the BBC World Service. It goes all night and tells you everything that is happening.

Some like it hot:
When I was a child, we didn't have central heating, but we have it now, and I like it hotter even than you do in America. Visitors sweat and faint and take off their clothes.

Favorite place in the house:
The kitchen. Everybody comes into the kitchen.

Favorite meal:
I've rather given up eating. I don't know why, and I regret it really. But I got to the age when I don't like to have food in my mouth. I subsist on milky drinks the doctor prescribes. They come in sort of cardboard things. It's very boring.

Biggest surprise:
Well, I found a new son. I long ago had an affair with someone who had this boy and never told me. It all came out because someone wrote a book about me. My son is now 42 and the most incredibly nice person. He's improved my life enormously.

Life as a barrister:
As you know, English lawyers and judges wear wigs, which I loved. The criminals like it, too. No one wants to be sent to prison by someone wearing a T-shirt.

Mementos:
I've a big picture of Leo McKern hanging up. He's the actor who portrayed Rumpole. For me, he is Rumpole. He was perfect. I've a wall here beside my desk with pinned-up photos of me with John Gielgud and one of me with Laurence Olivier. Olivier did a film of my play "A Voyage Round My Father." Gielgud did the film of my novel "Summer's Lease."

Favorite book:
Charles Dickens's "Bleak House."

Rumpole's legacy:
I am very fond of him, really. He is the character in so many of my books, and he has a lot of me in him and of my father. But he hasn't got much of a sex life. Rumpole's whole sex life could fill one wet weekend.

Sir John Mortimer (this year we're putting in the titles, for some reason, although that may change) died last week at 85. Philip has gotten a lovely solo on Sir John. 5 points for the hit. 5 for the solo. Total: 10. Philip will not win the Philip Award this year. Sorry about that. Better luck next year, mate. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 18th
Age: 88
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Garrett
14. Kathleen Elizabeth Byron

I have discovered a terrific obituary section in the Liverpool Daily Post with marvelous writing. Since the obit for Kathleen Byron was so delicious, I've made it my update. At the rate we have to knock these out, we can use all the help we can get.

David Charters writes:

NOBODY stared from a wimple with more menace than the nun with a vivid past and passionate jealousy, who simmers while the other sisters in the Anglican brood toil and pray in a converted seraglio high in the Himalayas.

The object of her affection in the film Black Narcissus (1946) is the government agent Mr Dean (David Farrar), who parades his manly legs in a pair of absurdly brief colonial shorts.

As Sister Ruth, Kathleen Byron is magnificent, playing against the serene Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), who also carries a torch for Dean, if a lot more discreetly.

But such tension must explode and it does in the film's climax when Sister Ruth rouges her lips and slips into a hugging scarlet dress and grapples with Sister Clodagh in the bell tower, a scene superbly directed by Michael Powell, with whom she was having a love affair, and Emeric Pressburger.

The strength of her performance led to Kathleen Byron being typecast as a dangerously neurotic woman. Had she been on the scene a few years earlier, she is the only actress you could imagine matching Judith Anderson as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca (1940).

She was born Kathleen Elizabeth Fell, the daughter of two staunch socialists, both of whom would become mayors of East Ham, London.

At school, she was judged to have university potential, but instead won a scholarship to the Old Vic. Her acting career began with small parts in Climbing High (1938) and The Young Mr Pitt (1942).

On the strength of Black Narcissus, Powell and Pressburger cast her as the female lead in The Small Back Room (1949), again opposite Farrar, who was an alcoholic bomb-disposal expert. That year, she was Margaret Lockwood's romantic rival in Madness of the Heart. But the good parts were running out.

It was frustrating for such a talented actress to be typecast. She asked John Huston about how he saw her: "We see you as strictly neurotic, Miss Byron," he replied.

But there would be parts for Kathleen Byron, who married twice and had two children, in The Elephant Man (1980) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). She also found plenty of TV work.

This is the kind of actress (or singer or dancer) that Garrett makes a specialty of. He usually gets a solo and he's gotten one this time, too. Ms. Byron was 88, so he gets 5 for the hit, and 5 for the solo. Total: 10. Excellent work. 


«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 20th
Age: 60
Worth: 16 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Death Eaters
15. Mary Lundby

I know that all of us here at alt.obituaries were deeply saddened by the death of Mary Lundby, the Minority Leader of the Iowa State Senate (2006-2007), so, out of respect for my fellow AOers and deadpool players, I will make this update clear, concise and to the point and with no cheap vulgarisms just to get a laugh. I have no intention of belittling or degrading this fine woman who dedicated her life so selflessly to public service.

Mary Lundby, by all accounts a wonderful woman, was just shy of her 61st birthday when the rotting vagina disease took her life. She served the people of .... That's ... Fucking ... It ...,

Hey! Yeah, you, Rosner ... How come I don't get Updike? Why do I get stuck with some Republican whore whose tweeter fell off in a rancid gin-joint restroom in Sioux Fucking City, Iowa? Who do I get next? A roofer from Biloxi? I begged you not to allow this tramp! I *begged* you. But noooo, you told me *everyone* knew who Mary Lundby was. You laughed when I told you that I had never heard of her, said I was an uninformed boorish dumbass, that Lundby was a major player in the Repubtard party. Major fucking player, my ass. This Lundby broad was no Sarah Palin. Palin still has her snatch!

Anyway, Lundby served on several committees in the Iowa Senate — the Government's an Oversight Committee; the Let's Fuck the Natural Resources and Environment Committee; and the Rules Don't Apply to Us Committee. Blah, blah, blah ... See ya' Mary ...

Death Eaters, whoever they are, get 11 points for this really obvious pick. I mean, didn't we all know Mary was ill ... and five more points for being the only ones who knew Mary was wearing a merkin. Total: 16.

From the editor (as if Schenley can be edited): She did have AP and Chicago Tribune obits, so she was good to go. By the way, all of you ask Bill who exactly the Death Eaters are and who said to whom, a state senator??? I'm writing the next one. Fuck. I'm writing the next 100.
 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 22nd
Age: 100
Worth: 2 ₧
Popularity: 4.29% of entrants
Selectors: Dead Batteries
The Fireball
Kentucky Wizard
16. William Murray "Bill" Werber Sr.

Billy Werber was the oldest living everything in baseball. Now I didn't care one way or the other about Werber. He would have been just another name in a book to me, if not for all the stories he told. Most of them get passed from player to player over the years anyway. But there were two stories that just didn't add up to me.

Billy Werber tells this story, how he played bridge with Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Bill Dickey "on all the train rides." How Ruth would intentionally throw the games just to "irritate" Gehrig. For a few reasons ... One, he only played in four games for the 1930 Yankees (his first game was June 25th), while playing most of the season in Albany, a single A club in the Eastern League, so how many train rides could he have taken with the Yankees? Forget that it's doubtful three future Hall of Famers would be playing bridge with a rookie who was only with the '30 Yankees for that proverbial cup of coffee, and it's even more unlikely that someone who was as competitive as Ruth was would be throwing any kind of game, and Ruth and Gehrig were close friends in 1930 (their relationship didn't start to fall apart until the 1931 season), so why would Ruth try to irritate Gehrig? And then there is that other story that Werber repeated for 70 years.

"I knew it was going into the right field bleachers, but I said to myself, 'I'll show these Yankees how fast I can run.' So I put on a burst of speed and ran around the bases. The third-base coach was hollering for me to slow down, but I ran on in at full speed. I crossed home plate before Babe got to first base - he took those little mincing steps, you know. When Babe came in to the dugout, he sat on the bench beside me. He patted me on the head and said, 'Son, you don't have to run like that when the Babe hits one.' "

Cool story, right? Except for a few things ... First, the Yankees already knew how fast Werber was, that's why he was in New York. Second, no baseball player above Little League would run full-tilt around the bases after a home run was hit because the runner would be expending too much energy (hence the trot). And third, a baseball player who has been in the league two years and runs through a third base coach's sign, has a problem. A baseball player who has been in the league two games and ignores a coach's signal ... has a bus ticket home.

So, Dead Batteries, Fireball and The Wiz were all sitting around playing bridge, when Dead Batteries says to the others, "One time I picked this 100-year-old baseball player in a deadpool, and when he died, I got 25 points for him." Now that story just doesn't add up ... They each get two points, one for taggin' Werber out at the plate and one bonus point. Total: 2

(Schenley) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 24th
Age: 66
Worth: 12 ₧
Popularity: 4.29% of entrants
Selectors: Abby
Ed Varner
Mr. Brink
17. Sandra Kay Yow

Coach said keep trying. Coach said go out there and play as a team. Coach told us to work on our jumpshots. Coach says to just have fun. Coach says winning is all about discipline. Coach says never give up. Put a microphone in their faces and the first words out of their mouths are Coach says. Coach thinks. Coach wants. From the time they're teens to when they're pulling down millions, they're still quoting the Coach with a mixture of fear and awe and love. These are the authority figures, missing from so many of their lives, these are the taskmasters, gentle and stern, who encourage them and prop them up and show them how it's done.

In Kay Yow's case, it was always done with grace. She reminded her players that they were role models for younger girls. That someone was always watching their every move on and off the court. She did not see what the problem was with traveling with IV's full of chemo so that she could be with her girls. She did not dwell on how much time she had left but in how much energy she had left to give to her girls. She won hundreds of games, traveled to dozens of tournaments, took home an Olympic Gold Medal. But how could she not be moved by seeing all those pink shoelaces when she came back from her sick leave? On her girls and their opponents, too.

Coach says never give up.

Kay Yow did not. Only her body did. The Hall of Fame college basketball coach died last week at 66 after living twenty years with breast cancer. Abby, EdV and brand new player Mr. Brink get 11 points for the hit and 1 free throw. Total: 12. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 27th
Age: 76
Worth: 13 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Jim Thornton
18. John Hoyer Updike

(New AO deadpool player Jim Thornton has kindly offered (actually he begged) to write the update for his own hit. How could I refuse?)

What happened? One of America's finest novelists dies of lung cancer age 76, less than a month into the year, and an Englishman calls him as a solo! Surely winning a bad sex-writing award from the Literary Review last year for "The Widows of Eastwick," sequel to "The Witches," didn't fool you into thinking he was younger and fitter than he really was? After all, Norman Mailer got his award posthumously.

Sex was Updike's topic. In youth he wrote about it, and in old age he reminisced. Not gay, or group, or anything fancy. Just straight fucking - one man, one woman. He took it seriously, neither romanticising nor trivialising, but avoiding the angst of Roth, or the violence of Mailer.

His heroes, Rabbit, Bech and the rest, were promiscuous males, which may explain why some women disliked him. They failed to recognise that controversial lines like this one from Couples, "as a raped woman might struggle to intensify the deed", could accurately describe the thoughts of a certain sort of American male, without being Updike's own. Liberals weren't too keen either. A churchgoing white male, who disliked the swinging sixties, he reluctantly supported the Vietnam War.

He had psoriasis, which endeared him to Amelia, and he stuttered, which endeared him to me. Fortunately for all of us, neither stopped him getting laid, and he learned enough, bonking in suburbia, to describe adultery in America better than anyone.

So why did you all miss him? Here's an extract from his forthcoming poem Requiem.

It came to me the other day:
Were I to die, no one would say,
"Oh, what a shame! So young, so full
Of promise - depths unplumbable!"

Instead, a shrug and tearless eyes
Will greet my overdue demise;
The wide response will be, I know,
"I thought he died a while ago."

That's it. You thought he'd already gone.

Jim knew better. He gets 8 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Marvelous solo and update. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 29th
Age: 76
Worth: 13 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Mort Chewary
19. Ingemar Johansson

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm."

- Swedish proverb -

Ingemar Johansson and Floyd Patterson fought three times, with Patterson winning the last two. Three fights that went a total of 14 rounds and had a combined 13 knockdowns (Patterson was knocked down 10 times). Ingemar Johansson was not the greatest heavyweight boxer. Not even close. He did, however, manage to parlay his good looks and his one-year heavyweight championship into fun, fame and fortune. He had earned two and a half million dollars from fighting and when his career ended in 1965, he invested in construction, cement pouring, fishing boats and hotels. He promoted boxing in Sweden (until it was outlawed). He made money. And as quick as he made it, he spent it. Several wives, many, many women, lots of wine, song and a million friends. Ingemar Johansson loved every bit of his life for as long as he could.

The last fight Johansson and Patterson had against each other was in 1961, and for the next thirty years these two warriors, who remained close friends, would often travel across the Atlantic Ocean to visit one another. But their most courageous battle would come years later against a common foe. Alzheimer's disease. Both Johansson and Patterson would lose.

Mort Chewary went with the oddsmakers and bet against the Pride of Sweden in his last fight. Mort scores eight points on all cards and gets another five for being the only one to throw a punch at a wilting Ingo. Total: 13.

(Schenley) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: January 30th
Age: 75
Worth: 13 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Ed Varner
20. Harold Guy Hunt

So I read that Guy Hunt was the salutatorian of his high school class in Holly Pond, Alabama. This guy was a Reagan Republican, so I guess it's safe to assume that if he really was the class salutatorian, his school bus was a tandem bicycle.

He was also a Primitive Baptist minister. Now, I'm not really sure what a Primitive Baptist minister is, but I think that's just some kind'a quaint religious-speak for fucking thief (Hey, don't blame me. He was a Reagan Republican, so what could you expect from him ...). He flew all over the place preaching the gospel according to Guy. Sucking up tithes ... while he sucked on the government tit. That's right, he used the governor's airplane, paid for through state taxes, to work his second hustle: The Word.

Then there was that conviction for theft. Because he needed a few lawnmowers, and like most people in Alabama, he also needed a marble shower stall. Presumably, to wash off the stink of being a Reagan Republican.

Ed V doesn't need a marble shower stall, and he probably won't need all the points he gets with this godsend solo, but we have to give them to him anyway. Governor Hunt was 75, so Ed V gets eight for the kill and five bonus points. Total: 13. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 1st
Age: 86
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Garrett
21. Lukas Foss

Lukas Foss was a composer, conductor, pianist and teacher specializing in contemporary music. He was a child prodigy. His first published work, at the tender age of 15, was a series of piano pieces composed while riding the New York subway. At 18, he was studying with Hindemith at Yale and Koussevitsky at Tanglewood. He replaced Schoenberg at UCLA as head of composition. He conducted in all the major cities. (Yo, Brooklyn.) He didn't belong to a genre, or a school, or a movement. As a composer, he wandered from style to style, creating a body of work that was often the right music at the wrong time, but always admired. Copland thought he was the bee's knees. There is abundant information on the work of Lukas Foss. He is quoted at length about his compositions, his influences, his relationship to classical and avant garde music. And I'd love to go on about it. But ... screw it.

The juicy stuff is about his wife, Cornelia and her 5-year affair with Glenn Gould, the eccentric, brilliant Canadian pianist. As their affair was kicking off, he would call the house and try to disguise his voice as one of his fictional alter-egos. Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite, the dean of British conductors; Theodore Slutz, a New York cabbie; or Herbert von Hochmeister, sage of the Arctic. And Foss himself would pretend to be the Chinese maid. Lunatics, the both of them.

She couldn't understand why her husband was smiling when she left (with the kids) to move to Toronto to be with Gould. (Although not in his apartment, which he only shared with a piano.)

"You'll be back!" he said. And he was right. Towards the end of her affair with Glenn, she was going home to Buffalo on weekends to be with Lukas.

When Gould died in 1982, they found love letters that proclaimed Mrs. Foss to be the love of his life.

None of this was in any obituary that I found. But Google was my friend.

Foss was 86 when he died of Parkinson's last week. His wife survives him and to her credit, she took care of him through his long illness.

Garrett has done it again. Come up with a name that no one was thinking about. This is his second solo of the young year. So Garrett gets the usual 5 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 10. Bravo, maestro. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 2nd
Age: 46
Worth: 19 ₧
Popularity: 4.29% of entrants
Selectors: DDT
Ed Varner
I Drink Your Milkshake
22. Paul Birch

Paul Birch was a footballer who was a mainstay of Aston Villa's midfield during the 80's. He was so popular, the fans still chant his name at Villa Park. Why? Who the hell knows. Football fans, as we know, are rabid. He was much loved by his teammates, his fans, his opponents and their fans. An honest player, energetic, hard-working, they say he genuinely loved playing for the shirt. What does that mean? Who the hell knows. But it sounds good. Paul Birch was a happy man playing for a whole bunch of shitty teams and he died far too young at 46 from bone cancer. But you can buy a t-shirt that says Birchy with his birth and death dates to wear to the Chelsea match. There will be some moments of silence, they say.

In the Varner household, not so much. EdV is pulling ahead early this year. He gets 18 for the hit and 5 for the solo, for a total of 23. Way out in front, he's now in contention for the youngest hit of the year. As they say on the TV, scooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore.

.
.
.
.

My deepest apologies to both I Drink Your Milkshake and DDT for not adding them to the Paul Birch update. For some reason, I thought it was a solo for EdV, who now loses points, so my apologies to him, as well.

First of all, welcome to the game, new player DDT! You and I Drink Your Milkshake get 18 for the hit and one for the trio. Total: 19. And EdV loses four points because he didn't get the solo. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 6th
Age: 83
Worth: 8 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selectors: Mr. Brink
Starfish
23. Philip Carey

I had this neighborhood saloon in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, and when ESPN made its debut in 1979, it was all sports all the time on the bar's television set. Rodeo, Australian football, woman's tennis, kayaking - anything. I also had an older woman as a regular customer, who would come in for two drinks (bourbon and water, rocks, tall glass) in the middle of the afternoon. So, one day she comes in around noon, has one drink and tells me she had to get home for her stories. My mother watched "her stories," so I knew what she was talking about. I figured, feh, what the fuck, just how much championship arm wrestling can any one person watch. I told her I'd change the channel to whatever she wanted to watch. "One Life to Live," "All My Children"," and "General Hospital." As much as I'm ashamed to admit it ... I was fucking hooked. Two things grabbed me right away. One was Judith Light (hot, really hot) and the other was Philip Carey. A soon as I saw Asa Buchanan I said, "Hey. That's Captain Parmalee from "Laredo" (and a dozen or so other TV westerns).

The old woman was now hanging around every day until she was toasted. In fact, I used to call her "The Toast of '45." Worse, I became just like all those other nutcases who discuss soap operas like they were real life. "Did you hear what that bitch Dorian said to doctor Wolek?" and "I don't care what anyone says, Vicki's a whore."

I knew Philip Carey, who was 83 when he died, had gone off to war with lung cancer a few years ago, but I liked him too much to put on my deadpool list. Not so much for Mr. Brink and Starfish, two players who apparently didn't care that Captain Parmalee served in two wars (WW II and Korea) or that he received the Purple Heart. They pounded more nails into his coffin than Lucky Strike ever did. They both get five points for the hit and an additional three bonus points. That's all they get from Philip Carey, 'cause he only had one life to give. Total: 8.

(Schenley) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 7th
Age: 84
Worth: 10 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Amelia
24. Blossom Margrete Dearie

We don't want people to die, those of us who play in the deadpool. We don't wish for it. We don't cause it. But I've had a close call. First, a little background. Twenty-five years ago or so, I lived in Greenwich Village and I had two famous neighbors. Blossom Dearie lived in the apartment next door and Dave Van Ronk lived down the hall. Now we're the kind of people who believes celebrities deserve their privacy, so we never said more than a passing hi, that I can remember. We rarely saw them and we were busy. I was pregnant, my mother was dying, and then I had a baby and then my mother was dead, followed by my father a few months later. I've heard many, many people say this week that they always meant to see Blossom Dearie perform. Well, I always meant to have a conversation with her. I never did. We moved uptown, she stayed put. We never went back. Until last Saturday. We were in the Village for a movie and we had lots of time to kill (oops maybe not the right metaphor). So we decided to visit some of our old haunts. We went to the old apartment building and looked up from the street. Those were our windows, right! And Blossom Dearie had that window there! Wonder if she's there! Then I noticed a new street sign. "Dave Van Ronk Way." Look at that, I said, she won't even get the street named after her when she dies, because he died first. Before the film started, I checked alt.obits and there it was. Blossom Dearie dies *in her apartment* on Saturday. Before we were there? After? At the moment? Why did I choose that day to visit the old apartment?

It gets worse.

But first let me say that she was a splendid singer. She learned from the great jazz artists that you can never take a ballad too slow. She always took her time. If you don't know her, listen to her sing those Comden and Green lyrics and you'll know what I'm talking about.

How does it get worse? I had a tip from a jazz musician friend that she was ailing. She was on my deadpool.

The marvelous Blossom Dearie was 84. So I (Amelia) get five points for the hit and five for the solo. Total: 10.

"Where has the time all gone to. Haven't done half the things we want to. Oh well. We'll catch up some other time. This day was just a token, too many words are still unspoken. Oh, well, we'll catch up. Some other time."
 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 11th
Age: 97
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Buford
25. Willem Johan Kolff

Willem Kolff watched a young man die a miserable death of kidney disease and vowed he would try to do something about it. He devoted the rest of his life to the kind of research that saves lives. He was living in German-occupied Holland and couldn't get his hands on a lot of the material he needed, because that stuff was being commandeered not for the saving of lives, but for the destruction of same. Against all odds, with a cooling system from an old Ford, scrap from a downed German fighter plane, with cellophane sausage skins resting in an enamel bath of cleansing fluid, he pretty much replicated the effects of a human kidney. The patient's blood would be drawn through the tubing into the bath, cleansed and returned. His first few patients died and wouldn't you know it, success finally came from using an ailing Nazi collaborator. Do something useful for medicine, but not for the world. His biomedical engineering skills led to the development of the heart-lung machine, the artificial heart, and the artificial eye. His constant fiddling with tubes and pipes led to a separation from his wife after 60 years of marriage. She had had enough.

Willem Kolff deserved to live a nice, long life for the dialysis machine alone, and that he did. He was 97 when he died last week, and our Buford has gotten himself a classy little solo for his first hit of the year. He gets 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Welcome aboard, B. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 13th
Age: 105
Worth: 6 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: The Fireball
26. Edward Falaise Upward

Edward Upward has died at the age of 105. He was believed to be the UK's oldest writer. He was a contemporary of Stephen Spender and Auden, who both thought very highly of him. I've recently had a very interesting correspondence with Spender's son, who wrote to me because he thought (as people often do until I tell them differently) that I actually wrote an obit I merely posted. He wanted some more information about the subject of the obit, a friend of his father's and Christopher Isherwood, who was also a lifelong friend of Upward's, because he was working on a reissue of a travel memoir, and I volunteered to get the information. It also turned out, bizarrely, that my mother edited Spender's Letters from London in a magazine (Common Sense) she worked on during the war. So it's only three degrees of separation between me and Upward. From two different directions. Or maybe it's two degrees three ways. In any case, Upward was a tortured writer whose creative blocks lasted decades, and who insisted on writing in the Marxist style, which explains pretty succinctly why you weren't familiar with a writer who lived that long, even if you're an Auden, Spender or Isherwood fan.

Fireball, on the other hand, was very familiar with him. So he gets 1 point for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 6. That's three oldies but goodies for Fireball this year. Go a little younger with your hits, and you could very well be in contention for the Moxie. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 15th
Age: 78
Worth: 13 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Amelia
27. Joe Cuba

So it's 1967 or 1968 and I'm at a party, and this song comes on and I fucking love it. Then 30 years go by and all I can remember are the first two lines. "We're going to a party. Put your red dress on." I don't know the rest, and I don't remember who sang it. Then I spend the next ten years trying to figure it out. Finally, I get it. It's Joe Cuba's "Oh Yeah." And here are all the lyrics.

We're going to a party.
Put your red dress on
Ain't nothing too fancy
So don't you get too sharp.

It's in the park (oh yeah)
It's getting dark (oh yeah)
It's on the roof (oh yeah)
One hundred proof (oh yeah)

You're looking good (oh yeah)
You're looking fine (oh yeah)
No one can tell (oh yeah)
You're getting blind (oh yeah)

One, two, three, you're looking good to me
Four, five, six, I'd like to kiss your lips
Seven, eight, nine, girl you're looking fine
Eight, nine, ten, we're going to do it again.

After I found the lyrics, I got the CD, and did a little research on Cuba and discovered that he was in a nursing home a block away, trying to come back from a debilitating stroke. So I put him on the list. Joe Cuba was 78 when he died, so I (Amelia) get 8 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 13.

I know you get all pissy when every word isn't original in these updates, but this piece in The Times did a marvelous job of explaining why the Joe Cuba Sextet made everyone so happy. Beep beep. Bang bang. The standings follow the article.

In El Barrio, Mourning a Giant of Latin Music
By David Gonzalez
Photos: Angel Franco/The New York Times

Bobby Sanabria, the bandleader, and Joe Gaines, the Latin music disc jockey, at the entrance to the Ortiz Funeral Home in East Harlem for the wake of the musician Joe Cuba. For the first time anyone could remember - or even comprehend - the sight of Joe Cuba brought people to tears. For more than half a century, this conga-playing son of El Barrio fronted bands whose music was relentless, hip and happy.

Real happy.

But there was no joy on 116th Street Wednesday, at least not at first sight of Joe, laid out in his coffin, though sharp as ever in his black tux, white gloves and a gray homburg. Here was the Father of the Latin Boogaloo, a fusion of Latin and soul music that made him a crossover king in the late 1960s, when Marc Anthony wasn't even old enough to play with Weebles, much less a band.

His death on Sunday hit El Barrio hard. He was a local guy - born Gilberto Miguel Calderón 78 years ago - who stayed true to his Barrio and close to his fans. They braved the rain to pay their respects at the Ortiz Funeral Home. Legendary musicians like Joe Bataan, Larry Harlow and Orlando Marin, as well as sidemen with faces more familiar than their names. Old women for whom boogaloo was the soundtrack to many a house party and middle-aged men who remember it from childhood summers on stoops and rooftops. Men in suits and men with scars.

"His Barrio was his people," said his wife, Marèa Calderón. "He was born here. He lived here. He loved here. And he died here. He didn't want this to be in the 80s, where it would be a circus. He wanted it here. This is where his people can see him."

Outside, under the narrow awning, people huddled to escape the rain.

"I'm going to see him," Juan Nieves said. "A friend of mine died, too, and I'm going to see her inside. But I have to see him. His music was the best from the '60s. His sextet was the ultimate. They had all the songs. Oye, ese pito!"

Hey, that whistle! That was the first line to "El Pito" - which was always followed by five quick toots.

For a while in the 1960s, those five notes were the clarion call of an emerging musical movement. From El Barrio to the South Bronx, local hipsters in knit shirts and Caesar haircuts went around whistling, clapping and singing: "I'll never go back to Georgia! I'll never go back!" Mind you, the farthest south most of these guys had ever been was Delancey Street - to buy their de rigueur crepe-soled Playboy shoes. But such was the musical spell cast by "El Pito" in New York.

The song's signature chorus is taken from Dizzy Gillespie's introduction to "Manteca." The classic whistled opening gives way to hand claps, a Latin-tinged piano line, frenetic vibe playing and maniacal laughter.

In some neighborhoods, the song was a revelation. Where I lived in the Bronx, on Mapes Avenue off 181st Street, teenagers drove people crazy whistling the opening notes while chanting what can only be described (here, at least) as a gleefully obscene twist on Georgia.

Its bilingual lyrics and urban attitude presaged the coming boogaloo craze. The distinctly New York musical form Joe Cuba helped birth reflected the interplay (with the emphasis on play) between Puerto Ricans and African-Americans in this city. Coming at the dawn of a political and cultural awakening among New York-raised Puerto Ricans, it was a heady mix.

"It was cha-cha with a backbeat," said Juan Flores, a professor of Latino Studies at New York University, who is one of the few scholars to have written at length about the boogaloo era. "The thematic core was the cultural interaction between African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. It was the music of a new generation of Nuyoricans, and Joe Cuba symbolized the emergence of that generation, steeped in the Cuban sound, but also in doo wop and soul music."

As Professor Flores described it, "Bang Bang" made its debut during a 1966 show before a mostly African-American audience that was not responding to more traditional Latin songs. Jimmy Sabater, the timbales player for the Joe Cuba Sextet, had to persuade the bandleader to let the group try something with a funkier piano vamp. Mr. Sabater told Professor Flores:

"Before I even got back to the timbal, the people were out on the floor, going `bi-bi, hah! bi-bi, hah!' I mean mobbed!"

