Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2022

PODCAST 221: "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" (1993) - in memoriam, Kevin Conroy - w/ Stuart and Ryan



Watched:  11/18/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Frank Paur



Stuart and Ryan get together to discuss the 1993 animated film that featured the voice talent of Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman to multiple generations. We talk about the performances, art, and craft of the 1990's animated Batman material, and the tremendous impact of the cartoon and Conroy.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
Main Title - Shirley Walker, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 


DC Movies Playlist

Friday, November 11, 2022

Kevin Conroy Merges With The Infinite




Here at The Signal Watch, we're absolutely heartbroken to hear that actor Kevin Conroy has passed.  

Conroy voiced Bruce Wayne/ Batman across innumerable cartoons, video games and other projects.  For generations of Bat-fans was the definitive portrayal of the character.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Angela Lansbury Merges With the Infinite



Angela Lansbury, an actor whose career spanned 1944 - 2018 (not her life, her career!) has passed.  Let it be known that a pre-Murder She Wrote Lansbury was a stone cold fox, which is always a weird revelation about senior citizen TV detectives.  Go watch The Harvey Girls and then come back and we'll discuss.

Because Hollywood is weird, she was like 36 when she was cast to play the mother of the lead in The Manchurian Candidate - roughly 3 years older than her screen son, and it seems she played older characters for years to come - eventually catching up with herself and then maintaining a career as a plucky, sometimes feisty, occasionally insane (Sweeney Todd) individual.  

One of her last screen appearances was in Mary Poppins Returns (2018), but she was just sort of ubiquitous my entire life.  And, of course, as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which I heard on a loop every 90 minutes for three years at the Disney Store.  

Here's to Ms. Lansbury, one of the last contemporaries of many of my favorite actors and one I count among our most beloved.  


Thursday, October 6, 2022

Judy Tenuta Merges With The Infinite


We're very sad - and, frankly, surprised - to hear about the passing of Judy Tenuta.  I'd followed Tenuta on facebook for a while and was aware she was ill, but saw no indication that she wasn't likely to recover.  

Tenuta was part of the stand-up comedy explosion of the 1980's and was close enough to my wheelhouse while also pushing on the boundaries of my suburban Texas world  - and funny as hell - that I was as much of a fan as a kid who was not hitting any comedy clubs could be. 

With her persona, turns of phrase and storytelling, she was kind of doing a bit of performance art that was rare then and I don't think there's much of anything like it now.  
 

Se didn't ever cross over into movie stardom and I don't think she ever got a sitcom. but she was amazingly fun and her facebook was relentlessly positive, often tagged with #itcouldhappen.  

Anyway, I'll miss knowing she's out there.  Who will call us pigs now?




Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Loretta Lynn Merges With The Infinite




The great Loretta Lynn has passed.


An icon of 20th Century music, bridging generations and centuries and a true story of talent overcoming circumstances, while never forgetting your roots.  


Sunday, July 31, 2022

John Aielli Merges With the Infinite





If you ever lived in Austin, Texas, there's a strong chance you had stumbled across John Aielli's radio program, Eklektikos, on KUT - the public radio station operated out of the University of Texas.  

Aielli was famous for any number of idiosyncratic behaviors, and I swear to god, his show ran for what must have been 6-9 hours every day, Monday through Friday, for decades.  Aielli seemed utterly disconnected from how the world worked both inside and outside his studio, breaking into the middle of songs to make a comment.  Sometimes he'd stop a song and play a part over that he liked, or just take it off if he found it irritating.  He made comments that were so random, he became internet famous when KUT launched @ShitJohnAiellieSays.  

Nichelle Nichols Crosses Over to the Final Frontier



Actor and performer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series - and who appeared in the original films - has passed.  

Nichols remained active in the fan community and planned a retirement tour for 2020, which was cut short by COVID.  But she loved her fans back, embracing what the show and her character meant to folks.

For many of us, Nichols helped promote the idea of diversity in mainstream media, appearing alongside a cast that was intended to represent a better Earth, one which had made great strides toward valuing all types of people and knew how to work together.  In many ways, Nichols was a pioneer of television - a medium which had minimal presentation of people of different races working alongside each other in the mid-60's.  And, of course, the famous kiss with Shatner.  And you can read for yourself how Dr. King convinced her to stay on the show.  

All of this was something I was somewhat unaware of as an 11-year-old with a crush on the communications officer on my space show whilst watching reruns at 5:00 PM everyday in the mid-1980's.  But finding all of this out over the years gave me perspective I know I never would have had, otherwise.  It's one thing to like Uhura, and I did and I do, but another to understand what Nichols did as a person and pioneer.



I was aware that Nichols was not well for some time, and I will truly miss knowing she was out there.  But I think we can all be grateful we got to share some time on this space sphere with her, if just for a bit.


Thursday, June 16, 2022

Tim Sale Merges With The Infinite




Comics artist and illustrator Tim Sale has passed.  




Sale's work was singular, unmistakable, and reminded an industry what could be done with a certain minimalism if you knew how to capture the essence of character in gesture, expression and motion in a line.  He volleyed between Marvel and DC for a good bit, but I believe I remember learning of his work through Haunted Knight and then the superlative Long Halloween.  

