This Day in Death

3.5.14: Game Show Host Geoff Edwards – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:42 pm April 11, 2014

GEOFF_EDWARDS“Hey, you guys saw Seven, right? Oh. Well, you probably don’t wanna look in 29, then.”


According to a sentence I need to start this paragraph, being on a game show is a lot like life: There’s way too much standing around, just about all the detail you’d ever want to know about the person next to you can be summed up with three fun facts, and how much skill a person has at it is directly proportional to how skeptical and/or spiteful we are towards them. Also, sometimes there are a bunch of marines there for some reason.

That completely legitimate analogy brings us to the news that Geoff Edwards, best know as the host of the game shows Jackpot! and Treasure Hunt, has died. On a positive note, if we play this just right, it might mean we’re gonna walk out of this post with a Wink Martindale blurb in our pocket. NO WHAMMY, BLOCK QUOTE!

“Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I’ve worked with,” said fellow game show host Wink Martindale. The two were DJs at pop radio station KMPC in Los Angeles.

Oh yeah, there it is. Seriously, if you don’t care what a guy named Wink has to say, then you and I are traveling on two roads that are simply never gonna intersect. We get a real-life Guy Smiley in here and you people don’t even know how to appreciate it. That’s why Drew Carey ended up hosting Price, you know.



Source: ABC News

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10.25.13: ‘Simpsons’ Voice Actor Marcia Wallace – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:08 am November 1, 2013

MARCIA_WALLACESo this is how my childhood begins to die. Huh. I always figured there’d be an Eve 6 ballad playing in the background or something.


Sassy television actor Marcia Wallace passed away last week due to complications related to pneumonia. Wallace starred in The Bob Newhart Show and The Merv Griffin Show, but those of us who aren’t thousand-year-old mummymen know Wallace best as the voice of delightfully slutty Springfield Elementary teacher Edna Krabapple on The Simpsons. Wallace is the show’s first regular voice actor to pass, making it all the harder for me to continue denying the inevitability of a bleak, Hans Moleman-less future. Goddammit, that football hit him right in the groin! I swear, if God takes that away from us I’ll have no choice but to continue coming up with excuses not to go to church.

She had numerous TV appearances, and is remembered by “Brady Bunch” fans as the saleswoman who sold middle sister Jan a black wig in an infamous episode about accepting who you are. Other shows on her resume include “Charles in Charge,” “ALF,” “A Different World,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “The Young & The Restless.”

Oof. Alright, maybe the prescription in my nostalgia specs needs to be updated, but I’m just gonna say it: Those shows were weapons-grade terrible. Most of the writing is so lazy it makes this stupid blog look like Steinbeck in comparison (for which I’m grateful, actually). Seriously, in Charles in Charge they just went ahead and named the main character’s best friend “Buddy.” ALF was like someone detonated a box of gimmicks on a television set, and The Brady Bunch was clearly a coded message promoting incest, which I just don’t feel is appropriate at all. The final straw was A Different World, which, despite its title, appeared to be set entirely on Earth. I assume it’s only because they ran out of money to build the sets, but that’s still pretty misleading.

Source: NBC News

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6.3.13: New Jersey Senator Frank Launtenberg – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:18 pm June 5, 2013

 FRANK_LAUTENBERGIt’s posts like this that make me regret committing to this whole ‘funny caption’ thing. Seriously, what the hell am I supposed to do with this? I may as well have been looking up pictures of actual white bread.

Frank Launtenberg, senator from New Jersey (the only state where you can major in Body Odor), died on Monday of viral pneumonia. No word yet on what will happen to Launtenberg’s proposed “Alla Them Stukachs in Newark Should Get Beat the Fuck Down in a Fuckin Hurry” bill. I’m really not sure that was even within his jurisdiction, but the legislative process will sort it out, I guess.

Let’s see what those jamooks over at The New York Slimes have to say about this.

[Lautenberg] pushed through a provision to establish a national drinking age of 21, a measure that threatened to cut 10 percent of a state’s federal highway money if it did not comply. He argued that the change would save lives by ending “a crazy quilt of drinking ages in neighboring states” and prevent those under 21 from driving over “blood borders” to get drunk and then try to drive home.