That hit spurred songs by other groups, like Pete Rodriguez's "I Like It Like That," and Johnny Colon's "Boogaloo Blues," which featured a bluesy English rap leading to a chorus of "LSD has a hold on me." (And before anybody tries to become the Latin version of Tipper Gore, keep in mind that "L stands for love, and I'm so in love with you, I don't know what to do. .")

Yet by the end of the decade, boogaloo was on the decline, derided by more traditional musicians (some of whom, like Eddie Palmieri, nonetheless recorded their own boogaloos) and eclipsed by salsa. Joe Cuba, however, kept on playing.

Mitch Frohman, a sax player fresh out of college, met him in 1975. Mr. Frohman was at the wake Wednesday, recalling how Joe Cuba was the first Latin musician who let him sit in.

"I was playing at Zukor's Lodge in the Catskills, me and a piano player doing stuff like 'Hello, Dolly,' " he said. "We'd finish at midnight, because the people were old and went to bed early. Down the road at the Pines, they stayed open later, so we'd go there to hang out. One night, Joe let me sit in with his band. That was it. When I got back to the Bronx I started learning more about the bands."

He wound up playing in Tito Puente's orchestra for 25 years.

Tito's son Ronnie dropped by, as did Joe Gaines, a longtime D.J. and Latin music fanatic. Mr. Gaines, slender and dapper, walked in with a bluster, but stopped at the open coffin, fell to his knees and cried for his friend.

"He was my compadre," he said. "Me, him and Tito used to hang out all weekend. I've known him since I was 22. You think 50 years is enough? This is the last guy from El Barrio."

He went back to the coffin, leaned over and kissed his friend on the cheek.

"Stay strong, stay strong," Marèa said as more musicians arrived to honor her husband. "I'm walking this path with you. Give me your strength. Don't cry on me."

But they did.

Mr. Harlow, the pianist and bandleader possessed of no small measure of swagger, dabbed at his eyes as he emerged from the tiny chapel.

"He's one of the main reasons I became a Latin musician," Mr. Harlow said. "I was a teenager when I met him in the Catskills, and I didn't know the difference between a mambo or a cha-cha. He was playing the sound of his Barrio. And with English lyrics, which made an impression on me since I didn't speak Spanish at the time."

A smile came over his face. He knew another language that Joe appreciated.

"I could speak Yiddish," he explained. "So when we hung out by the pool at the hotel, I could introduce him to the women."

Joe Cuba's wife had his image placed on a rock he once found. More and more people crowded into the funeral parlor, climbing up the stairs to the second floor, where another wake was being held in an adjoining chapel. Snippets of conversation floated through the air, from questions about old gigs to suggestions for future ones. As the buzz grew, the other mourners closed the door. Good move, since by early evening, the musicians gathered before Joe's casket and started playing. Marèa threw her arms in the air and smiled.

Outside, a jam-packed crowd started clapping, dancing and whistling, absolutely losing it when the combo started into "Bang Bang," with its piano vamps and beep-beeps.

"Come and get it, baby!" yelled a man in the crowd. "Come and get it!"

Marèa stood next to Joe Gaines, and both of them sang along.

"Cornbread, hog maws and chitlins," they sang. "Comiendo cuchifritos!"

"Lechón!" shouted someone else. "Lechón!"

As this joyful insanity swept the crowd, three middle-aged women with sad faces and clenched hands emerged from the other wake. As the music washed over them, their stiffness melted, as they slowly began to sway their shoulders and clap.

Once again in his beloved Barrio, Joe Cuba's music made people happy. Real happy.

 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 20th
Age: 64
Worth: 16 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Koko-Moxie
28. Lawrence Horne "Larry H." Miller

Kris Baker, new to the game, who goes by Koko-Moxie, was so thrilled to get her first hit, she sent along an unsolicited and terrific update. We at the AO Deadpool are grateful for the help:

As a Famous Utah Mormon (FUM), Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller was revered by many in the state for his business acumen. At age 34, he made the leap from parts manager at an auto dealership to owner of a Toyota franchise, and soon expanded into ownership of over 30 auto dealers across the western US. When the Utah Jazz was (were?) nearly bankrupt, he bought a 50% share and later, the remainder. At the time of his death, he was a near-billionaire and owned over 80 businesses (financial, insurance, shopping centers, sports franchises, theaters) under the LHM banner. Miller's FUM status was a blessing to some, and a constant irritant to others.

Caving in to public pressure in 2006, he pulled the film "Brokeback Mountain" from his Megaplex 17 theaters (yet continued to show the violent and vulgar "Hostel").

Because Mormons are not supposed to work on Sunday, he realized his car dealerships were missing Sunday sales. Mysterious forces came into play when the Utah legislature coincidentally passed a law that banned Utah car dealers from opening on Sunday.

Apparently unable to make Sunday entertainment illegal, his theaters, restaurants and sports franchises remained open on The Holy Day. True to his standards, he did not attend Utah Jazz games held on Sundays (but did appear on Sunday sports shows and was often interviewed after the game, in the locker room).

After visiting Denver's Casa Bonita restaurant and seeing the indoor waterfalls and cliff divers, Miller opened a restaurant so similar in Draper, Utah, he was sued by Casa Bonita's owners for copying the decor, "live divers!" menu, and ordering system, among other things. Legal fun ensued in 2000, with the outcome never fully revealed. Let's just hope that Casa Bonita's food was better than the Miller-owned Mayan had, because once you went there, you didn't go back. It was just too difficult to choke down a super-gigantic plate of overly-cheesed faux Mexican food.

Unfortunately, being ultra-wealthy does not mean you can neglect yourself. Famously corpulent (too much Mayan?), Miller had a near-fatal heart attack in the summer of 2008, later revealed to have been caused by severe Type 2 diabetes. Over the next few months, Miller was in and out of the hospital with complications and near-death experiences. Confined to a wheelchair, he attended a few Jazz games. In late January 2009, his legs were amputated below the knee and he was able to attend one more game. A month later, Larry Miller died of diabetes complications. He was 64.

Just in time, the Mailman delivered Koko-Moxie a slam-dunk solo. She scores 11 points for netting Miller and picks up another five from the free-throw line. Total: 16. Welcome to the game, KM. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 25th
Age: 91
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Kathypig1
29. Philip José Farmer

Another unsolicited update arrived in the mail a good five minutes after the announcement of the death of this sci-fi icon. Aje RavenStar felt pretty strongly that he wanted to be the author of his favorite author's update. Again, we're thrilled at the AO Deadpool not to have to write every last one of these. And delighted when they are so wonderfully executed. Thanks, Aje.

Philip Jose Farmer, you came out of Indiana to take us barnstorming in Oz. In the early 50's you were one of the first to publish a speculation on alien (and cross-species) lovers, expanding it in 1961 to a full length book, beating Heinlein to the punch on sex as a major theme in sci-fi.

You gave us 'serious' biographies of two 'fictional' characters, Lord Greystoke and Clark Savage, Jr.; you included actual historic characters - Sir Richard Burton, Alice Liddell, Tom Mix, Sam Clemens, others I would have never known about if I hadn't read the series, your own thinly disguised self so you could reconnect with your early agent who did you wrong and bust his nose, as well as everyone else who had lived on this planet up to the time of the story; you even further blurred reality by posing as the flesh and blood incarnation of another writer's fictional hack writer and published a smutty (for the time), novel as same and it worked, fishy as that may sound. It's a shame Vonnegut took KT back before the sequel.

You took us behind the walls of Terra (with another thinly disguised version of yourself thrown in); and that's just a small list of what you gave us.

But I didn't know any of this when I first met you in the early to mid 1970's, in the Norman, OK, Public Library, when my best friend and I, both of us Doc Savage fanatics, were waiting to check out when we both noticed your book on him in the return pile (and he beat me to it). I didn't have to look for you very often. You'd turn up in anthologies, including some of your Father John Carmody stories in a collection of religious sci-fi I bought at a flea market in high school; library new book sections, the Dangerous Visions books, the Weird Heroes paperback series, and more. About the one place I never saw any of your works was in film or on TV, at least until the Sci-Fi Channel Riverworld miniseries that gave the original material the usual Hollywood treatment. At least it made me glad there weren't more adaptations of your stories.

I was a year off, having you on my list last year; but it would have bit hard to have said so long to two grandmasters like A. C. Clarke and you the same year, so I don't mind getting left at the dock on this one. Really. However, Kathypig1 didn't miss the boat this year, and although you'll be heading up the river to the Dark Tower alone, I wish you a merry voyage, and may your grails always be filled with rare and satisfying delights.

PJF was 91, so Kp1 gets 2 for the hit and 5 for the solo for a total of 7. Nice work, Kathy. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 25th
Age: 65
Worth: 11 ₧
Popularity: 22.86% of entrants
Selectors: Allen Kirshner
Another Lurker
Bill Schenley
Chaptal
Dead People Server
Denise
DGH
Direcorbie
DrunkAsASkunk
Ed Varner
Erik
I Drink Your Milkshake
Moldy Oldies
Mr. Brink
Philip
Yersinia Pestis
30. Wendy Richard

This is really a pain in the ass. I'm leaving for Florida in a few hours and I have to write this damn update for Wendy Richard, who was a freakin' soap opera star in England. She died of cancer a few weeks ago (at 65), and I've been putting this off ... and off ... and off ... Here's the thing ... before she was in the soap opera "EastEnders" ... she was in a British sit-com called "Are You Being Served." This stuff makes my head hurt; I mean, I don't even watch American sit-coms, and as far as I'm concerned, there are only a few things less funny than British humor. Cancer and the Sleazy Boston Red Sox are two. And maybe the Bush empire.

I'm tired of reading Wendy Richard obits. I'm tired of watching clips from "EastEnders" and "Are You Being Served." I'm tired of Wendy Fucking Richard: No S. And you know why I got stuck with this? I fucking volunteered. I know better than to do that.

I now know more about this conservative bimbo than any one person should have to know about anyone. Okay, here goes: She went to the Royal Masonic School for Girls at Rickmansworth (all because her father killed himself). She was in the movie "Help!," but her part ended up on the cutting room floor (I'm sure she was thinking, what a waste of a good blow job). She played Shirley Brahms on "Are You Being Served" and Pauline Fowler on "EastEnders." Then she died.

As soon as I saw the "Healthwatch" on AO last year, she was on my list. I was hoping for a solo. Not a flippin' chance. Allen Kirshner, Another Lurker, Me (Bill Schenley), Chaptal, Dead People Server, Denise (who, by this time, is probably tired of pumping her fist), DGH, Direcorbie, Erik, I Drink Your Milkshake, Moldy Oldies, Mr.Brink, Philip, DrunkAsASkunk, EdV and Yersinia Pestis all said goodbye to Wendy, and added a snarky "Thanks for serving us." We each get 11 points.

  (fabulous Schenley update) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: February 28th
Age: 90
Worth: 2 ₧
Popularity: 15.71% of entrants
Selectors: Busgal
Dead Batteries
Deepstblu
Kathi
Kentucky Wizard
King Daevid
Kixco
Mark
Pat Peeve
RH Draney
Undertaker
31. Paul Harvey Aurandt Sr.

Hello AO Deadpool, we're your deadpool updaters. You know who died? Paul Harvey, the conservative news commentator who coined the phrase "Reaganomics," has died. And friends, speaking of Reaganomics, are you as broke as I am? Are you tired of the trickle down? Try Depends. Life can be great when you're not pissing your pants.

Harvey, who was a rah-rah-Reagan conservative, had a few things in common with the Gipper. They both avoided the Great War of their generation, Reagan used his Hollywood contacts and Harvey intentionally sliced open his heel in basic training. And friends, now that we're on the subject of heels, I found that Dr. School's gel-pads will make you look, feel and do ... better. Although you will sound a bit retarded if you say to the person next to you, "Are you gellin?"

As Paul Harvey became too old and too frail to continue his daily propaganda news show, substitute news readers were needed. From 2006 to 2007, former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson sat in for Harvey. Thompson, who stopped when he decided to run for President, is best known as the district attorney on the television show "Law & Order." And friends, since the subject of law and order has come up, one way to protect your investments is through TD Ameritrade. It's not your experience level that counts. Explore all the ways TD Ameritrade can help you begin, advance, or perfect your bailout experience.

Still, for many Americans, Paul Harvey enhanced each day with his folksy tales of Americana. And friends, I just want to say a few words about enhancement. Male enhancement. If you're like Paul Harvey was ... you'll love CIALIS, but CIALIS is not for everyone. Only your doctor can decide if CIALIS is right for you. Side effects from CIALIS include headache, flushing, dyspepsia, mild to severe mental retardation, nasal congestion and impaired vision, bathing in separate bath tubs, photophobia and blurred vision. Some CIALIS users have complained of seeing everything tinted blue (cyanopsia). Some complained of blurriness and loss of peripheral vision. Also, nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, priapism, severe hypotension, myocardial infarction (heart attack), ventricular arrhythmias, stroke, increased intraocular pressure and sudden hearing loss.

And now for the rest of the story:

Busgal, Dead Batteries ... and friends, you don't want to end up like FOX News' Bill O'Reilly ... With a brand new, bright and shiny chrome vibrator, just a moanin' and a wailing, waiting for someone to skewer him ... and have dead batteries. So friends, whether you're photographing from outer space with an IMAX camera or using a flashlight to light up a mystical world, or, like O'Reilly, you're just looking for a good ass-pounding, give Duracell a whirl around the old pucker. Uh, oh, yeah ... and Deepstblu, Kathi, King Daevid, Mark, Kixco, Pat Peeve, RH Draney, The Wiz and Undertaker all knew what the big news and comments about Paul Harvey would be this year: "Dead at 90!" They each get two points.

(Schenley update)

Just discovered the AO Deadpool website after lo these many years. Read some of the updates. Wonderfully written stuff that I seem to have overlooked in the original postings.

One caught my attention, the update on broadcaster Paul Harvey. In my role as self-appointed correcter of all things inaccurate, I felt a burden of responsibility to point a wagging finger at a presumptive error.

In the update, written I believe by our esteemed Bill Schenley, it is stated that Harvey and Ronald Reagan "both avoided the Great War of their generation, Reagan [using] his Hollywood contacts." I liked Reagan as an actor and hated him as a politician, so I feel I have the necessary objective balance to step in here. Reagan did not avoid World War II. An army reserve officer from 1937, he was called to active duty in April, 1942. He had terrible vision (his firing-range instructor, whom I interviewed, told me Reagan was so blind he couldn't hit the floor with his hat), and was classified as unsuitable for overseas duty. Thus he was assigned to stateside duty, first as the Port and Transportation Liaison officer for the port of San Francisco, then as adjutant for the 18th Army Air Force Base Unit in Culver City, CA. Nothing in that about avoiding the war or using Hollywood contacts to do so.

As an ex-military guy, I have a pet peeve about people being accused of not serving just because they didn't storm the sands of Iwo Jima. This Reagan stuff is old news, of course, but it's on the AO Deadpool website where any moron like me can stumble on it, so what the hell, why not nitpick? It's a quiet Saturday.

Jim Beaver

 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: March 6th
Age: 76
Worth: 13 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Undertaker
32. Colleen Joffa Howe

A guy goes out golfing all day Saturday. That evening, after his 18 holes, he calls up his bookie.

"Hey Bobby, how you doing, it's me. Listen, how did I do on the baseball today?"

The bookie replies, "On baseball, you lost a thousand."

"What?" the guy says. "A thousand? Oh no, that's terrible! My God. Well, how did I do on the football then?"

Without missing a beat, Bobby the bookie answers, "On football, you lost a thousand."

"Another thousand?!" the guy exclaims. "You mean I lost two thousand today? I don't understand it, this is unbelievable. Tell me how I did on the basketball?"

Bobby deadpans: "On the basketball, you lost a thousand."

"Three thousand dollars? You're saying I lost three thousand dollars in bets, all in one day? I can't believe this, this can't be. what am I going to tell my wife? My God, this is just terrible!"

"So listen," says Bobby. "You wanna put something on the hockey game tonight?"

"Hockey?" the guy replies. "What the fuck do I know about hockey?"

    (with thanks to Robert Wuhl)

I would bet a million dollars that Colleen "Mrs. Hockey" Howe knew more about the sport than I do. She was, after all, married to Mr. Hockey. But I'll give it a try. It's true that much of her fame is connected to that of her husband, but she was a force to be reckoned even without a hockey stick in her hands. She wrote books, was one of the first female sports agents and she was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame for her work with youth hockey, having founded the Detroit Junior Red Wings. In addition to running Power Play International, she became an Amway distributor, sold life insurance and even ran for US Congress as a Republican candidate in Connecticut. By all accounts, she was a tough negotiator and made sure no one shortchanged her husband and sons. Ever. She had a rare disease, much like Alzheimer's, and I'm sure she missed the whole hockey mom/pit bull hilarity. I believe she would have loved it.

Mrs. Hockey was Undertaker's second dead puck of the season and it propels him from the cellar into the top 20. She was 76, so he gets 8 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Nice one, U. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: March 8th
Age: 91
Worth: 5 ₧
Popularity: 2.9o% of entrants
Selectors: Busgal
Kentucky Wizard
33. Lawrence Hankins "Hank" Locklin

His nasal tenor voice had been described as crystal clear, and if you ever heard him, you know it was. Hank Locklin will be remembered mainly for his two biggest hits, "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On" (which he wrote) and "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" despite having several other hit records, such as "Geisha Girl," "A Good Woman's Love," "Who Am I to Cast the First Stone," "Sitting Alone at a Table for Two," "The Country Hall of Fame" and the Irish ballad "Danny Boy."

Hank Locklin was part of the original Nashville sound; the orchestra behind the twang. He was also one of the pioneers of concept albums. An idea that rock 'n' roll ran wild with. But, and with apologies to Erik, I gotta' tell you, as much as I love the song "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" and Johnny Tillotson's version of "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On," I will remember him for those god-fucking-awful, self-promoting infomercials that he did. I mean, I reached a point with "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" that I was shouting at the television set, "Just fall, motherfucker. Fall."

But enough about me. Busgal, who can be heard at www.live365.com/stations/busgaljan?site=live365, and The Wiz didn't need any help. Because the fourth Hank was 91 when he finally fell, they score two points for the hit and three extra bonus points. Total: 5

(Schenley) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: March 13th
Age: 96
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Mr. Brink
34. Anne Wiggins Brown Howard Petit Schjelderup

When she was just 16, George Gershwin tried to jump her bones. Even though she turned him down, he still created the role of Bess for her. And, although "Porgy and Bess" received overall poor reviews when it opened on Broadway in 1935, soprano Anne Brown did not. Seven years later, when she revived the role of Bess for Broadway, critics had nothing but praise for the opera and for Ms. Brown.

According to Ms. Brown, she was born 20-30 years too soon. Turned down for admission to a private school in segregated Baltimore, limited Broadway roles because of her skin color, and with no hope of singing at the Metropolitan Opera House, Anne Brown moved to Oslo in 1948.

In a melancholy interview with The New York Times[1] ten years ago, Anne Brown lamented her place in American music history: "I've lived a strange kind of life — half black, half white, half isolated, half in the spotlight. Many things that I wanted as a young person for my career were denied to me because of my color."

At 96, Anne Wiggins Brown Howard Petit Schjelderup was largely forgotten in the United States ... although it ain't necessarily so. While the rest of the deadpool players got plenty o'nuttin' for Ms. Brown's demise, Mr. Brink scores two points for the hit and five for the solo. And the buzzard keeps on flyin' over. Total: 7

[1] The New York Times interview (1998) with Anne Brown
www.nytimes.com/1998/03/29/theater/theater-on-hearing-her-sing...

(Schenley) 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: March 15th
Age: 62
Worth: 16 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Amelia
35. Ronald Arthur Silver

There are many reasons I don't want to be reminded of the 2004 Republican Convention. Memories that include the arrest of a loved one, streets lined with cops in riot gear, the temporary lockdown of my formerly free city, and Ron Silver talking up George Bush as if he were a capable leader. 9/11 turned Silver into a Bush supporter. August '04 affected me just as profoundly. We both thought the terrorists had won.

The word Silver used to describe the way the Hollywood Establishment felt about him once he started wearing neocon on his sleeve was "disadmired." He insists he wasn't blacklisted mostly because there are too many reasons not to be offered an acting job (Too Jewish, not Jewish enough are two) Still, he worked, maybe not as much as he had done in the past, but he worked. There's always a need for the kind of morally suspect character he specialized in.

He was, if not a great actor, a striking one. He could turn himself into anyone he needed to be. (think Kissinger, Dershowitz) His voice was distinctive, unapologetically New York and Jewish. When he had a great director behind him (think Mazursky) he could be pretty damned good. And after he died, he got his minute of light-dimming on Broadway, just like Natasha Richardson.

Say what you want about Ron Silver, whatever stage he was on, he never phoned it in.

I vowed not to say anything too terribly bad about Silver because he is survived by, of all people, his parents. When he appeared last year on Larry King, a show I never, ever watch, three people made contact with me before the show was over to ask me if I had Ron Silver on my deadpool list. I found the clip the next day and put him on. I know what people on chemo look like. He looked like it. So I (Amelia) get the hit. That's 11 for the hit, and 5 for the solo. Total: 16. 



«—SUMMARY—»
Died: March 15th
Age: 96
Worth: 7 ₧
Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
Selector: Bill Schenley
36. Jack Lawrence

There are songwriters who write standards whose names you know — both the songwriters and the standards. Then there are songwriters whose names just don't ring a bell, even when people like Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin and Billie Holiday sing their words sublimely. And you know the songs not just by name, but by heart. Jack Lawrence only wrote a handful that became fixtures in cocktail lounges and recording studios, but they were choice. All or Nothing at All was Sinatra's theme song, Tenderly was Clooney's, If I Didn't Care belonged to The Ink Spots and his lyrics for Charles Trenet's song La Mer practically defined Bobby Darin.

Lawrence, who has died at the grand old age of 96, might have continued in his (parents') chosen profession of podiatry, but he sold his first song right after he graduated and never looked down. Bill Schenley might have given up after four years of carrying Jack Lawrence on his deadpool list, but Beyond the Sea is one of his favorite songs and he wasn't giving up so easily. And so we tenderly give him 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7.

  • Bobby Darin www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQvQm-K5cT8&feature=related 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: March 22nd
    Age: 27
    Worth: 47 ₧
    Popularity: 7.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Ed Varner
    JD Baldwin
    Johnnyb
    Sarndra
    Yersinia Pestis
    37. Jade Cerisa Lorraine "Jady" Goody

    I had to wait a week until I began this update. I waited out of respect for England. I waited until their national week of mourning was over. I waited until the flags over Buckingham, Windsor, and Westminster Abbey were no longer at half-staff. I waited until the few remaining British soldiers in Iraq were no longer openly weeping in each other's arms. Because England is one of our staunchest allies, I waited until England could look itself in the eye, and whisper down the Thames to its broken-hearted citizens, "Jade Goody is dead." Now, like King James I, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill, Jade Goody belongs to the ages. She will, however, be just an arms length away when she is laid to eternal slumber in Poet's Corner and her image will forever be available for viewing on a wall at the National Portrait Gallery.

    Can you believe how low Great Britain has sunk. I mean, the Prime Minister goes on television after Jade Goody gets voted off the planet ... and he commends her for waging a courageous battle against cervical cancer. Could you imagine George W. Bush going on U.S. television and commending Anna Nicole Smith for her courageous battle against the methadone? What the fuck happened to great, proud England? I understand these people even put sodomy on hold for a week.

    It's un-fucking-believable. England, that once held the Seven Seas, and now they can't even hold their own water. Great Britain has pissed itself blind over the death of some brainless bimbo who was once voted off one of their corny, lame-ass reality television shows.

    On the other hand, EdV, J.D., Johnnyb, Sarndra and Yersinia Pestis all saw the 27-year-old for what she was worth. 22 points. First. Hit. Ever. for Sarndra and she's already in the top 10.

    (And, everyone gets an additional 25 points — Jade was the youngest Hit of the Year)

    (Schenley, of course.) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: March 29th
    Age: 87
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Monarc
    38. Louis Henry Saban

    He was the first coach for the Boston Patriots, now the New England Patriots, and being the last AFL franchise to form, instead of drafting college players, Lou Saban built the Boston team by signing bricklayers, welders, carpenters and longshoremen.

    He went 5 and 9 and out.

    For two years (1982-1983) he was president of the New York Yankees, but he was a football coach. A coach who changed jobs as often as George Steinbrenner changed managers. Lou Saban, who has died at 87, coached at Case Institute (1950-52), University of Washington (1953), Northwestern (1954-55), Western Illinois (1957-59), the Patriots (1960-61), Buffalo Bills (1962-65), the University of Maryland (1966), Denver Broncos (1970-71), back to the Bills (1972-76), University of Miami (1977-78), Army (1979), Georgetown (South Carolina) High School (1980), University of Central Florida (1983-84), Peru State College (1991), the Milwaukee Mustangs (1994) of the Arena Football League, SUNY Canton (1995-2000) and Chowan University (2001-02).

    Among all those coaching jobs, there was the job with Steinbrenner, building the football program at Alfred State University and offending folks. In April of 1979, Saban, who was the head coach at the University of Miami, was told three of his players threw a Jewish man into a lake. Saban replied: "Well, that sounds like fun." Miami + large Jewish population = a get-the-fuck-outta'-town bus ticket.

    Monarc, a new player this year, thought throwing the well-traveled football coach into the AO Deadpool sounded like fun, too. He gets five points for the shove and an extra five for watching the splash all alone. Total: 10.

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: March 30th
    Age: 95
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Dead Batteries
    39. Herman Franks

    Carl Furillo, the late Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder, so hated the New York Giants and their thieving manager[1] Leo Durocher, that he charged into the Giants clubhouse and challenged The Lip to a fight. When asked about the Giants players, Furillo called them the "dirtiest" in baseball, and added that he thought Herman Franks was "one of the worst."

    Franks, who was 95 when he died in March of this Deadpool year, probably *was* one of the worst. Franks won't be remembered for his lifetime batting average that couldn't crack the Mendoza Line, and he won't be remembered for the three home runs he hit for four teams in six seasons. And it is also doubtful that his 43 career runs-batted-in will bring back many fond memories. No. Herman Franks will be remembered for not being on the New York Giants bench on October 3rd 1951, when Bobby Thomson hit The Shot Heard 'Round The World.

    Franks was in the Giants centerfield clubhouse with a telescope, relaying signs to backup New York catcher Sal Yvars by way of radio. Yvars would then signal the Giants base coaches who would then pass a sign to the hitter (Bobby Thomson). New York Giants 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 4.

    We don't know if Dead Batteries was getting radio signals from Herman's deathbed, but we do know he's entitled to two points for the hit and another five bonus points for rounding the bases in the last inning of the 2009 game ... all by himself.

    Total: 7.
     

    [1] Durocher was accused of sneaking into Babe Ruth's locker area and stealing a watch from Ruth's pants pocket.

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: March 31st
    Age: 82
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Johnnyb
    40. Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín Foulkes

    Raúl Alfonsín, the former president of Argentina, was a good man. When you're talking about a leader of a South American country, the synonym for "good man" is "saint." For his victory marked the end of the military dictatorship and the beginning of real democracy. He launched a truth commission to investigate the disappearances and murders that were all too common during the dictatorship that preceded him. Trials he organized actually found guilty people guilty. He didn't steal. He wasn't corrupt. He didn't pack the Supreme Court with cronies. These are saintly qualities in a place like Argentina, but they weren't good enough to keep him in office during the hyper-inflationary times he presided over. The father of the democracy that remains in Argentina left office early, a failure. Nevertheless, as Alfonsín lay in state, many thousands took time off, traveled long distances, lined up for hours to pay their respects to what they knew as a good man.

    Raúl Alfonsín died last week at 82. Johnnyb gets another hit pretty quickly and a classy one at that. Much classier than the last hit. He gets 5 for the hit and 5 for the solo.

    Total: 10. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 20th
    Age: 74
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Yersinia Pestis
    41. David Glenn "Pop" Winans

    There were excellent reasons for calling him Pop, namely Marvin, Carvin, Michael, Ronald, CeCe, BeBe, David, Daniel, Angie and Debbie. David "Pop" Winans made them and made them all famous in one musical way or another. And even though he pretty much stuck to his roots himself, the children had a tendency towards gospel with a pop flavor, despite having grown up in a house where all but gospel was verboten. (But there were ten of them. They smuggled in rock music.) Don't think there weren't temptations for the Winans patriarch. Sam Cooke tried to entice him over to his kind of music, but his kind of music, as good as it was, was played in bars. Bars weren't churches, far from it, and Winans was a churchman. And it worked. When you think of gospel music, you think of the Winans family. They may not fill bars, but they regularly fill amphitheaters. I'm sure they filled the church in Detroit where services were held. Oprah sent a basket of creme hydrangea through Blumz by J.R. Designs floral shop in downtown Detroit. You might have wanted to know that detail.

