Category Archives: Dearly Departed

Amanda Peterson RIP

TMZ is reporting that Amanda Peterson died at the age of 43 of health problems (including sleep apnea and pneumonia) possibly caused by mold in her house. MOLD! Oh HELL NO, Lerlines. Cindy freaking Mancini did not go out like this. Did she? You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.

Cindy F#$king Mancini

Cindy F#$king Mancini

Can we all just stop what we’re doing, put on some lace tights and dance…please? Dance, you zombies, dance!

Tuesday Tribute: Madeline Kahn, #4 of 1,682

I feel Lili von Shtupp’s pain in this one. If I’d tried to be a stripper, this is the best I could possibly have hoped for. Absolute genius from Blazing Saddles (1974).

Oh, Jan Hooks, no!

Goddammit, I wasn’t ready to lose another comedy hero. Jan Hooks was only 57. Goodnight, sweet Manjula. Swing it out, Candy Sweeney. Meet you in the basement of the Alamo, Tina.

There’s no basement at the Alamo! Silly Pee-Wee.

Song parody of “I Am Woman” — ok, not that funny, but she’s selling it. The original is one I mocked (although more gently) with a balloon dance, so the song has a special place in my little black heart.

Manjula figurine

All those babies…

What was your favorite Jan Hooks moment, Lurlines? Add it in the comments.

The Search is Over: RIP Jimi Jamison

Over a decade ago, Spiegelmama and I went to see the Reo Speedwagon, Styx, Survivor mega-concert At Mandalay Bay in Vegas because when you get the chance to see The Speedwagon…you grab it! Before the concert, all we could talk about was Reo and Styx. After, all we could talk about was Survivor. Oh, and also, how young Dennis DeYoung’s replacement was, and how we didn’t notice until he vaulted over the keyboard, but mostly we talked about Survivor and how many hits they had and how we knew the words to all of them. (As tweens, we’d even written a parody song of The Search is Over called The Weekend’s Over: every Monday’s bringing me back to school!)

Jimi we hardly knew ye.

Jimi we hardly knew ye.

That’s why I was so sad when I found out that one of their lead singers*, Jimi Jamison, died yesterday at 63. I’m sure he was a good guy a la the plot of the video for The Search is Over. A sexy woman thrashes in her bed while her boyfriend walks around thinking about the skeevier moments in their relationship, then arrives just before she thrashes onto the floor and gives her a platonic tender hug.

You might have noticed a few things. First, Jimi was world class hugger.

Aw. Snuggies!

Aw. Snuggies!

You might also have noticed that Survivor shoe-horned the entire band into their videos way before The Foo Fighters and No Doubt did it. Did you notice something else? The skeeviness I mentioned earlier? A little? Maybe. Well, wait until you watch The Search is Over.

Things you to keep in mind as you watch:

1: He first sees her ass at 22 seconds. He first sees her face at 35 seconds. He falls in love somewhere in between.

2. Peach sweater. Peach earrings.

3. The girl in this video, Lee Ann Marie, was a trained dancer who performed with Ann Fucking Reinking and was one of the Danke Shoen girls Ferris sings to on the float. She claims that the director of the video didn’t know that she was a dancer until she busted out her Staying Alive-esque Aisle-walk dance (about a minute in). If that is true, then why did he not notice her Dance Face at 54 seconds? Pay attention, Chicago-based 80s video director.

4. The weird reaction to the kiss at 2:40. Especially this guy:

Woo. Getting hot under the old collar.

Getting hot under the old collar.

Look, I know he is a band member and not an actor, but his performance as Business Perv is so creepily accurate, it makes me wonder if he’s doing too much acting…or too little! Either way, that’ll be seeping into my nightmares tonight.

5. A man has died people! Let’s show a little reverence.

*Survivor had two completely interchangeable lead singers…just like Kids Incorporated. They are now down to one. Sad trombone.

We’ll be drinking margaritas by the sea, mamacita.

When the movie Thelma and Louise came out, it was unapologetic with it’s in-your-face, shoot-you-in-the-dick, blow-up-your-tractor-trailer brand of feminism. Some men took umbrage, like the mustachioed dude who happened to walk out of the theater ahead of me. “That was nothing but a couple of women driving around and shooting men,” he remarked with more than a little contempt.

You watch your mouth.

You watch your mouth.

“Fuck yeah, it was.” I said loud enough for him to hear. He looked at me with actual fear in his eyes, but I just laughed, lit a cigarette and walked to my car, scrunchied pony-tail swinging and slouchie-suede high-heeled boots tapping on the pavement. If it had been a different movie, I might have said nothing, just given him a dirty look and talked shit about him later, but you see, I was Thelma.

In 1991, when the movie came out, I was smack-dab in the middle of an epic friendship that could, before then, only be described (with just a bit of a stretch) in pop culture terms as Patsy and Edina.

