Monday, January 2, 2012

2011: The Dead In Review

I guess the most notable name on my list of the recently deceased is Steve Jobs, 56, entrepreneur and inventor.  You can say, without exaggeration, that his vision changed the world.  So, thanks, Steve.  Thanks for making me look bad in front of my wife and kids.
Cy Twombly, 83, artist.
You might have actually heard of him if he had changed his name to something people could remember.
Betty Ford, 93, First Lady.
I remember our time in rehab together during the late 70's and early 80's.  She introduced me to the band Duran Duran, and broke my heart the night she left me to date the Dallas Cowboys.
Franklin Kameny, 86, gay-rights activist.
Died during an emergency addadictomy procedure.
Amy Winehouse, 27, singer and songwriter.
I can't tell you how incredibly sad I was when I found out Amy Winehouse had died.  I can't tell you, because I made a fortune having her on my Dead Pool list.
Jack LaLanne, 96, fitness expert.
Too bad he wasn't a "living forever" expert.
Thought you were gonna live forever, didn't you, old man?
Sidney Lumet, 87, film director.
I'll always be grateful to Sidney for talking Marisa Tomei into doing those nude scenes.
Andy Rooney, 92, broadcaster.
I could say what a great man Andy Rooney was...  but I'd be lying.
Sargent Shriver, 95, statesman.
"Statesman" is another way of saying you and I supported him with our tax dollars.  He would have gone further in his political career if he had the foresight to change his name to General Shriver.
"Smoking" Joe Frazier, 67, boxer.
He beat Cassius Clay so bad in the ring that Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and joined the Witness Protection Program.  Now that Frazier's dead, I can make fun of him all I want.  You're next, Mike Tyson!
Nancy Wake, 94, spy.
Do you know what they called a female spy in 1942?  "Easy."
Geraldine Ferraro, 75, politician.
In 1984, she made history when she became the first woman vice-presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.  Sadly, she was over-shadowed by her running mate, Walter Mondale, who was the first female presidential nominee.  When she lost, she became one of MTV's most popular V-jays, and could usually be found on the dancefloor with Mick Jagger at Studio 54.
Al Davis, 82, Oakland Raiders owner.
If I was into sports, I'd probably care more.  Then again, probably not.
Nick Ashford, 70, musician and songwriter.
You know, the guy from the great soul duo of Ashford & Simpson!  Yeah, I don't remember him, either.
Peter Falk, 83, actor.
I once ran into him in El Paso.  He was standing outside of a Chico's Tacos smoking a cigarette.  I went up to him to get his autograph, and called out:  "Hey, Columbo!"  He flicked his cigarette angrily at me.  My feelings were hurt, but then I realized that that was even better than getting his autograph.
Fred Shuttlesworth, 89, civil rights leader.
God must really hate us, otherwise why would he leave Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson alive?
Wangari Maathai, 71, environmental activist from Africa.
In english, her name translates to "Save The Forest/Kill The White Man."
Gil Scott-Heron, 62, poet.
He was a poet, so he died broke.
Shammi Kapoor, 80, actor.
Famous Bollywood star from India.  Did you know that cows are sacred in India?  That would kind of explain how this Kapoor guy ever became a star.
Warren Christopher, 85, Secretary of State.
He won the confidences of Democratic presidents from Johnson to Carter to Clinton.  He failed at gaining the release of American hostages in Iran, he failed at bringing parties to peace in the Middle East, and he failed at bringing the Balkans to charting the U.S. foreign policy after the Cold War.  In politics, you don't fail downward...  you fail up.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and Osama bin Laden.
I have nothing but respect for these two slain Muslim leaders...  and I'm not just saying that because of my fear of a Muslim fatwa.
Heavy D, 44, rapper.
Do you know what they call a dead rapper?  A good start.  Speaking of rappers, do you know why rappers like their bee-yotches with big boo-tays?  They need someplace to hide their guns and drugs.
Patrice O'Neal, 41, comedian.
He was a big name in the entertainment industry, and, by big, I mean fat.
Harry Morgan, 96, actor.
You might remember him from his popular role as Colonel Harry Potter in the classic TV show MASH.  Or you might not remember him at all.  I'm guessing the latter.
James Arness, 88, actor.
He brought Marshall Matt Dillon to life in the TV series Gunsmoke.  He was the roughest, toughest cowboy alive.  I never did believe those ugly rumors about him and his horse.
Bubba Smith, 66, NFL player and actor.
An actor?  Really?
Jane Russell, 89, actress.
Jane Russell became a famous movie star for two incredibly big reasons.  And, the older she got, the heavier, hairier, and closer to the ground those reasons became.
Hilary Clinton's mother also died this past year.  I'd tell you her name, but, to tell the truth, I really don't care enough to go to all the trouble of finding out what it is.  These days, we live in a society where being related to, or even just knowing, a celebrity makes you a celebrity yourself.  Keep reading my blog, and I'll let you know when Hilary's make-up person goes blind.
And, finally, Elizabeth Taylor, 79, actress.
She was once the most beautiful woman in the world.  I'd be heartbroken, except for the fact that I thought she died years ago from a stroke or an accident or something.

Fifty Shades of Funny

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