His work at Marvel provided a depth to characters with whom we're all familiar on multiple series, such as Daredevil: Yellow and Spider-Man: Blue.  

As a Superman reader, it's hard not to point to the defining work of A Superman For All Seasons, a new chapter to the life of a young Man of Steel finding his place in the world.  It's a beautiful comic with a deeply sympathetic take on Superman that you simply wanted to comfort as he sought his place in the world.











Friday, June 10, 2022

Julee Cruise Merges With The Infinite




Vocalist and musician Julee Cruise has passed.  

Cruise is well known to fans of Twin Peaks, and is one of the signature sounds of the aural landscape of the show.  She released solo work as well as standing in for Cindy with the B-52's during tours.

She was s unique and rich talent, and she'll be missed.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ray Liotta Merges With the Infinite


Ray Liotta, actor, has passed.  He'll be remembered most for his outstanding performance in Goodfellas and his iconic performance in Field of Dreams, but he was terrific in literally everything I saw him in.  


Friday, April 29, 2022

Comics Great Neal Adams Merges With The Infinite

Meeting Adams in November, 2013 



I am shocked and saddened to hear that Neal Adams passed on Thursday.


Adams' work looms large for all comics fans, and for us Superman and Batman fans, it's seminal work.  Of course he's covered all sorts of other things.  Jamie has an Adams' Wonder Woman print on her office wall.  But to me he's the guy who brought Muhammad Ali to the DCU and advocated for Siegel and Shuster to be recognized financially and as creators when Superman: The Movie was in production.  



He brought an illustrative realism and humanity to his characters that pushed all of comics to a new level when he arrived, and he never quit pushing boundaries as an active creator right up to his passing.  

Do yourself a favor and look for some Neal Adams comics.  






Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gilbert Gottfried Merges With the Infinite




Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has passed.   And I'm going to miss him.

Gottfried was someone it seems literally everyone knew, and he was a YMMV kind of personality, drifting between doing stuff for kids to telling deeply dark jokes at Friar's Club Roasts.  And, yeah, he was the voice of both the AFLAC Duck (until he went dark and got fired), and Iago from Aladdin, but he was also the voice of Mr. Mxyzptlk on Superman: The Animated Series, and is now what I hear in my head when I see the character in new or old comics.




But, really, I think of Gottfried as part of the two-headed hosting beast of USA's Up All Night schlock movie program.  One night would be the lovely and hilarious Rhonda Shear, and the next you'd get Gottfried hosting you through A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Cannibal Women of the Avocado Jungle, etc...   He would wander the streets, amusement parks, bars, whatever... and be there with you in the wee hours as you made it to the end of H.O.T.S. or whatever.  He was truly a pal (and I also kind of wanted his job).

I do love how he knew what he was, embraced it, and was always the funniest @#$%ing dude in whatever he was in.  Truly, never afraid to go there.



Thursday, March 24, 2022

Madeleine Albright Merges With The Infinite


 
Madeleine Albright, a woman of legendary accomplishment, has passed.

Albright was the first female Secretary of State, and had the intelligence, personality and skill one would expect of a trailblazer at such high levels.  Her deftness in diplomacy was what you want out of a Secretary of State, and we saw her charm and conversational skills up front in an era where talk shows welcomed Secretaries of State and the population (a) could name who that person was before they took the stage, and (b) could watch them speak without shouting slurs at someone from a party to which they did not belong.  

But as a refugee first from Nazis and then the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, as someone who went for it in an era where expectations were she stay home and live a quiet, domestic life, Albright's pivot to law and public policy after becoming a wife and mother was notable, before she began her climb.  

Her tenure was perhaps one of few bright spots of the second half of the Clinton administration, though not unmarred by the challenges of the role and the expected disagreements in a political context, both from the right and left.  No one plays at that level and escapes unscathed.  

It was an amazing life and career, and I hope folks appreciate and understand what paths she created in the US and what she did for the nation as ambassador and Secretary of State.


Sunday, March 13, 2022

William Hurt Merges With The Infinite




Damn.  

William Hurt, one of my favorite actors, has passed.  

I don't have much to say on it.  I'm surprised and saddened.  We all knew he could turn in the best performances even when he signed up for some genre stuff that didn't deserve what he'd bring to the characters he'd inhabit.  And given a chance to get into something good - ex: The Big Chill or Smoke- he was astounding.



Thursday, March 10, 2022

Emilio Delgado Merges With the Infinite



Sesame Workshop has announced the passing of Emilio Delgado, who we all know as Luis, one of the friendly faces in the neighborhood of Sesame Street.  

Luis was there to show us adults could be kind, curious, considerate and that there were many different kinds of people who were in our communities.  My memory was that I thought Luis was "the funny one" of the human cast members.  I have read a passage or two about what it meant to have a Latino male featured on television to some of my friends.  I believe it.  Delgado had one of the few roles on TV in the 1970's for a Latino male defined as a regular, stand-up guy, and not - as was so often the case in network TV then and now - as a negative stereotype.  

