Photo: A set of mourners (hearse not included) listed on EBay as Buy It Now for $124.99.
Queen of the Dead – dateline January 2, 2012
• Comedy writer Joe Bodolai, 63, killed himself on December 26. No one interviewed seemed surprised: “I’m not shocked at all,” “He was a pretty unhappy guy,” “L.A. can chew you up and spit you out. It’s a tough place and it can be a very lonely place,” were some of the comments. Bodolai was a successful Canadian standup, and moved to New York where he wrote for SNL in 1981-82; he then coproduced the shows Kids in the Hall (1990-91) and Comics! (late 1990s). He also worked on the film Wayne’s World. His blog reveals him to have been a huge conspiracy nut (9/11, JFK, Israel), which is why, really, people, don’t keep blogs. But less annoyingly, he reminisced about the Canadian comedy scene: “I love Canadian comedy, the POV, the sweet pomegranate seal meat mixture of it, the lack of mean with the Robin Hood arrows.” And people? Rethink the blogs. We really don’t need to know some of this stuff.
• 1930s starlet Louise Henry, 100, died on December 12 in Syracuse, New York. From 1934-39, Henry appeared in small roles in such films as Forsaking All Others, The Casino Murder Case, Reckless, Remember Last Night?, In Old Kentucky, 45 Fathers, Charlie Chan on Broadway and Charlie Chan in Reno. Henry—who never married or had children—returned to her home town of Syracuse to run a drama school after leaving films; she was reported to be filthy rich from investments and real estate, which is always nice to hear about former starlets.
• New Yorkers heard the sad news of the death of Violet the hawk, aged about 5-ish, on December 29. Violet and her mate Bobby became webcam stars over the past couple of years as they raised their baby, Pip—then Violet fell prey to some fishing line around one ankle and needed surgery, which she did not survive. Bobby, meanwhile—with Violet not yet cold in her grave—is shacked up in their old nest with some whore.
• And your faithful correspondent made the news herself last week, when I was interviewed by the New York Times and the London Telegraph about the purported death on December 24 of Cheeta the chimp. This chimp was said to be 80 years old and had appeared in numerous 1930s Tarzan movies—I, and many other film historians and chimpologists, called “shenanigans.” In fact, one R.D. Rosen had written back in 2008 in The Washington Post that “as Cheeta’s claims to fame were springing leaks, I began spending hours in front of my television, freeze-framing on close-ups of various Cheetas in MGM Tarzan movies . . . I was turning into the Inspector Javert of simian mysteries, obsessed with my small cause.” The “Tichborne claimant” (oh, look it up) who died last week, wrote Rosen, “was never in any picture, much less a Johnny Weissmuller picture,” and besides, chimps do not live to be 80 years old. As for me, I was tickled to be quoted in the Times as saying that “all chimps basically look like George Burns to me.”