And yet Lautenberg sat on his hands when it came to kids crossing borders to attempt the infamous Michigan Bottle Deposit Scam. Godammit, the Great Lakes State could be hemorrhaging untold dimes in revenue even as we speak! I should watch, like, a lot less tv.


Source: The New York Times

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1.7.13: Fred Turner, Former McDonald’s CEO, Founder of Hamburger University – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:38 am January 23, 2013


See? You legalize gay marriage and all of a sudden clown mascots are marrying CEOs of multinational corporations. Next thing you know anything goes and an alpaca is getting hitched to an issue of Highlights for Children.


Former McDonald’s CEO Fred Turner is dead today at the age of 80. Turner is the third McDonald’s CEO to die in the last decade; Jim Cantalupo died of a heart attack in 2004 and was replaced by Chris Bell. Bell, who ate the company’s food regularly, died of colon cancer the next year, with his diet potentially at fault. Unlike the others, and luckily for McDonald’s PR department, Turner dying of pneumonia would be hard to pin to their product’s questionable nutritional value. Well, unless you count their controversial Southwestern Streptococcus Chicken Salad. That thing is infectiously delicious.

Turner was actually one of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s earliest employees, starting at the counter and working his way up to become CEO in 1974. It’s an inspiring life story, proof that even you, with enough hard work, can get out of your dead-end minimum wage hellscape of a job and become one of the most success entrepreneurs in the country. I mean, not you personally, as you lack basic ambition and critical thinking skills. What company is looking for someone who can beat The Beatles: Rock Band on expert, or come up with exciting new things to make bongs out of? Honestly, the odds are just astronomically against you. It’s simple social Darwinism, really. If anything you should count yourself lucky you’ve lived this long without choking on a shoelace or something.

In the early days of the company, Mr. Turner could often be found working alongside employees in the restaurants, teaching new hires the McDonald’s approach to preparing and serving fast food. Only two years after his arrival, Mr. Turner wrote the first “operations and training manual,” which is still the blueprint for McDonald’s restaurant operations.

That’s right; McDonald’s has left the same manual sitting in the back room for over 50 years, which is also how they make a jar of Special Sauce. I hear the secret ingredient is sun-dried Grimace bits.

In 1961, Mr. Turner led the effort to create McDonald’s Hamburger University, where employees, managers and franchisees are trained.

Ah, good old Hamburger University! The only school where you can major in myocardial infarctions. You know, they say failure to gain tenure there is what turned the Hamburglar to a life of crime, but I think the deck was already kinda stacked against him with that name. At any rate, it was just another in a long line of savvy business decisions from the company that hired Jason Alexander in a Miami Vice blazer to sell you on the concept that McDonald’s employees shouldn’t have to bother assembling your sandwich for you. No wonder the HU Coronaries never make it to the Super Bowl.


Source: The Chicago Sun-Times

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12.27.12: General “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:33 pm January 1, 2013

NORMAN_SCHWARZKOPFGrenadian resistance forces were stunned when, during the US’s 1983 invasion, Gen. Schwarzkopf successfully managed to discharge several live rounds from his finger gun. No, I made that up. It’s just silly.


Retired military general and Chris Farley job creator “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf died last week, due to complications related to pneumonia. A key figure of the Persian Gulf War in the early 90s, Schwarzkopf found himself in the public eye as the first military figure to be part of the then-emerging 24-hour news cycle. And by “news cycle,” I of course mean 2 hours of actual reporting, 4 hours of getting screamed at by an ideological zealot, 4 hours of getting passive-aggressively screamed at by the other kind of ideological zealot, 6 hours dedicated to finding out which celeb might be sporting a baby bump, and 8 hours of a live feed from that channel that just shows aquariums.

Virtually unknown to the public before the Persian Gulf War, Schwarzkopf became a household name while he oversaw the buildup of 700,000 coalition troops, including more than 540,000 U.S. forces, after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

The war began on January 17, 1991, with the start of the nearly six-week air campaign against Iraq that was followed by a 100-hour ground offensive that pushed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf also challenged the notion of the violence-obsessed military leader, saying to Larry King in 1992 “I never wanted a war” and “absolutely, I hate war.” Convincing Americans of that must’ve been a bit of a tough hurdle, considering how deeply ingrained that stereotype had been in people’s minds. Plus, you know, he had “war” right there in his last name. That’s why I had to change my last name from Von Sexjaguar. My mom still hasn’t forgiven me for that but I’m sick of being pigeonholed.

