THE O.B.E. MAIL BAG
This portion of the O.B.E is dedicated to those of you who are among the
living. During the course of the year, feel free to e-mail the O.B.E. with
thoughts, suggestions for 1999, and general news.
TOM ASKS ABOUT A FAT DEAD COMIC
This question has been bugging me for the longest time, and hopefully, maybe you guys have the answer. I've read all the accounts I could about comedian Allan Sherman who keeled over back in 1973, but absolutely no report ever listed the REASON why he kicked it. Was it a heart attack (because he was overweight), or was it cancer, or something that I'm overlooking? Before I forget, Joe DiMaggio knows how to spoil everybody's fun doesn't he?
O.B.E. KNOWINGLY REPLYS:
We cannot believe that you call yourself an Allan Sherman fan not knowing that one of this centuries greatest comedic talents died in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 1973 due to a respiratory illness caused by his obesity. The fat bastard.
PS. It took us about 18 hours of painstaking searching to find out this trivial tidbit of information. Thanks for wasting our fucking time (on Christmas holiday too).
MORE MARY FRANN BACKLASH (12/23/98)
I can attest to the Mary Frann thing...you "GUYS" let me know as soon as it happened. By the way...our picks will be in soon. (can't imagine why anyone would have them in before the year was up) By the way...try not to loose the pictures. Yes, there has been a time or two that I did not recognize the name but when I saw the pic...I'd say... Oh yea... THAT guy/gal.
SOME SUPPORT ON THE TIE BREAKING SYSTEM FOR 1999 (12/22/98)
Since I am sure that you guys at the O.B.E. get plenty of mail suggesting that tie-breaker points should be determined by age alone, I thought I'd toss in my own reasonably worthless opinion on the subject. I think the way you work it, with points based on rarity of the pick, is much better. As it happens, in a not-for- money pool I run, I use the same idea, with picks being worth the number of lists in the pool which don't include that name. Something like this takes age into account (indirectly) and also other factors. Why should the predicted demise of someone who has spent months on their deathbed (say, a retired baseball great who was married to a movie star and sold Mr. Coffee machines, not that I'm thinking of anyone in particular) be worth more than some 90-year old blast-from- the-past? Reading about said blast, who I haven't had reason to think of since 1982, is why I get a kick out of these pools.
JOYCE LIKES PHOTOS...NUDGE, NUDGE, KNOW WHAT WE MEAN (12/22/98)
i just happened across your notion to omit the pix on the webpage for 1999 (because you accidentally replied to anita + everyone). i have to tell, even though pix take up SCADS of server space, i think that the pix are one of the BEST PARTS. okay, really the little one liners that you get when you hold the pointer on the picture are really the best part, but you can't have that without the picture.
so, as a dedicated death watcher, i beseech you (that's right, i said beseech) to keep the picture on the who's dead page.
We hear ya Joyce, but we really need to consider a few things. We've come under a lot of attacks for failing to post the deaths of numerous celebrities (and rightfully so). It ain't so easy to find pictures for say, a Paul Smucker or a Virginia Graham. So we typically just provide bulletins on these people.
However, that often offends someone like Anita who would like to have seen Mary Frann recognized. So, we think we'll be doing three things for 1999. 1) We'll be sending out Bulletins, as we do now, for deaths we think merit a "heads up." 2) We'll be sending out weekly wrap ups of all AP reported deaths for the week each and every blessed week. 3) We'll be increasing the obits listed on the page to include even those folks we don't give a toss about, and 4) We'll be drinking beer, eating junk food, and generally having a time of it. Yeah, we know that's more than 3 but who the hell's counting?
Your feedback has been taken to heart mind you. Part of the soon to be launched 1999 Old Blue Eyes Memorial Celebrity Death Watch Pages will include a little place called the Photo Gallery. We think this will satisfy your need for pictures with funny subtitles. Bet ya can't wait.
ANITA ASKS ABOUT OUR OBIT LOGIC AND A MAJOR FLUB OCCURS (12/22/98)
Out of all the people you have listed on your "Those famous friends who've met their maker", you left out Mary Frann of the show "Newhart". She died on September 23, 1998 of a heart attack. Can you please tell me why she was left off of the list? I watch "Nick at Nite" a lot, and see reruns of "Newhart" almost every night. I was very saddened to hear of her death, and since the show "Newhart" was so popular in it's time, I believe that her death should be reported.
Is there any logical reason she was left off the list?
Simple answer, she was no Suzanne Pleshette.
Now, the truth is that our decision making process for posting versus simply reporting via a bulletin is questionable at best. Most easily put, if the Guys at the O.B.E. know, have feelings about, or find humorous the stiff we post 'em, otherwise we just announce the death via a bulletin. Note that Ms. Frann's demise was announced via a bulletin when it occurred. We've added you to our mailing list so you won't feel slighted next time a celebrity near and dear to ya keels.
Of course, we recognize that our system of deciding who to post leaves a bit to be desired and are looking to be somewhat more objective in the 1999 season. This will likely require that we eliminate the use of pictures on the "Who's Dead Page" as currently they take up scads of server space (yup, we said scads).
Unfortunately, the goofy O.B.E. Guys sent this reply out to the entire mailing list by mistake so we then forward a retraction which mustered up alot of responses, here goes...
OOPS! What a flub. Sorry Death Watchers, we mistakenly sent that last response to Anita to all of you. Well, it will prevent you from having to the read the mail bag for a day at least.
DAMN, and I was all excited and thought someone loved me!
You dipping into the ol' eggnog a wee bit early today or what? Although it's always a treat to hear from you! Feliz Navidad!
DAVID GOT REALLY CONFUSED AND ASKED:
This name Matt Gitkin has popped up on my computer again. This is exactly the way it was spelled before when I would get mail from the other matt.
SO THE O.B.E. EXPLAINED:
Matt Gitkin is one of The Guys at the O.B.E. Steve Vogl is the other. The reason your O.B.E. bulletins are addressed to Matt and not you is that we use a hidden mailing list to ensure your privacy. Only the O.B.E. Guys appear on the list. The rest of the recipients are masked.
Who loves ya? That's right, we do you big lug.
Wow, what a response. We should screw up more
RON GETS ALL SWELL WITH US (12/21/98)
Guys: I'm new to the web and your website, but I just have to tell you, after reading "GUESS WHO'S NOT COMING TO DINNER?", and scrolling down to the Phil Hartman notice, I almost fell out of my chair. You guys are shameless.....BUT GREAT!!! I thought I had a sick sense of humor, but you "sick puppies" take the cake. And for my top draft pick, it would have to be, hands down, six feet down for that matter, Bob "save me a plot" Hope. I've gotta believe he's going to be entertaining the troops (WWII) once again soon.
Keep up the great work. And by the way, John Derek did not direct "10", Blake Edwards(Mr.Julie Andrews) did.
We didn't reply but man, we fixed our screw up mighty fast.
JONATHON ON NORMAN FELL (12/21/98)
how could you forget norman fell as the guy who runs the boarding house in the graduate?
We didn't. We just didn't post it.
A QUESTION FROM DAVID (12/15/98)
You've got a terrific website! I'd like to enter the 99 OBE pool. Couple of questions about how you define fame. Since you had Marie Louise Meilleur is it OK to include people who are only famous for being extremely old - not just who Guiness says is oldest but others who may be even older? And what about Hunter Kelly. He's Jim Kelly's son, but now has a well-known fund, Hunter's Hope, in his name. Sorry to make life complicated, but I'd rather ask now than cry and moan later.
Love to have you play in the 1999 O.B.E. The rules for 1999 define "Celebrity" as any person whose death is listed in the major media (AP, Reuters, UPI). We'll have to live with those rules for now.
REGARDING NORMAN FELL (12/15/98)
Correction Mr. Fell was 74 in all reports that I have read.
I liked Norman Fell, he was lecherous that is a fine trait to have when you are in three's company.
halloween costume 1998: Frankenfrank
halloween costume 1999: Frankenfell
A STACEY UPDATE.....HOLD ON TIGHT (12/8/98)
Hi guys, its me again! Well, I've never heard of this guy, but it seems he was a celebrity in his own right. His obituary was in the paper next to that of Michael Zaslow. Apparently he had made frequent appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show" Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates - he was a 1 legged tap dancer. He was 91, he died Sunday, and his last appearance was the night before. At least he left this world with his tap shoes on!
Actually Stacey, he left the world with his tap SHOE on.
A GOOD CATCH FROM THE TKYGOD (12/7/98)
What would the hard hitting song be that Led Zepplin sang? It wouldn't be Stairway to Heaven would it? Because Michael Landon's show was Highway to Heaven and that would be sort of misleading on your part. I thought that the answer to your questions would have had Robby Benson as the first answer with Jack and Lon. The answer could still be close cause the all play furry characters. Robby has directed some of the "Friends" shows which is a Led Zepplin title. I couldn't find out if he wrote any of them. You guys are giving me a headache from your vague links. Keep them coming.