    Because Pop Winans has died at 74, Yersinia Pestis, who's hot, hot, hot, earns 8 for the hit, five for the solo, and fourth place. YP, I'll take you there. 



    Bill Schenley & Gayle Ronan Sims at the 9th Great Obituary Writers Conference in Alfred, New York, June 2007 (Bill Schenley) Note: I met Gayle Ronan Sims a few years ago at the obituary writer's conference in Alfred, New York. I had created a piece of ... obituary art ... so to speak, and Gayle, after looking at it for a few moments, pulled me aside, and with a stern look, demanded to know where an obit written by her was located on the art. If her look was stern, the laughter in her eyes was not. And she was delighted when I pointed out an obituary written by her. She was one of my favorite obit writers ... and she was a sweetheart. Adam Bernstein, the terrific Washington Post obit editor was her friend, and he penned the Remembrance below ...

    Obit Writer RIP

    FROM; The Washington Post

    By Adam Bernstein, Obituaries Editor

         It's not a criticism to say Gayle Ronan Sims, who died last night at age 61, would take four hours to do what most of us could in 10 minutes. She was extremely sympathetic, with a soft and soothing voice that made probing questions seem as gentle as an invitation to have another scoop of sugar in your coffee.

         Her job, as the Philadelphia Inquirer's chief obituaries writer, was to summarize the lives of those who rarely were known outside their immediate community. The headline of her last published obituaries — "Rose Turner, a soup-kitchen stalwart" — says it all. It would be easy to wrap up that story and move on quickly, operating like Navy Seals who get the mission done and move on to the next place.

         To Gayle, each new story seemed something more. — an opportunity to meet a new friend. Gayle lingered on the phone and lingered and lingered, and by the end of her calls, she would often call me up and say how wonderful a family member was and how she and the person were going to meet up for lunch or dinner because they had so much fun talking.

         In the last year, her health worsened from a condition that made her lungs feel as if they were being slowly filled with crushed glass. To inhale was painful. To exhale was painful. She continued to work from home, breathing from an oxygen tank attached to a long cord that stretched up two stories of her house. She rarely left her home, except for medical appointments.

         Her main connection to the outside world became obituary calls, and she continued to stay on the phone with families long enough to find new angles on entirely predictable obits. Not many of us would have the patience to get the details necessary for this opening paragraph:

    John Craig Bell, 67, a beloved neurologist fondly remembered for his thriftiness and the inventive ways he used duct tape to extend the life of items, including his tennis shoes, died Jan. 25 of olivopontocerebellar atrophy, a rare neurological disease, at home in Montgomeryville.

         In truth, my favorite Gayle obituaries were those of people who were not beloved or kind or very nice. The best obituaries, like the best of any news story, are those that take unpredictable turns. It was always worth reading Gayle when she came across someone with an unsavory side.

         In November, she wrote about John L. Cionci, who died at 85 and whom she called "a once-successful osteopath who turned his life around after he was jailed in 1984 for his role in a phony auto-accident insurance scam."

         The best element of the story was in the next paragraph, where she got the man's daughter to say:

    "Prison made my father a better man. Before that, he was a jerk - materialistic, greedy, a thief, always drove a brand-new Lincoln - he was really into status. Jail humbled him, and he then devoted his life to helping the underprivileged. He found God through the experience."

         Any idea how hard it is to get a family member to speak truth like that? People always want to remember the best of a life, never wanting inconvenient details to appear in an obit, which is after all likely to be for the community the final way someone will be remembered.

         Gayle never wanted her own obit written. She was private. She did not like to discuss her past, from her upbringing in Missouri and an early marriage that eventually ended in divorce to her raising two children as a single mom. She worked briefly for a politician before entering journalism.

         She said she had a tense relationship with her family in Missouri and tried to reinvent herself. That's all I can say, because that's all she ever told me. I met her several years ago at an obituary writers' workshop in New Mexico — actually a great event that drew first-rate obituary writers from as far away as England and Japan.

         We liked each other instantly and she advised me constantly on ways to better myself, which usually centered on some aspect of my personal life. She had a tendency to crusade on the boyfriend/girlfriend issue, and the targets of her unsolicited advice either found her caring and nurturing or entirely inappropriate.

    Gayle Ronan Sims      She was complicated and wonderful and, in her final year, scared. Doctors told her that a double-lung transplant was the only potential solution to her condition. She went through a period of denial. She questioned the value of living with new lungs that would require an extensive and painful recovery, with no guarantee that she would be able "to climb a mountain someday." That was her goal.

         She tried some weird acupuncture cure that relieved her pain temporarily. She eventually got serious about what she needed to do: start the regimen necessary for a double lung transplant and get her affairs in order.

         The last time I spoke to her, she called at 5 a.m. about a month ago to the day. Finally the doctors found a pair of lungs for her. My wife and I reassured her as best we could, which is to say not nearly enough.

         She never left the hospital's ICU as complications ensued from the surgery. Her daughter and son took care of her. They brought in music she liked and pasted near her hospital bed a photo montage of their lives together. I saw her last weekend, but she was heavily sedated and never was aware of the visit. Can't decide if the visit was for her or me, but it wasn't Gayle I saw because the Gayle I saw was quiet and unopinionated.

         Sort of thinking about Gayle's legacy now, and here's what crosses my mind. Unless one is lucky enough to realize just how fun and compelling obits can be, to see their many styles and forms from London to New York to Washington, obituary writing is not a job most journalists crave or most readers care about. But in truth it's no less important than the people who chronicle the incremental ephemera that fill most of a newspaper's pages. Few obit writers want to spend their days chasing down information that they know will not make it into an obit.

         An obituary is a life, and Gayle wrote thousands of them, the equivalent of a small city. Her patience, her eccentricities, her devotion to community made her impact enormous.

    Gayle Ronan Sims — December 20, 1947 - April 16, 2009

     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 8th
    Age: 89
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Buford
    42. Charles F. "Charlie" Bowman

    Ever wonder why Orville Redenbacher wore a red bowtie? No? Yeah, me, either.

    Especially selected red bowtie photos: [ snurl.com/tc5wu ] & [ snurl.com/tc5xi ].

    So, anyway, this is what happened ... Back in 1951, Orville Redenbacher and some other guy, bought a hybrid corn seed company in Boone Grove, Indiana and they called their new venture — their new popcorn company — Red-Bow Popcorn, which was a combination of the first three letters of each of their last names. Then you know what happened? Some fucking New York ad agency told them, "The name Red-Bow Popcorn blows chunks. Sucks big-time. Let's change it to Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn"

    And now Charlie Bowman, the man best-known for *not* being Orville Redenbacher, has died, and even the lone guy who had him in the 2009 AO Deadpool, didn't notice. Bowman, who was 89 when he popped off for the last time, died in April. Buford gets five salty points and five hot-buttered bonus points. Total: 10.

    Steve Miller's WSJ obit: [ online.wsj.com/article/SB124001602945929965.html ] 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 13th
    Age: 69
    Worth: 16 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Yersinia Pestis
    43. Bruce Fletcher Snyder

    Bruce Snyder, who was 69 when he died in April, is a late addition to the deadpool updates ... because no one knew he was a solo hit until last week.

    Snyder had been the football coach at Arizona State (1992-2000), Cal (1987-1991) and Utah State (1976-1982). He was also an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams (1983-1986). He was the consensus national Coach of the Year in 1996 and he was twice the PAC-10 Coach of the Year. Over forty of his ASU players were drafted by the NFL and another forty signed NFL rookie contracts.

    Then he died.

    Yersinia Pestis gets 11 points for the unnecessary roughness brought on by Stage IV melanoma cancer, and another 5 for being the only one to wave his pom-poms as coach Snyder was being carried off the field. Total: 16. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 16th
    Age: 96
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Dannyb
    44. Milton Lewis

    I'm delighted to introduce our latest guest updater, our very own Danny Burstein (who also got the hit.) This is classic Danny. Sounds just like him. Although in person, he would have taken a tad longer to tell the story. Thanks, D.

    Milton Lewis, one of the originals of the WABC-TV, Channel 7 in NYC, "Eyewitness News" program (format developed by the legendary, but not yet on-topic, Al Primo), was old enough to know better, but after years of print journalism (including a stint at the on-topic "Herald Tribune") joined up with the "Happy News" crowd.

    And he luvvvvvved it. As did the viewers, frequently making Eyewitness News the most watched news program in the NYC area.

    Cynical and humorous at the same time. Burning politicians left and right, but still respected by them. He hosted the well regarded City Hall retrospective "Scoundrels, Scalawags, and Saviors" (name approximate from memory) back in the early 1970s, even getting Mayor John Lindsay to participate. (Determining which category Lindsay fit into is best left as an exercise to the student).

    "Now listen to this!" he exclaimed. "Did you know City Hall was once put up for sale?" And then he continued on. And on, and on. And that was in NYC politics. New Jersey was always open season, as the only news from there seemed to be floods, and politicians getting arrested.

    But "Now Listen To This!" Everyone's probably familiar with the Great Boston Molasses Flood. New Jersey had its very own replica, over in Hackensack. Or maybe it was Hoboken. And there was our very own Milton Lewis, reporting on the sticky streets, standing in the midst of the goo, and ending the report with:

    "This is Milton Lewis, shoveling (dramatic pause as he leaned on the shovel) MOLASSES, in the streets of Hackensack, NJ."

    Milton Lewis, born 1912, died April, 2009. Even as he used a computer in his last decade he mourned, as he wrote in a letter to the New York Times in 2001, his "vintage Underwood, which died with the 1966 demise of The New York Herald Tribune, where [he] was a reporter."

    Sidenote: A number of reports claim he was the last of the original Eyewitness News crew, but I'm pretty sure that some of the others are still around. Don't know for certain if they were there at the very beginning or came over in the first few years. Al Primo is certainly still with us...

    Now listen to this. For his first hit of the season, Danny gets 2 points plus 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Back to you, Danny. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 19th
    Age: 78
    Worth: 11 ₧
    Popularity: 2.90% of entrants
    Selectors: DDT
    McKie
    45. James Graham Ballard

    J.G. Ballard was all about the disaster. The crash, the flood, the high rise anarchy, the childhood in occupied Shanghai. The wife dying suddenly on holiday. Some of it was made up but a lot of it you couldn't make up. Upon hearing of his dying, I found my collection of Ballards in record time. Lovely English editions I must have picked up in Canada or England. I read the backs and I am struck by how prescient he was about climate change and water shortage, about calamities brought on by human society slipping into reverse, about the perils of mass consumerism, and on and on. He was obsessed with assassinations and car crashes. And yet, he was the quintessential suburban Dad. He never strayed far from his Shepperton home, where he raised his three kids alone. He experimented in fiction. He predicted alarming, apocalyptic changes, and lived in the same house for 50 years.

    J.G. Ballard has died at 78. His last book, as yet unpublished, is titled "Conversations with My Physician: The Meaning, if Any, of Life." McKie and DDT have rhymingly gotten the duet. They get 8 and 3. Total: 11. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 22nd
    Age: 94
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Exuma
    46. Kenneth Cooper Annakin

    The word journeyman was made for Ken Annakin. I've been trying to think of an equivalent modern-day director, someone who's not exactly an auteur, but not exactly a hack, either. He worked because he had experience, he was reliable and was probably a very nice man. He even made some quality pix. You could use him for a couple of comedies that had to get made because someone's contract was about to be up. You could throw him at The Longest Day with the other directors for some heavy-duty battle scenes. You could replace a recalcitrant director with him. Well, you get the picture. Annakin started as a cameraman on training films for the RAF during the war, and went on to direct more than 40 features on both sides of the pond. His most famous films (if you were, say, 12) were Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, which starred Stuart Whitman and Swiss Family Robinson, which starred John Mills. Someone on Imdb points out that the castaway men go shirtless in the film but their pants are tailored to hide their bellybuttons. This was the way things went in 1960. The Disney Corporation loved him. He made them lots of little fans and lots of big bucks.

    Interestingly, he was one of Mike Leigh's favorite directors, which is enough for me to try to find all the English comedies he directed in the forties. Too bad his career ended with stinkers like The Pirate Movie with Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins. I'd like to see the script notes for that project.

    Ken Annakin died on the same day as Jack Cardiff, his cinematographer on The Fifth Musketeer. He was 94. Exuma joins the 2009 game with this terrific hit. He gets 2 for the advanced age and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 25th
    Age: 86
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 2.90% of entrants
    Selectors: Constant Irritant
    Direcorbie
    47. Bea Arthur

    Please join me in welcoming the first guest update this year from Brad Ferguson. Stay with it, as it's terrific from beginning to end. Not only that, I asked him for it in the morning, and got it in the afternoon. Good, fast *and* cheap.

    Bea Arthur was born in New York (where else?) in 1922. She was Bernice Frankel then, the daughter of Phil and Rebecca. Not too long after Bernice was born, Phil decided to move the family to Cambridge, Maryland, where he and his wife wound up running a women's clothing store. (Cambridge is sort of in the ass end of nowhere. It's located east of Chesapeake Bay and, even today, has a population of only 11,000. It's got some history, though. Harriet Tubman was born there. Annie Oakley lived there for several years during the 19-teens. And then there's Maude.)

    Bernice grew up and thought about joining the Marines during World War II, but she didn't. After college in Virginia, Bernice returned to New York and worked in off-Broadway theater while studying drama at the New School. Bernice became Bea because she hated the name Bernice, and Arthur because she'd married writer Robert Alan Aurthur. (Note that she tweaked his spelling.) Early on, Bea tried lounge singing, but she stood just under 5'10" and was filled out to match, and nightclubs liked their girl singers to be, well, girls. One of her employers suggested she try comedy instead.

    Bea spent her 1950s learning, acting, and remarrying, this time to actor/director Gene Saks. In 1954 she played Lucy Brown in the first English-language version of "Threepenny Opera." Scores of roles followed. It took her only another ten years to break through.

    "Fiddler on the Roof" put Bea on the map. She played Yente, the matchmaker, and she stole the show, even from Zero Mostel. Two years later she played Vera Charles, the drunky best friend of Angela Lansbury's Mame Dennis. Bea won a Tony for that, and she would remain best friends with Angela Lansbury for the rest of her life. (And never mind the film version of "Mame," which was directed by Gene Saks and in which Bea repeated as Vera. It sucked, Bea stole it without effort, and people noticed.)

    Bea gave us a signal of what was to come in the 1970 film "Lovers and Other Strangers," in which she played the Mother from — well, if not exactly Hell, then just east of there. Norman Lear, who produced "All in the Family," brought Bea on as Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's liberal-feminist cousin, who has to tend to Archie while he has the flu. She shot and she scored, and after a backdoor pilot via "All in the Family," the "Maude" series premiered in 1972. It ran for six years, was not without controversy, remained popular throughout, and ended only because Bea had had enough of TV for a while.

    In 1983, Bea tried another series, "Amanda's." This was an American adaptation of "Fawlty Towers" done by people who didn't understand the original. They managed thirteen episodes. Bea, and we, had to wait another two years for "The Golden Girls."

    Simple premise. Three women — Dorothy, Rose and Blanche — share a house in Miami. Dorothy's dotty mother, Sophia, moves in with them. Wacky hijinks ensue for the next seven years. "The Golden Girls" ended because Bea, again, had had enough of TV for a while. The rest of the cast changed formats and networks to do "The Golden Palace," which limped along for a year and proved yet again that there's no horse so dead that TV can't beat it deader.

    Bea took it easier after that. She did TV-movies and one-woman shows, winning another Tony nomination for one of the latter. She appeared on gloriously profane Comedy Central roasts for Jerry Stiller and Pamela Anderson. She worked with PETA. She loved "South Park" and played the Femputer on "Futurama." Her last TV role was as Larry David's mother on a 2005 episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." It was entitled "The End."

    Among Bea's many, many credits is an appearance on a 1978 thing called "The Star Wars Holiday Special." This is an awesomely bad piece of television. Generations yet unborn will speak of it and spit afterward. The special was never rebroadcast and has never been released on video, although if you're sufficiently resourceful and are under the gun to write an obit, you can find a copy of it somewhere or other.

    It has a moment worth watching, and it's Bea's moment. She plays Ackmena, the night shift bartender at whatever the hell that smoky dive was called in the original Star Wars film. In comes Harvey Korman, himself once a victim of an American "Fawlty Towers" adaptation called "Snavely." Here, Korman plays Krelman, a shy and lonely man who mistakenly thinks Ackmena loves him. An official announces a sudden curfew, so Ackmena has to close the bar early. As Ackmena ushers everyone out, she sings, of course, because it's Bea Arthur:

    Just one more drop, friend,
    Before we stop, friend
    One more moment face to face.
    We may not thrive, friend
    But we survive, friend
    Look! We're alive, friend
    You and I.
    So say good night, friend,
    Good night, but not goodbye.'

    Direcorbie and Constant Irritant score with the ol' battleax. They get 5 for the hit and 3 for the duet. Welcome to the pool this year, CI. Bet J's been giving you grief! 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 27th
    Age: 50
    Worth: 19 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Mr. Brink
    48. Gregory Edward Page

    Greg Page, who died this week at 50, was, sadly, just another boxing hard-luck story. But twenty-five years ago, for less than 6-months, Greg Page had a moment in the sun. He was the heavyweight champion of the world, or at least the WBA's version.

    Page, a journeyman fighter, came to boxing at the right time; the era of James Tillis, Trevor Berbick, Tony Tubbs, Tim Witherspoon, David Bey and Gerrie Coetzee. In other words, it was an era in which even a club fighter could become the champ. In April of 1985, Page lost his crown to Tony Tubbs. He had gone from journeyman boxer to champion to club fighter in time that could almost be measured in less than a standing eight-count. He was still picking up short paychecks in 2001 when another clubber, Dale Crowe, put him into a coma. Greg Page spent the rest of his life ... fighting for his life.

    In the end, Mr. Brink was there to count the battered former champ out. On all the cards, Mr. Brink scores 14 and he gets five more for the SKO[1]. Total: 19.

    [1] Solo Knockout for those of you who are slower than Greg Page.

    (Schenley update and I must also add that at least three people had Page in 2008 and took him off their lists for 2009.) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: April 30th
    Age: 61
    Worth: 16 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Erik
    49. Timothy Wright

    I guess, with the death of The Reverend Timothy Wright, God called home one of his flock ... You know, by way of slaughtering his wife and grandson in the process. He couldn't just tap the Rev. on his shoulder and say, "Hey, Tim, wanna' come up to Heaven now?" No, not God. He had to snatch up some other guy, John Pick, and slap Tim, Betty and D.J. over the noggin' with poor Mr. Pick's car, killing everyone involved. Apparently God had some business with Betty because He took her first and left poor D.J. screaming in agony for a week. But lest anyone think that God isn't merciful, try to remember, Tim wasn't in pain ... 'cause he was para-fucking-lized.

    The Rev Wright wrote gospel songs, like "Who's on the Lord's Side" (and he's probably re-thinking that one), "Do You Know the Light" and 1994 Grammy nominated, "Come Thou Almighty King" (and that may have something to do with Betty getting the nod before Tim). He also wrote, "You Must Come In At the Door." Hopefully when Tim was rolled in at the door ... they let him keep his gurney. Okay, I had no fucking idea who this guy was, but "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," Erik did. And because the Rev. Wright was only 61 when his broken, battered body was gurneyed through the gate, you know, the Door, Erik gets 11 points for his Brooklyn neighbor, and 5 more for praising the Lord all by his lonesome. Total: 16.

    And no, I'm not going to Hell for writing this stuff. I'm going to Hell for other things ... So all of this stuff is free. Can I get an Amen?

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 4th
    Age: 75
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 8.57% of entrants
    Selectors: Constant Irritant
    Denise
    Direcorbie
    JazzVulture
    Jenstrikesagain
    Johnnyb
    50. Dominick "Dom" DeLuise

    We have here a marvelous update by King Daevid. We are very grateful for his help, and delighted to share this with you. Enjoy:

    Whenever Lenny Bruce was asked who his favourite comedian was, he would always respond by naming George Gobel. Lenny explained that, while Gobel was an unquestionably funny guy, he seemed to be nobody's favourite comedian. So George Gobel became Lenny Bruce's favourite comedian. I don't know exactly what Gobel thought of that, or even if wind of that fact ever got back to him. But I have to admit that, for much the same reason, one of my very favourite comedians was Dom DeLuise.

    He was never held in the same esteem as his contemporaries, partly because he was a sketch comedian rather than a stand-up like Richard Pryor, George Carlin or Bill Cosby. DeLuise almost always seemed to be the super-silly type of comic who would do slapstick, like the night he showed up on Johnny Carson's talk show, performed a trick involving raw eggs, and then joined Carson in messing the NBC studio, and each other, with those same eggs. Around the same time, he was a guest on the revival of "I've Got a Secret," his secret being that he was "hatching" an actual ostrich egg on the CBS studio floor, knitting something or other while on the nest.

    He constantly worked with Mel Brooks and Burt Reynolds in some movies that were classics — Blazing Saddles and History of the World Part One come most immediately to mind from the former collaboration — and sometimes just an excuse to have fun while making a movie — the Cannonball Run movies and Smokey & The Bandit Part 2 come to mind from the latter collaboration.

    He even got a chance to direct a fairly good one, the comedy Hot Stuff, back in 1979. A simple story about a Miami Police sting operation, it actually plays better as a TV sitcom than a theatrical movie. Of course, that may very well have been what DeLuise had in mind, something halfway between "Barney Miller" and "Dragnet" that he could star in himself for a couple of seasons if NBC or ABC were interested. It's in the blurb for Hot Stuff in Leonard Maltin's video guidebook that you may find the key to DeLuise's comedy; Maltin wasn't overly impressed, but did note the picture "surprises by treating its characters as real human beings instead of cartoon stereotypes." As goofy as DeLuise ever got, he never quite let his performances escape the boundaries of what would be conceivably done by someone you've met somewhere in real life. Bizarre, yes, but never beyond actual belief.

    On the other hand, he didn't want to act the ogre to get the laughter. Mark Evanier has blogged of his suggestion that, during a spell when DeLuise would be wheelchair-bound because of hip surgery, he play the title role in a stage production of the Kaufman-Hart classic The Man Who Came to Dinner. Dom wasn't familiar with the piece, but promised to read the script and think about it. A couple of days later, Dom told Mark he'd read it, and didn't want to do it. The character was "a son of a bitch."

    But what may surprise you is how brilliantly subtle he was in his first motion picture, a distinctly serious film from 1964 called Fail-Safe. In that one, a technical snafu sends American bombers the wrong codes, which leads the bombers to follow the mission the codes indicate: nuke Moscow. In the story, we see the codes being physically loaded by a Sgt. Collins at Strategic Air Command in Omaha. Modern day audiences chuckle at that moment, as we've been conditioned to --- Sgt. Collins was played by Dom DeLuise. We later see him in one other very important point in the film. His commander, General Bogan (played by another underrated actor, Frank Overton) orders Sgt. Collins to tell his Soviet counterparts on a hotline telephone hookup how they are able to knock the American bombers out of the sky. In his dialogue, Sgt. Collins does exactly that. But Sgt. Collins is also very nervous, realising that he was the one to load the codes that started this whole mess. Was it his error, or only the computer's, that put the world on the brink of nuclear catastrophe? His voice quivers at one point, he shudders at another, and as he turns to go back to his station, the expression on his face conveys the sharp anxiety he feels for having had the duty of telling those men he has been conditioned to consider his adversaries how to kill his own comrades in arms. With this brief appearance in a picture completely devoid of laughter, Dom DeLuise proved he could be as fine a tragedian as he was a comedian. Acting students can do much worse than to study this short piece of film. It may have been his briefest role, but it was also one of his most effective.

    Dom DeLuise was 75 years old when he died in his sleep this month. He had been battling both congestive heart failure and prostate cancer for several years. He left the world a legacy of laughter that his reflections and shadows will continue to generate for generations to come, provided we don't do what was depicted in Fail-Safe. At the very least, he definitely improved the spirit of this world with his presence in it, and those of us who have faith in God, or Gods, can certainly thank our respective God or Gods for Dominick DeLuise being placed among us for the time that he was.

    Thank you for being patient, Constant Irritant, Denise, Direcorbie, Jazz Vulture, Jenstrikesagain and JohnnyB. Your reward is 8 points. Welcome to the 2009 game, JV. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 7th
    Age: 64
    Worth: 16 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: DDT
    51. Ian Cundy

    There were three pianos in his palace in Great Britain, and a wine cellar with an extensive collection was kept in his home in France. Being a pilot, he would jet between his two homes, where he entertained lavish parties. Among his other eclectic collectables were corkscrews, clocks, cameras and several vintage automobiles. According to the London Daily Telegraph, Ian Cundy owned so many clocks that a midday caller might well have thought their call was to a "horologist's workshop."

    Who was this wealthy jet-setter, this man about Europe? Was he a rock star or a footballer? The heir to a vast tea and crumpets fortune? No. Mr. Cundy was actually The Right Reverend Ian Cundy, an Anglican priest. Fairy tales, it seems, are as lucrative in England as they are in Rome.

    The Telegraph made no mention of his considerable kiddie-porn collection or his involvement in the assassination of Diana, Princess of Wales.

    He was 64.

    DDT was preying at an altar very different from The Right Reverend's. He gets 11 points for the hit and an additional 5 for the solo ... to go along with his excommunication. Total: 16.

    Editor's Note: When we haven't had guest updates, Bill's been writing them, as he did this one. I'm very grateful.
     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 8th
    Age: 92
    Worth: 3 ₧
    Popularity: 4.29% of entrants
    Selectors: Bill Schenley
    Exuma
    Mort Chewary
    52. Dominic Paul "Dom" DiMaggio

    The comparisons with his brother Joe are inevitable; Joe, the New York Yankee hall of famer, and Dom, the diminutive, bespectacled, not-quite-a-hall-of-famer. And the comparisons are usually unfair.

    Dom DiMaggio, who has died at 92, was, in most respects, much more than his self-centered, but more celebrated brother, Joe. Dom was married to Emily Frederick for 60 years when he passed away. Joe's marriages, to Dorothy Arnold and to Marilyn Monroe, lasted less than six years combined. Dom had three children, all of whom graduated from college (Brown, Stanford and the University of New Hampshire), while Joe's only son, who was estranged from his father, died from an overdose of crack and heroin shortly after his father's death. After Joe DiMaggio's baseball career had ended, he lived off his celebrity. Dom DiMaggio, refusing to trade off his name, started a textile business (Delaware Valley Corp.) that continues to prosper.

    Dominic Paul DiMaggio was a seven-time All-Star center fielder for the Boston Red Sox, and even Casey Stengel, Joe's Yankee manager, called Dom the best center fielder in major league baseball. Dom DiMaggio's 34-game hitting streak, set in 1949, is still the Red Sox record. And, as if it weren't bad enough to be primarily known as Joe DiMaggio's younger brother, Dom is also remembered for pulling his hamstring as he was coming into second base in the 8th inning of game seven of the 1946 World Series. DiMaggio had just driven in two runs, tying the game at 3-all, with his double. He was replaced in the outfield by Len Culbertson, who bobbled a ball hit by Harry Walker of the St. Louis Cardinals and allowed Enos Slaughter to score from first base. The Cardinals won the series, 4-3.

    For more information on the this great under-rated baseball player, known as "The Little Professor," read David Halberstam's "Teammates."

    The AO Deadpool has its own little professors: Bill Schenley, Exuma and Mort Chewary were all deadpool schooled enough to know this would be Dom's last season. They each get 2 points for the hit, and another single bonus point. Total: 3. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 21st
    Age: 28
    Worth: 27 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Amelia
    53. Robert Müller

    The important details to remember are these. He was Germany's leading goaltender playing for its national team in two Olympics and 6 national championships. He stopped 96 of 100 shots in the second-longest game in the history of professional hockey. He was the winning goalie on March 22, 2008, as host Kölner Haie beat Adler Mannheim, 5-4, in the sixth overtime of their German DEL playoff game, which lasted 168 minutes 16 seconds. Only Detroit's 1-0 victory against the Montreal Maroons in 1936, at 176:30, went longer. He was even drafted by the Washington Capitals but he never played in the NHL. He was married, he had a couple of kids. These are the details to remember, the ordinary and the extraordinary things he had accomplished before he was 28. Because Robert Müller died obscenely young, at 28, of a brain tumor.

