Alan Thicke Dead at 69
December 13, 2016 6:18 PM   Subscribe

 
But I just saw him on Fuller House!

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posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:20 PM on December 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Mitheral at 6:22 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


He was one of my favourite tv dads. A family sitcom staple in our home. He will be missed.

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posted by Fizz at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


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Awe man, I loved it when he called in to the Dan LeBatard Show in Miami.
posted by Groundhog Week at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2016


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The definitive slightly goofy neighbourhood dad.

Oh, man. I guess he was wrong after all about the Gatorade counteracting the negative effects of the rum.
posted by MarchHare at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by parki at 6:25 PM on December 13, 2016


Shocking and sad. He seemed like a neat person in real life, and he co-wrote the theme songs for Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life!


18 more days until 2017. Hang in there, folks.
posted by lalex at 6:26 PM on December 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


THAT'S the obit?
I wasn't really a big fan, but shit even I know that he also wrote the theme songs for Diff'rent Strokes and Facts of Life.
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posted by chococat at 6:26 PM on December 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


Noooooooo!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


This must be why there are 5 news helicopters over my house right now. In Burbank. 5 blocks from the hospital.

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posted by Sophie1 at 6:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Bringer Tom at 6:29 PM on December 13, 2016


My fondest memory of the man was probably the time he tweeted, in reference to his TV son Kirk Cameron's anti-gay sentiments, "I love Kirk but I may have to spank him… 'tho not in a gay way!"
posted by orange swan at 6:32 PM on December 13, 2016 [60 favorites]


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Everybody's got a special kind of story.
Everybody finds a way to shine.
posted by DigDoug at 6:34 PM on December 13, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by Silverstone at 6:34 PM on December 13, 2016


Growing Pains was a favorite of mine as a kid, and oddly enough Thicke was probably my favorite on it. I always loved his voice.

RIP.
posted by defenestration at 6:35 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have to figure that if he were asked how he wanted to die, "heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons" would be it.

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posted by Etrigan at 6:36 PM on December 13, 2016 [45 favorites]


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posted by Melismata at 6:45 PM on December 13, 2016


What the HELL??? Not old enough. Damn. I really liked him.

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posted by MissySedai at 6:55 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just listened to an interview with him on the radio last week. Total surprise.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:58 PM on December 13, 2016


I got a flurry of texts about this. He was our lovable Canadian step-dad. Fuck you 2016. Betty White, my lady, there's only 18 days left of 2016. Just please don't be the cherry on the shit sandwich of 2016. It's been ALMOST A YEAR, and I'm still not over losing Bowie.
posted by Ruki at 7:03 PM on December 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


I feel that I should focus on the things he did that I liked.

1) He did a bunch of game show themes, including The Joker's Wild.
2) He wrote for Fernwood 2-Night.

Good enough.
posted by delfin at 7:05 PM on December 13, 2016 [12 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 7:07 PM on December 13, 2016


As a kid in the 80s, I always thought it was him and the actor who played his wife who were duetting on the Growing Pains theme song. Such a great song - still packs an emotional punch, compared to, say, the Family Ties theme song.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:07 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


From twitter via user @downgoesbrown
1/5 - A quick story: I was drinking with friends at a pub in Ottawa one night a long time ago, when someone said "Is that Alan Thicke walking by?"
2/5 - It was. The window was open, so one of us leans out and yells "Hey, Mr. Alan Thicke!" He turns around, looks at us, and goes "Hi, kids".
3/5 - I can't really explain it, but that "Hi kids" clearly communicated two things: "I am being friendly", and "This conversation is 100% over".
4/5 - So we shut up. And he left. It's a terrible story. But I remember thinking "Damn, that guy is amazingly good at being famous".
5/5 - So yeah. RIP to a guy who was super good at being famous.
posted by Fizz at 7:10 PM on December 13, 2016 [46 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2016


RIP to a pretty pretty interesting guy with a remarkably varied set of skills. This is a nice read.
posted by joelhunt at 7:12 PM on December 13, 2016


Very upsetting. Jason Seaver helped raise a lot of us.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:17 PM on December 13, 2016 [4 favorites]


Remember, he's also responsible for giving us Robin Thicke.

