This Day in Death

3.26.13: Simpsons Writer Don Payne – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 5:48 pm March 28, 2013

DON_PAYNEBy way of contrast, most episodes of The PJs were written by a team of those brine shrimp you order from the backs of comic books. Well, until they unionized.


On Tuesday, Simpsons writer Don Payne died of bone cancer at the age of 48. Upon hearing the news, Seth MacFarlane immediately made plans to contract bone cancer as well, then launched into a 12-minute Vaudeville routine that tickled and delighted positively everyone whose name rhymes with Beth MacFarlane.

“But James,” I can practically hear you wheezing between labored, open-mouthed breaths, “The Simpsons is a quality social satire, and I simply do not care for that. Did Mr. Payne ever write any crap?” Jesus, just look at you: Ill-fitting clothes, air whistling through where your front teeth used to be, lumbering through the world like an uneducated troglodyte with your “truckers do it in the hammer lane” cap and your gallon of Mountain Dew in a dirty 7-11 container. Why am I even trying to communicate with you? What are the odds that anything I’m writing can even be processed into cogent thoughts inside that bongwater-damaged DVR you call your mind anyway? Can you even conceive of how little you contribute to the world? How your very existence challenges all notions of forward evolution, suggesting, at best, a type of “devolution” that will probably result in you crawling back into the ocean within your lifetime to spawn and then die choking on a piece of coral reef your walnut-sized brain assumed was a fishstick? God. How do you even live with yourself? But yes, he wrote a bunch of crap:

Payne, a self-professed “comic book geek,” also was behind the scripts for My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), starring Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) and Columbia’s upcoming Maximum Ride, based on James Patterson’s young adult novel.

Payne also worked on a series of failed TV sitcoms in the ’90s: Hope & Gloria, Pride & Joy, Can’t Hurry Love, Men Behaving Badly, Veronica’s Closet and The Brian Benben Show.

Ugh. That is a spotty resume. It really makes the pilot I wrote for the show about the dog wedding planner look pretty great by comparison. People criticized it because I didn’t make it clear if the premise was that it was a dog who plans human weddings or a human who plans weddings for dogs, but in my defense after I came up with that killer “matrimony is going to the dogs!” tagline I kinda assumed the rest would just sorta… write itself. Heh. Dogs are funny.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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3.20.13: Opera Singer Risë Stevens – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 2:51 pm March 26, 2013

RISE_STEVENSThis ended up being neither as racist as I had feared nor as delicious as I had hoped. That’s a little something called ‘false advertising,’ messieurs  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer!


Opera singer Rise Stevens is dead today at the age of 99, presumably due to some sort of mishap with that horned helmet they all have to wear. That thing is a deathtrap. Anyway, Stevens is best known among the theater community for portraying the central character in Carmen during the 1950s, but because none of us here could identify an opera singer from a particularly foppish hobo, we’re gonna need a little more by way of specifics.

[…]she performed an aria from “Carmen” in “Going My Way,” the Oscar-winning Crosby musical that was one of the highest-grossing movies of 1944.

Although movie mogul Louis B. Mayer wanted her to appear in more movies, she knew that opera was “her medium” and that nothing could match the musical heights and expansive themes she found there. “She knew it, felt it, lived it,” her son, speaking of her dedication to opera, told the Associated Press last week.

Lady, you bet on the wrong horse. Film is the wave of the future, according to this newsreel from 1908 that I’ve been watching for some reason. Personally I like movies that feature at least two conflicting supernatural elements, like that one where Frankenstein is a high-powered CEO and has to fight off a corporate takeover from the mole people. Oh! I also like movies that have a scene in them where an assassin is getting on a plane to go kill someone, and the lady at the gate asks him “business or pleasure?” and he puts on his sunglasses and looks at the camera and says, “both.” Man, that’s so cool. In conclusion, I’m a bit of a film buff.


Source: The LA Times

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3.19.13: Porn Star Harry Reems – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:17 am March 22, 2013

HARRY_REEMSIf you were wondering exactly how much untamed 70s bush Reems saw, keep in mind: That ain’t a mustache.


Herbert Streicher, who made his bones (tee hee!) under the name Harry Reems (tee hee!!) in the controversial 1970s porn Deep Throat, is dead today of a depressingly unsexy case of pancreatic cancer. Nothing ruins a masturbatory experience for me faster than pulmonary embolisms. Well, maybe not “ruins,” but definitely “somewhat slows down.” This seems as good a time as any to remind my roommate not to look in the “stuff for work” folder on my laptop. Dude, it’s just boring stuff for work, why would you wanna look at that?

In 1972, Reems found himself an extra on the set of “Deep Throat.” When the male lead failed to show, Reems filled the breach, playing the randy Dr. Young opposite Lovelace.