    I'm beginning to think I'm the last person reading the actual print edition of the New York Times. And because I go through it page by page, sequentially, instead of jumping around an irritating website, I happened to read the hockey news one day. I don't usually read the hockey news but that day I did. There was a sad article about this young man who was still trying to play even after surgery and chemo.

    So sue me. I put him on my list. For those doubting Toms among us, there were obituaries in the NY Times, AP, Canadian Press and all the German newspapers. I, Amelia, get 22 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 27. One point out of first. One lousy point. And because some of you would like to know, Jade Goody was younger, so I'm out of the running for youngest hit. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 31st
    Age: 97
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 7.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Buford
    Charlene
    Erik
    Kathi
    Nova Cassius
    54. Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean

    There's a certain logic to the notion that the youngest passenger should be the last survivor, don't you think? By actuarial consideration, Millvina Dean had the best odds. Sometimes, it works that way, but not always. (We consulted an actuary before looking for people for our high school reunion to determine how many should be dead, and he was right on the money.) Then there's the bizarre idea that the person who remembers the least, that is to say, nothing, should be the person who hangs around the longest as witness. (I worked with someone who was in utero on the Andrea Doria, so presumably she was the youngest survivor on that trip and she loves talking about it.) Dean hung around long enough to run out of money to live on, and ended up being rescued once again. This time, by the actors in the film version. Now that's strange.

    As the result of a cruel twist of fate (are twists of fate ever kind?) Millvina Dean did not die in Kansas, the family's destination, but in England, where they had come from. She was 97 and the end of an era. Our Buford, Charlene, Erik, Kathi and Nova Cassius (first of the year!) each get the incredible sum of 2 points. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: May 31st
    Age: 81
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Moldy Oldies
    55.

    Bill Schenley writes:

    Marlene Dietrich, Carol Channing, Dorothy Squires and Shirley Bassey were not only his close friends, but his muses. Danny La Rue, Britain's most well-known drag queen, or "a bloke in a frock," as he preferred to be called, died the first week of June, although AO Deadpool executives were not notified until this week. Hence the tardy Update ... and if you don't like it, in the words of Danny La Rue, when Princess Margaret opened his dressing room door only to find him naked, "Piss off!"

    Moldy Oldies, in his best Chanel suit, waited until the last week in December, hoping, I presume, to entice a few extra end-of-the-year bonus points out of us. Well, it won't work, Oldies. I don't care how seductive that gorgeous, sensual, alluring ... red ... lipstick ... of ... yours ... Uh, anyway, because Danny La Rue was 81, MO gets five for the hit and five for the solo.

    Total: 10. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 7th
    Age: 64
    Worth: 14 ₧
    Popularity: 2.90% of entrants
    Selectors: DDT
    Ed Varner
    56. Hugh Hopper

    Hugh Hopper, who was at one time the bass player for Soft Machine, has died at 64. Amelia stuck me with this Update for the same reason she throws the arithmetic people, the fucking priests and auto salesmen at me ... because I absolutely Fucking Despise jazz fusion slash progressive slash fucking experimental gag-me-with-a-shovel ... music — that goddamned looping, batshit barf noise that some others seem to adore.

    He once (keyword: once) worked with Syd Barrett ... and as much as I loved the music of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, that's not really much of a talent endorsement because Barrett himself was fucking crazy. Anyway, I don't really want to trash the guy, because I never listened to him — so lets get right to the points.

    DDT and That Wilde Flower Ed Varner, by fusing Google and leukemia, came away with a pretty cool hit. They get 11 points for the hit and 3 for the duet. Total: 14.

    Editor's note: That was Schenley. Please refer to the website for completely accurate scoring. I obviously can't add.
     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 10th
    Age: 105
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: The Fireball
    57. Huey Long

    Huey Long was the last surviving member of a band he only played with for 9 months. But lest anyone think that brief tenure with the Inkspots rendered him insignificant in the world of music, the facts are otherwise. His career lasted 80 years, from the time he put down his shoe-shine kit outside the Rice Hotel in Houston and replaced a banjo player who never showed. He played with Tex Guinan's Cuban Orchestra, the WPA Concert and Swing Band, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie and accompanied every singer around. In the 60's he formed a version of the Inkspots and performed across the country. For whom, I can't even imagine. He had a good long musical career, met the greats, made wonderful recordings and was writing a musical dictionary just before he died. We should all be so productive.

    It's too bad Fireball didn't have Senator or Governor Huey Long in some alternate universe deadpool, because he died at 42. Our Huey Long died back in early June at the age of 105 So he gets 1 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 6 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 23rd
    Age: 86
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 5.71% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    King Daevid
    Mister Selina
    Pat Peeve
    58. Edward Leo Peter McMahon Jr.

    Brad Ferguson has been kind enough to whip up another great update for us. I just knew he was the right man for the job. Enjoy.

    Sidekicks rule, man. Ed McMahon was married three times, and Johnny Carson four, but Ed and Johnny always had each other. All the headlines today are going to say Carson Sidekick and Tonight Show Announcer, but the story starts earlier and goes deeper.

    Ed McMahon was born in Detroit in 1923, the son of Edward Sr. and Eleanor Russell McMahon. His father was a singer who told jokes. Ed was on his own by the age of 12 and worked as a carnival barker in the Maine town of Mexico, where he also called bingo games.

    Ed served in World War II and Korea. He was a Marine fighter pilot and, later, a flight instructor and test pilot. Ed loved the Marines and was proud of his service. He remained in the Reserves until he retired as a colonel in 1966, whereupon he was commissioned a brigadier general in the California Air National Guard. He stayed with that until 1983.

    Between World War II and Korea, Ed put himself through college by going to Atlantic City in the summer and selling vegetable slicers from a stand just off the Boardwalk. That sounds dull and stupid, but Ed made a thousand bucks a week selling those slicers. Ed graduated from the Catholic University of America in 1949 with a bachelor's in speech and drama.

    Dick Clark, the American Bandstand host, knew everybody. He'd known Johnny Carson since at least 1952. In fact Johnny, still an unknown, had sat in as a drummer on Bandstand at least once. Dick Clark also knew Ed McMahon. Dick met Ed in 1953, when Ed moved into Dick's apartment building. Soon enough, Ed was working as Dick's announcer on Bandstand. One day there was Dick and Ed, and all of a sudden heeeere's Johnny. "Hey, Johnny," says Dick, "c'mon over; I think you ought to meet my friend Ed here.

    Boomers of a certain age may remember a quiz show called Who Do You Trust? It premiered in late 1957 on ABC and was on every day after school, and it was hosted by Johnny Carson. The quiz stuff was incidental, like with Groucho on You Bet Your Life. You watched Who Do You Trust? not for the quiz, but for Johnny's frequently hilarious interviews with the contestants. Remember that bit; it might just turn out to be important later.

    The original announcer on Who Do You Trust? was a fellow named Bill Nimmo, who was with the show during its first year. It wasn't working out, so Johnny decided to bring in Ed to replace Nimmo. Ed and Johnny wound up doing the show for four years. They both left, together, in 1962 to do The Tonight Show, together.

    Hank Bradford was the head writer on The Tonight Show from 1969 to 1975. He recently told Mark Evanier that "all these guys [Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jay Leno, etc.] all go on and on about how much they admired Johnny and follow in his footsteps ... but they all think they can do that kind of a show without an Ed McMahon. Johnny knew how much it adds to have someone to talk to, someone who can function as a good straight man. He would never have done his show without Ed." That partnership lasted for nearly thirty years, until Johnny and Ed left Tonight, together, in 1992.

    Ed and Johnny remained close friends until Johnny's death in 2005. Ed told Time magazine that he got the call from Johnny's nephew Jeff. Ed's wife Pam answered, and Ed knew what had happened when he saw Pam's face. Jeff told Ed, "You're my first call. He would have wanted me to call you first. I know how much you two meant to each other." Ed thanked him and hung up. Ed said that it was the first time his wife had ever seen him cry.

    There's more about Ed. He had his own career. He acted in a few movies, perhaps most notably as a victim in 1967's subway crime drama The Incident. You'd see Ed in a guest shot on somebody's else TV show now and then, and he had a recurring role in a short-lived Tom Arnold sitcom during the late '90s. Ed hosted the game show Concentration for a few months in 1969. He also had the distinction of hosting perhaps the worst hour of television of all time, a thing called Legends of the Superheroes: The Roast.

    But, much farther up his resume, Ed co-hosted (with his old friend Dick Clark) a series called TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes. He did Bloopers for only a couple of years, but it seems longer than that because the show was in reruns forever, and it was hard to tell one episode from another. Watching cats fall off sofas never gets old. There was also Star Search, an amateur-talent competition that was Ed's biggest personal success.

    Ed was Jerry Lewis' announcer for the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, which started in New York about a hundred years ago and has long since gone national and relocated to Las Vegas.

    Ed's later years were marred by bad news, illness and financial problems. There were a couple of costly divorces and a bruising custody battle. Ed's son Michael died of liver cancer in 1995. Ed broke his neck in a fall, and was unable to work for years thereafter, which depleted his resources and led to him nearly losing his home. Ed spent an ugly final four months in the hospital for treatment of pneumonia and bone cancer.

    Ed's last appearance on TV, the last time Ed was truly Ed and not some hard-luck story on Larry King Live, was on last year's Emmy Awards show. It's a very brief bit. Ed's in a chair because he can no longer stand, but he's nevertheless right there in the middle of a big fat mess of a production number that honors TV shows of the past. In the middle of all of that, the very last thing that Ed McMahon will ever say on live TV is what comes now, with a perfect pitchman's big smile: Heeeeeere's Johnny!

    Who Do You Trust — www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf7X6dJNFyg

    Abby, King Daevid, Pat Peeve and Mister Selina (with his first of the year) have all picked the second banana. They get 5 points apiece. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 23rd
    Age: 57
    Worth: 19 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Philip
    59. Dr. Jerri Lin Nielsen Fitzgerald

    Try to put yourself in her place. Wanting to be in Antarctica. In the winter. In temperatures that defy the imagination. With a lump in your breast. With you being the doctor. The only doctor. Would you biopsy your own lump, and would you administer chemo to yourself with the help of a welder and a machinist? Would you ignore all admonitions to leave and get treatment conventionally? It's impossible to put yourself in her place, because then you'd have to be at the South Pole. Eventually, people risked their lives to bring her back to a world where she could be just the patient and the rest would have been history, except she wrote a book which was made into a movie in which Susan Sarandon got to put herself in Dr.Jerri Nielsen's place. Except it was probably somewhere in Hollywood.

    Dr. Nielsen died last week at 57, a full ten years after her self-diagnosis. And in this star-studded week of celebrity death, Philip went in a different direction from everyone else and got himself a very, very impressive solo. That's 14 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Nice work, Philip. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 25th
    Age: 62
    Worth: 11 ₧
    Popularity: 27.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    Buford
    Chaptal
    Charlene
    Chipmunk Roasting
    Denise
    Direcorbie
    Erik
    The Fireball
    JD Baldwin
    Kathypig1
    Mark
    Max Weder
    Mr Brink
    Pat Peeve
    Philip
    Ray Arthur
    Sis
    Undertaker
    60. Farrah Leni Fawcett

    Of all the things I've read about Farrah Fawcett in the last week, the most interesting one was this. Back in the day, she did her own hair and makeup. Back in the day of that poster on your (you know who you are) bedroom wall. Tens of millions of posters sold and sullied, and she did her own hair. The guy who cut my hair for many years, whose name I'm ashamed to admit has disappeared from my memory bank, used to get all upset about that haircut. "Everyone wants that Fucking Flip," he'd yell. He's long gone, poor man, dead of AIDS, but I can still hear him spitting those words out. Farrah wasn't a bad actress. She tried. I liked her in that TV movie about her mother-in-law dying and the fact that she was acclaimed for doing a good job of playing battered women may have had more to do with her taste in men than any acting classes she might have audited. I'll give her points for playing a Nazi-hunter, although the casting was nothing if not bizarre. I had no idea she played the great photographer Margaret Bourke White, but she did. As cancer was bringing her life to an end — anal cancer, the penultimate indignity — she held her head and what was left of her hair up high and tried for her umpteenth comeback. She was dying all over the news, the tabloids, the TV, the internet. Maybe there was a poster in the works, who knows.

    One day the hairdresser and I had a frank conversation about death. And he was quite the philosopher. About one's own death, he appropriated the words,"we know not the day nor the hour." Farrah Fawcett might have known the day, but she will never know how few hours her death was in the headlines. This was the final indignity.

    Abby, Buford, Chaptal, Charlene, Chipmunk Roasting, Denise, Direcorbie, Erik, Fireball, JD Baldwin, Kathypig1, Mark, Max Weder, Mr. Brink, Pat Peeve, Philip, Ray Arthur, Sis, and Undertaker each get 11 points. First of the year for Chipmunk Roasting, Ray Arthur and Sis! 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: June 25th
    Age: 50
    Worth: 14 ₧
    Popularity: 27.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    Another Lurker
    Bushwhacker
    Chaptal
    Constant Irritant
    Dead People Server
    Denise
    DGH
    Erik
    Jazz Vulture
    JD Baldwin
    Jenstrikesagain
    Max Weder
    The Monkey Farm
    Sarndra
    Sis
    Starfish
    Team Bubba
    ??? Guest
    61. Michael Joseph Jackson Sr.

    "I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin'." — Navin Johnson ("The Jerk") —

    Moments after Farrah Fawcett passed away, she found herself walking through the gates of Heaven where she was introduced to God. God, remembering that Farrah had great nipples, told the late Ms. Fawcett that she could have one wish — any wish. Flipping her Flop to the side, she smiled demurely and said, "I wish for all the world's children to be safe." With just a snap of God's fingers ... the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" ... was dead.

    There has been much conjecture as to the cause of Michael Jackson's death. Some say heart attack or an overdose of drugs, while others speculate he choked on a small bone, or perhaps died from food poisoning — eating eight-year-old nuts. After all, he had been looking rather pale and paramedics at the scene report that Michael Jackson never got his color back.

    ---
    Q: What's the difference between Michael Jackson and greyhound racing?
    A: The greyhounds wait for the hares to come out.
    ---

    Whatever the cause of death, the world did lose an iconic singer and dancer. Michael Jackson was to the 1980s and 90s, what Elvis was to the 50s and The Beatles were to the 60s. His music, his dancing, and his style — the freak show that was his life, has been, and will most likely continue to be an influence in popular music for generations to come.

    Once a member of the Jackson 5, his greatest fame came as a solo act. Jackson's 1979 album "Off the Wall" was the first of several records that would become some of the best-selling albums in music history. His LP "Thriller" stayed in the Billboard top-ten for eighty consecutive weeks, thirty-seven at number one. Jackson's signature dance move, the moonwalk, made its debut at Motown 25 while performing his hit song "Billy's Jeans" from the "Thriller" album. "Thriller" is the best-selling album of all-time.

    ---
    Q: What's the difference between Michael Jackson and acne?
    A: Acne doesn't come on your face until you're 13.
    ---

    In 1993, Jackson became infatuated with a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler, who, under the influence of sodium amytal, stated that he and Jackson engaged in oral sex. Chandler gave a detailed account of Jackson's penis, including a description of the truck tattoo on Jacko's dick. A tattoo artist also testified, that a month or so after Jackson met Jordan Chandler, that Michael Jackson requested a truck be tattooed on his penis. And when the artist inquired as what kind of truck Mr. Jackson would like tattooed on his penis, Jackson replied ... "Make it a 4X4 ... because it's gonna' get pretty fuckin' muddy." Still, the controversy never seemed to bother Jackson. He didn't appear to mind reaching bottom.

    Jackson was married twice. To Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the late Elvis Presley, and to Debbie Rowe, who was the biological mother of two of his children. When Ms. Rowe was pregnant with their first child, a BBC reporter asked, "Have you been able to determine its sex?" Rowe sweetly replied, "No, I want to wait until after its born." Dumbfounded, the reporter said, "Ms. Rowe, I was referring to Michael."

    ---
    Q: Why is Michael Jackson addicted to pain killers?
    A: To stop him from going OW! OW! OW!
    ---

    In January 2005, Jackson was charged, in Santa Monica, California, with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit sexual abuse on a child. After Elizabeth Taylor testified on the "Larry King Live" television show, Jackson was acquitted of all charges. His life, however, would never be the same. Unable to overcome the scandal, his babysitting jobs dried up. He was forced to abandon his child-magnet, the Neverland ranch, and move into the squalor of Holmby Hills, a crime-ridden neighborhood of West Los Angeles known for housing other sexual predator-degenerates, like Hugh Hefner and Kelsey Grammer.

    Jackson's addiction to prescription drugs also caused him many difficulties. However, his last visit to the Betty Ford Clinic seemed to do wonders for Wacko-Jacko. When his father asked how he felt, Jacko replied, "I feel like a new boy." Michael Jackson was so bad he could have been a Catholic priest. If he had molested any more young boys he would'a been a monsignor.

    ---
    Q: How do you know when it's bedtime at the Jackson residence?
    A: When the big hand touches the little hand...
    ---

    Okay, enough of the pedophile jokes. I know many of you were molested as children, and you're probably offended, so let's get right to the scoring. ??? Guest, Abby, Another Lurker, Chaptal, Constant Irritant, Bushwhacker, Dead People Server, Denise, DGH, Erik, Jazz Vulture, Jenstrikesagain, J.D., Max Weder, Sarndra, Sis, Starfish, Team Bubba and The Monkey Farm all get 14 points (quite a Thriller) for the untimely demise of The King of Pop. Total: 14.

    First of the year for ???Guest, Bushwhacker, Team Bubba and The Monkey Farm!

    And in the words of the late Billy Mays, "But wait. There's more." Abby, Chaptal, Denise, Erik, J.D., Max Weder and Sis all hit the Daily Double with the death of Farrah Fawcett. That's ten extra points.

    ---
    Q: Have you heard about the foundation that Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor have started?
    A: It's called the Ignited Negro College Fund.
    ---

    From the editor: Clearly, Bill wrote this one. As for the scoring, I'd be really surprised if I got it all right. Not to worry, as it will be correct on the website. Thanks for being patient.
     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 1st
    Age: 97
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 17.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Dead Batteries
    Deepstblu
    Eternity Tours
    Exuma
    James Neibaur
    Kentucky Wizard
    Kixco
    Mark
    Mister Selina
    Monarc
    Pat Peeve
    Ray Arthur
    62. Karl Malden

    Karl Malden and Michael Jackson had Gary, Indiana in common, a city that is nothing if not working-class. And Malden was a silver screen working-class hero. His years in the steel mill served him well when he found the theater in New York. Kazan took one look at the gentle man with the weird nose and knew he had found his man, namely everyman. The Kazan films were the highlight of Malden's film career. (Although I thought he was a perfect Herbie.) The Streets of San Francisco was apparently the highlight of his working stiff TV career, but not, I would say, until it morphed into American Express. Those were the good old days, when you could put a trusted TV character in front of the camera to talk to the audience about being safe. And people bought it hook, line and sinker. His last role was amazing, playing a priest on West Wing who counsels the POTUS on the death penalty. A brilliant stroke of casting. I guess that's it. Whatever he did, it was a brilliant stroke of casting.

    Dead Batteries, Deepstblu, Eternity Tours, Exuma, JamesNeibaur, Kixco, Pat Peeve, Mark, Mister Selina, Monarc, Ray Arthur and The Wiz have all cashed in their deadpool traveler's checks. Malden was 97, so they each get 2 points. First of the year for Eternity Tours! 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 1st
    Age: 86
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Johnnyb
    63. Mary Isobel "Molly" Sugden

    Just the craziness in my head, but I've always wondered ... did the carpet match the drapes. Mollie Sugden, who had not only blonde, auburn, red (and I mean RED), silver, blue, purple, yellow, pink and green hair, has died.

    She was best known in Great Britain and North America for her role as Mrs. Slocombe in the comedy series "Are You Being Served."

    I would be remiss in this Update, as would any obituary about Ms. Sugden, if I didn't mention her pussy:

    "The last time I was late, a fireman had to climb out my bedroom window and grab hold of my pussy."

    "On the stroke of six my pussy goes mad."

    "It's a wonder I'm here at all. My pussy got soaking wet, I had to dry it out in front of the fireplace."

    "Having a bath at six o'clock in the morning played havoc with my pussy."

    "Mr. Humphries, leave my pussy alone."

    "The mere sight of my pussy drives him mad."

    "If my pussy isn't attended to by eight-o'clock, I'll be stroking it all night."

    Lest anyone get the wrong idea, Molly Sugden was much more than a one-trick-pus ... er ... pony. She was a wonderful comedic actor with a long and distinguished career, unfortunately for most Americans, a career usually confined to the Old Country.

    Ms. Sugden was 86 when she and her pussy left for parts unknown. JohnnyB was lucky enough to get mention in her will. She leaves him with five points for the hit, five for the solo ... and a pale blue merkin. Total: 10 (albeit a colorful ten).

    (BS) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 4th
    Age: 94
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Chipmunk Roasting
    64. Leo Mol

    Leo Mol's work included paintings, drawings, porcelain figurines and stained glass windows, but he is best known for his sculptures. And no wonder. He came from a community of potters in the Ukraine and his birthplace was rich in clay. So it was either tennis or sculpture. In his oeuvre are the likenesses of three different popes, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill. His sculpture of Eisenhower is in the Portrait Gallery in DC. His work, Lumberjacks, was featured on a Canadian stamp. He left all his work to the city of Winnipeg, and in it's all in a lovely garden. Leo Mol died at 94 on July 4th. His memorial service was in the garden, and hundreds of folks lined the walkways as the premier of Mantiboa said they were in the most beautiful place in all of Canada. You can see many of the sculptures there and listen to a really horrible piece of what I'm guessing is Ukrainian requiem music in this link:

    www.winnipegsun.com/news/2009/07/13/10122221.html#/news/winnip...

    Chipmunk Roasting, one of our Canadian hotshots, gets the solo on this one. She gets two points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Excellent hit. (Another Canadian solo coming up soon!) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 6th
    Age: 95
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Buford
    65. Oscar Gottfried Mayer Jr.

    Our webmaster sent along his own ditty:

    My Stiff has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R
    My Cadaver has a second name, it's M-A-Y-E-R
    Oh, I love to pick him every day, and if you ask me why, I'll say,
    Cause Oscar Mayer made the day of B-U-F-O-R-D Yay!

    2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7 Hold the mustard.

    (Buford) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 6th
    Age: 93
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 7.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Another Lurker
    Dead Batteries
    Mark
    Monarc
    Nova Cassius
    66. Robert Strange McNamara

    I will not trivialize nor will I memorialize Robert McNamara, who has died at 93. He deserves neither.

    (Bill Schenley)

    Another Lurker, Dead Batteries, Mark, Monarc and Nova Cassius all receive 2 points for the hit. Total: 2 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 17th
    Age: 92
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 24.29% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    Busgal
    Charlene
    Constant Irritant
    Dannyb
    Dead Batteries
    Eternity Tours
    JD Baldwin
    Kathypig1
    King Daevid
    Lurker3791
    Mark
    Max Weder
    Moldy Oldies
    The Monkey Farm
    Nova Cassius
    Ray Arthur
    67. Walter Leland Cronkite Jr.

    Another terrific update from Brad Ferguson and Brad, I swear this'll be the last time I ask you this year. (You can always volunteer, of course.)

    Walter Cronkite was born nearly 93 years ago in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Show-Me State. He began his professional career as a cub reporter with the Houston Post, which meant that his stories never ran longer than a paragraph or two. A long, long time later, most of the stories Cronkite wrote still wouldn't run longer than that, but his audience would be considerably larger.

    Cronkite worked as a newspaper stringer while he attended the University of Texas at Austin. He quit college in his junior year and took a full-time job as a newspaper reporter at the Houston Press, but he soon discovered radio. The hours were probably better, and the money certainly was. Cronkite soon found a job as an announcer at WKY in Oklahoma City, and within months he'd traded up to KCMO in Kansas City. Cronkite was the sports announcer there, and he did lots of commercials. Some of them were with a girl named Betsy.

    Cronkite left KCMO for the United Press in 1937. This is where he won his spurs. He learned to write light, tight and bright, and to do it quickly and truly. He also married Betsy. Then the war came.

    Cronkite was one of the first to go cover the war. He went to North Africa and to Europe. He tagged along on bombing runs over Germany, and on at least one mission he manned a gun aboard a Flying Fortress and shot at attacking Nazi fighters. (No, civilians are not supposed to do that, but Cronkite did it anyway.) Somewhere in there, the legendary Edward R. Murrow approached Cronkite with a job offer: Work for CBS for $125 a week. Cronkite said no, he'd stick with the UP, where he was making about $90. Murrow was surprised by Cronkite's refusal, but maybe Murrow had never worked on a radio station in Kansas City.

    After the war, Cronkite covered the Nuremberg war crimes trials and then went to work in Moscow, still for the UP. In 1950, Ed Murrow again tried to hire Cronkite and, this time, Cronkite was willing. Living in Stalin-era Moscow would do that to you.

    Cronkite was sent to Washington to build CBS's news operation there, at WTOP-TV. Under chairman William Paley, CBS took news very seriously. Paley underwrote the news division's losses because Paley not only wanted CBS to be a good corporate citizen, but he knew that doing quality news would secure for CBS the privilege of using the people's airwaves to broadcast pie fights for lowbrow laughs and big bucks. That's why the network produced the news for its New York and Washington stations.

    Cronkite went national with a newscast called "Up to the Minute," which ran on Sunday nights after the popular game show "What's My Line?" "Up to the Minute" ran for the then-standard fifteen minutes, and it was mostly Cronkite reading his own copy, so you know it was good.

    And now here comes the Cronkite we'll come to know pretty well. He was given the job of fronting CBS coverage of the 1952 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Back then, and for some years to come, these conventions were covered wall-to-wall, and all regular programming was pre-empted for them, no matter how pointless the conventions were or how tedious they became. The word "anchor" was coined for the job Cronkite did here in 1952, because "host" sounded wrong and there was no other word. No one knows who coined it — there are at least three claimants for the honor — but it was coined for Cronkite. Cronkite also anchored election-night coverage that year.

    Beginning in 1953, Cronkite hosted (that's the right word here) a show called "You Are There," which covered historical events as they might have been covered by CBS, had the network and all its technology been around at the time. Cronkite was also, at one mercifully brief point, a quizzzzzmaster, hosting "It's News to Me" during the summer of 1954. It was the summer replacement series for the Ed Murrow show "Person to Person," so maybe there was some news division cache there ... but probably not.

    Walter with 'Charlemane' That same year, Cronkite became the first host of "The Morning Show," which was intended to compete with NBC's popular "Today" program. At the time, a chimpanzee named J. Fred Muggs was one of the hosts of "Today." CBS did not care to hire a chimp. Instead, Cronkite would discuss the news with a lion-like hand puppet named Charlemane. Cronkite said many years later that his discussions of current events with the witty Charlemane were the highlight of the show, and he remained proud of it.

    Cronkite took over the evening news program from Douglas Edwards in 1962 and stayed with it until 1981. The three things people remember the most about Cronkite's work are his enthusiasm for the space program, his distress over the murder of John F. Kennedy, and his report on Vietnam in 1968.

    Vietnam, now. Cronkite went there and took a careful look around. Then he came home and did a special report, at the end of which he told everybody exactly what he thought about what he'd been shown, and especially about what he'd seen for himself. He said that the war had gone to stalemate and should be ended through negotiation. Some never forgave Cronkite for this, and it didn't help that he turned out to be right. As we now know from the memoirs of former defense secretary Robert McNamara and others, official Washington had come to realize a couple of years previously that the war could not be won. More than forty years later, some continue to criticize Cronkite's report as some sort of lapse or error, blithely choosing to ignore the basics of what journalism is supposed to be: This is what I saw, this is the context, and this is what I think it means. Some of that, especially the last part, frequently gets lost because, when you get right down to it, many find great comfort in a news bunny's smooth read of a government press release.

    In his retirement, Cronkite had hosted the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Day concert for 24 years, including 2008. In that final year, he looked thinner and more tired than even being 91 might call for, and the mustache he'd had since the 1940s was suddenly gone, reportedly the victim of Cronkite's need for supplemental oxygen delivery. It was clear that Cronkite was finally crumbling under the weight of his age. He did not return for this year's concert. Julie Andrews, not quite twenty years younger than he, replaced him.