Sombreros, Pats?  Oh, yeah, Eddie!

Sombreros, Pats?
Oh, yeah, Eddie!

Without question or any stretch at all, we were an un-armed Thelma and Louise. I was much younger and still figuring out how not to take crap from men (especially the good-looking ones). She was jaded and older and always telling me exactly how to stop taking crap from men. We even took more than just a few road-trips, but instead of driving to Mexico, we were driving to New York to drink Boones Farm on Yasgur’s Farm or to catch George Harrison and Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden.

Smile, Thelma!

Call of the wild.

 

There was a female comic who, on the topic of how dating can sometimes screw up our lives, said something to the effect of “Every young woman should be locked in a closet from the age of 19 until 27 just to keep her out of trouble.” I disagree. I think every woman should spend those ages in a joined-at-the-hip friendship with a Louise who’s been down that road you’re about to drive down and already locked the State Trooper in the trunk.

Louise, no matter what happens, I'm glad I came with you.

Louise, no matter what happens, I’m glad I came with you.

Now, I might not have followed all of it, but my Louise gave me plenty of “He’s your husband not your father” caliber advice: Don’t let a man hit you, not once, not ever. Don’t date a man who cheated on or hit his last girlfriend. Don’t cry over an asshole because you already have one, you don’t need another one. Always take the word “bitch” as a compliment. Always leave a tip for housekeeping and never leave a mess. If you are going to go to one concert, go to Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band because then you get…like seven bands for the price of one…plus a Beatle.

The advice, along with hushed revelations, talk of getting the fuck out of New Hampshire, angry rants, and fall-to-the-floor laughter was a big part of our friendship. We talked. We talked on the phone for hours, then met in the Denny’s smoking section and talked over pots and pots of bad coffee. We talked at the mall as we shopped for outfits, shoes, belts and over-sized bracelets. We talked in seedy bars, lighting cigarettes and tossing lighters on the table with a clunk, jangling our well-coordinated bracelets and snapping our overly-embellished belts as we sipped double sombreros…and we laughed at the men who thought we were doing it for their benefit. I had an ex-boyfriend admit to me once that he hated the fact that we spent so much time together. I thought about ignoring it and changing the subject, but I was Thelma, so I said, “Why? What is it about two women talking that threatens you?”

My Louise even had a secret in her past, one the size of Texas. She kept it from me, but other well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people told me about it. I called them out for spreading rumors and then said, “So what? That’s in the past. What matters is the present.”

Thelma7

You know how I feel about Texas…

But since then, I’ve learned that it isn’t just THIS present that matters. It’s certain presents that matter. It doesn’t really matter that I needed to push her away when I quit smoking and cut back on coffee and shopping. And jeez Louise, it doesn’t matter who moved to California and lost touch and who stayed in Nashua, New Hampshire and died of cancer. What matters is that our friendship will always be there. Sue and Melinda. Two women. One present suspended in time, washed out by faded memories, defiantly hovering above the abyss.

Let's keep goin'

Lets keep going

 

This blog is dedicated to my Louise, who deserves better, but this is the best I can do.

EPSON MFP image

Susan Smith-Rogers: 04/14/1953 to 11/09/2005 and forever over the abyss.

Dearly Departed: Harold Ramis

Here’s why getting older sucks: people you love die. And they die more frequently. And even celebrities, who you don’t really “love,” but with whom you’ve developed an important one-sided relationship over the course of your life, also die.

That’s pretty much all I can say about it right now. I have a meeting in five minutes and I have to go pretend I’m having an allergy attack.

 

 

Coach Calhoun Rings the Victory Bell

The comedy world, and SlumberPartiers everywhere, have lost a great today: Sid Caesar, who went on to meet his final pratfall at the ripe age of 91.

Before he hammed his way into Slumber Party history as Coach Calhoun of the Rydell Rangers, he was a go-to guy for hilarity all around. He was in The Club–the Shecky Greenes, the Mel Brookses, the Eve Ardens, the Carl Reiners, the Imogene Cocas–they were all stupendously funny in that slapstick-meets-one-liner-meets-subversive way. (If you don’t believe me, get “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” on your Netflix.)

But back to the Party. I had a ridiculously difficult time find the infamous “rip’em” speech from Grease, and this is as close as I got.

But the real gem in Grease is, of course, the scene in which he introduces the sweetly vulnerable Danny Zuko to all the sports possibilities available to him, starting with the great advice of cutting smoking “down to two packs a day.” After ticking through every spring sport available (with Danny adorably not knowing basketball requires dribbling, which is an indication of how little ESPN they had in 1957) Coach Calhoun recognizes he needs to be alone. Like really alone. Like looooong-distance-running alone.

Yeah. That could be cool.

Ring that victory bell, Coach! Just like you always wanted to.