Look Tammi. Don't mess with us. We do tons of work over here at the O.B.E. We bust hump to provide quality service, we strive to ensure fun, accurate trivia for all. And, of course, from time to time, we fail miserably.
"Stairway," "Highway," guess we gotta lay off the beer when we write those trivia questions. Ooops. And you can quote us on that.
As is our policy when we screw up, you will be awarded the defacto victory for that game. And, of course, we will publicly embarrass ourselves for the error. Good catch on your part!
AND WE FURTHER SAY:
We screwed up the last Trivia game. The screw-up was brought to our attention by the reigning Trivia Champ, Tammi D. So, as is our policy with screw-ups we get caught in, we award a victory to Tammi for the catch. By the by, we thought the answer to Question 1, Game 31 was "Stairway to Heaven." Ends up it was actually "Highway to Heaven".
TOM WANTS TO KNOW WHAT 'FAMOUS' IS (12/6/98)
Do you think Al Gore Sr. is really a celebrity?! I don't think so much fuss had been made about the senior Gore than when Hugh Rodham packed it in! Compared to Frank Sinatra, Gore was just another U.S. citizen in my opinion.
Thanks for the bulletin and keep up the great work.
You're right, but we couldn't resist the "bored to death" line.
A QUESTION REGARDING THE RULES (11/27/98)
Why not have more points added for the younger the celebrities are? I mean it does take more effort to find a 20-30 year old whom will die than a 100 year old celeb on their death bed. Or you could have everyone select one under 40 bonus celebrity or something. Just a thought...
Actually, it's a good thought and one we had tossed around. But ya see, Matt and Steve run this thing on their precious spare time. And we they to confirm every entry (it's looking to be over thirty for 1999...hopefully one will be yours). To confirm each celebrity listed is still alive is a big enough pain in the tail. Now imagine they have to confirm ages. Then what happens when a celebrity is 39 at the start of the year and turns 40 mid year and croaks. All kinds of problems.
See, when you run one of these little death pool thingys there's a lot to consider. Don't get us wrong, the under 40 bonus is a great idea and other pools use it. But we at the O.B.E. are, at heart, a lazy bunch of weasels and don't want to be doing all that work. We find our simple approach to be the best.
TOM HAS A QUESTION AND SOME COMPLIMENT (11/26/98)
I just got done reading all the e-mails that have poured in and after seeing that Sonny Bono died on January 5, didn't Michael Kennedy (I think that's his name) die like 2 days before. I know that both Kennedy and Bono died a few days apart, but didn't Kennedy die in 1998?
Your page kicks ass by the way.
Nope... Mikey missed the 1998 list by that much! Actually, 5 hours and 45 minutes to be exact. Instead of being the first on the list for 1998 he was last on the obits for 1997; leaving that precious first spot open...
But the good news is that Michael's divorce was finalized and made official on January 6th... really.... no lie... check out the story here: http://europe.cnn.com/US/9801/06/briefs.am/kennedy.divorce.ap/
So, in true Kennedy fashion... well, we don't know how to finish that statement... hmmm... oh, yes we do.... in true Kennedy fashion.... he's dead.
ROBIN ON CIVIL RIGHTS AN FLIP WILSON (11/26/98)
Flip is gone, Flip is gone, God Almighty, Flip is Gone. Flip was too cool and was a great role model for us black folk during the 1970's when "certain" folk were still knocking us in the head to keep us out of the schools in Boston. Just thought you'd like to know. Have a Happy (and living) Thanksgiving.!!!
Not to mention the role model Flip was for the cross-dressing community!
NOT STACEY AGAIN! (11/26/98)
Also, Ferdinand the Bull from Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey New Jersey died.
It's time for your lithium dear.
MORE BANTER WITH STACEY THE STALKER (11/25/98)
I read somewhere that there was a massive turkey slaughter! There were witnesses, and even signs that is was going to occur. I hear it happens every year at this time! Why do people let bad things happen to good birds? DEAR GOD WHY?!?!?!?!
We think this bears repeating, you scare us.
how touching, I merit a repeat!
THEN STACEY FOLLOWS WITH:
happy Thanksgiving! I was just reading the paper and it was confirmed, Joe Dimaggio does have lung cancer. Puts a damper on the day huh?
That was confirmed several days ago. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you. BTW, we're more bummed about Flip than Joe.
SHELLY TELLS US ABOUT THE LIVING (11/25/98)
Hey guys, remember me? I emailed you last month that a Chicago radio station had reported Tom Petty dead. Of course, we all know now it wasn't true. Turned out that the station had some psycho call in to try and convince the listening audience that the Tom Petty we all know and love is an impostor and the real guy has been dead for years! (The psycho guy has a website but I didn't catch the address.)
Anyway, today I heard that Joe Nameth is on his death bed, and thought I'd give you a heads up! Ciao!
We think you mean Joe Dimaggio.
ACCOLADES FROM ROBIN (11/20/98)
I have two works for you today on this sad day in sports, WEEB EWBANK.
I love your slightly sick view keep up the good work.
O.B.E. GRACIOUSLY RESPONDS:
Thank you Robin. One point of contention though, we don't find it sick at all. Scary, huh?
ROBIN RETURNS WITH:
That's why I love ya man!!!
SOME "HEADS UP" MAIL FROM ROB (11/18/98)
I have two works for you today on this sad day in sports, WEEB EWBANK.
And we have two words for you......"We know." But, as always, we appreciate the heads up.
Rough times for old folks in the sports world recently. We wouldn't want to be Leon Hess right about now.
THE FINER POINTS OF PICKING THE SOON TO BE DEAD (11/9/98)
MIKE AND JANE WRITE:
Hi, Why isn't Ronald Reagan on your top 20 list? Maybe he'll make it in 1999. I also think Janet Reno looks like death warmed over, but maybe that is just her everyday look. Enjoy your websites.
Glad to see you enjoyed our little corner of the internet.
As for Ronald Reagan, all indications are that he is as healthy as a horse though nutty as a christmas fruitcake. We think he may actually live to 100. Why? Because he plain out forgot he was supposed to die.
Now Janet Reno is another story. Not only is she butt ugly, but she has really been pissing Bill Clinton off with these investigations. Rumor is that can get you pretty dead.
We've placed you on our O.B.E. mailing list so that you can get fun updates on the ailments and mortality of your favorite celebrities. Hope to see you playing in the 1999 Death Watch.
MAJOR CONVERSATIONS WITH STACEY (11/9/98)
WHEN THE O.B.E. REPORTS BOB KANE'S DEATH FROM "UNRELEASED CAUSES," STACEY SAYS:
Duh.. I read, "unrelated causes" I was wondering, "unrelated to what?"
You scare us.
THANK YOU! Today is my birthday, and that line was the BEST gift I could have ever received... Hmmm, I scare you? Maybe I should become a stalker, big time, than I could be *in*famous, then maybe I'd even get a blurb when I die! - Hey deathwatchers! Remember that psycho stalker that scared the guys at the OBE? Well she joined the Jack Ruby club! she is now in the happy hunting ground in the sky. (Thats what I want you to use) BTW - I'm not really THAT psycho... It must be the water in Jersey.
O.B.E. SHOOT BACK WITH:
Uh, not sure it's the water. See, both of the Guys are from Jersey and one still lives there. And Stacey, we don't scare each..........oh, uh, maybe it is the water.
AND MATT ADDS:
Listen, water or not... I am gonna be in New Jersey for 3 and a half weeks in December and in the mortal words of Steve... you scare me too.... and as for the stalking; rest assured that I'll be looking over my shoulders whenever I enter a Jersey mall and if your there...
SO STACEY SENDS THIS WEIRD-ASS MESSAGE:
I was just wondering HOW this message was in my mailbox before I wrote Steve that message, then I realized you're on the west coast... Okay, (I'm really not dumb) and yeah, I'm kind of crazy, but normal is boring!
SO MATT SAYS:
Ok... Stacey... but I am warning ya.... I'll be lookin' for you....
REALITY CHECK FOR SHELLY (11/9/98)
Reported on Chicago radio this morning (11/9) Tom Petty dead. True? Whats the up to date?
We have not (as yet) been able to substantiate this claim... But rest assured, we will continue to check into this rumor. We certainly hope that Mr. Petty is still here with us among the living. It would be a real "Heartbreaker" if he has passed.... (Look what do you want - it's friggin' Monday morning and we haven't had our coffee yet)...
First Chicago gives us Capone. Then it gives us Oprah. Now it gives us ridiculous, unsubstantiated stories that Tom Petty is dead. Unless the guy who made the announcement killed Petty himself, we're thinking the report is false. See, it is unsubstantiated in any of the major news media. Look Shelly, we don't mean to get petty and apparently neither does God.
NOW, SHELLY JUST HAS TO SAY:
well i hope this bad news don't come around here no more! you boys or so clever! keep up the good work.
REGARDING BUCK LEONARD (11/5/98)
O.B.E. WRITES TO CHRIS:
It has come to our attention that Buck Leonard is in fact dead. However, he died in late 1997 (November). Under the rules of the game, he is not an active pick on your list. You are down to 19 active picks. This in no manner affects your first place position.