    Betsy Cronkite died four years ago. Her marriage to Walter had lasted 64 years. Recently, Walter had been keeping company, as he put it, with Carly Simon's older sister. Not bad. Cronkite was also friends with George Clooney. Not bad, either.

    Cronkite had regrets. Maybe his biggest one was, as he told an interviewer a dozen years ago for the Newseum, "that in our attempt to establish some standards, we didn't make them stick. We couldn't find a way to pass them on to another generation."

    Abby, Busgal, Charlene, Constant Irritant, DannyB, Dead Batteries, Eternity Tours, JD, Kathypig1, Lurker3791, King Daevid, Mark, Max Weder, Moldy Oldies, The Monkey Farm, Nova Cassius and Ray Arthur each get 2 points. First of the year for veteran player Lurker3791 and he's still higher than RH Draney! 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 18th
    Age: 113
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Allen Kirshner
    68. Henry William Allingham

    When Tomoji Tanabe, the oldest man in the world, died in June, Henry Allingham knew his days were numbered. 29 days later, his number was up. The oldest man in the world had died again.

    Allingham, who served in the Royal Naval Air Service, was the oldest ever surviving member of any of the British Armed Forces and the oldest surviving veteran of the First World War.

    This guy was old. A quick search of Wikipedia, the Internet's most reliable online information source, says Allingham first stood with William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and then with Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, at Waterloo in 1815.

    Overcome with bloodlust, Allingham lied about his age, knocking off many years, to insure at least one more killing field, when he enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service in 1914. He fought with Sir John Jellicoe during the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

    He is survived by his life-partner, Harry Patch.

    They say old soldiers never die, they just fade into deadpool hits, and Henry was no exception. Allen Kirshner, who gets one point for the hit, has also been awarded the Royal Medal of Saint-Solo, worth an additional five points. Total: 6.

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 25th
    Age: 111
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: DrunkAsASkunk
    69. Harry John Patch

    When Henry Allingham, the oldest man in the world, died in June, Harry Patch knew his days were numbered. Six days later, his number was up. The oldest man in the world had died, again.

    This guy was old. A quick search of Wikipedia, the Internet's most reliable online information source, says Allingham first stood with William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and then with Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, at Waterloo in 1815.

    Overcome with bloodlust, Patch lied about his age, knocking off many years, to insure at least one more killing field, when he enlisted in the British army and fought in the Battle of Passchendaele, in France, in 1917.

    They say old soldiers never die, they just fade into deadpool hits, and Harry was no exception. DrunkAsASkunk, who gets one point for the hit, has also been awarded the Royal Medal of Saint-Solo, worth an additional five points. Total: 6.

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 26th
    Age: 90
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Mr. Brink
    70. Mercier Philip "Merce" Cunningham

    He was a choreographer, a dancer, and a teacher whose influence was profound, always challenging people to rethink the essence of dance. His work was essentially classical in structure but strikingly inventive in ..... Oh, who am I kidding. I hate dance. All of it. Ballet, tap, ballroom, modern, jazz. You name it, I've fallen asleep to it. I only tolerate dance in musical theater, because I love musical theater. Even a little Fosse goes a long way with me. And I can tell you now, if I had lived at the time of those horrible Agnes DeMille dance dream sequences I would have run screaming from the theater. When I see revivals of those old musicals, I pray they don't recreate the old choreography. But they always do, having found some elderly assistant who can remember every step.

    It's taken me a week to start this update because I have absolutely nothing to say about Merce Cunningham and his work. I have a very close friend who lives for the New York City Ballet, knows all the dancers and the dances, writes beautiful poetry about them, and has just finished reviewing the summer season for the Saratoga paper. I would have asked him to write the update but I don't have the guts to tell him how I bored I was when he took me to the ballet last winter. (I hope he doesn't read this.) Anyway, Merce Cunningham was apparently one of the best. He did stuff with the music of John Cage (you want to talk boredom?) that made him very, very famous. They were lifelong partners, but you'd never know it by the Times of London, who referred to their relationship as a close friendship. (At least the English obits have dispensed with "He was a bachelor.")

    All this aside, Merce is no more. He had just turned 90. Mr. Brink gets the solo. That's 2 + 5 = 7. A curtain call for Mr. Brink, who today likes dance just a little more than I do. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 31st
    Age: 76
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 8.57% of entrants
    Selectors: Allezblancs
    Charlene
    DrunkAsASkunk
    Ed Varner
    Mr. Brink
    Philip
    71. Robert Wilson "Bobby" Robson

    Sir Bobby Robson has died at the age of 76, following a long battle with cancer.

    This from the BBC:

    "At club level, he cut his managerial teeth at Fulham before establishing his credentials at Ipswich where he won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup in a 13-year stay. Spells at PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona followed before he managed Newcastle United."

    Now, to be honest, I don't have a freakin' clue as to what any of that means. The best I can come up with is that in Great Britain, *Sir* Bobby Robson was kind'a like Vince Lombardi; although Lombardi would'a had Jerry Kramer clothesline the Queen before he let her call him "sir."

    Are these fucking people pretentious, or what ... Can you imagine, *Sir* Mike Ditka ... He was a *soccer* coach, fer' chrissakes! Oh, don't get me started on those goddamn Brits ... You know, this is what happens when soccer is your country's second most popular sport right behind buggery.

    And then I read "He took England to semi-final of the World Cup in 1990." Here's the thing, I don't care what spot you are talking about, in every flippin' sport, in every flippin' country in the world ... that means he *lost*.

    Still, he beat bowel cancer in 1992, malignant melanoma in 1995, a tumor in his right lung and a brain tumor, both in 2006 and lung cancer again in 2007. In the end, however, he couldn't beat Allezblancs, Charlene, DrunkAsASkunk, EdV, Philip or Mr. Brink. They shot, they scored ... Eight points each. Total: 8.

    And on the penalty kick, Allezblancs gets not only his first hit of the year, but also his second hit of the year on the same day, for an extra 10 points. Nice job, Allezblancs ... for a Brit ....(Will add his extra points when the next update appears.)

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: July 31st
    Age: 76
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 110.00% of entrants
    Selectors: Allezblancs
    DDT
    Direcorbie
    DrunkAsASkunk
    Erik
    Kixco
    Undertaker
    72. Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino

    To the people of the Philippines, she was not only their President, she was also the "Mother of Democracy." To the rest of the world, she was even more. She was a symbol of hope and courage, an idea that the world does not have to run on corruption. When her husband, Philippine senator Benigno Aquino, opposed the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos had him assassinated. Corazon Aquino, who until her husband's death, had been a housewife, suddenly became the Philippine standard bearer for courage and democracy.

    She ran for president against Marcos, and despite the election abuse, intimidation and the disenfranchisement of voters, Mrs. Aquino prevailed after three days of protest, referred to as the People Power Revolution. In her six years as President of the Philippines, Cory Aquino survived at least six coup attempts. A monument honoring the late President Corazon Aquino will be built beside the statue of her slain husband in Manila, and no public funds will be used for the construction of the monument. Almost 400,000 mourners attended her funeral.

    On the other hand, Allezblancs, DDT, Direcorbie, DrunkAsASkunk, Erik, Kixco and Undertaker don't care if Aquino gets a statue or if she is buried under two or three-hundred thousand of Imelda Marcos's shoes, as long as they all get their points. Total: 8. And Allezblancs gets an extra 10 points for getting his first and second hit of the year on the same day.

    (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 2nd
    Age: 75
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Dannyb
    73. Sidney Zion

    I know I said I wouldn't bother Brad Ferguson again, but this one was so up his NY alley. Terrific update.

    The point of journalism should be to get to the truth, and sometimes you just can't do that.

    Sidney Zion was hired and fired for decades by various New York newspapers and magazines, where he always made his mark and where he always wound up pissing somebody off for, as he would say, doing his job. Sid was part of the background of things until he outed think-tank analyst Daniel Ellsberg as the guy who'd leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. This was very important stuff, back in the day. The Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study done for the government in 1968, showed that Lyndon Johnson had planned a great expansion of the Vietnam War even before the 1964 election, and had lied and lied and lied about it to the people and to Congress during the campaign and for years afterward. The papers weren't leaked until 1971, well into the Nixon administration, but that gang thought the leak hurt the war effort, and so it sought to stop the publication of the papers. It was successful for a little while, but eventually history overwhelmed politics.

    Sid was between print jobs at the time of the leak, so he went on Barry Gray's nightly radio show and reported that Ellsberg was the leaker. There are two stories about how Sid found out that Ellsberg had done it. One was that "everybody knew," and Sid had just said so out loud. The other was that Sid had a list of possible leakers from The Washington Post and by some mysterious process had divined that Ellsberg was the leaker. Whichever was true, Sid was hated after that by people who thought he'd helped the despised Nixon, needlessly prolonged the war, and betrayed a confidence. However, he'd also been right as to the facts.

    Sid weathered a years-long blacklist and began writing for publication again in the Times in 1981. In that comeback story, a disgusted Sid said that Alan Freed and other rock 'n' roll people had destroyed American music. This did not make him many friends, either, but Sid began working steadily after that, mostly on what he called "easy pieces."

    Then, in 1984, Sid's daughter Libby died at the age of 18 while in a hospital's emergency care. Sid the journalist became Sid the father, and the father left facts and logic behind in an effort to prove that somebody, anybody besides Libby was responsible for her death. Sid was particularly incensed that people were saying Libby took cocaine. Impossible, said Sid, even though entries in Libby's diary strongly suggested otherwise.

    Sid brought a lot of heat. He even pressured the Manhattan district attorney to convene a grand jury to look into the case, but no indictments were returned. Hearings were held by the state medical board. There was a three-month-long civil trial ten years after Libby's death, and the jury returned a mixed verdict that assigned part of the blame to Libby herself. Stupid, stupid, said a contemptuous Sid. The jury was stupid.

    Everybody thinks they know that Libby's death was caused by the inattention of exhausted doctors who'd offhandedly prescribed inappropriate medication, but that was not the story. Natalie Robins' 1996 book on the case closely examined everything about it. No, the hospital shouldn't have given Libby any Demerol, since she was on an antidepressant, but the amount of Demerol they gave her was too low to be effective, and there is no case on record where a person died from the mix and amount of drugs Libby was given.

    The interns who worked on Libby's case weren't exhausted. One had just started work after having been off for the weekend, and the other had just come on duty for that shift. Interns and residents did routinely work long, tiring shifts, but not this time.

    So the case was a mess. Libby died from a lot of things, a perfect storm of stuff that would converge and kill her with a 108-degree fever during that long night in 1984. We're still not sure exactly what did kill her. However, we do know that what didn't kill Libby was tired inattention from two exhausted interns, and yet the Libby Zion Law, which limits the work hours of hospital interns and residents, is mostly what Sidney Zion's obituaries have been about. This is what Sid is being remembered for: a cure for which there was no known disease.

    And this is what DannyB will be remembered for. A spectacular solo worth 13 points. 8 for the hit plus 5 for the solo.

    Thanks, Brad. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 5th
    Age: 95
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Deepstblu
    74. Budd Wilson Schulberg

    Budd Schulberg (who has a son named Benn, of course) wrote the words we can all quote from On The Waterfront. (Or Raging Bull.) He was there at the hotel with Robert Kennedy when he was gunned down. He was the only person to have both won an Oscar and been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He named names. He had fistfights with John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway and he arrested Leni Reifenstahl. He was close friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald, who died in 1940, and Spike Lee, who wouldn't be born for another 17 years. With Lee, he was working on a film about Joe Louis and he knew Joe Louis. Over the course of a very long life, Schulberg knew just about everyone who was worth knowing. And many who weren't. These are the highlights of a life lived to the fullest. And I didn't know any of this before I read the obituaries. Which is why I love obituaries. They make me look smarter than I deserve.

    What Makes Deepstblu Score? A lovely solo on the 95-year-old Schulberg. That's 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 11th
    Age: 88
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 12.86% of entrants
    Selectors: Buford
    Busgal
    Direcorbie
    Exuma
    The Fireball
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    Lurker3791
    Mort Chewary
    Sis
    75. Eunice Mary Shriver

    They were the forgotten people. Hidden away, ignored, only referred to in whispers. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was determined to rid the world of the shame of being mentally disabled, for she had grown up with the damage and she was having no more of it. One hot day she opened her house and grounds to kids for whom there was no summer camp and jumped in the pool to play with them. Now this was the South and this was the 1960's and these kids were not all white. But that was Eunice. She knew that exceptional children could be exceptional athletes and she just kept jumping in the pool with them. The first Special Olympics was held mere weeks after her brother Bobby was killed. Nothing ever held her back. Her profile was as courageous as they come.

    The most admired Kennedy has died at 88. Buford, Busgal, Direcorbie, Exuma, Fireball, I Drink Your Milkshake, Lurker3791, Mort Chewary and Sis each get 5 points for jumping into the pool with Eunice Kennedy Shriver. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 13th
    Age: 94
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 10.00% of entrants
    Selectors: Brigid
    Busgal
    Charlene
    Eternity Tours
    Hulka
    Kixco
    RH Draney
    76. Les Paul

    I was having a whole bunch of trouble writing Les Paul, so I asked Matt Kruk to give me a hand. Knowing that he has something like 10,000 records in his basement, I thought he'd have an idea or two. He did. This is a bit of a combined effort. TYVM, Matt.

    Lester will never learn music.

    That's what a long-forgotten piano teacher said to Lester Polsfuss' mother. Lester didn't just learn it, he revolutionized the composing of it, the synthesizing of it, the reverberation of it, the multi-track recording of it, the overdubbing and playback speed of it, the amplification of it and of course, the rock, country and jazz guitar-playing of it.

    He was a gadget guy. He created a harmonica holder from a coat hanger and amplified his Sears acoustic guitar via a pickup from a dismantled Victrola. He later built a guitar pickup from earphone parts from a ham radio and a recording machine from a Cadillac flywheel part.

    He wanted more chord sustain so he created "The log," the first rudimentary solid body guitar out of a railroad tie in 1941. He hid the works inside of a conventional looking guitar because it was so odd-looking. This was the start of processing an electronic signal into amplified sound which changed the whole nature of guitar playing.

    Then there was the Gibson Les Paul guitar, which accounted, at one point, for half of Gibson's sales, bought by pros like Clapton and Page and amateurs like you and me.

    He always wanted more. More music, more gadgets, more gigs, more playing time. He was performing at the Iridium in NYC as recently as June. He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame and probably a few other Halls of Fame, as well.

    Alas, Les is no more. He died last week at the age of 94.

    The ladies Brigid, Busgal, Charlene and Kixco have been joined by the boys Eternity Tours, Hulka (First. Hit. Of. The. Year.) and RH Draney (Out. Of. The Cellar.)

    They each get two points. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 13th
    Age: 39
    Worth: 25 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: DDT
    77. Allen Shellenberger

    He was a typical Southern California kid. Loved the outdoors, loved the Lakers and the Angels, loved to rock out with his friends, even loved to play golf. A little less typical were the billboard chart-toppers, "Miserable," "Ziplock" and "My Own Worst Enemy" Allen Shellenberger made with his band Lit. They were together for something like 20 years and were the best of friends from start to finish. He was living the dream. (He made a music video with Pam Anderson, after all.) Until he was living the same nightmare Ted Kennedy is living. The Lit drummer was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lived only another 15 months. He was just 39.

    Nice tribute video. Seemed like a good guy.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujxrE1IReqQ

    DDT (which probably causes brain tumors) gets the hit for Shellenberger. That's a whopping 25 points. 20 plus 5 for the solo. Good work. Knocks me out of second. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 15th
    Age: 90
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: RH Draney
    78. Virginia Davis (McGhee)

    "Did you ever have a favorite uncle, someone you idolised who would come to see you every once in a while and just light up your day? That's where I was with Walt."

    (Man, if ever there was an update for Bill, this was it. Too bad.)

    She was four, he was a bit older. He saw her in an ad for Warneke Bread ("I was posed," Davis later recalled, "reaching for a slice of the bread and my mouth seemed to say 'Yum Yum'.") and he just had to have her.

    I mean for his films, the madcap Alice films, the first of which was Alice's Wonderland, which and was partly shot in the Davis home! (Oh that clever Walt. Saves on studio rentals.) The Alice films were very successful and were responsible for getting Walt Disney Studio off the ground.

    When Virginia's family tried to renegotiate the contract after the success of the 13 films, Walt was having no part of that and recast Alice. The rest of her film career was insignificant, and she very often appeared in the role of "uncredited."

    Virginia Davis was a success for that cheap bastard Walt Disney even before the mouse, Mickey. But as we now know, cartoon characters live forever. And although Virginia Davis tried her damndest, she only lived to 90. RH Draney gets his second hit of the week, a fine solo that gives him a total of 7 points. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 18th
    Age: 78
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 31.43% of entrants
    Selectors: Allen Kirshner
    Amelia
    Another Lurker
    Bill Schenley
    Buford
    Bushwhacker
    Charlene
    DDT
    Dead People Server
    Death Eaters
    Denise
    Erik
    Hulka
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    James Neibaur
    Moldy Oldies
    Mr. Brink
    Philip
    Ray Arthur
    Sis
    Undertaker
    Yersinia Pestis
    79. Robert David Sanders Novak

    Fucking Novak, "the Prince of Darkness." He was scum from Jump Street. Even when this douche bag was a so-called liberal, he was nothing more than floating sewage.

    Prior to the 1972 presidential election, Novak cited an unnamed, "high-ranking U.S. Senator" as the source of this quote he ran in his column:

    "The people don't know McGovern is for amnesty, abortion and legalization of pot. Once middle America — Catholic middle America, in particular — finds this out, he's dead."

    This quote and the Thomas Eagleton fiasco destroyed George McGovern's campaign. In 2007, after Eagleton had died, Novak reported that Senator Eagleton was his source. Eagleton was unavailable for comment.

    The Prince trashed Nixon dog H.R Haldeman, not because Haldeman was a Nixon dog, but because H.R. refused to speak with him — his feelings were hurt. Ah, journalistic integrity — this asshole had none.

    But Novak came into his own *exposing* intelligence documents (he knew to be fake) that purportedly incriminated the recently assassinated Chilean Orlando Letelier in 1976. If there was an opportunity to act wholly without ethical principles, without basic decency, to replace honesty with dishonesty, Robert Novak embraced that opportunity — he seized that moment.

    If there was a chance the self-loathing Novak could bash Jews and praise the Palestinians, he took it; going so far as to blame Israel for the exodus and for the plight of Christian Palestinians. He once compared the Israeli policy toward Palestinians with South Africa's apartheid. He considered Hamas freedom fighters.

    In 2003, at the behest, of the Lord of the Underworld, Dick Cheney, through his impish-like Renfield, Karl Rove, this present-day resident of the 8th Level of Hell Robert Novak, outted a CIA operative in his newspaper column along with the name of the front company she was employed with. Now, it's true, I don't give a fuck about the CIA, *but*, she was a soldier in the service of her country ...

    Then there was Don Liljenquist, the 86-year-old pedestrian who Novak knocked down while tooling through D.C. in his Corvette. You know, the pedestrian he never saw because of brain tumor. Novak would later write:

    "Fortunately, the investigating officer, P. Garcia, was a policeman who listened and apparently believed me.

    And ...

    "Officer Garcia issued a right-of-way infraction against me, costing me $50, instead of a hit-and-run violation that would have been a felony. Following Officer Garcia's instructions, I promptly paid the $50 fine at Third District Police Headquarters in Northwest Washington, in cash and in person."

    In other words, this fucktard *drove* away from the scene and paid the ticket as soon as possible to insure there would be no more prosecution. Funny how a brain tumor works. What manner of douchbaggery *is* this?

    Throughout his life, Robert Novak always blamed someone else for his insidious deeds. His brain tumor excuse, after all the misery this slimy cocksucker visited upon this world, rings as hollow as "I was born with the defect."

    He was, in his own mind, a victim until the end:

    "But Joe and Valerie Wilson, attempting to breathe life into the Valerie Plame 'scandal,' issued this statement: 'We have long argued that responsible adults should take Novak's typewriter away. The time has arrived for them to also take away the keys to his Corvette.' "Thanks to my tumor, the Wilsons have achieved half of their desires. I probably never will be able to drive again, and I have sold the Corvette, which I dearly loved."

    Cry me a fucking river, Bob.

    Bob ain't the only one crying a river. Unbelievably, Robert Novak lived to the age of 78 ... I mean, he would have been worth so much more had he died 50 fucking years ago. Still, Allen Kirshner, Amelia, Another Lurker, Bill Schenley, Buford, Bushwhacker, Charlene, Dead People Server, Death Eaters, DDT, Denise (pump your fist, Denise), Erik, Hulka, I Drink Your Milkshake, James Neibaur, Moldy Oldies, Mr. Brink, Philip, Ray Arthur, Sis, Undertaker and Yersinia Pestis all get eight points. Sorry, no bonus points for this kill, kids. Too many players were waiting none too patiently for his decent. Total: 8. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 22nd
    Age: 100
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Chipmunk Roasting
    80. Muriel Duckworth

    Nova Scotian Muriel Duckworth fought for women's rights, for social justice, for better education. And, as strange as it may sound, she fought for peace. She marched, she screamed, she organized. No war. Never. Didn't see the point of them. Thought they were particularly bad for women and children. Didn't understand why everyone didn't join her in the trenches of the anti-war movement. See how easy it is to use war metaphors when you're talking about peace? She founded the Voice of Women in Toronto in 1960 in response to the failure of the Paris Peace talks, and a few months later formed another chapter in Halifax. A military town, where they would heckle her in the streets. She shrugged off the criticism because it was her undying belief (and she lived to 100 so she was undying for a long time) that war is stupid. She yelled as much, every chance she got and did it right up to the end of her life, protesting the latest obscene contribution to the history of war courtesy of her neighbor to the south. She won lots of awards and medals and honours and that's Canada for you. In the US, they would have thrown her in jail. They say that Muriel Duckworth, who has died at 100, is finally at peace. But I don't believe it. From the sound of it, she was ready to go another 100 years.

    Chipmunk Roasting gets the hit and solo for a total of 6. You go, girl. And war is stupid. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 25th
    Age: 77
    Worth: 8 ₧
    Popularity: 55.71% of entrants
    Selectors: Allen Kirshner
    Allezblancs
    Another Lurker
    Buford
    Busgal
    Bushwhacker
    Charlene
    Chipmunk Roasting
    Dannyb
    DDT
    Dead Batteries
    Dead People Server
    Death Eaters
    Denise
    DGH
    Direcorbie
    Ed Varner
    Emily
    Erik
    Eternity Tours
    Excard
    Garrett
    Hulka
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    James Neibaur
    Jazz Vulture
    Kathypig1
    Kixco
    Mark
    Monarc
    The Monkey Farm
    Mort Chewary
    Mr. Brink
    Philip
    Ray Arthur
    Sis
    Starfish
    Undertaker
    81. Edward Moore Kennedy Sr.

    This is the thing. You have to make one of those charts. Two columns. Good stuff on one side. Bad stuff on the other. And then you, as recording angel, have to look at this double-entry bookkeeping and decide for yourself whether it all balances out. Some think it does. Some think it never will.

    As for me, I think he had many years to redeem himself and that he did. He could have turned his back on his fatherless nieces and nephews and he did not. He could have spent his years in the Senate waiting for the recesses and he did not. He was a tireless champion for the poor, the sick, the underserved, the children, you and me. His accomplishments are too many to name here. He did what he said his brother wanted to do. He saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Read the obits. It's all there. The bad stuff, the good stuff and everything in between.

    Teddy Kennedy, the only Kennedy brother to pretty much know when he would die, has done so. He was still quite young, but old by Kennedy brother standards. He was 77.

    Allen Kirshner, Allezblancs, Another Lurker, Busgal, Bushwhacker, Buford, Charlene, Chipmunk Roasting, Dannyb, DDT, Dead Batteries, Death Eaters, Dead People Server, Denise, DGH, Direcorbie, EdV, Erik, Emily, Eternity Tours, Excard, Garrett, Hulka, I Drink Your Milkshake, James Neibaur, Jazz Vulture, Kathypig1, Kixco, Mark, Monarc, The Monkey Farm, Mort Chewary, Mr. Brink, Philip, Ray Arthur, Sis, Starfish and Undertaker each get 8 points. We welcome our newest and youngest player, Emily, to the pool! We welcome veteran player Excard to the pool! 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 26th
    Age: 59
    Worth: 19 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: DDT
    82. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

    Abdul Aziz al-Hakim was the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and a fierce opponent of Saddam Hussein. But until the US accomplished its mission, he lived in exile in Iran. This might have had a little something to do with the fact that Saddam ordered 6 of his brothers to be murdered. After we murdered Saddam, he forged a relationship with us, and we helped him get treatment for his lung cancer, because we have extremely good healthcare here in America for Shiite power brokers. Really, it's true. It was a bad time to get sick and die, as they are in the process of "building a new Iraq." But he wasn't murdered by Saddam or anyone like him. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim committed suicide by chain smoking and died at 59. I may have oversimplified the whole Iran/Iraq political history bit. You weren't going to read it anyway.

    DDT, making an end run directly into first place in the AO deadpool gets the hit, the solo and the daily double (with his Dominick Dunne pick) So close to the trifecta, so close. The total is 29 points. (14+5+10) This is very impressive. And I just took a look at his master list and he's not done yet. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 26th
    Age: 83
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 11.43% of entrants
    Selectors: DDT
    Death Eaters
    Direcorbie
    Ed Varner
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    Philip
    Sis
    Team Bubba
    83. Dominick John Dunne

    Not many people could pull off those glasses. (I mean this in the fashion sense.) But there were many aspects to his life that distinguished him from others. His beat, after he screwed up his Hollywood career and marriage with booze and drugs, was crimes of the rich and famous. You name the handsome or rich bounder, and Dunne was there to cover the proceedings. But he never pretended to be objective. He always sided with the victim and the bereaved which in his case, was his daughter and him. Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend who didn't serve much in the way of time, and that altered the remainder of her father's life. All that reporting, all that sitting in heady courtrooms, all that hobnobbing with the seamy side of celebrity, made him a mint, and took care of his rage. It also made him the kind of celebrity he was covering. Decades after being dumped in Hollywood for whatever you got dumped for in those days, the same people were inviting him in for drinks and stopping by his lunchtime table at whatever the trendy restaurant was that he was holding court in that year. All that aside, he was a good writer and a popular one, too, and that's not easy to pull off. Ever.

    Yet another famous brother has died. (After a Kennedy and a McCourt) Dominick Dunne has died at 83. Five points to DDT, Death Eaters, Direcorbie, EdV, I Drink Your Milkshake, Philip, Sis and Team Bubba, All but one had Kennedy, too. (But no Daily Double.) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: August 28th
    Age: 94
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Allen Kirshner
    84. Mady Rahl

    Mady Rahl was a German actress with very blonde hair and a smoky voice. In a 70-year acting career, she appeared in more than 120 films. As a young actress in Berlin, she met the even younger Detlef Sierck with whom she made some films, including his directing debut and enjoyed a "special relationship." Before he fled what she did not feel the need to flee, because she didn't have a Jewish wife, he introduced her to the heads of the studios and got her career going. Detlef Sierck took the German out of his name and went on to become the master of melodrama. (Think Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman.) She kept the German in and became the toast of the Third Reich. Her most special admirer was Josef Goebbels, who was a big fan of her light musical comedies. She helped with the war effort by appearing in propaganda films, posters, leaflets, and the like. I think we can safely assume she had that Aryan appeal going for her. In an effort to be fair (for some demented reason) I will tell you that I'm reading a wonderful novel at the moment all about the making of propaganda films in Britain during the war, so I have a pretty good sense of what might have gone on in Berlin. During wartime, actors need to eat and avoid getting killed and will pretty much do anything to achieve those two goals.

    You'll find Frau Rahl in the trailer of this fantastic film from the 50's, about halfway through [ Youtube link ] and in a 1992 interview. Don't know German, so god knows what she's saying [ Youtube link ].

