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(Noun) (Adverb) (Verb) RIP
October 19, 2012 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Larry Sloan, the ____(adjective)____ publisher of the ___(adverb)___ ___(adjective)____ "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ____(adjective)_____, ____(adjective)_____, kind to his pet ____(animal)____, and very interested in his hobby, collecting _____(plural noun)____.
posted by xingcat (54 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
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The passing of a true master of word games. I've never met a child who didn't find them amusing when given the chance to play. Not to mention many adults.
posted by mr. digits at 11:46 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


[punctuation mark]
posted by Gelatin at 11:47 AM on October 19, 2012 [25 favorites]


Sad Libs

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posted by Egg Shen at 11:47 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


He may be gone, but his legacy of teaching constructive and creative uses of obscenity to elementary schoolers will live on forever.

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_fartshit_
 (noun)

posted by griphus at 11:48 AM on October 19, 2012 [25 favorites]


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Thanks for all the fun times and belly laughs.
posted by bearwife at 11:52 AM on October 19, 2012


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:53 AM on October 19, 2012


(inside reference of sympathy)____
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:53 AM on October 19, 2012


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posted by dlugoczaj at 11:53 AM on October 19, 2012


His legacy lives on in graphic form as "The Oatmeal".
posted by Tanizaki at 11:54 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


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He taught me the parts of speech (sorry Schoolhouse Rock).
posted by gubo at 11:54 AM on October 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Price Stern Sloan was also responsible for the Pushbutton Telephone Songbook, which delighted me as a wee lad. Fun stuff.
posted by mintcake! at 11:55 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Larry Sloan, the ____PUGNACIOUS____ publisher of the ___SWANKILY___ ___INTREPID____ "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ____DECIDUOUS_____, ____ROBOTIC_____, kind to his pet ____TASMANIAN DEVIL____, and very interested in his hobby, collecting _____SPORKS____.

A deep and heartfelt . from all language-arts nerds around the world...
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:57 AM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Pushing the boundaries of language is what gives us a sense of humor.

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posted by antonymous at 11:57 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by gauche at 11:58 AM on October 19, 2012


Price Stern Sloan was additionally behind Elephants, Pickles, and Grapes, which you may not be aware but it's the funniest and best joke book of all time, the end.
What's purple and lights up?

An electric grape.

How did Tarzan hurt his feet?

Trying to make wine from electric grapes.
Brilliance, pure and simple.

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posted by Sokka shot first at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


His legacy lives on in graphic form as "The Oatmeal".

And in pitch meetings for major motion pictures and television procedural dramas.
posted by gauche at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


______.
posted by barnacles at 12:00 PM on October 19, 2012


And in pitch meetings for major motion pictures and television procedural dramas.


After watching something like two hundred consecutive seasons of Law & Order, I can assure you it is not just the pitch meeting where they are just filling in blanks.
posted by griphus at 12:02 PM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Larry Sloan, the important publisher of the croakingly loutish "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ludicrous, accessible, kind to his pet Green Heron, and very interested in his hobby, collecting lamp posts.

His obit practically writes itself.
posted by mazola at 12:03 PM on October 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


_____.
posted by oneironaut at 12:04 PM on October 19, 2012


I think I've said this before on Metafilter, but: Back in like second grade or so, one of my teachers did group Mad Libs with the class maybe once every couple of weeks. She would call for a noun, kids would raise their hands, and she would call on one of them for the noun.

If the Mad Lib in this post were done in the manner I remember them all turning out in, it would be:
Larry Sloan, the toilety publisher of the toiletly toiletish "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as toilety, toiletish, kind to his pet toilet monster, and very interested in his hobby, collecting toilets.
Looking back on it, I admire her calm and accepting patience and perseverance.
posted by Flunkie at 12:05 PM on October 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


Mad Libs kept my siblings and me relatively quiet (well, quiet enough so that our dad could hum along with his Kenny Rodgers and Oak Ridge Boys tapes) on our annual summer road trips, usually from Texas to Wisconsin. They'll always hold their place in my memory alongside the Guinness Book of World Records, the Weekly World News, and Mad Magazine. What a legacy!
posted by item at 12:14 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Larry Sloan, the smelly publisher of the stinky "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as booger-brained, and poop-headed, kind to his pet, boogers, and very interested in his hobby, collecting snot."

Why, hello, eight-year-old self! It has been a long time.

RIP, Larry.

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posted by 4ster at 12:16 PM on October 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


They'll always hold their place in my memory alongside the Guinness Book of World Records, the Weekly World News, and Mad Magazine. What a legacy!

Holy shit those are three publications I intimately associates with my childhood as well.
posted by griphus at 12:16 PM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


______.
posted by limeonaire at 12:24 PM on October 19, 2012


One of the first things I ever looked for on the web were Online Mad Libs. Once I found them, I knew the internet would be just fine.

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posted by not_on_display at 12:26 PM on October 19, 2012


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posted by radwolf76 at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2012


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posted by Splunge at 12:31 PM on October 19, 2012


_________________
(words of appreciation)
posted by DU at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2012


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:37 PM on October 19, 2012


I come from a family of word-nerds, and we played a hell of a lot of Mad Libs when I was a kid. With us it was an opportunity to show off your knowledge of obscure-but-funny-sounding words. I can still hear my Grampa laughing to the point of tears trying to read some of those back.