Thought you'd like to know.
Yeah, I found out when Baseball Digest printed their list of Boys of Summer who had passed in the previous year. It bummed me out, you know, in that sick celebrity death pool way. But hey, life goes on.
A QUESTION FROM DONNA REGARDING THE 1999 O.B.E. (11/4/98)
I have a question about the 1999 pool. You see, can I enter on my own, and then again with a team? i.e. the CHODEGALS? I just wanted you to make a call on this one so the chodegals wouldn't once again be stuck in their unfortunate position of the past.
THE O.B.E. EXPLAINS:
For the 1999 O.B.E. Memorial Celebrity Death Watch, you may enter as many times as you wish with or without as many people as you wish. The Trivia and other game rules will be spelled out when the time comes.
See, with the 1998 Trivia you might come close to winning as a team then fine tune as an individual (not fair). That's why the rules require one entry per player for the Trivia. However, with the Death Watch, you have no control over who dies (fair). See the difference Donna? Better tell your friends!
REGARDING TRIVIA GAME 30 (11/3/98)
You call that a link
THE O.B.E. REPLYS:
Yeah, we call it a link. Apparently a tough one too.
RACY PICTURES FROM THE MEDIA QUEEN? OH YEAH! (10/26/98)
Hi guys. I originally thought our picks were due on the 31st...but now I see that you are *launching* it rather than expecting a slew of letters and checks..correct?
Also, I hate to be a pain in the ass, but the University of South Florida, the bearers of my Web page and former email address figured out I am no longer a student and yanked my account. So my humble page, with the link to you is gone...and so is my email address, so would you mind updating email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com (the address I am writing you from) ?
A brand-spanky-new Eve page with more racy pictures will be up and running soon.
THE O.B.E. SAYS:
Yup, new rules on the 31st. Contest starts Jan 1. Entries must be in before that. See the Rules.
As for your e-mail....done!
As for the racy pictures, bring 'em on!
JAMES CATCHES US IN A DEATH WATCH FAUX PAS (10/23/98)
Just checking out your web site...there is a guy named Chris who picked Buck Leonard...Buck Leonard died within the last twelve months (for some reason I think it was February). He was an old Negro League player (who is in the Hall Of Fame). I have(had?) him in my pool and I saw his obit in Yahoo News when it happened. Check with the Baseball Hall Of Fame web site. They should be able to clear it up.
THE O.B.E. REPLYS:
You are correct sir! Actually, he died in 1997 though. This makes him a lost entry for the 1998 O.B.E. Thanks for the heads up though!
In addition, we notified Chris that he is now playing with a list of 19 (as per the rules). But, he is still winning!
DOROTHY SUMS IT UP IN A WORD (10/23/98)
SOME SWELL FEEDBACK FROM MATT'S COUSIN (10/18/98)
you guys crack me up. how many people know about you yet? i tell my friends at work to check you out. the way you word it is so funny.
keep up the great work from one of the worlds toughest critics,
AND FOLLOWS WITH:
really these "now in" notices crack me up.
you should have a "currently dying" category for some of the hollywood types and the work they put out at an annoying pace, for some, eddy murphy...............
REGARDING FRANK YANKOVIC (10/15/98)
BTW, isn't he Weird Al's dad or something?
THE O.B.E. ATTEMPTS TO REPLY (but Deborah's e-mail is full):
Actually, there have long been rumors that he is a distant relative of Weird Al. They have performed together but have been unable to confirm any relationship other than the last name and the accordion.
THREE DEATH HEADS WRITE ABOUT FLORENCE JOYNER (9/23/98)
no way .....you guys are the best...kudos to OBE...better than MSNBC and CNN
This is a shocker....I wonder how the nail business will manage....
TKYGOD INFORMS US OF A TYPO:
I didn't know that Florence Joyner was a man. Maybe that was why he won all those medals in the womens races. You would think that the press really would have made more of a hoopla when they found out she was a Mr. I'm sure that this had nothing to do with Steve or Matt's typing abilities. Hav a grate dei nad kep upp teh god werk!
TO WHICH THE O.B.E. SAYS:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're all thumbs over here. Need a proof reader.
A JUMPY JOHN (9/20/98)
When can join the sick festivities.....I figured it was a sign from heaven when I saw that Roddy McDowell is on his way out....That means Liz is falling fast....
This is like college ....when can I register
We will launch the 1999 O.B.E. Memorial Celebrity Death Watch on October 31, 1998. It's sure to be swell. The rules will change a bit (not too much though) and come 1999 we'll be adding lots of other features. Bet ya can't wait!
DAN RESPONDS TO THE TREE HUGGER KILLED BY THE TREE (9/18/98)
Your guys are sick....
I kinda like it.
AN ANXIOUS JK (9/17/98)
I look forward to entering for 1999. You guys are really funny. Where do I send my beans and when do I submit my list of 20.
Patience young Skywalker. New rules for the 1999 will be out on October 31, 1998. The game, though the same in principle will change logistically. We will be requiring 13 names instead of 20 and it will only cost 10 bucks. Ain't that swell?
In addition, we will be adding other swell FREE (yup we said FREE) games and fun activities. Look forward to having you become a Death Watcher in 1999.
SOME PRAISING E-MAIL FROM JODI (9/6/98)
Hello my DeathWatchers-- thought Gitkin would be too busy with his move to the IE to even know what was going on--What was I thinking? I think he's attached at the hip to his computer! Long live E-Mail huh Matty? I haven't officially met you Steve but have heard rumors (or stories) which is it? I'm Matt's Colleague (sounds professional anyway) Sorry I didn't fill out your questions but I'm new to the OBE and am enjoying all the antiks (spelling?). Thank God for men with a sense of humor! Thanks for the laughs--LONG LIVE THE OBE!! Sounds like a T-shirt slogan!! Hey halloween is coming up.
WE LOVE THAT EVE! (8/31/98)
Not that anyone sees my site anyway, but I gave you a link in case someone does come across it. Here's the page:
I read the mail bag w/ the freaky "God will get you in the end" girl. That was pretty cowardly of her to claim she was not the author of such a flame as that. PATH-edic!
Kiss kiss *slurp* :P
You called us endearing. That was touching.
You signed your email with a wet kiss. That was wonderful!
HERE WE GO AGAIN (8/29/98)
You Make Me Sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How would you feel if some one was betting on your DEATH you would not like it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU SHOULD BE KICKED OFF THE INTERNET!
What is the point these people are old and help less and you plan to compete with your friends to see if someone who has
contributed to this world to make it better.
"Which is more than any of you can say!!"
Don't worry God will put you in your place.
Some of these people have brought entertainment into our homes to make us laugh, to make us cry, and to just prove a point.
THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First off, you ought to read the whole page as we have repeatedly addressed persons of your opinion. Second, there is a difference between wishing someone ill and simply guessing if or when age or illness will claim them. Third, had you read the whole page, you would have realized that we fully recognize the fact that some of these folks have provided great entertainment and cultural benefits to society. For goodness sakes, we named the thing after a guy we think of as a cultural icon.
In the final analysis, folks like you always fall back on the same thing: "What would you think if someone bet on your death." Let us make this clear as a bell to you, WE'D LAUGH! See, there are people who feel so scared of death that they can't laugh at it. They are unable to sit back, slug a beer and say, "What the hell am I crying for, I'll be there one day too." No, these folks would rather say, "boo hoo", "What a shame", "Oh, I'll miss them" or some other trite, over used, empty words. Not us sister. We'd rather laugh ourselves silly. See, laughter is the best medicine. Really! It even says so in the Reader's Digest.
As an aside, we're always a little worried when someone starts spouting off about banning people from the internet. Then to add insult to injury, you tell us how God will punish us. We're pretty sure we see where you're coming from. Listen, give us a call when the inquisition is over, okay?
THEN THAT CHICKEN AMBER HAS THE NERVE TO SEND THIS:
You have sent email to the wrong address. DO NOT send another! I have no idea what in the world you are talking about. We have not sent you any email, other than this one. And, we will not send you any email. Thank you for your compliance.
IF THERE'S A PENIS JOKE HIDDEN, WE'LL FIND IT! (8/22/98)
Woody Stevens died. Who is he? Check AP. If not I'll try and get the newsflash up again.
We presume you meant Woody STEPHENS as opposed to Woody STEVENS, or worse yet, Stephen's Woody; the last of which we can assure you is alive (thanks to fifteen Viagras and a half dozen Playboys). Woody Stephens was a horse racing trainer. He trained 5 straight Belmont Stakes winners among other equestrian flights of fancy.
DAVID WANTS TO BE QUINCY (8/19/98)
It's one thing to know that they died, it's another to know what killed 'em. Some of them, especially the bald one on Star Trek the motion picture seems a little young to be fallin' over from natural causes. You're only tellin' half the story. What killed her?
You want us to know what killed these folks? That is morbid! You must think we're really sick.
Well, right you are! Presis Khambatta died of a heart attack (as opposed to a klingon attack) at the age of 49. Pneumonia got Leeds.