    Mady Rahl was 94. What a great hit from the new and improved list of Allen Kirshner. He gets Zwei for the hit und Funf for the solo. Total: Sieben. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 1st
    Age: 91
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: McKie
    85. Aubrey Leland Oakes Buxton
          Lord Buxton of Alsen

    It's slightly bizarre to write an obituary for someone whose name is synonymous with survival. Lord Buxton made billions from the creation of Anglia TV. (I know this because he was the third billionaire in a week to die. They were all in a tizzy at Forbes.) But he was much more interested in getting to the bottom of the booming call of the bittern. Very devoted to the earth and its wondrous creatures and stuff, he won a gazillion awards for producing a natural history series called "Survival." There was a show about tracking zebra movements by fitting them with red collars, there was a show about kangaroos that was all songs, there was a show about greenfly and what rose-growers do about them, there was a show that focused on colonies of herons and egrets in South Africa being attacked by age-old monitor lizards. I see shit like this on TV when I'm going around the dial, and I can't click off fast enough. I'm in the minority, I gather, because Lord Buxton's "Survival" ran for 40 years. Lord Buxton did a little better himself, running for a little over 90. An inspired hit for McKie, who gets 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo, for a total of 7. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 7th
    Age: 93
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Mr. Brink
    86. Francis Edward "Frank" Coghlan Jr.

    I thank James Neibaur who I asked to do this little update because he actually knew the guy.

    Frank "Junior" Coghlan always laughed about being called Junior, even after he'd passed age 80. He died at the age of 93, having been one of the last living members of Hollywood's golden age whose career dated back to silent movies. He, himself, might not have been well known, but he appeared in films like PUBLIC ENEMY, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, GONE WITH THE WIND, and is best remembered as Billy Batson in the 1941 CAPTAIN MARVEL serial. Appropriately, his last known appearance was in a cameo on the 1974 Saturday morning version of the Marvel series, SHA-ZAM. His autobiography, "THEY STILL CALL ME JUNIOR," is a treasure trove of anecdotes from 50 years in Hollywood films, and working with everyone from James Cagney to Steve McQueen.

    Anything else you could possibly want to know about him is here: www.goldensilents.com/kids/frankcoghlan.html

    You can call Mr. Brink a winner. That's 2 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 8th
    Age: 87
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Ray Arthur
    87. Armand "Army" Archerd

    Once again, thanks to Brad Ferguson, who has decided to help me out of this mass celebrity dying thing that's going on. Hope he doesn't mind my editing.

    Army Archerd was an actual by-God reporter ... The fact that he worked the Hollywood beat shouldn't be held against him .... Army inherited Sheila Graham's column in Daily Variety in 1953 and kept it going until 2005, long after the industry he began covering in mid-century had died and rotted away and been replaced with something that we haven't quite figured out what it is yet .... Army kept up with everything ... He even started a blog not long after the column ended ... Army was the Academy's official red-carpet greeter at the Oscars for almost fifty years ... He was a familiar presence on television ... usually as a reporter but sometimes as an actor playing a reporter .... He co-hosted and co-produced the People's Choice awards show since it started in 1974 ... But, first and foremost, Army had that column ... In the first paragraph of nearly every one of Army's obits, there's a mention of his biggest story ever: Back in 1985, Army was the first to report that Rock Hudson had AIDS ... This was a staggering revelation at the time ... Rock Hudson was by far the biggest name to have been linked to AIDS at that point ... Army drew a lot of heat for that one until it became clear that he was right ... A decade later, Army called out Michael Jackson for bizarrely including anti-Semitic lyrics in a song called "They Don't Care About Us" .... Jackson pretended that he didn't understand the lyrics were offensive, and he told Army he would re-record the song with new lyrics .... However, the offensive lyrics were included in the video that was issued a few months later .... Army was in the navy during World War II, and he spent a lot of time in shipyards ... That's where he was routinely exposed to asbestos ... which likely gave rise to the mesothelioma that killed him on 8 September at the age of 87 ... Stop the presses .... Ray Arthur had the last of the three dot journalists .... He gets 5 for the hit ... He gets 5 for the solo ... Total ... 10 ... nice one ... 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 11th
    Age: 81
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 5.71% of entrants
    Selectors: Dead People Server
    Denise
    DGH
    Ray Arthur
    88. Larry Simon Gelbart

    Guest update by Brad Ferguson again, and again it's wonderful:

    When the first thing mentioned in your obit is that you helped create and sustain the classic TV series M*A*S*H, you've done well. Everybody knows about M*A*S*H, even if they don't know what those goddamn asterisks are doing there.

    Larry Gelbart got his big break from Danny Thomas, back when Larry was only 16. Larry's father was Danny's barber. Papa Gelbart says I've got this kid, he's in high school, and he's funny. Danny says tell him to write something and give it to me, and I'll see if it's funny. Larry did. Spit take! Danny hired Larry to write for The Maxwell House Coffee Time radio show after school. Two years later Larry was writing for another radio show called Duffy's Tavern, which was a big hit in those days.

    That was when Larry got drafted. It was 1947, the time of the postwar draft, when the government kept calling guys into the service mostly because they didn't seem to know how to stop themselves. It would have been cool if they'd sent Larry to Korea, but they didn't. Instead, they assigned Larry to write for the Armed Forces Radio Service, which meant he could live at home with his parents even though he was in the army. He could also keep right on writing for Duffy's Tavern, too. Now is that M*A*S*H*Y or what?

    Around 1950 Larry moved up to writing for people like Bob Hope. This was the era when comedians stood there and peppered their audiences with jokes about all sorts of things, most of them their mothers-in-law. Standup is now more observational and sometimes just plain weird, and it requires a brick wall. Not then, though. There were jokes, and the jokes had to be funny, they had to build, and they had to sound like the guy telling them had written them himself. The last part was the hardest.

    It helped when the guy you were working for appreciated what you were doing for him, like Bob Hope did. Then there was Red Buttons, who had a flop TV show starting in 1952. Larry worked for Red for a while. Red was a desperately insecure person and a terrible boss. Ratings plunging and formats changing almost weekly, Red once hefted Larry's script for that week in his hand, unread, and then cast it away because "it doesn't feel funny." Larry generously forgave him. Eventually. While Red's career was falling into a death coma, Larry moved on to write for Your Show of Shows and, a little later, Caesar's Hour. He also wrote for variety shows hosted by Dinah Shore and Danny Kaye.

    Larry wrote movies — The Thrill of It All, Movie Movie, Tootsie, Barbarians at the Gate, and others. Larry also did Broadway. His best-known work is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, for which he won a Tony in 1963. He also won a Tony for City of Angels in 1990. One of Larry's least known works is a thing called The Conquering Hero, a musical from 1961 that ran only eight performances on Broadway and led Larry to say, "If Hitler is alive, I hope he's out of town with a musical."

    And he was here in a.o. once, sort of, in crossposts from alt.tv.mash. Last 29 December, someone with a gmail address posted in alt.tv.mash (with a crosspost to alt.obituaries) that Larry had had a terrible stroke and was dying in the hospital. Alan Alda and Woody Allen were said to be at Larry's bedside and, presumably, sucking all the life force out of the hospital with dour observations. This nonsense went on all morning. Early that afternoon, Larry posted, "Does that mean I can stop exercising? I'm afraid I'm still alive and kicking — at least until George W finally finds the right door and uses it. Larry Gelbart." To that, said Bill Schenley, "Fuck. Now I gotta redo my 2009 deadpool list." And if that isn't a cue, I don't know what is.

    In a shared stroke of strategic genius, Dead People Server, Denise, DGH and Ray Arthur kept Larry Gelbart, who has died at 81, on their lists, despite his newsgroup disavowal of ill health. They each get 5 for the hit. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 11th
    Age: 68
    Worth: 16 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Ed Varner
    89. Crystal Lee (Sutton) Jordan
          (aka: "Norma Rae")

    Before all the textile factories left the country to abuse foreign workers, they were doing it down south to people like Crystal Lee Jordan, folding towels for a couple of dollars an hour or losing fingers reloading looms. One day, Crystal met a charismatic union organizer from up north and changed the world, if only briefly.

    Crystal Lee probably didn't say, kavetch, kavetch, kavetch, but she did see to it that the Amalgamated Clothing Workers organized the J.P. Stevens Plant.

    Crystal Lee didn't win an Oscar, just slightly better conditions for the working poor.

    Crystal Lee didn't see a lot of historical accuracy in the film Norma Rae, and that's why it's called Norma Rae and not Crystal Lee. But that big scene, the one we all remember, that one was real. That's the way it happened. That's the way it was filmed and that's the scene that earned an Oscar for Sally Field. Crystal Lee kept a photo of the scene on the wall in her house. Because of course, there wouldn't have been a shot of the original, what with the lack of cell phone cameras in those days.

    The textile plants are all gone and now so is Crystal Lee. She was 68 when she died last week. EdV confused me by using her first married name and the obits were all under her second or third married names. Whatever. He gets 11 for the hit, and 5 for the solo. Total: 16.

    UNION. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 14th
    Age: 57
    Worth: 14 ₧
    Popularity: 60.00% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    Allen Kirshner
    Allezblancs
    Another Lurker
    Bill Schenley
    Buford
    Busgal
    Bushwhacker
    Charlene
    Constant Irritant
    DDT
    Dead People Server
    Death Eaters
    Deepstblu
    Denise
    DGH
    Direcorbie
    Ed Varner
    Erik
    Eternity Tours
    Garrett
    Hulka
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    James Neibaur
    Jazz Vulture
    JD Baldwin
    Kathi
    Kathypig1
    Kentucky Wizard
    Kixco
    Mark
    Max Weder
    Moldy Oldies
    Monarc
    Mr. Brink
    Nova Cassius
    Philip
    Ray Arthur
    Sis
    Starfish
    Undertaker
    Yersinia Pestis
    90. Patrick Wayne Swayze

    This may be the best one yet. Thanks, Brad. I'll get the next three.

    Maybe the secret of Patrick Swayze was that he was a dancer who didn't look like a dancer. He moved and walked and ran with an accomplished dancer's grace, and he made his bones in a film called Dirty Dancing, but he came off more like the bouncers and cowboys and bank executives he played on film. Swayze defied stereotypes. Not even Fred Astaire could pull that off. Whenever you saw Fred, you'd say there's that dancer guy who acts. Swayze was always that actor guy who danced sometimes.

    It's all in the genes. Swayze's mother, Patsy, was a ballet instructor, and so young Swayze learned ballet. He also learned how to play football, which he did very well indeed until he blew out his knee in college. The knee also kept Swayze from dancing, but he got it fixed up well enough to go to ballet school in New York when he turned 20. Three years later he married Lisa Niemi, whom he'd met when he was 18 and she 14, and they stayed married for 34 years.

    Around that time, Swayze was principal dancer with Eliot Feld's modern-ballet company, and he appeared on Broadway in the musicals Goodtime Charley and Grease. At the end of the '70s, Swayze made his first film, a roller-disco thingie called Skatetown USA that starred Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, the guy who used to be the Unknown Comic on The Gong Show, and a number of other TV burnouts. Nowhere to go but up, and Swayze did. He had an affecting role in a ninth-season episode of M*A*S*H called "Blood Brothers," in which he plays a private who learns he has leukemia.

    Swayze began to get film work. In Red Dawn, he played the leader of a guerilla group fighting troops occupying the western United States during World War III. A year later he drew attention in a TV mini-series called North and South. He appeared in the sequel the following year as well.

    And a year after that came Dirty Dancing. This was a film nobody cared about. It was about stuff going on at a resort in the Catskills in the early 1960s, for God's sake, and nobody cared about crap like that even then. Dirty Dancing was supposed to go direct to video, but they threw it into theaters for a weekend, just in case. It clicked with audiences, mostly because of Swayze. Jennifer Grey was cute as a button, but she really couldn't dance for shit, and by the end of the film she's up on a stage smiling and lamely flipping the hem of her skirt back and forth in time to the music while Swayze is on the dance floor tearing up the joint.

    Then there was the post-mortem romance Ghost, a huge success generally and for Swayze personally. Ghost allowed Swayze to take some risks in later roles. He could have done Ghost again — he could have done a dozen Ghosts — but instead he did City of Joy, where he played a doctor working in a miserable Calcutta clinic. In To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, he played a drag queen named Vida Boheme, and he made her real and funny and lovable. Many consider To Wong Foo to be Swayze's best film.

    Other films followed, including Donnie Darko, in which Swayze played a pedophilic motivational speaker. There was Three Wishes, in which he played a ghost again. He also worked on the stage, on Broadway in the musical Chicago in 2003 and then, in London's West End, as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls three years after that.

    Swayze was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer twenty months ago. He would undergo treatment, and he would rally, and then he would lose a little. Even in his illness, he starred in a TV series called The Beast, in which he played a troubled FBI agent. It was shot during 2008 and ran on A&E early this year, and Swayze drew rave reviews for his work. Last June they announced that the series, although a success, would not be picked up for a second season. They did not want to continue without Swayze, and Swayze could not continue. He was finally done, but he had finished on his own terms.

    At the end, Patrick Swayze was still dancing as fast as he could. It just wasn't fast enough. It never is.

    41 poolers got together on this astonishing pick. They are, in alphabetical order (one hopes) Abby, Allen Kirshner, Allezblancs, Another Lurker, Bill Schenley, Buford, Busgal, Bushwhacker, Charlene, Constant Irritant, DDT, Dead People Server, The Death Eaters, Deepstblu, Denise, DGH, Direcorbie, EdV, Erik, Eternity Tours, Garrett, Hulka, I Drink Your Milkshake, James Neibaur, Jazz Vulture, JD Baldwin, Kathi, Kathypig1, Kixco, Mark, Max Weder, Monarc, Moldy Oldies, Mr. Brink, Nova Cassius, Philip, Ray Arthur, Sis, Starfish, Undertaker, The Wiz, and Yersinia Pestis. Each one gets 14 points. 




    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September_ 16th
    Age: 72
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Busgal
    91. Mary Allin Travers

    In the early 60's, when folk music had its every-few-decades revival, there was, for the most part, The Kingston Trio, The Highwaymen, and Peter, Paul and Mary. Mary Travers, the blonde-banged beauty whose smile would light up the most somber protest, and who was one-third of PP&M, has died at 72.

    More than any of the other commercially successful folk groups of the day, Peter, Paul and Mary legitimized that genre of music for top-forty radio and, because they shared the same manager (Albert Grossman) brought to the forefront of popular music a young folk singer from Minnesota who went by the name of Bob Dylan. For the next few years, the group would showcase Dylan's early protest songs. But a few years later, when Dylan would go electric, the boom that had been folk, slowly disappeared.

    Five years ago, Mary Travers, Paul Stookey, Peter Yarrow, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dave Van Ronk and Travers' mentor, Pete Seeger, released a critically acclaimed boxed CD set entitled "Lifelines." A year later, Travers was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite a temporarily successful bone marrow transplant, by June of this year it had become apparent that all her bags were packed and she was ready to go.

    AO's resident music expert, Busgal, is the only deadpool player to guess that Travers' life was blowin' in the wind. She gets 8 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 13.

        (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 18th
    Age: 89
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Another Lurker
    92. Irving Kristol

    I've been working on an anagram for Irving Kristol. The letters are good and honestly, it's easier than boring you with his upbringing in Brooklyn and his education in Alcove #1 in the CCNY cafeteria, his membership in the YPSLs (Young Peoples Socialist League, which was less about socialism and more about meeting girls, and where Irving met his wife, I must point out) and his conversion from the left to the right. (The idea of supporting the Republicans, he said, was once as foreign to him as attending a Catholic Mass.) I could attempt to paint an historical picture of Kristol and his crowd and where they ended up on the political spectrum, but you would do better to add to your queue the documentary Arguing the World, which tells the tale of two Irvings — Howe and Kristol — plus Nathan Glaser and Danny Bell. (He's really Daniel, but in my house, he was always Danny, because my mother knew him when they were in their 20's and he was still Danny then.) Bell created a genealogy of all the New York Intellectuals by generation. Fascinating stuff to a certain type.

    www.pbs.org/arguing/nyintellectuals_geneology.html

    As for Irving K, the godfather of neo-conservatism, he's dead now. And even though he tells me he can't figure out why he put him on his list, Another Lurker gets a sparkling solo. 5 for the hit, 5 for the solo. Total: 10. That's right up there with one of the best solos of the year.

    Here's the obit from the Economist, which is simply splendid:

    www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14492286

    I gave up on the anagram.

    "N*ll*L*n*t*c1980" <N*ll*L*n*t*c*.......@*****.com> wrote in message news:9018da81-0477-47b4-9ef7-82cad902e87a@m20g2000vbp.googlegroups.com...
    On Oct 3, 7:48 am, "Hyfler/Rosner" <*******@*****.com> wrote:

    >> I gave up on the anagram.

    Irving Kristol = Vitriol, 'k? <grins>

     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 19th
    Age: 88
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Undertaker
    93. Arthur Richard Ferrante

    Arthur Ferrante was half of the popular duo, Ferrante and Teicher, who made beautiful music together, yet died in reverse order.

    Teicher was a hit in the 2008 deadpool, and Bill had the pleasure of writing that one. Now that Bill no longer carries his weight in the writing of the updates (he's fallen in love and that takes up most of his time and time management has never been his strong suit) it falls upon me to write a little something about Ferrante that he didn't already write about Teicher.

    Let's see. Well, it's the end of an era, for sure. We won't be hearing light orchestral fare from anyone else, will we? On the other hand, their early 1950s albums of prepared piano pop were masterpieces of the space age, goofy, inventive, catchy, and influenced by John Cage, something nobody had ever tried before. (Full disclosure: I swiped that last sentence from the internets.)

    Ferrante and Teicher have closed their pianos for good. Last year, Garrett had Teicher. This year, Undertaker is tickling the deadpool ivories. That's 5 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 10.

    Oh yeah, he died in Florida, in Longboat KEY. And he was 88, the number of .... Thanks, Brad. Thanks, RH. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 24th
    Age: 61
    Worth: 11 ₧
    Popularity: 42.03% of entrants
    Selectors: Abby
    Allen Kirshner
    Bill Schenley
    Buford
    Charlene
    Constant Irritant
    DDT
    Death Eaters
    Denise
    DGH
    Direcorbie
    DrunkAsASkunk
    Ed Varner
    Erik
    Excard
    Hulka
    I Drink Your Milkshake
    Jenstrikesagain
    Lurker3791
    Mark
    Moldy Oldies
    Mort Chewary
    Mr. Brink
    Nova Cassius
    Philip
    Starfish
    Team Bubba
    Undertaker
    Yersinia Pestis
    94. Susan Denise Atkins

    Susan Atkins, or what was left of her, should have been paroled for the last few weeks of her ... life. Yes, I know she received a "life" sentence, but really, hadn't she served that sentence? She would not have been released to life, but rather to a cruel death.

    She was not going to walk barefoot in the soft, dew-covered grass, or to once again smell the spring flowers. There would be no afternoon nap in the clover nor would she ever get to listen to a lover's sigh. She was already dead. In a coma. Paralyzed with severed limbs. She_was_dead!

    *Society*, whatever the hell that means, had their pound of flesh, one, I suppose, they deserved. But Susan Atkins *had* been punished for the heinous crimes committed forty years prior. She gave her life to the people of California, and in the end, the state of California, feeling cheated because her physical being could no longer comprehend its circumstances, I guess, demanded her husband and what remained of her family, also be punished.

    How much is enough?

    I can tell you that the 11 points Abby, Allen Kirshner, Bill Schenley, Buford, Charlene, Constant Irritant, DDT, Death Eaters, Denise, DGH, Direcorbie, DrunkAsASkunk, EdV, Erik, Excard, Hulka, I Drink Your Milkshake, Jenstrikesagain, Lurker3791, Mark, Moldy Oldies, Mort Chewary, Mr. Brink, Nova Cassius, Philip, Starfish, Team Bubba, Undertaker and Yersinia Pestis earned for her slow, agonizing death was not enough. There must be more of a reckoning for this Christian woman who lived so far from Grace. Right?

    Should a deadpool player, regardless of whether you had her on your list, stumble on Susan Atkins' long ago farmed-out off-spring, feel free to cut out his heart. It's only fair. Total: 11.

        (B. Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 24th
    Age: 76
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Sarndra
    95. Sir Howard Morrison

    Most of us, I would venture to say, have never heard of Sir Howard Morrison, but he was a musical legend. Part Scottish, part Irish, part Maori, he found fame as the lead singer of the Howard Morrison Quartet (curiously enough) combining contemporary pop and Maori folklore and becoming one of the most beloved entertainers in New Zealand history. As a boy, he would imitate the voices he heard on the radio while he was milking cows, which I suppose is better than the other way around, and his uncles taught him the Neopolitan songs they had learned while stationed in Italy during the war. He had a string of hits, including "My Old Man's an Old Black," which isn't what you think it's about. Anyway, Sir Howard died way back in September and it wasn't until I sent Sarndra her list from last year, which she misplaced, did she realize she had him on her list and none of us noticed. Well, she knew he had died, since she lives over there, but somehow had forgotten he had a position on her list. It's all very confusing, I know.

    Morrison was 76, so she gets 8 for the hit and 5 for the solo for a total of 13. Good on you, Sarndra. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: September 27th
    Age: 79
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Max Weder
    96. William Lewis Safire

    If you have a job in the corporate world, pompous, meaningless, soulless jargon is a daily fact of your life. I'd give the rest of you examples, but the chances are, they're already outdated and some Six Sigma group has met (with pre-meetings, of course) to come up with new ones. We can always talk about it off-line.

    William Safire, who has lost his courageous battle with cliché at 79, was greatly impacted by the use of jargon. He didn't have a C-level position, but he was a KOL. His fruit was low-hanging. His knowledge informed him. And he went to my high school.

    He would have loved the correction that ran in the Times: "A note with the "On Language" column on Page 14 this weekend refers to the absence of the regular columnist, William Safire. Mr. Safire died last Sunday, after some copies had gone to press."

    Absence? Let's be precise with the language.

    You can no longer reach out to him.

    Max Weder, one of our Canadian players, seems to have had insider information on this one. What a hit. He gets 8 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 13. He shoots up the list to hang out with two of our other Canadian players. Go Canada. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 9th
    Age: 65
    Worth: 16 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Busgal
    97. Russell Allen "Rusty" Wier

    According to his obituary in the Austin-Statesman, Rusty Wier, who was 65 when he died, was a "redneck son of Central Texas." He was also a hard-drinking, cocaine-snortin', guitar-playing songwriter who wrote the oft-covered song "Don't It Make You Wanna' Dance"[1] which appeared on the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack. He had four children by four different wives and he seldom missed his Thursday night gig at the Saxon Pub in Austin, Texas ... So you can imagine how much fun this guy had in his sixty-five years.

    If someone is dying in country music, Busgal knows about it. And she knew all about Rusty's cancer. She gets 11 points for the hit and a bonus of five for keeping the information ... under her hat. Total: 16.
     

    [1] Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Jeff Walker and Barbara Mandrell are a few.

        (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 15th
    Age: 70
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Another Lurker
    98. Elizabeth Claire Prophet

    Elizabeth Prophet was head of the Summit Lighthouse and the Church Universal and Triumphant, a New Age religious cult which she enjoined to prepare for nuclear Armageddon. I'm gone at the end of that sentence if I read it anywhere else. I don't get religious cults, don't know why people fork over tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of shvitzing to death in a sauna, don't understand why inner peace cannot be achieved with a good novel, a comfy chair and a glass of black-cherry soda. (I would say a baseball game, too, but it's the wrong time of year for baseball and inner peace to be in the same sentence.)

    Her direct link with God and the head of the Cosmic Secret Service were the drawing cards for the 30,000-50,000 members of the cult. They viewed her as the only spiritual leader capable of taking dictation from the Ascended Masters. She was cuckoo like a fox. She made a deal with the government that she and her followers would stop stockpiling weapons for the end of the world if they would reinstate her tax-exempt status, which they did.

    Her many predictions of Doomsday failed, I'm happy to report, to come true. One of her sons is now the head of the church, so presumably we're not finished hearing about them.

    The delicious last sentence of the Telegraph obit is and I know they chuckled as they typed, "For some years, she had suffered from dementia."

    Another Lurker (nice God-like name) gets the classy hit. She was 70, so he gets 8 points plus five for the solo. Total: 13 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 16th
    Age: 93
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: RH Draney
    99. Victor "Vic" Mizzy

    Imagine snapping your fingers and finding yourself in a mansion in Bel-Air. That's what Vic Mizzy did when he created words and music and finger snaps for The Addams Family. The music was delicious, the words were altogether ooky, but the brilliant part was retaining the rights to the song. Smart man. In my research, I found at least three versions of the derivation of the finger-snapping, all from Vic himself. He is also well-known for the Green Acres theme.

    But did you know that he also wrote the theme to the Pruitts of Southampton?

       www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL3vX-62z1k

    Or the Double Life of Henry Phyfe?

       www.televisiontunes.com/Double_Life_Of_Henry_Phyfe_(The).html

    Or Captain Nice?

       www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF-BwHjJyKU

    Woof. Let's remember The Addams Family and Green Acres, shall we?

    So RH Draney doesn't know shit about TV sets, but he sure knows his TV themes. Mr. Mizzy kicked off in his 90's, so RH gets 2 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bump-Snap-Snap. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 19th
    Age: 91
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Amelia
    100. Joseph Wiseman

    Gonna be honest with you. I did not know that Joseph Wiseman was a mad scientist in a Bond film and that his role set the standard for all future Bond film bad guys. Apparently, Wiseman didn't either. He had no idea what he was getting into, didn't read mysteries, and was astonished by his once and future success. I knew him from his work in The Detective Story, The Night They Raided Minsky's, Bye Bye Braverman, all those New York-y Jew-y roles, even Montreal Jew-y roles like in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. And, of course, he was quite famous among people who know the Broadway stage. Apparently, he played a lot of evil MF'ers there, too. To me, he was a journeyman, not a madman. But what do I know.

    I'll tell you what I know. I know how to pick em. I (Amelia) get 2 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 7. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 20th
    Age: 113
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Allen Kirshner
    101. Margaret Fitzgerald

    Allen Kirshner was kind enough to say yes when I asked him to write up his own hit, the oldest Canadian. And what a fantastic job he's done:

    A friend of mine who lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, is often fond of telling me how much it's changed since I last lived there, back in the early 1990s. It's grown by leaps and bounds, becoming quite the prominent Maritime city. He began his career as a history teacher and Margaret Fitzgerald carried with her 113 years worth of the past, until she passed away, just north of that burgeoning metropolis last week.

    Born Margaret King on September 16th, 1896 along with her twin brother, Leo, she grew up on a farm in Tankville with her nine siblings, before moving south to Moncton. She married denturist Dr. Reginald Fitzgerald and moved to the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, returning twenty years later upon her husband's death.

    Fitzgerald was self-educated and never drank or smoked. Her longevity is near-unheard of in her home country. She is believed to be the seventh oldest Canadian ever and had been cited as having been the oldest current living Canadian at the time of her death. It appears she was the oldest Canadian living in Canada and the oldest person of any nationality living in Canada. However, Mary Josephine Ray, a Canadian-born woman living in the U.S., might be properly recognized as the oldest living Canadian.

    None of this detracts from the mark she left on Earth. Margaret King Fitzgerald died October 20th, 2009. Allen Kirshner (that would be me) scores his tenth hit, and fourth solo, with her passing. He earns one point for his prediction.

    (And he also gets 5 points for the solo. I'm giving him the bonus points even though the rules say otherwise, because he went to the trouble of writing this. Sue me.) Total: 6
     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 20th
    Age: 97
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: The Fireball
    102. Clifford Peter Hansen

    The oldest living former senator has died. Clifford Hansen was 97 and represented the state of Wyoming as both its governor and senator. He was born in a log cabin and when he was done being an elected representative, he went back to the state he was born in, not far from the log cabin. Or so they say. He was a hard-working conservative, very committed to the needs of Western states, He opposed raising public lands grazing fees. He successfully advocated for raising states' share of revenue from mining on federal lands. In 1943, he and his fellow ranchers led a cattle drive protesting the Jackson Hole National Monument. Can you imagine anyone leading a cattle drive today to protest something? You see Al Sharpton on a horse? He was apparently very well-liked and was one of the Republicans who went to the White House to ask Nixon to resign. He treated janitors and elevator operators, junior and senior staffers, and fellow senators equally. Or so they say. People had the nicest things to say about Cliff Hansen. Home on the range, I found not a discouraging word. And he is quoted as saying that the title he was most proud of was the one his wife Martha gave him: Husband. Well. That makes a change from today's politicians.