Source: CNN

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11.28.12: Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:54 pm November 29, 2012

Did you know that ZZ Top’s name is actually Billy Gibbons’ tribute to Zig Ziglar and his landmark motivational guide Over the Top? As always, please do not look up anything I write here.


Zig Ziglar, the man responsible for keeping Dweezil Zappa from being the last entry in my personal list of celebrities with disproportionally silly names, is dead today after suffering from a bout of pneumonia. Ziglar spent decades preaching the power of positive thinking in books like Over the Top, which actually has next to nothing to do with arm wrestling so don’t even waste your money. Learning effective time-management techniques isn’t gonna untear this tendon, Ziglar.

The Crayon-eaters over at USA Today managed to tap out the following before, presumably, spending the afternoon working on a half-page pie chart about iPhones:

Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham, Ziglar’s friend and pastor, said Ziglar “truly was filled with faith.”

“He was positive. He was hopeful. You just never heard negativity from Zig Ziglar,” Graham said. “It wasn’t just something he did on a platform. This was who he was. This is how he lived his life. And he helped so many people.”

You know, we get a lot of cheap laughs out of cynicism around here, but it’s honestly hard not to feel a little inspired by Ziglar’s work/the money he made. That’s why I’ve finally penned the revealing book on personal accountability that you guys have been begging me to write for years. Here’s the cover, so that you know what you’re looking for while browsing Amazon or the smoldering ditch that used to be your local Borders.



I know what you’re thinking, and I agree, but my publisher said they had to Photoshop that towel onto me for legal reasons. It’s goddamn bullshit if you ask me; Kids gotta learn about this stuff eventually. On the plus side, I managed to trim it down to a lean 800 pages by removing all that deadwood about hanging out with the Dalai Lama. We need excitement if we’re gonna move paper in 2012, hippy!


Source: USA Today

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7.31.12: Author Gore Vidal – DEAD!

Filed under: Uncategorized —James @ 9:07 am August 2, 2012

In the mid-80s, Vidal embarked on a brief career as a cartoon supervillain.

Author and social activist Gore Vidal has passed away due to complications from pneumonia. His death marks what I am declaring the most significant passing of a guy named Vidal in 2012. So you can cram it in sideways, Sassoon. It was a close race, but in the end I made my decision the way I make all of my important decisions: By picking the guy whose name most makes him sound like a member of GWAR. It’s how the Founding Fathers decided who got to sign the Constitution, you know.

Annnnd I am officially out of name jokes. I guess it’s time to look at… *sigh*… the facts. Block Quote, try not to bore me too much:

His works included hundreds of essays, the best-selling novels “Lincoln” and “Myra Breckenridge” and the Tony-nominated play “The Best Man,” a melodrama about a presidential convention revived on Broadway in 2012. Vidal appeared cold and cynical on the surface, dispassionately predicting the fall of democracy, the American empire’s decline or the destruction of the environment. But he bore a melancholy regard for lost worlds, for reason and the primacy of the written word, for “the ancient American sense that whatever is wrong with human society can be put right by human action.”

How poignant. And now, as we do at the end of every post, let’s take a look at the actual bestsellers list from the New York Times, confident that the results will fully mirror the depth of Vidal’s thoughtful and passionate work.


How’s that feel, Literate America? This is what you’ve allowed to represent you. Where’s your snobbish pride now? And how about this little gem:

God. Reading is just awful. The next time someone tries to pull out that fallacious “books > television” lecture on you just print out this list, staple it to their pretentious forehead, and settle in for that Parking Wars marathon. Sure it’s garbage, but at least there’s no chance of anyone finding it on your coffee table.

Source: The Washington Post

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6.26.12: ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ Screenwriter Nora Ephron – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:59 am June 28, 2012

Don’t waste your time: I already checked and Hooch isn’t in it.


Author Nora Ephron died on Tuesday, along with my dream of public schools with fountains that dispense Hi-C. The two aren’t related or anything, I’m just trying to come to terms.

Ephron was the screenwriter behind When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail, which won the Oscar for Most 90s Thing Ever to Exist. Zubaz were robbed, man.