Now I can sleep tonight!
Keep up the good work, and keep it coming.
EVE GETS FRESH WITH THE GUYS (8/19/98)
Patty Ann Hodder, former Broadway dancer who starred in such hits as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "Me and Juliet," and "Pal Joey" kicked the bucket Friday (8/14) after a so-called long illness, according to yesterday's St. Petersburg Times (FL). Thought you might be remotely interested.
Yeah, we're REMOTELY interested in Patty Ann Hodder. But we're REALLY interested in that "Kiss, Kiss" stuff. Hubba, hubba.
DAMNIT, WE KNOW, STEVE CAN'T SPELL (8/12/98)
Hey, isn't it "Dennis", not "Denice"? Just checking!!!!
Sadly, yes it is.
STEVE CAN'T SPELL (8/12/98)
At the GREAT risk of a beating, I would like to point out that it is "Dennis" (sinned spelled backwards, I might add). Denice is a girl's name. How embarrasing for you.
Steve takes full blame for the poor spelling. His inattentive nature and inability to check his work are legend around the O.B.E headquarters. In addition, Matt kept Steve out late last night. Didn't Dennis have a sister though?
As an aside, the risk ain't all that GREAT so pipe down.
(By the way, it's "embarrassing". See Eve, we all have flaws).
MARVIN ON MAGIC (8/11/98)
Has Carol O' Connor recovered from his surgery and does Robin get a bagel for the Magic Show's demise?
Carol O'Connor is indeed recovering from his surgery. As for Robin, here's what she gets for the sorely needed cancellation of that piece of crap called the Magic Show..................
ROCK STAR QUESTIONS OUR POSTING LOGIC (8/8/98)
ROCK STAR WROTE:
You have Harry Carey listed in the OBE files, but forgot a recent entry. I think it is worth noting. Jack Brickhouse died just a couple of days ago in Chicago. If Harry was famous enough to make the list, then Jack, who did Bulls, WSox, Cubs, Bears, and various college games. He was THE Chicago sportscaster. Taking nothing away from Harry, but if he is here, so should Jack.
A lifelong White Sox fan (I do miss Harry)
Yeah? Brickhouse never sang "take me out to the ball game" in the seventh inning stretch! Get it?
ANOTHER 12 KILOBYTES OF EVE (8/5/98)
AFTER RECEIVING A HEART WRENCHING APOLOGY FROM EVE (WHICH MATT LOST) O.B.E. SAID:
Eve, take it easy... it would take more than 5 or six emails to piss us here at the OBE off... probably 8 or 9 would really do it. We are the most easy going folks I know. But don't cross us Eve, don't cross us... we are also some of the most grudge holding, revenge seeking, vendetta wishing bastards you'll ever meet, but since you and your friend are such cuties (an attribute that has yet to be proved by the way), we shall let this first indiscretion slide. Please, we invite all your friends (cute or not) to enjoy our humble page and play the OBE. A new game will be gearing up soon and the trivia page is always a source of frustration. Welcome to you and yours, Eve.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, EVE REPLYS (not once, but twice):
Jesus Christ!!! You scared the heck out of me!!! And these are the blessings and downfalls of email...you never quite know if you pissed someone off. I have been sarcastic many times, and there have been those who take it seriously, so forgive my brief panic...well, panic is a little strong...discomfort.
THEN SHE SAYS:
Okay, cool. So I have a Web site of my own that I did for a tech writing class--I have since graduated this past May. The pics on there are not the most flattering that I have ever taken, but perhaps you can judge for yourself and quit bugging me about proving my bottomless pit of adorableness: www.stpt.usf.edu/~egerlach
And contrary to my site, I no longer work at Domino's...and no I did not enjoy it, but I did embrace its utter tackiness.
My friend Angie has no such site, although she is the Bela that I refer to.
Don't disrespect me again in front of all of these people.
Enjoy it--and if you feel like it write me back and tell me whatcha think...not that I would change it anyway. I can't get into the account.
So you're a cute babe...
You proved us wrong...
Which people would 'these people' be?
You mean you don't hear them?
IS J.K. GETTING SQUISHY? (8/5/98)
Thanks for being gentle with Shari, she was special.
Look, they're all special. If they were just a bunch of plain Janes it wouldn't be much of a web page would it? We've made it seven full months without a Watcher going soft on us. Don't be the first.
TO J.K.'S CREDIT, THE REPLY IS:
This watcher isn't going soft, just thankful for your ... style.
A GINGER OBSERVATION (8/4/98)
first the howdy doody guy and now shari lewis.
Exactly! If we were Frank Oz, we'd be pretty uptight right about now.
A THESIS FROM THE MEDIA QUEEN (8/3/98)
I love being among the first to know who croaks! Thanks for all of your info. Could you please add my friend to your list? Her address is firstname.lastname@example.org I forward all of your messages to her anyway. And she is kinda cute.
Thanks for the kind words. As for your friend, we're always leary when a girl tells us her yet to be seen friend is "kinda cute". In spite of that fact, we'll add her to the list.
SO EVE SAYS:
Well, I am adorable, and you haven't seen me.
And modest too.
NOW YOU'D THINK EVE WOULD LET IT GO BUT INSTEAD SHE SAYS:
All in fun. How do you find out all of this stuff anyway? Or can you divulge such a source?
SO O.B.E., NOT TO BE RUDE, SAYS:
It's tough. Running this little Death Watch is a job that requires a great deal of effort. But with all those adorable gals watching, we try to do our best.
As for giving away our sources, there are far too many to explain. Each player and watcher is part of the Death Watch network. When they hear of a death, they notify us. You, adorable Media Queen, could be a source. Imagine that! In addition, we are forever checking the AP for word on those ailing in the limelight. We also check numerous web sites and news services daily. We are two idiots with some disturbing death fascinations......and we're cute too.
NOW, EVE STARTS GETTING MOUTHY:
Well, I want to be in on the list when it starts again--even though I know it is quite a ways off. Tabloids are a good place to look for ailing folk. According to one of them (I think the "Star" this week) Michael Jackson is convinced he is going to die this year. Arnold Swartzneger's (sp) heart has been giving him trouble, too--although I am not inclined to buy all of THAT story.
There is an obnoxious Web site out there called Barry's Web page that you may or may not have heard of. It shows grizzly pictures of death and maimings--makes rotton.com look like the Care Bears site. Every now and then I look at it out of morbid fascination, but I usually wind up with a headache or some seriously disturbing mental pictures.
If you want to see it, you can find it at yahoo, keywords barry's+web+page, and it comes right up. It's *pretty* bad, though.
More my speed is www.zooass.com --shooting Celine Dion, Ginger Spice and Hansen though cannons. So if you are at work and have nothing better to do, that's a good one.
WITH ALL THAT RAMBLING, THE O.B.E. HAD TO SAY:
You scare us. And that is saying something coming from two guys who run a Death Watch. As for Arnold, why wouldn't you believe it? The guy had heart surgery a few years back. He has a bum ticker.
EVE, THE DAMN ENERGIZER BUNNY, JUST KEEPS GOING:
Actually, I am quite bubbly.
But after I sent the last mail, I realized that I might have said "I wanna be on the list." I meant I want to be a player...to watch...ummm, okay, I am sure I look like a freak. But I am not that bad. I did say that Barry's Web page *bothered* me... very few people *don't* turn around to look at car accidents on the highway. That is why there are so many traffic jams. So everybody's got a morbid fascination in 'em.
But I would hate to see ol' Arnie go so early. For some reason, I like him. But I liked Phil Hartman, too. I was very sad to see him go.
Well, I'm outta here for the night. I'll be lurking for you.
FINALLY, MATT JUST COULDN"T TAKE IT ANYMORE. HE CRACKED:
Ok Eve... knock it off.... that makes a boat load of email that you have sent us today... and frankly.... we do not like it.... you are taking away from our precious slacking time.... what after checking all our death sources, etc. you are actually making us work. Now as for Steve, he is already at work, and trying desperately to NOT work and you are making him work, as for me (Matt) I have spent a lifetime trying to work as little as possible, and now you have dragged me into this an dare making me work, and I absolutely loathe that fact... yeah sure, you and your girlfriend are cute, but what does that mean?... I mean, I am cute, but what does that get me....bubkis... sure I have been spending my days in the sun in Los Angeles, while my boy Steve slaves his life away at a thankless job, yeah you can call Steve what you want, lover, friend, husband, anti-semite, whatever, but he is a damn hard worker for someone who hates to work, - as for me you can call me what you want too, friend, professor, co-commissioner, whatever, but I hate to work, just ask my students.... Now for Chrissakes leave us alone... alone with ourselves, life, webpage, and deaths, we'll contact you!!! OK.... now I hate to box your ears back like this but Steve is overworked the way it is... and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you bog him down, 'cause then I'll be responsible to pick up the slack.... NO WAY.... ok... I've said my piece... good... that's a load off.... wheew... ok.... now that that is done, will we be hearing from you soon?