I would get so mad when I tried to play with kids my age... the same couple dozen bodily function/curse words got old really fast.

_____.
posted by usonian at 12:37 PM on October 19, 2012


___________.
posted by marginaliana at 12:40 PM on October 19, 2012


Item, I think we took the same road trips! (Except mine went across the country horizontally, not vertically.) Mad Libs were a backbone of the backseat entertainment festivities. And if I remember correctly, truck stops and convenience stores and other places we'd stop for gas would often have revolving racks of game-books, including Mad Libs (and also those invisible-ink trivia or puzzle books). Thanks, Mr. Sloan.
posted by theatro at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2012


Price Stern Sloan was additionally behind Elephants, Pickles, and Grapes, which you may not be aware but it's the funniest and best joke book of all time, the end.

I think this book also has my favorite joke in it, as it seems similar to the one quoted above:

Q:Why do ducks have flat feet?
A: To stamp out forest fires.

Q: Why do elephants have flat feet?
A: To stamp out burning ducks.
posted by chavenet at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Larry Sloan, the ____silly____ publisher of the ___quickly___ ___crunchy____ "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ____short_____, ____lumpy_____, kind to his pet ____wombat____, and very interested in his hobby, collecting _____dump trucks____.

Yikes. I think even Bill Cosby would have to admit that, when it comes to making Mad Libs funny, you have to work blue.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:59 PM on October 19, 2012


(moment of silence; for all the laughter and much improved long car rides)
posted by iamkimiam at 12:59 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Atreides at 1:00 PM on October 19, 2012


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My kids know the names of the parts of speech solely because of the works of this man. And I learned that any sentence is funnier if it includes the word "pickle".
posted by newdaddy at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2012


Mr. Sloan was the practical businessman of the original Price Stern Sloan publishing partnership (and semi-sadly, the only one of the three without a Wikipedia page). The other two, Roger Price and Leonard Stern, had created the game, legend says, during downtime as writers for Steve Allen's early Tonight Show.

Price (who died in 1990), also created the minimalist newspaper cartoon/game "Droodles".

And Stern (who died last year... if I'd known, I'd have obitfiltered him) produced several TV shows, the most notable being Don Adams' "Get Smart" and Rock Hudson's "McMillan and Wife". (But also a couple of 'lost classics', "He & She" and "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" with a pre-Addams John Astin)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:07 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


_____________.
(emotion)
posted by asnider at 1:11 PM on October 19, 2012


Droodle #3 ... Features on a Zappa LP.
posted by chavenet at 1:30 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Larry Sloan, the ____BUTT___ publisher of the ___BUTT___ ___BUTT____ "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ____BUTT_____, ____BUTT_____, kind to his pet ____BUTT____, and very interested in his hobby, collecting _____PETER JENNINGS____.

(That's what most of ours looked like, at least.)
posted by Madamina at 1:35 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


After I learned BASIC, one of the first things I wrote was a MadLibs playing program. It would prompt you for all the ______s and then spit out the filled in story.

So long, Larry, and thanks for all the ________.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2012


______________ . ______________
                  Punctuation Mark
posted by Fezboy! at 1:43 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first time I came across a Mad Lib -- it was in a magazine, not a book of them -- I didn't understand how it worked, so I read my mother the story, then told her to give me a noun, or a boy's name, etc. This was not ideal.

But once I understood the concept, I was a big fan. Until my sister was 8ish and insisted on doing mad libs where the words were only fart and penis. (We had a rule that she could do one with dirty words for every other word, then one with no dirty words, etc. This was slightly better.)
posted by jeather at 2:12 PM on October 19, 2012


This is the filthiest obit post I've ever seen.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:25 PM on October 19, 2012


Awww, man, I __[verbed]__ mad libs most _[adverb ending in -ly]_.

Plus, I too remember the awesomeness of the Elephants, Pickles and Grapes joke book.

{spoiler alert}

Q. What is purple and goes slam, slam, slam, slam?

A. A four-door grape!
posted by tuesdayschild at 2:25 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to this AARP article, Sloan was also the force behind the very popular (to me!) Solving the Cube book about how to get that darned Rubik's Cube sorted. Thanks for the obit post; Mad Libs, the invisible ink books and auto bingo were our backseat staples.
posted by jessamyn at 2:27 PM on October 19, 2012


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The speechwriter for the 2012 GOP convention owes Sloan a great deal. (previously)
posted by vhsiv at 2:29 PM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Bummus at 2:30 PM on October 19, 2012


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posted by Sys Rq at 2:40 PM on October 19, 2012


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posted by Flood at 2:44 PM on October 19, 2012


My son is about 6 months away from doing these and judging by his delight in eating "poopy soup" and going to walk his "pee pee elephant" to the "stinky" park, I think we have hours of fum ahead of us with Mad Libs.

So few committed writers will contribute more greatly to the Emglish language than Mr. Sloan. That's quite a __smelly__ accomplishment.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:03 AM on October 20, 2012


I still remember Talking Mad Libs on the Apple IIGS. Some words had to be spelled phonetically in order to sound right.

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posted by luckynerd at 10:02 AM on October 20, 2012


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