Sunday, August 24, 2014


Exciting stuff - exciting to me, anyway - is soon to come to this here blog there, but first, a quick appetizer: a funny, clever tribute to the inimitable Don Pardo, who split on an all-expenses paid trip to the great vocal booth in the sky last week at age 96.  (If you've read my typically-overlong Facebook post on the subject, feel free to skip it: the whole thing after this paranthetical aside has been cut-and-pasted from there, with a few minor changes throughout.)

Thoughts, relevant and otherwise: 

1) I am at least 65% convinced that Kristofferson didn't realize he was on TV.

2) One of the reasons I still revere the first few years of this program - not just that it made room for smart sketches like this, but it respected the individual voices of its writers to the point that the attentive viewer could tell who wrote what. If this wasn't Tom Schiller's doing, I'll eat Werner Herzog's other shoe. 

3) How long do you think my clever video subterfuge will stave off the inevitable cease and desist order?  (edit - not very long at all, apparently.  Fine, NBC/Universal, I'll rake in unconscionable amounts of money through alternate means.  But I don't have a rake!  And rakes cost money!  It's like that O. Henry story, Title of Story Blocked Due To Copyright Claim By Nestle.)

4) Don Pardo, unless there's a crew member or two I missed, was the person who pulled an SNL paycheck longer than anyone - 39 seasons, and his baritone Ur-Game-Show bellow graced the 8H loudspeakers for all of them but one (the seventh, 1981-82, supposedly at the insistence of Michael O'Donoghue, who reportedly wanted to fire him on-air during the season premiere. I plan on talking A LOT about that season, or at least the first seven shows, on my blog in the near future. So, y'know, that). Such a seemingly small part of the show's overall feel, yet crucial; there was always comfort knowing he'd be there, a reliable consistency that played well against the ever-shifting theme music (and if his hire was originally for ironic kitsch value, that morphed into true affection by the last sketch of the first season [which this is] - they honored him almost every week for many years with the very last joke of the night.) It's sure gonna be a different beast when it comes back, I'm sure. I feel a little like I felt when the Stones' semi-secret weapon Ian Stewart passed on some years back - some small bit of savor is gone now, never to return. And it just might not be worth the strain of its continuing. Not that NBC will take this show off the air, ever, but SNL sans Pardo feels wrong, somehow. We shall see. Or hear, whatever. One of the great voices - quite literally - in broadcast history is no longer with us, and I present this as tribute.

(All rights belong to NBC/Universal and Broadway Video)


Anonymous said...

Another shitty self-important blog. Yay. Your life must be full of meaning. Don't discard suicide as an option, Buddy.

William Ham said...

Mom, please stop reading my blog.