AS AN ASIDE, I AM NOT AN ANTI-SEMITE. I JUST HATE MATT, WHO HAPPENS TO BE JEWISH.-Steve
MAIL FROM BARLOW (7/30/98)
i recently sent something your way re: jimmy driftwood. however, my name's not chris. he's my business partner- and the internet account's in his name. i'm barlow. i publish an entertainment mag in west virginia (also distributed in ohio and kentucky). i use your site as a reference for a little monthly column we do called "the weekly reaper." (weekly reader, get it? real funny, right) anyway, thanks for much of this info i can't always find elsewhere. an address'll get you present and back issues of the reaper (hotface magazine). keep up the good (?) work. also, did i beat ya to that howdy doody fucker?
Thanks for the swell e-mail. We always appreciate folks who enjoy what we're doing. Heck, we're doing it for you guys! Hope to have you play in the 1999 O.B.E. Memorial Celebrity Death Watch.
In the interim, you'll excuse us if we refrain from handing out our mailing address for a bit. We're looking into getting an "official" O.B.E. mailing address in just a few short months and would like to limit correspondence regarding the Watch to that mailing address. See, we love our fans, but who the hell knows if we can trust 'em. Ya know.
Please hold on to those back issues, as we'd love to see 'em. And for goodness sakes, keep watching.
P.S. Yes you beat us to the death notice. But we don't think Buffalo Bob did THAT to Howdy, do you? Really, the splinters would kill (and maybe they did).
IT APPEARS JACKIE IS JONESING ON BOB MCALLISTER (7/23/98)
Didn't realize my pearl of wisdom was so exciting. I actually made your "Mailbag". This is truly a red letter day for me. I actually competed on the playing field of youth, and was recognized! God bless Bob McAllister!
Indeed, God bless Bob McAllister........and all hail Bob Keeshan.
MARSHA ON ROBERT YOUNG (7/22/98)
If I may be so bold....I might have known about this death EVEN before you did. I have an inside scoop on R.Y. Even though I'm not officially playing YET... No questions PLEASE!!!
JACKIE ON BOB MCALLISTER (7/22/98)
Hey, what about Bob McAllister? Does anybody here have an aardvark? Wonder if he'll find one in heaven?
K.C. ON JEANETTE NOLAN (7/21/98)
We just heard Jeanette Nolan died last week. She was a Laguna resident, but had some prominent profile...?
Just passing it along ....... if it isn't of interest.............
We think we sent out a bulletin on Jeanette Nolan. We just didn't list her on the page. Why? Who the hell knows really. We list those folks we find humorous or any person on a player's list. Objective? Nah! But we never promised you a rose garden. Just a list of fertilizer.
RON ASKS ABOUT GOMER PYLE (7/21/98)
Are you saying that Jim Nabors is NOT yet dead? Also, can you tell me his birthdate? Please respond.
Jim Nabors, star of such hits as The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and, lest we forget, The Lost Saucer , was born on June 12, 1933 in Sylacauga, Alabama.
All indications are Mr. Nabors is alive. However, his career seems to have died somewhere in the later part of the 1980s. In addition, his liver went a while back. Not to worry though, he has someone else's liver now. Let's just hope it ain't Larry Hagman's old one (or worse yet, David Crosby's).
ROB WANTS TO KNOW OUR POSTING CRITERIA (7/21/98)
you guys write about the guy who played the Father on Lassie 40 years and blow off legendary hall of fame athletes? Where are the priorities? Who's next?
Where are our priorities? Where are our priorities? Rob, we run a web page with the intent of guessing who's gonna croak. We do it for fun and prizes. We poke fun at the recently demised. And you want to know where are priorities are? Our priorities are obviously in the same location as our standards and minds.....The gutter. And we're damn proud of it. Jeesh.
SO ROB RESPONDS:
ok just checking. carry on
A WHOLE BIG MARSHA THING (7/16/98)
I just found you guys today. As morbid as it is, I want to play. Is there any way (even though half of the year is history) I can make my picks? I'm relatively new at the internet search so bear with me please. I just want to be in it for the fun.....don't need any monetary rewards....already have wealthy relatives for that. Maybe I just want to know that someone read this message and will talk back to me....that's how new I am on the internet. There hasn't been an opportunity for anyone to respond to me, with the exception of e-mail, as this is the first web page I've responded to. Humor me guys!!
It's always "I'M new at this." "Humor ME." ME, ME, ME. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. What the hell about Jan and Cindy, huh? Ever think of them? And how about poor Peter? Struggling between adolescent urges and the taboo of perceived incest. What the hell about that? Tell me that one Marsha.
By the way, send our best to Alice. She's one hot broad. Wonder if she'll keel over soon? Hmmmm.
Now that that is out of the way....
You can enter the 1999 pool which will be posted for entry in late October. In the meantime, play the trivia game, which is free, posted at least twice a month. Also, drop by frequently as we are forever posting viewer mail and other fun stuff.
Welcome to the O.B.E. We're glad to have you on board (though Jan might have been a bit more complex).
TO WHICH MARSHA SAYS:
Let's not sugar-coat it or anything....give it to me straight guys!!! I am being extremely honest when I tell you, you are the first "unknown" subject that I have made contact with since I got this laptop. (which was only 5 months ago) I've been doing alot of "surfing" as they say, but not making any contact. So aren't YOU special?!? I appreciate the info, and yes, I would be interested in being a part of the October death-wish guessing game, so I'll stay in touch. By the way.....Cindy's a slut...Jan is a psychotic schizophrenic (so if that makes her more complex than me, I can deal with that) As for Peter...well he's doing just fine...it's Greg you should be worrying about. And for the record...if I hear my name said three times consecutively one more time, I'm going to have to destroy someone. (Sorry Bobby...you just weren't worth mentioning!)
THEN O.B.E. RAMBLES ON WITH:
Make it Bob Hope. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.
AND FOR GOOD MEASURE MATT ADDS:
Now that Steve, my worst half and co-commissioner of the OBE Death Watch, has had his say and has poked fun at you, let me put in my two cents worth.
As co-founder and 'left' coast commissioner (and better looking of the two) of the OBE... I would like to take this moment to welcome you to 1) the family of the world wide web and 2) [and more importantly] to the OBE Celebrity Death Watch. We are a small yet humble site, but one which will afford you hours and hours of morbid mayhem.
So if you will now take the time to jot down all your credit card numbers, expiration dates, and your full name along with your mother's maiden name we will all get along fine.
all right, perhaps not... in any case... welcome, welcome, welcome... or as we say in Iran... Ah sram, Ah sram, Ah sram.... wait!!!! isn't Ah sram nothing but MARSHA backwards?
FAYE WRAY...HEY HEY (7/15/98)
Did you not upgrade the list? SHE DID PASS ON, DIDN'T SHE?
I guess we forgot to list her because she is still alive. You must be mistaking her with that other actor from the movie......King something we think.
MORE SHOULD HAVES........ (7/14/98)
what about jimmy driftwood (nee james campbell morris) singer/songwriter who in 1957 penned "the battle of new orleans." it became a hit in 1960 when redone by johnny horton. also wrote johnny cash' "tennessee stud." died of a stroke on 7/12/98 at the age of 91.
Regarding Mr. Driftwood. He's dead from what we hear. And yeah, he is famous to some limited extent. But, as you will see from answers to previous e-mails on the O.B.E. mailbag page, dead and somewhat famous ain't always enough.
See, it's like this.....Johnny Cash counts as a celebrity of note. "The guy who writes for Johnny Cash" doesn't.
ZACH ON STACK(7/10/98)
do you think good old robert stach should be on the list. all your picks seem decent enough yet they lack the true randomness that authentic dead pools thrive upon. you seem to enjoy pegging those good olde folks around(i.e. those 1880 chicks, strom thurmond, hume cronyn and others). now, i can only speak for myself when i say one michael j. fox is infinitely more interesting than 1000 willford brimleys. not to mention the guy who makes the sounds on police academy. too tall or something? well these are just some suggestions that could spice up(maybe one of those wenches?) your slightly morbid list.
We appreciate the randomness (and humor) of death. Certainly Bob StacK could be worm food. Shoot, if we're gonna toss a guess in the ring, what about Gary Coleman. High humor element there. Perhaps Stockard Channing, just because. Matt always favors the Olsen twins for a random act of divine mercy (for example a plane crash or auto accident). Steve is a pretty firm believer in the whole Buddy Ebsen theory.
All valid, all relevant, all fun. So, we presume we'll see an entry with ZACH scribbled across the bottom in late 1998. In the interim, stop picking on our picks....We've got the most hits out of our little pool here in O.B.E. land and we can't even win the damn cash.
P.S. You didn't rally say Michael J. Fox was interesting, did you?
SOME WORDS ON OLD DIRTY BASTARD (7/9/98)
I heard that Old Dirty Bastard, rap whatever, shot himself or got shot in the foot. Any valuable insight on this? Could Coolio be close behind with the always misbehavin crew?
Let's think about this for a moment. Urban youth singing about "capping" guys, glorifying a culture of kill or be killed. Shoot, we oughta be betting on who'll live.
