Joseph Brooks
May 23, 2011 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Joseph Brooks was a writer of commercial jingles in the 60's. He went on to write and direct the film You Light Up My Life in 1977; the film was a critical flop but a commercial success, and the title song went on to win an Oscar and become an adult contemporary standard. He later wrote the book and music for, and direct the stage musical In My Life (nyt), which flopped famously in 2005 amidst reactions of bewilderment. In 2009, he was indicted on charges(nyt) of luring at least 11 actresses across the country to his Manhattan apartment and raping them. He was found dead yesterday of a suicide while awaiting trial.
posted by mkultra (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brooks was a scumdog low life as is his son. Artistic talent is not a free pass at life's rules.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:35 AM on May 23, 2011


You light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
You light up my days
and fill my nights with song
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:38 AM on May 23, 2011


I saw "In My Life" and it was pretty bizarre. Not the worst thing I've ever seen, but not great. The main thing I remember about it was the lead character (who had Tourette's) going around yelling "fuck suck duck!"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:39 AM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, his female assistant helped him. And these 11 are just those within the 5 year statute of limitations.
posted by DU at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2011


Only a monster could've written a song like "You Light Up My Life."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joe Brooks accompanying Patti Smith singing "You Light Up My Life" on Kids Are People Too. One of my favorite clips.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:45 AM on May 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that suicide on the eve of trail is gonna make him appear guilty to the jury.
posted by three blind mice at 10:45 AM on May 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


The main thing I remember about it was the lead character (who had Tourette's) going around yelling "fuck suck duck!"

You live in New York, pink. You see people do that on the street all the time.
posted by jonmc at 10:46 AM on May 23, 2011


There was Preston Brooks and then Joseph Brooks and there's David Brooks. Is something wrong with the entire Brooks clan?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:49 AM on May 23, 2011


You live in New York, pink. You see people do that on the street all the time.

Exactly, so asking audiences to pay $75+ a ticket to see it on a Broadway stage seems to be asking a lot.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


The interesting thing (I guess??) is that he used the helium/plastic bag trick detailed here on MeFi a couple of weeks ago.
posted by spicynuts at 10:57 AM on May 23, 2011


If the jury is still empanelled, maybe they could make Albert Brooks answer for his crimes against comedy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:59 AM on May 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


spicynuts: Link? I'm not sure what thread you're refering to.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:02 AM on May 23, 2011


That Playbill piece wins the Best Final Sentence in an Obituary Award for all time: "The finale featured a giant lemon."

posted by neroli at 11:02 AM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Albert Brooks

So he had a bad three decades. Go watch "Real Life."
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:03 AM on May 23, 2011


Well, that's one way to avoid going down in history as a convicted rapist.

And these 11 are just those within the 5 year statute of limitations.

I honestly don't understand why there's a statute of limitations at all in rape cases. I can understand misdemeanor shit like stealing a sixpack from a convenience store or something, but rape? No. As far as I understand, murder has no statute of limitations in most jurisdictions, and rape is only slightly less heinous.
posted by kmz at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2011


A New York Magazine article about Brooks and son from February 2011. Creepy people are creepy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:07 AM on May 23, 2011


A New York Magazine article about Brooks and son from February 2011

I did not know that his brother was noted amateur Mahler-ologist Gilbert Kaplan, who has made his own appearance in the blue.
posted by Trurl at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2011


kmz: "I honestly don't understand why there's a statute of limitations at all in rape cases. I can understand misdemeanor shit like stealing a sixpack from a convenience store or something, but rape? No. As far as I understand, murder has no statute of limitations in most jurisdictions, and rape is only slightly less heinous."

Call me crazy, but I think it has something to do with the fact that it is often a crime committed by more-powerful men against less-powerful women. Just a theory.
posted by mkultra at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2011


This horrific context almost improves the song, which is one of the worst musical crimes ever inflicted on humanity.
posted by Erroneous at 11:24 AM on May 23, 2011


Brooks' death will also significantly diminish the possibility of our seeing his other musical comedy opus, an unnamed piece about a girl and her doll, Dingbat, which has long been rumored as the follow up to In My Life. Musical comedy queens everywhere heave a collective sigh of disappointment...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 11:49 AM on May 23, 2011


Holy shit. I wasted a small but measurable chunk of my teen years in increasingly desperate, always futile attempts to avoid that loathsome song. So, yeah, I knew whoever wrote it was a monster; but I was expecting quiet, banal evil along the lines of, y'know, Bobby Goldsboro or somebody like that.

A serial rapist AND the writer of "You Light Up My Life". That's gonna make for a tough exit interview.
posted by steambadger at 11:56 AM on May 23, 2011



If the jury is still empanelled, maybe they could make Albert Brooks answer for his crimes against comedy.

So he had a bad three decades. Go watch "Real Life."


Hank Scorpio. Cowboy Bob. Jacques. Brad Goodman. Get thee to The Simpsons, season 1-8!
posted by palindromic at 1:55 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have never found Albert Brooks funny in anything. Ever. Not even accidentally. Not even in shows and movies that I like. There's something about him that I just find unbearable. Albert Brooks is like chewing on tinfoil while robot sharks poke you with cattle prods. Then somebody will say, "But what about this one thing he was in, back in the day? That was awesome, ha, ha, ha." I'm happy that you are immune to robot sharks and tinfoil, I really am. But I am not.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:18 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


A serial rapist AND the writer of "You Light Up My Life".

Truly, one of histories worst monsters.

The serial rapist thing is horrific as well.
posted by quin at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2011


My last comment was cheap and less funny, the more I think about it.

But as I sit here and consider this; that there was a mind that would conceive of something as gratingly sugary as "You Light Up My Life" while at the same time hunting and assaulting women with the help of his assistant?

That's actually some really disturbing, horror movie shit.

posted by quin at 3:17 PM on May 23, 2011


"But as I sit here and consider this; that there was a mind that would conceive of something as gratingly sugary as "You Light Up My Life" while at the same time hunting and assaulting women with the help of his assistant?"

Two insincere methods cynically used to get into a young woman's pants. No surprise that the same creep would resort to both.
posted by ocschwar at 3:21 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


a tank of helium?
posted by clavdivs at 6:25 PM on May 23, 2011


I went to high school with the son, who awaits trial for murder. I didn't know him well at all but I was rather astonished when I heard about it.

It is quite sad that so many lives connected to Joseph Brooks have been completely destroyed now.
posted by knoyers at 7:56 PM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


ALBERT Brooks' real last name is EINSTEIN. He's the son of the comedian who was Parkyakarkas.
posted by brujita at 9:19 PM on May 23, 2011


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