Friday, December 30, 2011

Celebrity Death Brackets 2011, Part 2

OK, you ghouls and lovers of pop culture - which should cover most of you, right? Yesterday I presented my NCAA-style brackets for the top celebrity deaths of 2011. It was difficult to even get to the opening 32; for example, Elisabeth Sladen - Sarah Jane Smith of "Doctor Who" fame, for the pagans among you - didn't make the cut, which broke my heart a little. But hey, isn't this whole idea a little heartless?

We would also accept "ghoulish."
Anyway, yesterday's post got us down to the Sweet 16. So let's pick up where we left off and see how these famous stiffs match up. With great reverence, respect, and condolences to their respective families and loved ones, of course.

Kim Jong Il, dictator
Sherwood Schwartz, television producer
The Great Leader of North Korea vs. the creator of "The Brady Bunch." You know, I'm looking at how I bracketed this matchup, and I'm going to change my mind. I had given it to the Commie bastard, just because he was a bigger player on the world stage and didn't inflict "The Brady Bunch Hour" on us.

But then I realized that today is Davy Jones' birthday, and that got me thinking about the "Getting Davy Jones" episode, and that got me thinking about the haunted tiki doll, and hell, I'm going to go with my gut on this one.
Winner: Sherwood Schwartz

Peter Falk, actor
Betty Ford, presidential widow
Betty Ford was a wonderful person. But she was no Columbo. *snif* Peter Falk's death truly made me sadder than any celebrity's passing this year. more thing... *bawls*
Winner: Peter Falk

Gerry Rafferty, singer/songwriter
Barry Feinstein, photographer
Go download Gerry Rafferty's City to City right now. Incredible album. Then go check out a few of Barry Feinstein's iconic photographs. Astounding. This is a tough one, but I'm going to go with my ears instead of my eyes here.
Winner: Gerry Rafferty

Cheetah, actor/artist/chimpanzee
Joe Morello, jazz drummer extraordinaire
I'm a huge fan of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies. Cheetah's death hit me hard. Yes, really. Still, he was a goddamn monkey, not Dave Brubeck's drummer.

Winner: Joe Morello

"Macho Man" Randy Savage, beef jerky spokesperson
Gerard Smith, bassist/keyboardist (TV on the Radio)
This one might piss off some people. I'm going with pop culture prevalence here. Let's face it, it's a pretty messed-up bracket. There's always one that just doesn't seem fair.
Winner: "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Amy Winehouse, doomed singer
Patrice O'Neal, stand-up comic
I'd like to think that Amy Winehouse is hanging out with Janis Joplin in the afterlife, and Patrice O'Neal is chilling with Richard Pryor. That's one hell of a bill.
Winner: Amy Winehouse

Jerry Leiber, songwriter
Steve Jobs, Mac guy (but not the cute one on the commercials with PC guy)
Me, I'd go with the man who wrote "Jailhouse Rock" and "On Broadway." But since the whole freaking world seems to think we lost the second coming of Christ because the guy who invented the goddamn iPod died, I have to bow to sheer media overload.
Winner (under duress): Steve Jobs

Jeff Conaway, actor/druggie
Elizabeth Taylor, actor/druggie
At first glance, it seems as if this should be a closer competition. Nah.
Winner: Elizabeth Taylor

Here, then, are your Elite Eight of Famous Dead People for 2011:

Sherwood Schwartz vs. Peter Falk

Gerry Rafferty vs. Joe Morello

"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Amy Winehouse

Steve Jobs vs. Elizabeth Taylor

I'm going to go straight into the Final Four now, so tomorrow, on the last day of 2011, we can unveil our winner. Here we go:

Peter Falk: Just for playing the Grandfather in The Princess Bride.

Joe Morello: A tough one. But...Dave Brubeck's drummer, for crying out loud.

Amy Winehouse: A truly great loss of talent and potential.

Elizabeth Taylor: On her own merits, certainly, but also because she smacks down Steve Jobs. Booyah!

Come back tomorrow for the Finals! And remember, no matter who wins, no rioting, please.


  1. That disco routine is a sham! I want to know who that is dancing and singing instead of Jan Brady. I spent many hours with Jan and the gang and that is NOT Jan Brady!

  2. That's an easy one, V. Eve Plumb (wisely) declined to do "The Brady Bunch Hour." She was replaced by Geri Reischel. Eve came back for the one-hour drama "The Bradys," which Maureen McCormick opted not to do. Hard to get all the Brady girls together to humiliate themselves...


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