Friday, November 13, 2009

If only he'd been Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo that day, or Billy Banana or Aunt Yoohoo instead of Peter Peanut

(Update: As foreseen, the video link is gone. I wasn't able to find another one, but you know which one I'm talking about.)

Last week saw the death of TV writer David Lloyd who, during the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Lloyd wrote award-winning episodes for . . . well, hell, damned near everybody

Mr. Lloyd was an astonishingly productive writer by series television standards, not only generating scripts on his own but also working with other writers to doctor scripts in trouble. In addition to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” for which he had credits on more than 30 episodes between 1973 and 1977, Mr. Lloyd wrote for, among other shows, “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Lou Grant,” “Rhoda,” “Phyllis,” “The Tony Randall Show,” “The Associates,” “Taxi,” “Dear John,” “Amen,” “Wings,” “Cheers” and “Frasier.”

And yet, with a résumé like that, here's how the Newspaper of Record titled his obituary, as if he'd only accomplished two things in his life (one of which was dying):

David Lloyd, 75, Dies; Wrote ‘Chuckles’ Episode

Oh, don't be coy--of course you remember it:

"Chuckles Bites the Dust" (October 25, 1975) - The ludicrous death of WJM's Chuckles the Clown, crushed by an elephant while dressed as Peter Peanut, provokes a torrent of black humor which has everyone in the newsroom but Mary convulsed in laughter. Mary's suppressed laughter comes out at an inopportune moment: at Chuckles' funeral. This episode was ranked #1 on TV Guides The Greatest Episodes of All Time.

It keeps getting taken down on YouTube, but at the moment you can see the magnificent funeral scene here.

So, assuming the rights owner will manage to find this clip and get it pulled too, let this then be his epitaph:

Requiscat in Pacem

David Lloyd

Minutus cantorum,
Minutus balorum,
Minutus carborata descendum pantorum.

(H/t to Stephanie via FB)

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