Old Gimpy Bastard actually got up in the middle of the night and left the hospital. Imagine that.
NICE WORDS FROM LEA (7/8/98)
I just wanted to thank you for the sweet little macabre twist you add to my day with your updates.
YET ANOTHER STUMP THE O.B.E. TYPE QUESTION (7/8/98)
Did Sid Luckman go BEFORE Roy Rogers ????
This is extremely important for the pool I run. The person who had Roy Rogers in my pool has probably already mentally spent his $6700.00 winnings, however, in my pool only the FIRST person to die each month "Wins" (unless they fall on the same calendar day, which causes a split of $$$).
Please let me tap into your powerful resources for the almighty answer to this mess so as I may inform my winners and/or losers A.S.A.P.!!!!
Please, Please, Please keep the silly e-mails coming....
As far as we can tell, Luckman went first.
A QUICK UPDATE FROM EVE (7/8/98)
It turns out it is true--they also said it on "Extra" or some such show. I am glad I could give you correct information for once :)
General rule of thumb.......If it's on Extra, believe it!
SO MUCH FOR THE NEWS IN FLORIDA FOLKS (7/7/98)
I heard today on the radio that according to Britian's royal family's housekeeper, Princess Di was buried in the royal pet cemetery. They had to take out the headstones of a couple of hunting dogs to fit her in. (WFLA radio, Tampa/St. Pete, FL)
That is sick! We feel terrible about this news. Just terrible. Those poor hunting dogs.
UH, SOMEBODY WAKE STACEY UP (7/6/98)
I feel really bad, but am I the *only* one who thought he'd been dead for years?
We think you may have had him confused with Trigger.
A WATCHER WANTS TO KNOW HOW WE PICK THE FOLKS FOR THE DEAD PAGE...SORTA (7/6/98)
You guys need to acknowledge the passing of legendary college and pro football hall of famer, Sid Luckman. An all america quarterback at Columbia and all pro and three time league MVP with the Chicago Bears, Luckman also was Jewish making him a rarity on the field. He was 81.
The plentiful nature of celebrities makes it tough to include each and every death on the O.B.E. We include in our postings popular cultural icons in all arenas. However, we do not list every senator, ball player, congressman, etc.. that keels over. We try to stick to folks who are household names or folks who appear on someone's 1998 list. We would not argue that our criteria is somewhat biased and, in the end, entirely up to us. Hell, we would go so far as to proclaim that fact from the highest tomb stone.
If Joe Namath dies, rest assured we'll post him. Because he was a good football player? Nah! Because of the Brady Bunch episode and the appearances on Love Boat! Get our drift?
OKAY, OKAY, SO WE SCREWED UP (6/30/98)
REGARDING TRIVIA GAME 18, RICHARD WROTE:
According to two separate sources, Paul Newman's Oscar was 1993. Am I incorrect or is this just a matter of semantics regarding when the ceremony actually took place?
Also, I've tried twice to e-mail you and I'm not sure I have a good address for you, so maybe could you e-mail me back just to confirm I exist.
A poorly worded question is at fault. The award was given in 1994. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards for the previous year so the award was, in fact, a 1993 award.
It should have read "This fella was awarded an honorary Oscar for his charity work in 1994."
Our apologies. But hell, we run this thing in every waking moment of spare time and there are only two of us, both with jobs. None the less, we appreciate you catching our error and graciously grant you one "free" trivia game win. The win is good towards the trivia game prize at the conclusion of 1998 (should you gain the most correct answers). Your free win will be posted on the Trivia Answer Page shortly. Your mail will, of course reach our Mail Bag along with our response.
As for the e-mail issue. The HTML code seems to fart in Microsoft Explorer. We're working on that. Our addresses are posted elsewhere in the page. We hope to clear up this issue with a posting on the O.B.E. Bulletin Board in the interim.
AN INQUIRY FROM BRETT (6/29/98)
I guess it's too late to send in my picks for 1998, right ? When will I be able to submit picks for the new year - 1999 ?
Would you please email me back and let me know when to do so ?
The 1999 Old Blue Eyes Memorial Celebrity Death Watch will kick off on or about October 31, 1998. At this time, modified rules for the 1999 pool should be in place along with other changes for the 1999 calendar year. Some of the changes you should see are a decrease in the cost of play (we're thinking 10 clams), a possible change in the manner in which lists are "scored" (especially for tie breakers), and a fresh new look to the page. The pool will be open to all and your participation is welcomed with opened coffins!
In the interim, feel free to participate in the O.B.E. Trivia Game which posts twice a month (or more) at trivia. Also, surf the O.B.E. for fun and wacky information about all kinds of things most sane persons are ashamed to talk about.
Thanks for stopping by the page and keep in touch.
A QUESTION FROM JOYCE (6/25/98)
it surprises me how quickly you post post-celebrities. i mean, their headstones are hardly being chiseled yet and you're marking (or is it mocking?) their graves. don't get me wrong, i LOVE it.
so it surprises me that carlos castinada hasn't made it to your site yet, and he's been dead for a couple of weeks now. what gives? perhaps you think he's just on another one of his long walks through the desert....
He isn't on our page 'cause he quite simply isn't the pop culture icon we typically list. He doesn't appear on anyone's list and he isn't the cool, trendy figure we know and love. In a word he was a "crackpot".
A FINE QUOTE FROM GINGER (6/24/98)
Humans are the only species that protect their stupid from the forces of evolution.
BRYAN INQUIRES ABOUT GILLIGAN (6/21/98)
What was that about Bob Denver being busted. Was it at a place called Lake Berryessa? Did you know that all of Bob's offspring look just him?
Here's what the O.B.E. knows about the whole Bob Denver thing..............
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
Of a West Virginia bloke
Who got a package in the mail
Filled with leaf to smoke.
Filled with leaf to smoke.
Two ounces came by courier.
And to Gilligan's surprise
The fella who delivered it
Was an agent in disguise.
An agent in disguise.
The officer cuffs Gilligan,
Little Buddy, for smoking bud
If I were in Bob Denver's shoes
I'd sure feel like a pud.
I'd sure feel like a pud.
So Gilligan gets a hefty fine
And he may serve some time
With drug offenders,
Hardened criminals and their bitches,
The warden and a drug counselor all on Gilligan's retirement!
A NOTE FROM JODY REGARDING AN ARTICLE IN WHICH THE O.B.E. WAS MENTIONED (6/19/98)
Hey, congrats to you guys for making the paper. Your dead pool is now nationally recognized. (Well at least it's locally recognized.) Now you'll have people breaking down the door to get in next year. Way to go, fellows.
P.S. With Frankie out of the way, what's the name for next years pool?
Thanks for the congratulations on our first (but not our last we hope) appearance in the news media. Certainly an endeavor such as ours merits vast media coverage. Far more so than say, some silly peace accord in Ireland or a few minor explosions over in in India. It reassures us to see that the news media really understands the meaning of news!
As for the name. It will Remain the O.B.E. However, we are toying with making it the O.B.E. Memorial Celebrity Death Watch. We shall see.
Thanks again for your fond wishes.
COMMENTS REGARDING THAT DOPE FIEND GILLIGAN (6/16/98)
I surely would've informed you, but you guys are so on top of everything that I assumed you knew... Mama always told me never to assume... I've been a bad bad girl.. can you ever forgive me? There is an article in Entertainment Weekly about the insane amount of drug imagery in the show.. those trippy dreams; Gilligan always had the munchies for coconut cream pies; the girls wore grass skirts, Skipper called Gilligan "little bud"... Sorry for not letting you in on it...
Stacey (Am I forgiven?)
BTW Natalie Schaefer (Lovey Howell) was born in my hometown... just a lil' trivia
We at the O.B.E. are temperamental lot......so, as quickly as we cast barbs we forgive. Yes, you are forgiven. As for Lovey Howell, we hear she was a crack head who prostituted herself out to every sailor and scientist on the island to support her habit. Of course, that's just vicious rumor.
Get over it!!!! Wah, Wah. Isn't it you guys who are supposed to keep us informed??!!!
AND THE O.B.E. REPLIED:
Look, if you read the friggin rules page you'd see that players are supposed to let us know of deaths (and other cool celebrity stuff). That is part of the charm of our little internet death bonanza.
So, lose the 'tude and save some of that refer for Gilligan. He'll be out of the pen and jonesing for doobie before you can say, "Skipper."
SOME INFORMATIVE E-MAIL FROM ROB (6/15/98)
Did you hear about the passing of actress Teresa Merritt. She was a veteran black actress who got her start on the stage in the 1940's. Here most popular role was in the ABC sitcom from the 70s', That's My Mama. She played Mama. This series was the springboard for accomplished actor Ted Lange(Isaac of Love Boat fame). Just thought you should know.
Actually, we had not heard about Ms. Merritt. Though we're not convinced she is an icon worthy of the "Who's Dead" page, she must be cool as she is remotely affiliated with The Love Boat (a show which was clearly the high point in American television). If anything else "exciting and new" comes aboard, let us know. "We're expecting you" to.