“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady,” Ephron told Wellesley’s Class of 1996 in a commencement speech. “I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

FUCK YEAH! THE RULES HAVE BEEN BROKEN! Oh, what’s that, Authority? You don’t want women to casually mention orgasms? Well jam it up your oppressive meat javelin, because these quirky bitches are stirring up SERIOUS trouble and they don’t care WHOSE toes they step on! I mean, not “equal pay for equal work” trouble, or “allowing women on the front lines of the armed forces” trouble, but if you get slightly uncomfortable when a woman flippantly discusses birth control you might as well go home and board up the windows because there’s a hurricane of X chromosomes coming to blow away a slew of marginally relevant social stigmas! Holy shit, if I don’t put on some Helen Reddy right this fucking second I swear to Christ I am going to kill myself.

(Ironic fun fact: “I am Woman” was co-written by a man.)

Source: The Huffington Post

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5.16.12: “Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:29 am May 22, 2012

Brown, seen here debuting a suit made out of Lil’ Kim’s vagina. 


The 70s Music Icon Killer, alternately known as ‘Pneumonia,’ has struck again, this time claiming the “Godfather of Go-Go,” Chuck Brown. The members of Earth, Wind & Fire are currently standing in a circle with their backs together while sleeping in shifts. Seriously, between Brown, Donna Summer, and Robin Gibb this place is starting to develop a weird 70s swarthiness that’s frankly making me feel pretty out of place. My chiseled physique and timeless fashion sense are a stark contrast to the polyester-ensconced rolls of flab I have to deal with lately. While you read this block quote I’m gonna go superglue a shag carpet to my chest just so I can fit in.

In the 1970s, Brown developed a style of funk music known as go-go. As The Post writes, it “soundtracked life in black Washington for more than three decades.” Chuck Brown was the scene’s leader and most visible participant, inspiring groups like Trouble Funk and Rare Essence.

Brown’s group, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, had a national hit in 1978 with “Bustin’ Loose”, which topped the R&B singles chart and was later taken on as a home-run anthem for the city’s baseball team, the Washington Nationals. Nelly’s song “Hot in Herre” was built off of a sample of “Bustin’ Loose”. In 2009, the city of Washington named a street after him: Chuck Brown Way.

Fun fact: Brown also performed the theme song for The Sinbad Show in the 90s. What was *your* favorite episode? You’re probably gonna say episode 13, “The Dog Episode,” when a dog follows Zana home and she wants to adopt it. But you’re wrong. The real Sinbadophiles know that episode 3, “The Par-Tay” is a pitch-perfect satire of American excess, and is delivered with such craftsmanship that it makes episode 21, “The Family Reunion” look like episode 9, “Shades of Acceptance.” And, of course, that was a pile of dogshit.

And that’s today’s installment of “What’s the Most Embarrassing Tab Currently Open in James’ Firefox Window?”
Source: Pitchfork

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5.20.12: Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees – DEAD! A TDiD Follow-Up!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:25 am May 21, 2012

So that settles that: We CAN exist without Photoshop.


Today I have the… honor?… of posting the first-ever TDiD Follow-Up Report. So, uh… let’s do that, as uncomfortably as possible.

I know some of you don’t remember, or maybe weren’t even alive for, mid-April 2012, so here are a few key points from the era. Ask your parents for more information:

The GOP had not yet caught the so-called “Romney Fever” that seems so ingrained in our culture nowadays. FOX entertained dozens with a single dazzling season of The Finder. In the music world, Madonna’s MDNA was number one on the Billboard charts, because people with massive brain damage were still legally allowed to use money. And lastly, the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb fell into a coma following complications related to pneumonia and colorectal cancer.

Well, unfortunately Gibb passed away yesterday at the age of 62, and I think I pretty much covered all of the other salient points in my previous post. I guess the idea of having a follow-up post is that I can half-ass it and go eat a big box of Fiddle Faddle instead of sitting here for another 15 minutes. If you feel like this is cheating you out of content I really would like to hear your thoughts. Please consult the email you received with your TDiD Platinum Subscription for the details of my personal Dedication Pledge. Also, I encourage you to message with your concerns. Wait, let me check something. Oh… Well, it looks like that email address doesn’t exist and there is no Platinum Subscription service. In fact, none of you freeloaders have given me a goddamn nickel for this shit. So maybe you can feel grateful for the fact that I care more venting my bilious rage than paying the rent and just be glad you got anything at all today.

Source: CNN

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