    Another classy 90-something for Fireball. This is his speciality. He gets 2 for the hit, 5 for the solo. Total: 7. Ride 'em cowboy. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 22nd
    Age: 83
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 8.57% of entrants
    Selectors: Exuma
    Kathi
    KingDaevid
    Mister Selina
    O'Wilners
    Ray Arthur
    103. Soupy Sales

    Another fabulous update from Brad Ferguson. Couldn't be happier with this.

    Milton Supman was slapped with the family nickname Soupbone long before he could object, and he was Soupy forever afterward. He grew up in one of those little towns in North Carolina, just a few miles north of Raleigh. Soupy would joke that his was the only Jewish family in town, and that the KKK bought its sheets from his father's dry goods store. Believe that if you like, and no harm done.

    The family got out of there soon enough and relocated to Huntington, West Virginia. Soupy graduated from high school there in 1944 and went into the Navy. He served in the South Pacific aboard USS Randall, an attack transport whose apparently bored captain, Nicholas Frank, allowed Soupy to entertain the crew with comedy shows over the ship's communications system. This was where Soupy's dog White Fang comes in. White Fang, then and later, was the biggest and meanest dog in the United States and, presumably, the South Pacific. White Fang was Soupy's straight man. Soupy would tell a bad joke, and White Fang would object with howls supplied by the soundtrack of the film The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    Soupy went back to Huntington after the war and graduated from what is now Marshall University in 1949 with a degree in journalism. He wrote for the college newspaper and got twenty bucks a week for doing the news on radio station WHTN in Huntington. (Yes, I am contemplating the irony.) Milton Supman, the budding broadcast journalist, soon moved to Cincinnati, where he became Soupy Hines, the morning drive-time d.j. That job got Soupy his first TV gig, hosting a show on WKRC called Soupy's Soda Shop, where teenagers danced under very hot lights to God only knows what kind of music, since it was 1950. One of Soupy's friends at the station was Rod Serling, who was writing a local soap opera called The Storm. (A Rod Serling soap opera. My God.)

    Almost every obit I have read says Soupy took the name Hines from the Hines Soup Company. Well, there is no Hines Soup Company, and there never was. What really happened was that the Cincinnati station manager didn't think the name Soupy Supman would work on air, so he told Soupy to change his last name to Hines, after the Heinz Soup Company, changing the spelling so as to avoid problems with lawyers. Soupy didn't care for it much. Later on, when Soupy was better able to call his own shots, he changed his last name to Sales, after a comedian named Chic Sale. In 1929, Chic wrote a play about a disheveled character named The Specialist, a rustic carpenter who built nothing but outhouses. The Specialist, who as played by Chic looked a lot like Jed Clampett as played by Buddy Ebsen, turned out to be so popular that outhouses and privies all across America, and even the South Pacific, became known as Chic Sales. Chic, who was far from flattered by this, died in 1936. Milton Supman, who probably thought the whole thing was pretty funny, legally changed his name to Soupy Sales in 1957.

    Soupy went on to Cleveland, where he came up with his pie-throwing shtick. By 1953 he was in Detroit, and in 1960 he moved to Los Angeles and went on the ABC network with a show aimed at kids. The network show lasted for about a year, but it continued in Los Angeles until the beginning of 1962. His sidekick in Detroit and Los Angeles was Clyde Adler, who did the ooh-aah-wah dog voices, ran the puppets, and played the Guy at the Door. Kids loved Clyde almost as much as they loved Soupy.

    Then came 1964, and Soupy got a job at WNEW in New York, where he did perhaps the most popular kid show in history. Frank Nastasi was Soupy's sidekick in New York. Frank had worked at the Detroit station and subbed occasionally for Clyde, doing everything that Clyde did the way Clyde did it. In New York, Frank did it his way. For instance, he came up with voices for puppets Pookie and Hippy. Clyde's Pookie had only whistled, and Hippy had been mute.

    Soupy fought wars with WNEW. The first one was about cartoons. WNEW had the Warner Bros. library, which was run ad infinitum during its daytime kid-show schedule. WNEW even scheduled the cartoons in prime time, when daytime kid-show hosts like Sandy Becker and Uncle Fred Scott would dress up in tuxes, sit on stools on dramatically darkened sets, and show exactly the same cartoons they showed during the day, every day. Well, Soupy didn't want to show cartoons. While his show was largely ad-libbed, it was carefully outlined, and Soupy didn't want the cartoons cutting into his time. WNEW didn't think kids would watch a show that didn't have cartoons. They'll watch mine, Soupy sez — and they did, especially after the cartoons suddenly disappeared a few weeks into the show's run.

    So why did kids watch? Two reasons. The show was funny, of course. The humor was basic and honest, like a pie in the face. More to the point, through, the show also co-starred the studio crew, and it was here that kids felt most involved because they were able to slip in among them. You'd be there, with the camera, while Soupy joked around with Frank and Artie and all the rest of the crew, and the studio would ring with their loony laughter. Nobody else was doing this. Soupy was clearly having a good time with these guys, and you couldn't help but be swept along. As things went on, Soupy grew more relaxed. He dropped the trademark top hat and floppy tie he'd worn for years. Now he wore tan slacks, a V-neck sweater (usually a dark blue one), and a white-for-TV shirt left unbuttoned at the collar. The difference between company and family is that you don't have to dress up for family, and Soupy had become family.

    Everybody knows about the New Year's Day thing in 1965, where Soupy joked about how kids should steal money from their parents, send it to him, and he'd send them a postcard from Puerto Rico. This is where ad-libbing can get you into trouble, but it can also make you famous. Soupy was suspended for a little while, but his show was bigger than ever when he came back, and here we are 45 years later still talking about it. Not bad at all.

    The New York show ended in 1966, and the rest of Soupy's career involved a few films, a lot of in-concert appearances, a briefly lived revival of the classic show during 1978-9, a radio show on WNBC in New York during the '80s, and long runs as a panelist on game shows, most notably a seven-year stint on What's My Line?

    Soupy Sales died, still beloved by millions, on 22 October. He finally got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. When somebody with a star dies, the local Chamber of Commerce puts a nice flower arrangement on the star, and everybody takes a picture of it and runs it on the news. This time, somebody left a pie.

    So, some special news here. O'Wilner gets his first hit in two years. His first hit ever. No more shit from his brother-in-law Mark! Yay! Three cheers for O'Wilner! Add Exuma, Kathi, King Daevid, Mister Selina, and Ray Arthur to the list. Total: 5. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 23rd
    Age: 95
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 5.71% of entrants
    Selectors: Amelia
    Chipmunk Roasting
    Dead People Server
    James Neibaur
    104. Lou Jacobi

    Lou Jacobi always brought a smile to my face. In movies, on TV, on the stage and one day on the #1 train (Broadway) unwrapping a homemade sandwich and eating it.

    I would be remiss if I didn't thank Lou Jacobi on behalf of Irving Fein, Gabriel Krichinsky, Jacob Glutz, Bernie Sagowitz, Rabbi Singer, Aaron Seymour, Rosenthal, Abe, Uncle Morty, Max Adler, Elia Goldberg, Milton Cohen, Wolsky, Spivakovsky, Ivan Petrovsky, Stan, Herb, Sgt. Max Raskin, Steinberg, Harry Tannenbaum, Lieut. Wolfson, Sam Musgrave, Harold Fisher, Goodman, Frank Hausmann, Papa Leo, Judge Stern, Leo Schneider, Harvey Turman and Hans Van Daan, all of whom he brought to life with his enormous talent.

    Three women & one man got hit #100 of the 2009 AO Deadpool. That would be Dead People Server, Chipmunk Roasting, and me + James Neibaur, Amelia. We each get 2 for the hit. Total: 2. Now go cut the turkey. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: October 30th
    Age: 75
    Worth: 11 ₧
    Popularity: 2.90% of entrants
    Selectors: Erik
    Undertaker
    105. Michelle Triola Marvin

    Bill Schenley writes:

    Despite being labeled by the public as little more than a prostitute, she did more for the feminist movement than she will ever be given credit for, and that's too bad, because Michelle Triola made a commitment out of shackin' up — made it more than a series of one-night-stands. She lost her case upon appeal, but subsequent palimony[1] cases were successful.

    The one-time live-in lover of Kid Shelleen was 76 when she died in the home she shared for 30 years with Dick Van Dyke, who apparently left Laura and New Rochelle for the former lounge singer.

    Community property awarded in this case is 8 points for the hit and 3 bonus points, divided equally by Erik and Undertaker. Maybe Erik wouldn't have had to split these points ... if he hadn't left his toothbrush in Undertaker's bathroom.

    Total: 11.
     

    [1] A term coined by her attorney Marvin Mitchelson, its legal definition would be "non-marital relationship contract."
     

    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 1st
    Age: 100
    Worth: 1 ₧
    Popularity: 7.14% of entrants
    Selectors: Brigid
    Emily
    The Fireball
    Kentucky Wizard
    McKie
    106. Claude Gustave Lévi-Strauss

    Bill Schenley writes:

    Claude Lévi-Strauss has died, and as Claude goes, doesn't a little bit of all of us go, too? I mean, is there anyone out there who has not been touched by Lévi-Strauss?

    He was known as the father of modern leisure wear because of his then-revolutionary conclusion that so-called primitive societies did not differ greatly from modern ones in their need for good, sturdy pants ...

    Part philosopher, part sociologist and entirely humanist, he studied tribes in Brazil and North America, concluding that virtually all societies shared powerful commonalities of behavior and thought, and the need for stonewashed pants. Towering over the French fashion scene in the 1860s and 1870s, he founded the school of pant makers known as denimism, which holds that common features exist within the enormous varieties of human experience and the button fly. Those commonalities are rooted partly in nature and partly in the desire to fondle oneself.

    His conclusions about the role of plaid shirts were elegantly expanded in a series of books that included "Bootcut Tropiques," "The Savage 501s" and "Lowriselogiques."

    Brigid, Emily, Fireball, McKie, and The Wiz all get one point for picking the man who invented miner wear. And yes, kids ... those pants do make your asses look big ... Total: 1. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 3rd
    Age: 103
    Worth: 6 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: The Fireball
    107. Francisco de Paula Ayala García-Duarte

    Schenley writes:

    The acclaimed Spanish writer and resolute opponent of Francisco Franco, Francisco de Paula Ayala García-Duarte, who was exiled from Spain in 1939, and who returned to Madrid in 1980, five years after Franco's death, has died at 103. He was one of the twentieth century's finest Spanish writers.

    Francisco Ayala wrote over fifty novels, almost all of them stories of oppression and suffering. Both his father and a younger brother were killed by Franco's forces in 1936. "El Hechizado," a short story from the collection "Los Upsurpadores," is considered by many to be a Spanish language masterpiece.

    Enough about Ayala, after all, he's already toast ... As if old people don't have enough problems without Fireball stalking them. He gets one point for the hit and five bonus points, providing he can prove Francisco Ayala is still dead. But wait — Bola de Fuego isn't done terrorizing Shady Acres ... Total: 6.

    (Editor's note: This is the third hit for Fireball in the last two weeks and the next hit is his, as well. Also, Ayala was 103. He is hit # 103.)
     



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 3rd
    Age: 92
    Worth: 4 ₧
    Popularity: 2.86% of entrants
    Selectors: James Neibaur
    RH Draney
    108. Carl Ballantine

    A splendid (don't miss the ending) update by Brad Ferguson:

    Carl Ballantine, who mastered the trick of living to be a healthy 92, started life as Meyer Kessler in Chicago. He was already doing simple magic tricks when he was 12, and went pro in his teens as Count Marakoff. A little later, when he included a pack of playing card tricks, he called himself Carl Sharp. It was a serious act, very traditional, and Carl Sharp was okay at it.

    Then, one day, early on, he saw a performance by a magician named Richard Cardini — Cardini, the Suave Deceiver. Cardini is less famous today than he should be. At his peak in the 1930s, Cardini toured Europe, met the King, met the Queen, met the Pope. He toured America, too. Cardini was the best sleight-of-hand magician there ever was. He did card tricks with his gloves on, for God's sake. Cardini even choreographed his sleight-of-hand to orchestra music. Carl Sharp of Chicago trotted down to see the Suave Deceiver and, that same day, gave up. Carl knew he could never, ever be as good as Cardini, and so he wouldn't even try. Carl called his agent from the street to tell him the act was over, and they got to talking. Maybe Carl could work "funny." After all, there were some big laughs during Cardini's act, when strange things would happen around the seemingly unaware magician. Right around then, a Ballantine Whisky truck passed by the phone booth.

    Carl Ballantine did work "funny." His new act seemed straight enough at first. Carl would dress in white tie and tails, and of course he had stage presence. Back before people knew him, they really didn't know if they should laugh. After all, this poor man was up on stage, and everything was going wrong. Helpfully, Ballantine began making sarcastic comments about his performance. "Every move a picture," he'd grunt after he knocked over a "magic box," exposing the secret panel. Given permission to laugh, people did. A lot. The Amazing Ballantine act began around 1940 and went on for more than sixty years.

    Ballantine, the World's Greatest Magician, was a frequent guest on TV variety shows beginning around 1959, mostly with Steve Allen and sometimes with Ed Sullivan. ("Sullivan never could figure out what the heck I did," Carl said once. "He just didn't get it.") Ballantine, the Comedian, appeared as a regular on the early '60s sitcom McHale's Navy as Lester Gruber, the PT-73's torpedoman. He had dozens of other appearances on TV and in films, usually in character parts. His last film was only three years ago.

    Always the Great Ballantine, Carl would go to the Magic Castle in Hollywood and tell his stories, and he was doing that regularly up until last year. He was also a great cook who shared recipes as well as jokes, and he was always looking for the next good restaurant. He smoked half a dozen Cuban cigars a day, and he loved horse racing — or, rather, he loved betting on horse races. He married character actress Ceil Cabot in 1955, and they named both their daughters after racetracks. Ceil died in 2000.

    The very last appearance of the Amazing Ballantine was at a corporate convention in July 2005 in Reno, Nevada. He performed his classic act as part of the evening stage show. The props fell and the boxes collapsed and the jokes flew, just as they had for many years, and as they would not ever again, because nobody else is nearly as good as Ballantine was.

    For his last trick, ladies and germs, Ballantine the Great has entered this box. As you can see, there is no escape possible (thump) (thump) (thud). Ballantine will be confined securely inside with no hope of ever getting out (squeak) (rattle) (clink). Well, at least he's dressed for a funeral. Music, Maestro, if you please.

    And a splendid duet for James Neibaur & RH Draney. 2 points for the hit and 2 for being the only ones to guess the how the trick is done. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    1
    Died: November 4th
    Age: 98
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity:1.43% of entrants
    Selector: The Fireball
    109. William Henry Avery Sr.

    Schenley writes:

    You know those pesky property taxes most of you pay each year, you know, the ones that support public education? Guess who came up with *that* brilliant idea? That's right — William Fucking Avery, who, for a very brief time, was governor of Kansas. And the 98-year-old former governor ... Well, kids, he's not in Kansas any longer.

    Fucking Fireball. He's worse than Louis. If they're old and infirmed he's Johnny-on-the-Fucking-Spot with his axe handle. All in about a week's time, Clifford Hansen, Lévi-Strauss, the leisure wear guy, Francisco Ayala, and now Avery. Fireball, acting on behalf of the late Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, fun couple that they were, gets 2 points for the hit and another five in bonus points. Total: 7. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 15th
    Age: 95
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 2.86% of entrants
    Selectors: DDT
    Death Eaters
    110. Gojko Stojčević
        Patriarch Pavle

    Schenley writes:

    Yeah, that's right, Gojko Stojčević, better known as Patriarch Pavle, who headed the Serbian Orthodox Church during the breakup of Yugoslavia is dead. He was 95.

    Do you have any idea how many fucking Patriarch Pavle obits I had to read to find his *real* name. Can you imagine how little my interest in Patriarch Pavle is — was — ever-fucking-will-be? To me, he is just one more dead pee-pee-pawer.

    But wait, you gotta' see his photo (#4): [ snurl.com/tc4cx ]. The hook nose, the hair, the beard — the guy looked like Fagin ( snurl.com/tc4id ). And ya' know, he had to pick a pocket, or two. And what is it with the Serbian Orthodox Church? Is poking a pencil through the eyelids of the damned some kind of crazy We-Just-Fucking-Adore-Our-Jesus ritual? What does it mean? And as if the photo of the dead wee-wee washer wasn't enough ... how about the guy licking his forehead. How fucking creepy are these people?

    Even scarier? The guy wasn't a solo. DDT and Death Eaters each get two points for the hit and an extra three bonus points for being the only two deadpool players to recognize a dying diddler when they see him. Total: 5. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 16th
    Age: 79
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Brigid
    111. Edward Albert Arthur Woodward

    Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer. How cool was that? An ad! (With a 555 telephone number, of course. Everything about the world has changed in the last 20 years, except for telephone numbers on TV shows.)

    For some reason, I didn't watch this show at the time. (Infant, job, whatever) But I've seen the pilot on youtube now and I'm sorry I missed it the first time around. Or maybe it seems good now because of its quaint telephones and computers and tagged subway cars. And no one staring at smart phones on the street. I miss that NYC. Edward Woodward, who has died at 79, was the star of this and several other TV shows. In fact, he appeared, according to the Telegraph, in more than 2000 TV parts. Why wasn't he better known?

    The lovely Brigid answered the ad for the Equalizer. She had Woodward as a solo and so gets 8 points for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 13. Very cool. Very. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 24th
    Age: 74
    Worth: 13 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Ed Varner
    112. Samak Sundaravej

    Samak Sundaravej was briefly the Prime Minister of Thailand and Minister of Defense, as well as the leader of the People's Power Party. He was involved with every corrupt aspect of the Thai government, which is to say, every aspect of the Thai government. He was sentenced to prison for defaming a deputy governor, he committed election fraud, and his nine months in office ended with thousands of demonstrators blocking his entrance to the government's headquarters.

    The final insult to the Thai people?

    He was ousted from power for performing on cooking shows for payment. On "Tasting While Grumbling," ("Tasting, Ranting" and "Tasting, Complaining" in other obits) he cooked up his favorite dishes and provided commentary. One of his delectable concoctions was pork leg stewed in Coca-Cola. And God knows what he grumbled about.>

    His is a fascinating story, and I recommend reading the Telegraph obit in its entirety.

    www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/tv-radi...

    EdV knew that any man whose nickname is "dog mouth" is a goner. (Cancer, not food poisoning) Samak was 74 in most obits, so EdV gets 8 for the hit and 5 for the solo. Total: 13. And first place, where I believe he will stay. (Think Jade Goody.) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: November 27th
    Age: 87
    Worth: 10 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Jazz Vulture
    113. Al Alberts

    "The New Year's Eve we did the town
    The day I tore old Al Alberts down
    I will have these moments to remember"
      — Jazz Vulture —

    The Four Lads
    The Four Preps
    The Four Freshmen
    The Four Coins
    The Four Tops
    The Four Door Sedans
    The Four Wheel Drives
    The Four Elements
    The Four Branches of the Mabinogi
    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    The Four Aces

    How can anyone tell the difference? They all sound the same. I mean, the Four Aces recorded "It's No Sin," "Shangri-La" and "Three Coins in the Fountain," while The Four Coins recorded "My One Sin" and Shangri-La." The Four Freshmen and The Four Preps both recorded "Shangri-La" and The Four Lads sang "Moments to Remember" and, of course, "Shangri-La."

    Jazz Vulture could tell the difference. Al Alberts, who was 87 when JV's little sister screamed "Payback's a motherfucker, Al," was the founding member of The Four Aces, a harmony group from the early 1950s that won two Oscars, one for "Three Coins in the Fountain" and one for "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing." JV gets five points for the hit and five for putting his "Heart and Soul" into the solo. Total: 10.

    (Update courtesy of Bill Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 1st
    Age: 96
    Worth: 5 ₧
    Popularity: 2.86% of entrants
    Selectors: Bill Schenley
    Dead Batteries
    114. Thomas David "Tommy" Henrich

    Mickey Owen's dropped third strike with two outs in the ninth inning of the fourth game of the 1941 World Series is considered one of the most memorable moments in baseball history. Tommy Henrich was the batter. Joe DiMaggio, who was on-deck, once called Henrich "the smartest player in the game." The Yankees were losing 4-3 when Owen helplessly watched as the passed ball rolled all the way to the backstop and Tommy Henrich easily made it to first base. DiMaggio singled, and Charlie Keller followed with a double and the Yankees went on to win the game 7-4, and the '41 World Series.

    Eleven of his teammates went into the Baseball Hall of Fame1, he was a five-time All-Star2, a seven-time world-champion3, and a member of the Ohio State Champion barbershop quartet4.

    Tommy Henrich retired after the 1950 injury-plagued season but returned in '51 to teach a rookie shortstop from Oklahoma how to play the outfield. "Catching a fly ball is a pleasure, but knowing what to do with it after you catch it is a business5," he told Mickey Mantle.

    The late Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen, nicknamed Tommy Henrich "Old Reliable," and finally, this year, he was. Five years after I (Bill) first put him on my Com'on, Die Already list, the 96-year-old Old Reliable ... died. In bygone years he would have been a solo, but not this year. I have to share the bonus points with Dead Batteries. We each get two points for the hit, and another three RBIs each for knowing Tommy Henrich would get to see one more New York Yankee world championship ... and not much more. Total: 5.
     

    [1] Tony Lazzeri, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, Joe Gordon, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, Johnny Mize and Whitey Ford.
     
    [2] 1942, 1947-1950.
     
    [3] 1937-39, 1941, 1947, 1949 and 1950 (Henrich did not play in the 1937 and '38 series, or the 1950 series).
     
    [4] 1947.
     
    [5] A favorite baseball quote of mine.
    (Update courtesy of Bill Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 5th
    Age: 97
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Buford
    115. William Julius Lederer

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
      - Declaration of Independence -
        of the Thirteen United States
        of America, Thomas Jefferson

    "All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
      - Declaration of Independence -
        of the Democratic Republic
        of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh

    It was William Lederer, the co-author of "The Ugly American" and the author of "Our Own Worst Enemy," who provided Ho Chi Minh with a copy of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence." Or so the story goes ...

    Bill Lederer, along with Eugene Burdick, who was co-author with Lederer on "The Ugly American" as well as "The Deceptive American," "Sarkhan" and "The 480," did his best to educate the United States government as how to make a difference in Asia/Southeast Asia in the 1940s, '50s and 60s. How *not* to let the area succumb to the Communist influence of the Soviet Union and China. Learn the language and observe the local customs while showing respect for both. Not a chance that was going to happen, kids. Not then, not now.

    Lederer was 97 when he died in early December of 2009. Buford, himself somewhat of an Ugly American, had a solo hit with Homer Atkins's alter ego. He gets two points for finally figuring out what year Mr. Lederer died in ... and another five for being the only one to do so ... Total: 7. And there you have it, folks, an even 120. Thanks to Buford.

        (Schenley) 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 15th
    Age: 91
    Worth: 2 ₧
    Popularity: 10.00% of entrants
    Selectors: Busgal
    Bushwhacker
    Dead Batteries
    Jenstrikesagain
    Johnnyb
    Kathypig1
    Mister Selina
    116. Granville Richard James Oral Roberts Sr.

    Prosperity gospel. How cool is that? God loves the wealthy and puts everyone else in the Fucktard Room. Oral Roberts was wealthy — real wealthy. He was also a Methodist-Pentecostal, and, I have to admit, that I am not real sure just what the hell Pentecostalism is, although I think it describes a person who is willing to swindle anyone, despite their religion, nationality, skin color or waist size.

    Roberts once had a vision from Jesus, who, according to Roberts, was 900 fucking feet tall.

    I've always wondered ... How did he know ... How did he know Jesus was 900 fucking feet tall? Did he measure ...*Him*? Did he ask?

    "Hey! Hey, you up there ..." How fucking tall are you? "

    A. "896 fucking feet."

    "What? I can't hear you ... Did you say 680 fucking feet? ..."

    A. "896 fucking feet."

    "What? You're too fucking far away. I can't hear you ..."

    A. "896 fucking feet tall ..."

    "Huh? Too many airpl_ ..."

    A. "NINE-HUNDRED-FUCKING-FEET!"

    "Ah, 900 fucking feet ..."

    Bushwhacker, Dead Batteries, Johnnyb, Jenstrikesagain, Kathypig1, Mister Selina, and Busgal started this year's deadpool with a demand — we either fork over eight million dollars — or they off the 91-year-old Fundamentally Oral Bob. Sorry, Fundamentally Oral Bob. Between Amelia, me, and the Rules Committee, the most we could come up with was two points. But, these were not just any two points. Nope. These two points were

    Their Two (2) Points? Why, they're 900-FUCKING-FEET TALL!
    ... Total: 2. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 17th
    Age: 90
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Eternity Tours
    117. Jennifer Jones

    She was, of course, ravishing. Enough to get herself two fabulously rich husbands. (How very un-feminist of me — maybe she was smart, too?) But she had terrible taste in films. I grew up watching one bad Jennifer Jones movie after another. Well, the movies were bad. She was always interesting.

    As we're big Powell Pressburger fans, we went recently to a festival of their films to catch the original version of a film that doesn't merit a mention in a single American obit that I noticed, yet is mentioned in all the English ones. They enticed JJ to England to make this absolutely bizarre, but classic Powell and Pressburger film called Gone to Earth, in which she plays a half-Gypsy Shropshire lass who lives with foxes. A lecherous squire sets about to seduce her just as she's married a parson with a domineering mother. She goes off to live with the squire in sin and not much clothing. The parson does take her back — she's Jennifer Jones, for chrissakes — but she's doomed. The climax is a fox-hunting scene and the last line of the film is the title of the film. It is nothing, if not memorable. Selznick recut it in his own image of JJ, but you have to see the original to really appreciate how sensual she was, even as a fox-loving Gypsy with a bad English accent.

    Jennifer Jones has gone to earth for real this time. Oddly, only Eternity Tours thought a five-time Academy Award nominee and one-time winner deserved a mention in our esteemed deadpool. A lovely solo. He gets 2 for the hit (she was 90) and five for the solo. Total: 7. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 20th
    Age: 91
    Worth: 7 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Jazz Vulture
    118. Arnold Stang

    Vick's Vapo-Rub, Honey Nut Cheerios, Chunky. He played these gigs just as seriously as Top Cat, Sparrow, Herman, and Shloimy the Subway Train. Believe me, I know. For so many actors, advertising work is the bread, the butter, the mortgage, and the private school tuition. When all else fails, and for most actors, all else usually fails, the commercial work can be counted on to keep coming. Stang seemed to work a lot, we all have marvelous memories of him, but there were lots of years to fill up with work. Maybe you saw It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World a dozen times when you were a kid, but he only got paid for it once. So picture him going to auditions, day in, day out. Picture him doing "Arnold Stang" day in, day out. Making nice to people like me, answering the same questions over and over and over again about what was it like to work with Berle or Sinatra. Never changing his look, or his voice, because those glasses, that voice, that chin were what made it all work. Then there's always the possibility that over the course of all those decades of being Arnold Stang, it was actually fun being Arnold Stang. You never know.

    Arnold Stang died last week at the age of 91. (Various sources list him as being 7 years younger, but I have to go with the more reputable sources, like the New York Times and Mark Evanier.) So Jazz Vulture's delightful solo nets him 7 points. 2 + 5. Nice one. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 25th
    Age: 92
    Worth: 15 ₧
    Popularity: 2.86% of entrants
    Selectors: Brigid
    Kixco
    119. Knut Magne Haugland

    Knut Haugland was the last survivor of the six-man crew, the last of the Kon-Tiki expedition. I grew up hearing about this primitive trip, because there was a book my father loved on the subject. But not until I read the obits did I realize that the trip was particularly significant for how it lifted spirits crushed by World War II. People were mesmerized by the trip, the book that retold the story, the film that portrayed it, the museum that celebrated it and the cast of characters, all of whom took on mythical qualities. Haugland even played himself in the film. But he did not think of himself as a hero. He was just a radio operator. And that's the way he thought of himself until the day he died. (So they say.)

    The radio operator died on Christmas Day, giving Brigid and Kixco a nice little gift. They get 2 for the hit, 3 for the duet, and 10 for getting the hit on the last week of the year. Total: 15.

    Nice job, ladies. 