SOME NICE E-MAIL FROM STEVE'S PAL FRANK (6/15/98)
Your website is great (and morbid). I enjoyed reading the info and recounting the celeb's we've lost this year - how sad. Some real shockers for 1997 (i.e. BONO and HARTMAN). Keep up the good work. I'm going to try the trivia now.
EVE'S FAUX PAS (6/6/98)
Just dropping you a line to give you an update on your lists--Johnny Cash died recently. (I am pretty sure it was him) But I saw his name was not crossed off yet.
TO WHICH THE O.B.E. SAYS:
We've not seen the Johnny Cash news in the AP. We just ran a check over the last 14 days and came up empty handed. Is this something you just heard?
Of course, we'll look into this further. Unless it just happened today, 6/6/96, we think ya may be off on this one.
If you hear anything, do let us know. The Death Watch depends on the support of viewers like you (We don't get any stinking grants from the Ford Foundation).
AND EVE REPLYS:
You know--I am so embarrassed-it was Eddie Rabbit--not J Cash. I am very sorry if I caused a panic. But you know how reliable those AP's are.
Again--I got the names mixed up.
Oh my--I will have my list next Jan. If you think you'll be doing this in 2014, I will put Drew Barymoore down. I mean can you see her getting old? I think not. she'll be done at 35.
ANOTHER GAME OF STUMP THE DEATH WATCH (6/3/98)
I thought since you are the gurus of celebrity deaths, I would ask you to identify a comedian that died maybe five years ago.
He was on the Tonight Show and his eyes looked bugged out all the time. He always stuck his tongue out when he laughed at his own punch line. He had balding hair and was in his mid 40's.
I think he died unexpectedly.
Do you know his name?
Any information would be helpful.
If we are not mistaken the comedian that you are referencing is the NYC teacher turned comedian... Dennis Wolfberg.
We do hope that this helps you out a bit.
Yes! That is him. Thank you for the information.
This will help me win a bet with a friend.
A NICE NOTE FROM GINGER (5/29/98)
your site is hysterical.
I had to check after Troy McClure. Do you guys keep up with the "celebrity deaths always come in threes" thing? We got 2 smooth talkers so far. there's always something that ties the 3 together. example: Divine, John Holmes and Andy Gibb all died within a couple of weeks.
If you can't laugh at death then what's the point?
We keep after the demise of the rich and famous a best we can. It's a rough job but someone has to do it. Why not two blithering idiots, huh?
As for death coming in threes, we are not so sure there is validity to that. Certainly you can find instances of it, but at the same time we are sure you can find instances when it is not so. One thing is certain though, death comes. You can run, but you can't hide. So, what the hell...may as well have a chuckle about it.
Please send our regards to Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his wife, the Professor and Mary Ann. If you ever get off that confounded island look us up.
HERE'S A GAL WHO THINKS WE SKIPPED A CORPSE (5/28/98)
Just wanted you to know you skipped a death... Rozz Williams, singer and musician in several punk/goth/deathrock bands such as Christian Death, EXP, Shadow Project, etc died April 1, 1998. They found him hanging in his LA apartment... Of interest that two punkrock Williamses died in the same week. (wendy o.)
Actually, we did not "miss" the death of Rozz Williams. We simply didn't feel Rozz had the name recognition our little Death Watch knows and loves.
A QUICK GAME OF STUMP THE DEATH WATCH (5/20/98)
My husband and I have a bet going...did Kirk Douglas die? I say no, my husband says yes. Who wins?
THE OBE REPLYS:
Kirk Douglas, real name Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born in Amsterdam, New York on December 9, 1916. He suffered a stroke several years ago which severely impacted his speech. He is (unless they are hiding something from us) alive and kicking!
You win Karen.
A VIEWER NEWS FLASH (A BIT LATE THOUGH) (5/17/98)
Hear the news?...Gonna change yer site?...eh?...
THE OBE SAYS:
Have we heard the news? Come now.
Of course we're not gonna change the name. The O.B.E. Celebrity Death Watch will remain as such. Though the Watch, in its original non-internet form, was formed to track the status of The Chairman, it grew into so much more. The internet version, as we presume you've seen, tracks various celebrity deaths. However, we'll keep the name in memorial to a great guy.
Although, the Milton Berle Celebrity Stiffy or the Bob Hope Celebrity Death Classic may work...Hmmmm
TO WHICH BILL SENT BACK:
"The Milton Berle Celebrity Stiffy" Heh, I like THAT.....USE THAT!!
And remember, if Frank's gonna save ANYBODY any seats up there.. ..will YOU be one of them?...
A MOSTLY FOND GOOD-BYE TO FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA (5/15/98)
Rather than answer each and every e-mail and phone call we received (and they ran close to 50) we thought we would just extend our thanks to all you O.B.E. Death Watchers for your thoughts on the passing of Frank. The Death Watch is a load of fun but it is not devoid of feeling. Sadly, there are still some who fail to get the joke that is mortality. Matt and Steve were in a deep state of mourning when they received this cruel letter from someone who, we're sure, thinks they are above all this!
SIMONE FONTAINE WROTE:
You are PATHETIC get a life
TO WHICH WE REPLIED:
Thanks for kicking us in the balls while our hero lies chilling! Maybe you need a quick lesson.....Life is for learning, loving, and most of all laughing. Death comes. We who live must laugh, mostly because we will be there some day too. Ya know what, It seems to us that those folks who find us gross fear death like the Dickens. They fail to see it as a natural progression in the human condition and the world cycle. What a damn shame. And some of 'em are even so brazen as to be down right insulting to the living. One would think that a person so disturbed by death might have the intelligence and manners to state a salient point to the living. Sheesh, guess that is asking too much.
SIMONE...we'd like you to meet a fella named Bernhard. Try the Mail Bag.
SOME NICE MAIL FROM A NEW FAN (5/11/98)
I just thought I'd tell ya how much I really DIG your page. It is REALLY up to date. I didn't know that Eddie Rabbit was dead. He sang one of my favorite tunes called, "Every Which Way But Loose". Please keep me updated about new "interrees". Thanks!
TO WHICH US COOL O.B.E. GUYS WROTE:
Glad you enjoyed the page. We at the O.B.E. attempt to remain on the cutting edge of celebrity demise. Why? you ask. Because we're a bunch of goof balls, that's why!
Stop by frequently, play the trivia game, look for news, use our chat room, just plain old make yourself at home. We have added you to the illustrious O.B.E. mailing list, so you will receive Bulletins from us from time to time.
Welcome aboard and thanks for stopping by.
AIN'T WE SWEET!
THE SILLIEST TRIVIA FOLLOW-UP SO FAR (4/17/98)
DONNA GOT GAME 8 WRONG WITH THIS ANSWER:
Okay, here goes:
1. SAMMY DAVIS JR. - (our blind in one eye friend) was in The Cannonball Run with Terry Bradshaw.
2. STUTTERING JOHN is Howard Stern's obnoxious, yet funny regular who asks pompous guests questions.
3. The voice of Darth Vader and every other voice-over you could imagine is JAMES EARL JONES. It's a wonder that he has a speech impediment and spent much of his young life as a "mute" because he was ashamed of his stuttering problem.
COMMON THREAD: Sammy couldn't see in on eye. John stutters. And so does James.
They all are celebrities with disabilities.
AFTER BEING INFORMED THAT SHE WAS INCORRECT AND SEEING THE WINNER FOR THAT TRIVIA GAME POSTED, DONNA RESPONDED WITH THIS:
I know!! I feel like such a tool!! I realized it right after I sent it that Mel Tillis was also in the Rat Pack. You guys are so tricky!!
TO WHICH THE O.B.E. HAS TO SAY:
Yeah, we think Terry Bradshaw was in the Rat Pack also. Uh, Donna, we hate to break it to ya, but Mel Tillis wasn't in the Rat Pack. As funny an image as that might be.
THE BEST TRIVIA ANSWER SO FAR (4/17/98)
JENNIE WON GAME 8 WITH THIS VERY FUNNY SET OF CORRECT ANSWERS:
Okay the first is Edward the VIII, that gadfly the second is Joe Kennedy, that egomaniacal dynasty-maker and the third is Henry Ford, (about whom I have a good joke)
And, the only connection I can think of is that they were all anti-semites to a degree, and were all openly sympathetic to Nazi Germany...what winners.
p.s. I had the distinct honor (horror) of hosting the Baywatch Talent Search at my school last night. I leave the mental picture to ya'all but there were several strippers...
LE STOPPED BY (4/9/98)
You say you didn't know when the Pope was born...the answer is May 18.1920. You also don't give an age beyond "darn old" for the Queen Mother... born August 4,1900.
I've added you to the Great Dead pool List Page.
Thanks for the info. We probably could have found both those ages, but damn we're lazy. By the way, we still contend that 98 is "darn old".
As for adding our little corner of the web to "The Great Dead Pool List Page", that we REALLY appreciate. If you are running a page, let us know. We are assembling a links page ourselves. It would not only be our pleasure, but our friggin honor to add your page to it.