The movie became a blockbuster that turned the obscure actor into a porn superstud. And with blue movies becoming mainstream, the mustached Reems became an unlikely ambassador for a business that was trying to shake off its seedy image.

You know, the TDiD has long been seen as the internet’s comedy website fluffer, pleasing you enough so that you can successfully toss your funny bone into Cracked (or, if it’s your first time, College Humor) while never quite satisfying you on its own. There’s a reason this place is a six at best: If I actually tried to be genuinely funny around here you guys would be snorting your Mountain Dew all over yourselves first thing in the morning like a bunch of goddamn amateurs. Oh, also, by hanging around here you’ve probably exposed yourself to a truly astounding amount of viruses. You’re, uh… you’re gonna wanna go ahead and call the Geek Squad in the morning.

Source: NY Daily News

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3.13.13: Star Trek Actor Malachi Throne – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:05 pm March 20, 2013

IM000294.JPGYeah, well… you’re an honorary Starfleet captain and I took the bronze at the 2008 Mr. Hot Bunz competition in Sarasota, FL. So we both contribute to society in our own way.


Star Trek fans the world over (the preferred nomenclature is ‘dweebuses’) are mourning the death of Malachi Throne, who died last week at the age of 84. Throne portrayed Commodore Jose I. Mendez in “The Menagerie” and also provided the voice of The Keeper, which, if I had to guess, was an “alien” who basically looked like a completely normal human being but had kinda weird skin on his forehead or something. Because Gene Roddenberry was allergic to imagination and figured eczema was probably of extraterrestrial origin. Seriously, it’s science fiction! You can do anything! Where are the guys with four heads or monsters with freaky dinosaur wangs that shoot lasers that turn your skin inside out? I don’t care what you guys say, these are good ideas.

Beyond Star Trek, Throne was a dependable, go-to actor in Hollywood for decades, and often played roles that buried him beneath layers of makeup. Among his credits were Lost In Space, The Outer Limits (in an episode with William Shatner), The Time Tunnel, Mission: Impossible (with Leonard Nimoy), Batman, The Defenders, It Takes a Thief (on which he was a regular opposite Robert Wagner), Kojak, Law & Order, Melrose Place, Babylon 5, Catch Me If You Can and The West Wing, as well an such animated programs as Beyond Batman, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Green Lantern: First Flight.

Fans of the show have famously been in a decades-long debate with Star Wars fans over which is less stupid. The current winner is who cares with Battlestar Galactica coming in a close second.

Throne also played the creepy-ass False Face in the 60s Batman tv series, but I didn’t wanna mention that because that really would’ve derailed my mockery here, as association with Batman makes 99.999% of all things astronomically cooler. That little remaining sliver is known as the Chris O’Donnell Factor. Poor guy. Between that and those dead, soulless, zombie eyes that guy just can’t catch a break.


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3.7.13: Yes Guitarist Peter Banks – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:21 pm March 18, 2013

Yes guitarist Peter BanksBanks, seen here punching a hole in the sun. You don’t see it much anymore, but back in the 70s *every* band used to physically assault celestial objects during performances. I guess music just had a lot more soul back then, you know?


So Peter Banks, founder and original guitarist for prog rock hippie archetypes Yes, is dead. In honor of Yes’ unique brand of toked-up sonic wankery, this post is gonna go on for 19 uninterrupted minutes and contain multiple allusions to dragons that breathe love instead of fire as an allegory for the military industrial complex, although most of you will probably get bored and hop over to Redtube before the halfway point. Philistines!

A statement from fellow Yes band members said: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is, and our thoughts, sincere condolences and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly.”

Between his work on the first two Yes albums, several ambitious follow-up bands and a solo career, Banks was considered “the architect of progressive music,” laying the groundwork for countless misguided bands to confuse interesting musical ideas with keytar solos that drag on longer than the final season of The Office. Oof. It must sting to watch an approach you pioneered turn into a parody of itself by overambitious devotees. No no, those extra 3 bass strings are totally gonna make that rock opera about Carl Sagan finally *click*. It must’ve been at least a little disheartening for Banks. That’s why my motto has always been “Aim Low,” and it’s served me well, as my windowless studio apartment can attest. You can read all about it in my new self-help book, Icarus Was a Dick: Misunderstanding Greek Myths in the 21st Century.

Source: Telegraph

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3.5.13: William Moody, aka Paul Bearer – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 10:28 pm March 7, 2013

PAUL_BEARERTim Burton’s WWE needs more Helena Bonham-Carter.


It’s time to spritz some Febreze onto your mourning singlet, because William “Paul Bearer” Moody, professional wrestling’s resident mortician and The Undertaker’s manager, is dead. Wait, why would you hire a mortician to manage your career? That seems like a conflict of interest. The late night talk show monologues would practically write themselves. I mean, I appreciate his wanting to keep a consistent theme going, but this just seems like a poorly executed professional decision from the normally thoughtful Undertaker. It’s like when I found out that Bret “Hitman” Hart wasn’t filing quarterly, despite the tax breaks he’d get as an independently contracted assassin. Jesus, man! You’re just causing undue tax season stress if you’re filing annually based on a 1099-MISC! The 1040-ES is made for you! Goddammit… It really hurts to find out your childhood heroes weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer,” the wrestling organization said on its website.

“Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years,” the site said.

For his spooky character, Moody wore pasty makeup, carried an urn and spoke in a high-pitched wail. He made his last television appearance for WWE in April 2012, the organization said.

Alright, let’s stick our fists into the disgusting hopper that is the microblogosphere and see if we can pull out a new entry for our series of insincere tweets of mourning:

HOGAN_TWEETOkay, I’m prepared to assume that the lack of proper spacing after the commas is just general ignorance. He’s not a damn 4th grade English teacher, I’m letting that slide. Things don’t really get questionable until the end, when the Hulkster must’ve realized he was running dangerously short on characters and sure as shit wasn’t gonna burn *two* tweets on a guy he’s not entirely sure wasn’t just a ‘roid rage hallucination, so he just starts deleting words and punctuation altogether. What’s really interesting, though, is that he made sure to set two characters aside so that he could include his initials, despite the fact that his twitter handle is already @HulkHogan, the name on his profile is Hulk Hogan, and there’s a picture of Hulk Hogan staring right at you. Because there’s a time to grieve, and then there’s a time to grow your brand, brother.

Source: Yahoo!

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3.5.13: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:40 am March 6, 2013

HUGO_CHAVEZChavez, right, provides color commentary for Putin’s play-by-play of the Moscow Filthy Hovels football team. GOOOOOO Hovs!


Controversial Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is dead today, which you would’ve already known if you ever bothered to get any of your news from a legitimate source. Trust me, you’re not gonna get any meaningful analysis here, seeing as how this blog’s primary function is to send coded messages to various militia groups scattered throughout the US and Mexico. Hey, you can call it shoddy journalism all you want, but I’ve gotten 75 words into an article about Venezuela without a single mention of drug mules. I’ve already made my blogging coach proud, so let’s just go to the block quote before I slip up.

An affable, if sometimes bombastic, man, Chavez had a disarming manner that even his critics could not deny.

Some called his style buffoonish, but he spoke like an ordinary Venezuelan — not like a bureaucrat — and voters reacted positively.

Well, did you really expect enlightened political scrutiny from a country that allows its drug mules 3/5ths of a vote? Wait, shit! DO OVER! Hey Block Quote, can I get a mulligan on that one?

An affable, if sometimes bombastic, man, Chavez had a disarming manner that even his critics could not deny.

Some called his style buffoonish, but he spoke like an ordinary Venezuelan — not like a bureaucrat — and voters reacted positively.

It’s like Venezuela and Chavez were the South American version of a tv show about America and George W. Bush. You know, where all the characters pretty much behave the same way and the basic plots are the same, but you can see boom mics at the top of the screen and all of the women are comically busty, and periodically everyone just starts rocking out with maracas? What I’m trying to say is that Venezuela sounds awesome. I wonder if anyone would mind if we tried socialism over here. I should probably ask those old guys at the VFW about it.

Source: CNN

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3.1.13: ‘One Day at a Time’ Actress Bonnie Franklin – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:04 pm March 5, 2013

BONNIE_FRANKLINMore like One Babe at a Time, am I right?!


Since I’m not a bored trophy wife in 1980, I have no frame of reference for what One Day at a Time was about. But if you’ve spent enough time home sick with mono you’ve probably gleaned enough about it that I don’t have to lay any groundwork before telling you that one of the show’s stars, Bonnie Franklin, died last Friday of pancreatic cancer. Franklin can be seen in the banner picture up there somehow finding a way to show both sideboob and cleave at the same time. She was really the John Lennon of suggestive television nudity. And people say that tv wasn’t innovative during the 80s!

[…] she was most widely known in the role of Ann Romano, one of the first independent women to be portrayed on TV wrestling with issues like sexual harassment, rape and menopause. Ms. Franklin — green-eyed, red-haired, button-nosed and 5-foot-3 — brought a buoyant comic touch to the part.

Some saw the show as helping feminism enter the mainstream.

For all the bad press it gets from religious weirdos and uppity poetry-writing hipsters, television has a long history of bringing social issues into the public consciousness. All in the Family made it okay to drop racial slurs as long as you threw some kind of Reiner in there to soften the blow, and a decade after One Day at a Time Steve Urkel made us all aware of the terrifying trend of kids drinking Boss Sauce to turn themselves into ultrasmooth ladykillers. And let’s not forget Perfect Strangers making great strides to remedy the scourge that was Mark Linn-Baker’s criminal underemployment. Come on, America! Cousin Larry gotta eat!

Source: The New York Times

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