I'll be honest - I think the goals of Sesame Street worked.  To this day, I think of all of the human cast members of Sesame Street as folks I want to run into at the super market.  TV is a powerful tool, and the notion of representation is important for everyone, especially for folks who don't see people who look like themselves on television, but it can also be good for other kids to see those positive  representations to combat the negative portrayals which are a sad default of mass media.

Here's to an actor who brought a welcome face to the screen for generations of kids, who did it with humor and joy.  I'm very sad to hear that Delgado has passed.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Ivan Reitman Merges With The Infinite



Maybe one of the most quietly influential directors and producers of the last fifty years, Ivan Reitman created an incredible number of movies adored across generations.  

I'm totally shocked, and I know everyone who hears about this will also be stunned and saddened.  


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Howard Hesseman Merges With the Infinite


Actor Howard Hesseman has passed.

If you've never seen WKRP in Cincinnati or it's been a long time,  I would encourage you to go back and check it out for a number of reasons.  I think Dr. Johnny Fever is kind of remembered as a kind-of-out-of-it drive-time DJ on the show, but returning to it - yes, he's that.  But Hesseman brought a level to the character that I think you were likely to miss when you were a kid, seeing everything as cartoons.  Johnny Fever is a guy with a lot of disappointments who has seen a lot, and winding up a DJ at a low-rated radio station in the midwest is all just part of the journey.  But under that, Hesseman brought intelligence and heart to the character - same as he would every time he showed up on screen after.

And that's what I associate most with Hesseman, was really the extra layer he always seemed to have in mind when bringing a character to life - that no character would just be a single thing, and they'd have depths that were there once you got past introductions.



Saturday, January 22, 2022

Meat Loaf Merges With the Infinite



I don't remember not knowing who Meat Loaf was, which makes sense as I was 2 years old when Bat Out of Hell was released.  And, of course, I appreciated his performance in Rocky Horror, and reteaming with Jim Steinman for Bat Out of Hell II.  

But I still remember one Christmas when I was in college my brother and I slipping out after the folks and company went to bed and we headed for a bar that had been there forever, with a jukebox that hadn't seen much rotation since it had been put in place.  It was a shitty little bar with a clear brand of clientele which we didn't really match, most of whom seemed to be regulars and knew each other, and just as our beers hit the table, the jukebox started with Bat Out of Hell and someone had put in money to play the entire album in order.  

I don't know why, but that night I became totally sold on that album.

Whatever world Jim Steinman wrote songs for (Steinman passed in April) and Meat Loaf sings about is a world that resonates like hell with me.  And, apparently, the be-mulleted denizens of Molly Maguire's Irish Pub in Spring, Texas circa Christmas 1995.  But, yeah, it's a musical theater version of rock and roll, where the already heightened melodrama of romance, heartbreak and all the usual faire of radio rock is raised to rock opera levels.  And at the center, Meat Loaf's sincerity anchors what sh/could be absurd, putting a broken hero at the middle of it.

Here's to you and one of the best selling albums of all-time, sir.  The record seems like an unlikely candidate to grab that mantle, and I'm so glad it has.

Mr. Loaf also acted.  A LOT.  His occasional health issues and personal demons may have kept him from some choices and maybe off the live stage, but he leaves behind not just his music but plentiful roles and screentime.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Louie Anderson Merges With the Infinite


Comedian and actor Louie Anderson has passed.

Anderson's career was weird and varied, and I'm still mad I didn't choose to go see him when I was in Las Vegas and he was performing.  Anderson's comedy was generally very warm-hearted, and I enjoyed him when I did see his stand-up, but for the past few years I associated him much more with his TV work, especially on FX's Baskets, one of the most criminally underwatched shows of the past decade.  

Almost as soon as Anderson broke big (right around the release of Coming to America, in which he had a supporting part), he was very candid in interviews about his less-than-ideal childhood, and turned a less trauma-inducing version of that into his cartoon, Life With Louie.  

I'll miss knowing Louie Anderson is out there.  For all the comedians out there supposedly wrestling with darkness, Anderson clearly could be included, but it didn't seem to make him cover himself in armor and project cruelty through his routines or performances.  

In the end, he won an Emmy for creating Christine Baskets, one of the most sympathetic characters to cross my TV screen.  What was ostensibly a show about a man-child in crisis became a show about the evolution of an aging mother - it was like he was able to channel everything that came before directly into that role.

We'll miss you, Louie.  You were the best.



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ronnie Spector Merges With The Infinite


 
Singer Ronnie Spector, most famous for her work with the Ronettes, has passed.

Just two weeks ago I was checking to make sure I still had my signed copy of her CD.  



I went through my obligatory Phil Spector phase in college, and came out a bonafide Ronettes fan.  They don't have that many tracks, but what they did put out was all gold, and you hear their stuff all the time, especially at Christmas.


Jamie and I saw Ronnie back in 2017 at the Paramount - where we happened to run into SimonUK.  It was an amazing show, and I'm so glad we could do it.



We'll miss you, Ronnie.