VISITOR MAIL FROM THE CATFISH (4/9/98)
Not at all your normal quite pit stop on the road of life, but it is neat.
Just a thought, I looked at your list of those having "checked out" so far this year. What about that Kennedy guy that bit it on the slopes the same week as Sony Bono? Would he have counted?
Thanks for stopping by the O.B.E. and taking the nickel tour. We were not shooting for your normal pit stop but rather one that made folks laugh, remember a few celebrities past and present, and maybe think about death in a different light. But of course, mostly laugh.
As for Kennedy skiing into a tree. That occurred in 1997, so it didn't make our page. Sonny on the other hand, keeled in 1998. Presto...Page-o.
MAIL FROM THE QUEEN OF LAURENCE HARBOR (4/3/98)
I finally had a chance to visit your "brilliant" documentary of the 1st Annual O.B.E. Caucus. Genius!!! I can only say these things because I understand those minds (do I??!!). You guys are wacked. I guess I am, too. I continue to "watch."!!!!
BERNHARD REPLYS (3/16/98)
I would certainly not argue that death is a normal and necessary part of life. Nor would I argue that facing death as a very natural thing in human life is a good attitude. However, sharing these beliefs is still far away from putting up such a page. How would you like to have your own grandfather be "displayed" like this ? At least, you would probably accept if he didn't like to be displayed like this, publicly ?? Sinatra has made it very clear these months that he doesn't want his health status being an element of public discussion. This may be annoying, but has to be respected.
Paying "respect" is a matter of having style. And as I indicated in my previous letter, I think your 'death watch' is just tasteless and doesn't have any style. As you write you not only admire Frank's music but also his "life style", maybe better check your archives, and the interviews again. 'Decency' is a word very often quoted by Sinatra. It won't be quoted often, however, in connection to your page. Be it Sinatra or anybody else.
WHAT'S THE O.B.E. SAY:
I'm afraid we will stone wall on this point. Best wishes and good luck. Keep laughing. We do!
NASTY NOTE FROM AN ANONYMOS PERSON (3/12/98)
Bet on which celebrity is going to die when! This is incredibly sick and it's a disgrace. You should really learn to grow up. Why don't you try Las Vegas instead?
Sorry kids, no O.B.E. response to this one because the coward failed to provide a real e-mail address. Not only are they scared of death but of dialogue as well.
THIS FELLA DOESN'T SEEM TO LIKE US TOO MUCH (3/11/98)
L. ANDERSON WROTE:
You guys are sick fuckers. The only death watch that I'd attend is yours.
THE O.B.E. REPLY:
Hello Mr. Anderson:
We presume from your subject line that you are disturbed by the Frank Sinatra reference. Let us make something clear, the O.B.E. Commissioners are both big fans of the Chairman of the Board. One of the reasons we like him so much is his attitude: one should live life on his or her own terms and most importantly, ENJOY IT!
With this in mind, you should understand that we believe in enjoying life and accepting its natural end (even laughing at it). Sure we could get all weepy for weeks after a celebrity (or anyone else for that matter) dies but that would not only be a downer, it would be fake. Instead, we opt to recognize a persons career and achievements, as displayed on the O.B.E. Who's Dead Page, and to laugh (not at THE death, but at DEATH).
We have got a news flash for you: you, us, all our neighbors, friends, and everyone else on this godforsaken little ball of soil are going to die. So, we can either mope around ad nauseum each time it happens or we can mourn briefly and respectfully, then laugh it up. As far as we're concerned, life is to friggin short to mope around. So, we're standing in the laugh it up line. Ever hear of an Irish wake? They've got the right idea!!!
If one of the O.B.E. Commissioners does keel over, the other will be sure to let you know. I'm certain the deceased would be honored to see you have a chuckle. We like chuckles, they make life a little easier.
By the way, you are correct, we are sick fuckers. But we're happy fuckers too.
MAN ARE WE SICK OF LENI RIEFENSTAHL (3/3/98)
DAVE H. (A Death Watcher Watcher) WROTE:
You have Leni Riefenstahl listed as "Mr. Riefenstahl" -- she's a WOMAN. And yes, while she did make the movies "Olympia" and "Triumph of the Will" for Hitler, she was not a Nazi and has had a productive (not what you're thinking) life since then. (The fact that a woman was such a recognized artist that Hitler asked her to make movies for him should tell you something about her.)
Anyway, while she's probably a good pick to die this year, don't damn her to the 'fiery pits' without knowing anything about her. (If you're really interested, check out the movie "The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl") Sorry about the preachiness, but I'm a German teacher and the whole "every German who was alive during WWII is an evil Nazi and should burn in hell" attitude really galls me.
You've got a cool page, in any case.
TO WHICH THE O.B.E. REPLYS:
Our initial error regarding Ms. Riefenstahl's gender was brought to our attention in February and was corrected (see the O.B.E. bulletin board page --now the Mail Bag Page--). Unfortunately, through poor O.B.E. file management (we run this thing off two different computers) the incorrect gender information was reposted. That problem was immediately corrected upon receipt of your e-mail.
As for Leni being a swell gal, you certainly would have more info on that than we do. We didn't intend to, nor do we believe we did, imply "every German alive during WWII was a Nazi" One of the O.B.E. commissioners had grandparents who were German, were alive and well during WWII, and were clearly not Nazis.
We took a few minutes to look around the internet for info on the film you mentioned. Here's a blurb from a review found here:
"The documentary is a compelling view into the life of one of the important
figures in wartime Germany. One is left with the picture of someone who is
complex and brilliant, but who has never owned up to the role that she played
in promoting totalitarianism. She gives hints into what process she went
through, saying that to accept guilt of that magnitude would be to devour
(zerfleischen) oneself. "
It is interesting to note that the review does indicate the films played a role in promoting totalitarianism. That isn't what we would want on our headstone.
I guess in the end it comes down to this, your expertise lies in German, ours does not. However, we don't make any claims towards running a history page. We are running a little death pool for humorous purposes. Our page is laden with sarcasm and, in some opinions, tasteless or objectionable material. But, it is funny.
Plain and simple, we are not in the business of maligning entire cultures. But a few nasty, and perhaps unmerited, jabs at the folks listed should be viewed in the manner they are intended. That is to make our players and visitors chuckle at a topic otherwise painful and desperately unpleasant ... Death.
Thanks for your feedback. We really do appreciate folks visiting and taking the time to look around our little corner of the Web (as you obviously did). We'd be happy to place you on our e-mailing list if you'd like, just e-mail us and let us know. In addition, feel free to join in the O.B.E. Trivia Game (it's free).
SOME DEATH WATCHER WATCHER MAIL (2/27/98)
Isn't Carl Perkins the first rock 'n roll musician to die of natural causes?
THE O.B.E REPLY:
Are you implying that drowning in ones own vomit, blowing ones brains out, and getting shot by a stalking fan are unnatural acts? How dare you!
Really, don't know. Try posting that question to alt.obituaries.
MORE DEATH WATCHER MAIL (2/26/98)
Thought this may be of interest for all those who selected RR.
DEATH WATCHER MAIL (2/25/98)
Hey, I've got a question for you. Why do you send the O.B.E. updates to all the people who couldn't be bothered with playing the game in the first place? I paid my $20 for these updates, while they get them for free.
Just a thought....
THE O.B.E REPLY:
The O.B.E. Celebrity Death Watch continuously attempts to stir up interest in its activities so that we can increase participation and, consequently, lower each players cost next year. To that end, we actively pursue the interest of both players and non-players. Typically, we hide the mailing list as a Bcc. But, we screwed that up last night ('cause we were so worked up about poor Henny). Sorry about that.
In addition, we are planning to rethink some of the rules for next year. Some of the ideas on the table are:
1) a single winner (instead of three places)
2) a free bucket of chicken dinner for the commissioners
3) a supplementary system for breaking ties
4) a giant mural of Monica Lewinsky as a background on the homepage
We will discuss these and other matters of importance at the first O.B.E. Commissioner's Caucus to be held in Long Beach, CA and, possibly, Las Vegas, NV at the end of March 1998. By the way, only two of those ideas are really on the table. The scary thing is, which two?
Yours in mortality,
The guys at the O.B.E.
HOW DUMB ARE THE GUYS AT O.B.E.? (2/19/98)
Pretty dumb! We received this e-mail on February 19, 1998.
It's a sorry state of affairs when the two guys running this ridiculous endeavor
pick a person to buy the farm and don't even know their gender. A sorry state
of affairs, but a fact of life. We extend our thanks to Dan & Victoria
for having keen eyes and a working knowledge of film history. Jeesh, and
we thought we knew a bit about WWII. Well, we still think that Josef Goebbels
had a great rack.
WELCOME TO FEBRUARY (2/1/98)
Although a little after the event, this e-mail from Dave-o is still pretty darn funny. It ties in a tragic accident with a darn funny show!
OUR FIRST PLAYER MAIL-IN (1/7/98)
Man, this one kills us (oops). Thanks to SHIM for this lovely memorial to not one, but two stiffs.