    «—SUMMARY—»
    Died: December 30th
    Age: 69
    Worth: 26 ₧
    Popularity: 1.43% of entrants
    Selector: Buford
    120. Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid

    Abdurrahman Wahid was a nearly blind Muslim cleric who ran Indonesia for a couple years trying to convince everyone that a tolerant brand of Islam was possible. He was the leader of the Muslim group Nahdlatul Ulama, with over 40 million members and promoted the rights of minorities and non-Muslims. He defended Salman Rushdie all by himself, he made peaceful overtures to Israel, he apologized for Suharto-led atrocities, pushed for civilian control over the military and all sorts of other goodies that never went anywhere, as they rarely do. I'll conclude with an anecdote from the New York Times obit of Gus Dur, as he was affectionately known:

    "He tended to fall asleep at public meetings, and at one parliamentary session dozed off several times during the reading of his own speech, which he delegated because of his blindness. In what appeared to be a planned tactic, an adjutant woke him each time by handing him a hard candy to suck on."

    This is how the obit ends. And this is how we finish 2009, probably. A very nice solo by our webmaster Buford. Wahid was just 69, so he gets 11 points for the hit, 5 for the solo, and an extra 10 for getting the hit in the last week of the year. Total: 26 points. Wahoo on Wahid, Buf!


          70        120        81.16        3.63        9.83        77     
         Contest
    Entrants
          Total
    Hits
          Average
    Age at
    Death
          Average number
    of Selectors
    per Hit
          Average
    Point Value
    per Hit
          Solo Hits
    for the Year
    ( 63.2% )
         



    obits penned by ...
    Amelia 
    Rosner:
    1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32, 35, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 53, 54, 56, 59, 60, 62, 64, 70, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89, 92, 93, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 102, 104, 111, 112, 117, 118, 119, 120
    Andrew 
    McKie:
    6
    Charlene:4
    Jim 
    Thornton:
    18
    Kris 
    Baker:
    28
    Aje 
    RavenStar:
    29
    Brad 
    Ferguson
    :
    47, 58, 67, 73, 86, 87, 88, 103, 108
    King 
    Daevid:
    50
    Danny 
    Burstein:
    44
    Buford:65
    Matt 
    Kruk
    :
    76
    James 
    Neibaur:
    86
    Allen 
    Kirshner:
    101
    Bill 
    Schenley:
    7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 48, 49, 51, 52, 55, 56, 61, 63, 66, 68, 69, 71, 72, 79, 91, 94, 97, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, 113, 115, 114, 116







  • RulesSequence of HitsObituariesScoringAwards

      2009 AO DEADPOOL
    CURRENT STANDINGS

    As of Wednesday January 13, 2010
    Tie goes to the: most Hits, most Solo Hits, most Duet Hits, most Trio Hits, then alphabet ("A" to "Z" entrant names)

    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    1st
    ( Gold )
    2009 Moxie Award winnerEd Varner  203 14 3
    1. Dai Llewellyn — 12 trio points
    2. Kay Yow — 12 trio points
    3. Harold Guy Hunt — 13 solo points
    4. Paul Birch — 19 trio points
    5. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    6. Jade Goody — 22 points
      plus Youngest Hit of the Year bonus (25 points)
    7. Hugh Hopper — 14 duet points
    8. Bobby Robson 8 points
    9. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    10. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    11. Crystal Lee Jordan — 16 solo points
    12. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    13. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    14. Samak Sundaravej — 13 solo points

      average: 14.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 24th
    2nd
    ( Silver )
    DDT  173 13 3
    1. Paul Birch — 19 trio points
    2. J.G. Ballard — 11 duet points
    3. Ian Cundy — 16 solo points
    4. Hugh Hopper — 14 duet points
    5. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    6. Allen Shellenberger — 25 solo points
    7. Bob Novak — 8 points
    8. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    9. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim — 19 solo points
    10. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    11. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    12. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    13. Gojko Stojčević — 5 duet points

      average: 13.31 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 15th
    3rd
    ( Bronze )
    Mr. Brink  131 13 4
    1. Kay Yow — 12 trio points
    2. Philip Carey — 8 duet points
    3. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    4. Anne ... Schjelderup — 7 solo points
    5. Greg Page — 19 solo points
    6. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    7. Merce Cunningham — 7 solo points
    8. Bobby Robson 8 points
    9. Bob Novak — 8 points
    10. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    11. "Junior" Coghlan — 7 solo points
    12. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    13. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 10.08 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    4th Erik  129 12 1
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    3. Timothy Wright — 16 solo points
    4. Millvina Dean — 2 points
    5. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    6. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    7. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    8. Bob Novak — 8 points
    9. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    10. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    11. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    12. Michelle Triola Marvin — 11 duet points

      average: 10.75 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 30th
    5th Yersinia Pestis  120 7 2
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Jade Goody — 22 points
      plus Youngest Hit of the Year bonus (25 points)
    3. "Pop" Winans — 13 solo pointsw
    4. Bruce Snyder — 16 solo points
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 17.14 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    6th Buford  116 12 5
    1. Willem Kolff — 7 solo points
    2. Charlie Bowman — 10 solo points
    3. Millvina Dean — 2 points
    4. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    5. Oscar Mayer Jr. — 7 solo points
    6. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    7. Bob Novak — 8 points
    8. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    9. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    10. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    11. William Lederer — 7 solo points
    12. Abdurrahman Wahid — 16 solo points
      plus Last Week Bonus (10 points)

      average: 9.67 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 30th
    7th I Drink Your Milkshake  112 10 1
    1. Lei Clijsters — 19 solo points
    2. Dai Llewellyn — 12 trio points
    3. Paul Birch — 19 trio points
    4. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    5. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    6. Bob Novak — 8 points
    7. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    8. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    9. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    10. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 11.20 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    8th Philip  105 10 2
    1. Sir John Mortimer — 10 solo points
    2. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    3. Dr. Jerri Nielsen — 19 solo points
    4. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    5. Bobby Robson 8 points
    6. Bob Novak — 8 points
    7. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    8. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    9. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    10. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 10.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    9th Amelia  102 8 6
    1. Mick Imlah — 19 solo points
    2. Blossom Dearie — 10 solo points
    3. Joe Cuba — 13 solo points
    4. Ron Silver — 16 solo points
    5. Robert Müller — 27 solo points
    6. Bob Novak — 8 points
    7. Joseph Wiseman — 7 solo points
    8. Lou Jacobi — 2 points

      average: 12.75 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 23rd
    10th Denise  100 9 0
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Michael Jackson — 14 points plus Daily Double (10 points)
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    7. Larry Gelbart — 5 points
    8. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    9. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 11.11 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    11th Direcorbie  99 11 1
    1. Preston Gómez — 10 solo points
    2. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    3. Bea Arthur — 8 duet points
    4. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    5. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    6. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    7. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    8. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    9. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    10. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    11. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 9.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    12th JD Baldwin  98 5 0
    1. Jade Goody — 22 points
      plus Youngest Hit of the Year bonus (25 points)
    2. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 19.60 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    13th Undertaker  96 10 2
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Colleen Howe — 13 solo points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    7. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    8. Arthur Ferrante — 10 solo points
    9. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    10. Michelle Triola Marvin — 11 duet points

      average: 9.60 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 30th
    14th Another Lurker  90 9 3
    1. Tapan Sinha — 10 solo points
    2. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    4. Robert McNamara — 2 points
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    7. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    8. Irving Kristol — 10 solo points
    9. Elizabeth Prophet — 13 solo points

      average: 10.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 15th
    15th Death Eaters  79 8 1
    1. Dai Llewellyn — 12 trio points
    2. Mary Lundby — 16 solo points
    3. Bob Novak — 8 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    8. Gojko Stojčević — 5 duet points

      average: 9.88 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 15th
    16th Abby  79 7 0
    1. Kay Yow — 12 trio points
    2. Ed McMahon — 5 points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    5. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 11.29 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    17th Allen Kirshner  77 10 4
    1. Maria de Jesus — 1 point (solo)
    2. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    3. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    4. Henry Allingham — 6 solo points
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    7. Mady Rahl — 7 solo points
    8. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    9. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    10. Margaret Fitzgerald — 6 solo points

      average: 7.70 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 20th
    18th Johnnyb  77 5 2
    1. Jade Goody — 22 points
      plus Youngest Hit of the Year bonus (25 points)
    2. Raúl Alfonsín — 10 solo points
    3. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    4. Molly Sugden — 10 solo points
    5. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 15.40 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    19th Sis  75 7 0
    1. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    2. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    3. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    4. Bob Novak — 8 points
    5. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    6. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    7. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 10.71 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    20th Busgal  74 11 2
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    3. Hank Locklin — 5 duet points
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    6. Les Paul — 2 points
    7. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    8. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    9. Mary Travers — 13 solo points
    10. Rusty Wier — 16 solo points
    11. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 6.73 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    21st Sarndra  74 3 1
    1. Jade Goody — 22 points
      plus Youngest Hit of the Year bonus (25 points)
    2. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    3. Sir Howard Morrison — 13 solo points

      average: 24.67 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    22nd Charlene  73 10 1
    1. Griffin Bell — 7 solo points
    2. Millvina Dean — 2 points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Bobby Robson 8 points
    6. Les Paul — 2 points
    7. Bob Novak — 8 points
    8. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    9. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    10. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 7.30 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    23rd Max Weder  69 6 0
    1. Andrew Wyeth — 5 duet points
    2. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. William Safire — 13 solo points

      average: 11.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 27th
    24th Ray Arthur  66 9 1
    1. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    4. Bob Novak — 8 points
    5. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    6. Army Archerd — 10 solo points
    7. Larry Gelbart — 5 points
    8. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    9. Soupy Sales — 5 points

      average: 7.33 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 22nd
    25th DGH  63 6 0
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Larry Gelbart — 5 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 10.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    26th Dead People Server  62 7 0
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    3. Bob Novak — 8 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Larry Gelbart — 5 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Lou Jacobi — 2 points

      average: 8.86 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 23rd
    27th Moldy Oldies  61 7 1
    1. Andrew Wyeth — 5 duet points
    2. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    3. Danny La Rue — 10 solo points
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Bob Novak — 8 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 8.71 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    28th Jazz Vulture  61 6 2
    1. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    2. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    5. Al Alberts — 10 solo points
    6. Arnold Stang — 7 solo points

      average: 10.17 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 20th
    29th Starfish  60 6 0
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Philip Carey — 8 duet points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 10.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    30th Bill Schenley  59 7 1
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Jack Lawrence — 7 solo points
    3. Dom DiMaggio — 3 trio points
    4. Bob Novak — 8 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    7. Tommy Henrich — 5 duet points

      average: 8.43 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 1st
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    31st The Fireball  58 10 6
    1. Hortense Calisher — 7 solo points
    2. Bill Werber — 2 trio points
    3. Edward Upward — 6 solo points
    4. Huey Long — 6 solo points
    5. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    6. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    7. Clifford Hansen — 7 solo points
    8. Claude Lévi-Strauss — 1 point
    9. Franciso Ayala — 6 solo points
    10. William Avery Sr. — 7 solo points

      average: 5.80 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 4th
    32nd Constant Irritant  57 6 0
    1. Bea Arthur — 8 duet points
    2. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 9.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    33rd Mark  52 8 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    3. Karl Malden — 2 points
    4. Robert McNamara — 2 points
    5. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    6. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    7. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    8. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 6.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    34th Kixco  51 7 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    4. Les Paul — 2 points
    5. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Knut Haugland — 5 duet points
      plus Last Week Bonus (10 points)

      average: 7.29 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 25th
    35th Kathypig1  49 7 1
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Philip José Farmer — 7 solo points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    5. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    6. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    7. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 7.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    36th James Neibaur  48 7 1
    1. Olga San Juan — 10 solo points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Bob Novak — 8 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Lou Jacobi — 2 points
    7. Carl Ballantine — 4 duet points

      average: 6.86 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 3rd
    37th Allezblancs  48 4 0
    1. Bobby Robson 8 points
    2. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 12.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    38th Bushwhacker  46 5 0
    1. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    2. Bob Novak — 8 points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    5. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 9.20 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    39th Chaptal  46 3 0
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
      plus Daily Double (10 points)

      average: 15.33 points per Hit
      most recent hit: June 25th
    40th DrunkAsASkunk  44 5 1
    1. Wendy Richard — 11 points
    2. Harry Patch — 6 solo points
    3. Bobby Robson 8 points
    4. Corazon Aquino — 8 points
    5. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 8.80 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    41st Hulka  43 5 0
    1. Les Paul — 2 points
    2. Bob Novak — 8 points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    5. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 8.60 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    42nd Garrett  42 4 2
    1. Kathleen Byron — 10 solo points
    2. Lukas Foss — 10 solo points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 10.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    43rd Mort Chewary  40 5 1
    1. Ingemar Johansson — 13 solo points
    2. Dom DiMaggio — 3 trio points
    3. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 8.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    44th Jenstrikesagain  40 5 0
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Dom DeLuise — 8 points
    3. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    4. Susan Atkins — 11 points
    5. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 8.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    45th Brigid  36 5 1
    1. Ricardo Montalbán — 5 points
    2. Les Paul — 2 points
    3. Claude Lévi-Strauss — 1 point
    4. Edward Woodward — 13 solo points
    5. Knut Haugland — 5 duet points
      plus Last Week Bonus (10 points)

      average: 7.20 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 25th
    46th Monarc  36 5 1
    1. Lou Saban — 10 solo points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Robert McNamara — 2 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 7.20 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    47th Dead Batteries  35 9 1
    1. Bill Werber — 2 trio points
    2. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    3. Herman Franks — 7 solo points
    4. Karl Malden — 2 points
    5. Robert McNamara — 2 points
    6. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    7. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    8. Tommy Henrich — 5 duet points
    9. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 3.56 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    48th Eternity Tours  35 6 1
    1. Karl Malden — 2 points
    2. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    3. Les Paul — 2 points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Jennifer Jones — 7 solo points

      average: 5.83 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 17th
    49th Chipmunk Roasting  34 5 2
    1. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    2. Leo Mol — 7 solo points
    3. Muriel Duckworth — 6 solo points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    5. Lou Jacobi — 2 points

      average: 6.80 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 23rd
    50th Nova Cassius  31 5 0
    1. Millvina Dean — 2 points
    2. Robert McNamara — 2 points
    3. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    5. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 6.20 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    51st Dannyb  30 4 2
    1. Milton Lewis — 7 solo points
    2. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    3. Sidney Zion — 13 solo points
    4. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points

      average: 7.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: August 25th
    52nd Team Bubba  30 3 0
    1. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    2. Dominick Dunne — 5 points
    3. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 10.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    53rd McKie  29 4 2
    1. Sir Alan Walters — 10 solo points
    2. J.G. Ballard — 11 duet points
    3. Lord Buxton — 7 solo points
    4. Claude Lévi-Strauss — 1 point

      average: 7.25 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 1st
    54th Kentucky Wizard 
      ("The Wiz")
    26 6 0
    1. Bill Werber — 2 trio points
    2. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    3. Hank Locklin — 5 duet points
    4. Karl Malden — 2 points
    5. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    6. Claude Lévi-Strauss — 1 point

      average: 4.33 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 1st
    55th Deepstblu  25 4 1
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Budd Schulberg — 7 solo points
    4. Patrick Swayze — 14 points

      average: 6.25 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 14th
    56th The Monkey Farm  24 3 0
    1. Michael Jackson — 14 points
    2. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    3. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points

      average: 8.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: August 25th
    57th Kathi  23 4 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Millvina Dean — 2 points
    3. Patrick Swayze — 14 points
    4. Soupy Sales — 5 points

      average: 5.75 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 22nd
    58th RH Draney  22 5 2
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Les Paul — 2 points
    3. Virginia Davis — 7 solo points
    4. Elizabeth Prophet — 7 solo points
    5. Carl Ballantine — 4 duet points

      average: 4.40 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 3rd
    59th Exuma  22 5 1
    1. Ken Annakin — 7 solo points
    2. Dom DiMaggio — 3 trio points
    3. Karl Malden — 2 points
    4. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    5. Soupy Sales — 5 points

      average: 4.40 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 22nd
    60th Lurker3791  20 4 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    3. Eunice Shriver — 5 points
    4. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 5.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...
    61st Pat Peeve  20 4 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Ed McMahon — 5 points
    3. Farrah Fawcett — 11 points
    4. Karl Malden — 2 points

      average: 5.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: July 1st
    62nd Excard  19 2 0
    1. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    2. Susan Atkins — 11 points

      average: 9.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: September 24th
    63rd Koko-Moxie  16 1 1
    1. Larry H. Miller — 16 solo points

      average: 16.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: February 20th
    64th King Daevid  14 4 0
    1. Paul Harvey Sr. — 2 points
    2. Ed McMahon — 5 points
    3. Walter Cronkite — 2 points
    4. Soupy Sales — 5 points

      average: 3.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 22nd
    65th Mister Selina  14 4 0
    1. Ed McMahon — 5 points
    2. Karl Malden — 2 points
    3. Soupy Sales — 5 points
    4. Oral Roberts — 2 points

      average: 3.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: December 15th
    66th ???Guest  14 1 0
    1. Michael Jackson — 14 points

      average: 14.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: June 25th
    67th Jim Thornton  13 1 1
    1. John Updike — 13 solo points

      average: 13.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: January 27th
    68th Emily  9 2 0
    1. Teddy Kennedy — 8 points
    2. Claude Lévi-Strauss — 1 point

      average: 4.50 points per Hit
      most recent hit: November 1st
    69th O'Wilners  5 1 0
    1. Soupy Sales — 5 points

      average: 5.00 points per Hit
      most recent hit: October 22nd
    70th
    ( Plumbium )
    Wendy  0 0 0  « none in 2009 »
    PlaceEntrant Points Hits Solo
    Hits
    Hit On ...



    2009 CONTEST AWARDS
    Welcome once again to the Moxies, the 5th Annual Alt.Obituaries Deadpool Awards Ceremony where there is no red carpet, there are no designer gowns or snazzy tuxes, there are no prepared speeches or embarrassing gaffes. I'm Amelia, and this is Bill, and ... Bill, why are you wearing a tuxedo?

    Bill: It's an awards show. Everyone wears a tux to ...

    Amelia: They_can't_*see*_you ...

    Where was I? Oh, yes ... You can even be fat at this awards ceremony. In fact, many of us are! Just look at Bill.

    Bill: You said they couldn't *see* me ...

    And the best part? At this awards ceremony, the In Memoriam begins the show. What the hell, it ends it, too.

    So another year goes by and, defying all odds, we're still here to wrap it up. Who knew? So let's not push our luck and get right to it.

    Here are the numbers. 70 players, 120 hits, 77 solos, The average hit age was about 81. (So we don't have to feel guilty and explain ourselves to those idiots who say we're being macabre.)

    Bill: What do you mean? We are being macabre. Why, we've even talked about pushing old picks out of taxi cabs ...

    Amelia: He was gonna die anyway. But I digress.

    The first hit was a very, very old lady, the last was a blind Muslim cleric. The youngest was 27 and she was worth an extra 25 points to EdV, JD, JohnnyB (Will the rhyming continue??) Sarndra and Yersinia Pestis. (Nah.) And that's significant. Because although DDT, a spectacular contestant, was in first place for most of the year, EdV caught him at the end and keeps the crown on his head.
     
    For the second year in a row EdV takes home THE MOXIE AWARD! He won with fewer hits than last year — 14 — but they were worth more, I guess. And not a wrestler in the bunch. Nice work, Ed, and we're all looking forward to your video wrap-up. If you don't want the Moxie sent to you, you'll have to take that up with Mark, (Good luck with that.)

    The SILVER goes to a new player, DDT, who would have remained in first if he had gotten on the Jade Goody bandwagon. 13 hits for DDT, three of them solos. Despite his second place finish, DDT is thrilled not to have to argue with Mark about sending Moxie overseas.

    The BRONZE goes to another new player, Mr. Brink, who decided for 2010 to concentrate on his own deadpool. He had 13 hits, as well, and 4 solos. We'll miss the competition this year, Mr. Brink, and be well.

    Without a doubt, THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD for the 2009 AO Deadpool season goes to DDT, who had 13 hits (an average of 13.31 points per hit) and 171 points. You may not be allowed to kill bedbugs anymore, but you sure as hell know how to knock off a deadpool.

    The very prestigious, LET'S FUCK WITH THE IMDb AWARD, goes to ... Busgal, with 9 of her eleven deadpool hits appearing on the IMDb.

    And then there is the prized DONNIE MOORE MEMORIAL AWARD given annually to the deadpool player who has successfully chosen the most major league baseball players. This year that would be Dead Batteries for tagging out Billy Werber, who was also the oldest living Yankee, Herman Franks, and Tommy Henrich, who was, in a cruel twist of fate after the death of Werber, the oldest living Yankee. Also on Dead Battery's list was Jimmy Piersall's swell old man, John.

    THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS AWARD goes to Erik. I know, I know, you're all wondering why Erik gets this award every year. This is what happened, initially, years ago, back when the AO Deadpool was at the dawn of its creation, when Druids walked the Earth, the CoSA was given to two dissimilar people who shared the most number of hits together. That was all fine and fucking dandy when there were only fifteen deadpool players ... Now there are too many to try and figure out a Stranger Duo ... So, because Erik continues to be so fucking strange, and because we here at the AO Deadpool believe in tradition ... he gets the fucking award.

    The Internet abounds with many Sick and Dying lists which are available to deadpool players throughout the year. Prominent on last year's lists were the names of six celebrities who were given little or no chance of singing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve. They were Patrick Swayze, Ted Kennedy, Susan Atkins, Farrah Fawcett, Bob Novak, and British actor Wendy Richard. In other words, they were really flippin' obvious. This year's GIMME' A FUCKING BREAK AWARD goes to Mr. Brink, Denise, Erik, and Philip. Remember Richard Widmark's Tommy Udo (you know, the old woman in the wheelchair) in the movie "Kiss of Death?" These guyzez is da' AO Deadpool's Tommy Udo.

    ? THE HOW DID YOU FRICKEN' KNOW AWARD has been won by an incredible 19 deadpool players. Abby, Another Lurker, Bushwhacker, Chaptal, Constant Irritant, Dead People Server, Denise, DGH, Erik, Jazz Vulture, JD, Jenstrikesagain, Max Weder, The Monkey Farm, Sarndra, Sis, Starfish, Team Bubba, and ??? Guest, all, for some unexplained reason, put on their dancing shoes and moonwalked right the fuck over Michael Jackson's grave.

    Last year's BOOK-BURNING AWARD was handed out to several players. This year the award goes only to Philip, who red-penciled four journalists/authors (or at least pretended to be authors), Ted Kennedy, Dominick Dunne, Jerri Nielsen and John Mortimer. Philip also had on his list, Robert Novak, but he doesn't count.

    And now for the SUSAN HAYWARD AWARD, which, at one time was known as the I Walk Alone Award. Why was the name of the award changed, you ask ... Because Amelia, who always wins the award, which is for the most solos, looks a great deal like Susan Hayward. May I have the envelope, please ... Thank you. And the winner *is* ... AMELIA. No wait! It's a tie. Fireball had 6 ancient corpse solos. Grrr.

    And THE AMAZING FALL FROM GRACE AWARD goes to Bill Schenley, who ended the previous year in second place and closed out the 2009 deadpool year in 30th place. However, we would be remiss if we failed to mention Dead People Server's 26th place finish this year after taking home the BRONZE last year.

    This year's ONE-HIT WONDER AWARD goes to Mark's brother-in-law, The O'Wilners, who appears to be even more clueless than Mark himself. In a deadpool year that produced Ted Kennedy, Susan Atkins *and* Patrick Swazye, the O'Wilners get *one* freakin hit ... and it wasn't any of those three. Still, it's better than they did last year. Hey, Mark, yeah, you ... What's the official state slogan for Maine, "The Way Retards Should Be?" Boy, did they ever get that one right.

    I'm just glad the next award has been won by someone other than a deadpool staffer. Fortunately for us, this year THE DIM REAPER AWARD goes to Wendy, who actually got fewer hits than the O'Wilners. Which is to say, zilch.

    THE PAINFULLY OBVIOUS SOLO AWARD will not be given this year. For obvious reasons. Oh, what the hell. Let's give it to Eternity Tours. Jennifer Jones was a big movie star! And she was as old as the hills!

    THE BABY KILLER AWARD goes to those of you who poke holes in Voodoo dolls usually under the age of 30. This year there were five of you: EdV, JD, JohnnyB, Sarndra and Yersinia Pestis. After everything Jade Goody did to elevate Britain's sordid entertainment industry, you people should be ashamed.

    PHILIP AWARD. This goes to the player who had the most hits with no solos. That would be the old fist-pumper, Denise.

    THE JUST CAUGHT MY EYE AWARD, which may or may not be an award next year, has been won by King Daevid, in 63rd place, and Mister Selina, in 64th place, both of whom had four hits and 14 points (tie goes to the alphabet). KD's scored like this, 2-5-2-5 and MS scored 5-2-5-2. Okay, it probably won't be an award next year.

    As usual, THE RIDICULOUSLY OBVIOUS DEATH AWARD goes to those of you who picked the most ridiculously obvious death, or, in this case, the pansy-assed weenies who penciled in their dance card with Patrick Swayze's near-lifeless name. Didn't 2009 bring the "Dirty Dancing" star enough problems without you forty-plus wretchtards piling it on? Names that will live in infamy: The Wiz, Direcorbie, Nova Cassius, Dead People Server, Mr. Brink, JD, Busgal, fist-pumping Denise Perry, Allezblancs, Buford, Sis, Abby, Philip, Moldy Oldies, DDT, Jazz Vulture, Kathi, EdV, Constant Irritant, Another Lurker, The Death Eaters, DGH, Charlene, Erik, Allen Kirshner, Max Weder, Monarc, Hulka, Eternity Tours, Bushwhacker, Kixco, Ray Arthur, Starfish, Kathypig, Undertaker, Garrett, Mark, I Drink Your Milkshake, Yersinia Pestis, and ... and ... and ... Uh ... Bill Schenley.

    Oh, man! How cool is the RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES AWARD for this year? Last year the headlines from Los Angeles blared: "M*A*S*H Creator Larry Gelbart Has Died." And within moments, Larry Gelbart was not only denying his demise to the news media, but to us, too, right here at alt.obituaries. What was really cool — as the words came out of his mouth — he was already a rotting corpse and didn't know it. This years winners: Dead People Server, Denise, DGH and Ray Arthur all recognized the stink of death before Mr. Gelbart did.

    Although not an annual award, because sometimes fucktards just won't die for us, we do have a winner for THE PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD. Nova Cassius had both Robert McNamara and Susan Atkins down for a double date in Hell.

    THE MANY MANY THANKS AWARD has to go to Buford, who has, for five years, been the master of our website. We've given him a leave of absence, so he can get on with his life. It was hard work, getting it all up on the site, figuring out all those insane statistics and dealing with my insistence on perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation. Now it's Brad's turn. Heh, heh.

    BEST GUEST UPDATE AWARD. This award was won one day in 2009 when Brad Ferguson drank some Moxie and produced three stunning guest updates, one after the other. Larry Gelbart, Army Archerd and Patrick Swayze. But he also had to do Soupy Sales and Sidney Zion and Walter Cronkite and a bunch more, each one better than the next. While we're grateful for all the help we get, this was above and beyond the call of duty. For his reward, he gets to do the new website.

    THINGS WE LIKED: Koko-Moxie (Larry Miller) and Jim Thornton (John Updike) each had one solo hit, each wrote the updates and neither scored again. How cool is that?

    Another Lurker's solo of Tapan Sinha, because it engendered a perfect Schenley parody. Charlene's Griffin Bell, Fireball's Hortense Calisher, Garrett's Kathleen Byron and Lukas Foss, Dannyb's Milton Lewis and Sidney Zion, Deepstblu's Budd Schulberg, Busgal's Mary Travers, Max Weder's William Safire, RH Draney's Vic Mizzy, Brigid's Edward Woodward, Jazz Vulture's Al Alberts and Arnold Stang. McKie's classy quartet of hits, two of them titled. ??? Guest with her list of 40 evil MF's, somehow only managing to take out Michael Jackson.

    SHOUT OUTS TO: Matt Kruk for writing an update when he doesn't even play the game. Busgal for being so diligent with the posts at the Facebook group. (Easy to find. Just friend one of us and you'll see it.)

    AND FINALLY ... We'd like to thank all of you ... for being so patient, so nice, so complimentary, and for finally (almost) learning the alphabet.

    Our new website is www.theaodeadpool.com. It's a work in progress. It will be up-to-date very soon. Give it some time. It is on the way to being wonderful.





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