That said: .
posted by SansPoint at 7:20 PM on December 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


Died at 69 playing hockey with his son? Yep, he's a great Canadian.
posted by No Robots at 7:22 PM on December 13, 2016 [25 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:24 PM on December 13, 2016


I enjoyed his work on JPod. He also recently had a nice guest appearance on the This Is Us pilot. 69 is far too young.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:25 PM on December 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by MelanieL at 7:26 PM on December 13, 2016


I used to love his daytime Canadian talk show; used to come from school and sit and watch it in the living room. He was funny and quick, and it was refreshing in a more innocent media era.
posted by stevil at 7:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by droplet at 7:28 PM on December 13, 2016


The first time I ever saw the Red Hot Chili Pepppers, it was on Thicke of the Night. This is a real thing that actually happened.
posted by Guy Smiley at 7:47 PM on December 13, 2016 [15 favorites]


I'm going to imagine that there's a new sitcom now being produced in an afterlife somewhere with Florence Henderson as the mom and Alan Thicke as the dad.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:47 PM on December 13, 2016 [11 favorites]


Writing the theme song for The Facts of Life m would be enough for a dot from me. But he did a lot of other stuff I liked too.

You take the good, you take the bad indeed.

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posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:51 PM on December 13, 2016 [5 favorites]


So sad. Robin Sparkles must be devastated.

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posted by tonycpsu at 8:01 PM on December 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


Guy Smiley, that Chile Peppers clip is amazing a whole bunch of different ways. Thanks for that!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:03 PM on December 13, 2016


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posted by Thorzdad at 8:19 PM on December 13, 2016


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Seconding Jpod as an Alan Thicke deep cut. Worth a watch. Too weird for TV.
posted by Lorin at 8:22 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Offtopic perhaps, but while we're getting nostalgic about RHCP there's a vid of them on MTV's Remote Control too.

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posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:23 PM on December 13, 2016


He spoke at a gala event for the charity my dad runs, which was a very nice act, and which led to my mother turning to me the next day and saying, "I was just speaking with Alan Thicke. Did you know his son is some sort of musician?" (This was at the height of "Blurred Lines'" popularity.)

RIP, sir.
posted by ilana at 8:24 PM on December 13, 2016 [7 favorites]


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I think I'll watch my vhs copy of The Point tonight.
posted by sweetmarie at 8:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by saulgoodman at 8:31 PM on December 13, 2016


And Stuart McLean is retiring.
posted by My Dad at 8:35 PM on December 13, 2016


I always thought Growing Pains, as 80s family sitcoms go, actually had a bit of an edge to it. "Edge" might be too strong a word but there was a freewheeling, unhinged quality to the acting and writing; at least in comparison to a show that was truly bland and buttoned-down, like The Cosby Show. There was this random, two-episode meta-trip in which Mike wakes up in the morning and his home is actually a TV sitcom set for a show called "Meet the Seavers." Good stuff. Anyway, I'm rambling. Alan Thicke was great in this show.

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(And just as an aside...folks, I know 2016 was bad with all the celebrities dying, but please gird yourselves; that phenomenon of Baby Boomer celebrities dying is only going to get worse in 2017. And beyond. The Baby Boomer die-off, not just celebrities but the group as a whole, is starting to get under way. Hardly a good thing, and grieving is real but you've no reason to be surprised about it all).
posted by zardoz at 9:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [19 favorites]


You take the good, you take the bad, you take one out and there you have this fucking year.

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posted by Sys Rq at 9:41 PM on December 13, 2016 [13 favorites]


And Stuart McLean is retiring.

Please, this is neither the time nor the place for such joyous news.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:45 PM on December 13, 2016 [10 favorites]




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posted by Joey Michaels at 10:18 PM on December 13, 2016


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Should I be going to the doctor every single day until January first?

All I can picture is him doing the point and smile and saying "No, twice a day"

Godspeed, Alan.
posted by Sphinx at 10:27 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


And Stuart McLean is retiring.

Please, this is neither the time nor the place for such joyous news.

Just a heads up he's retiring due to cancer.
posted by chapps at 11:53 PM on December 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


God dammit!
posted by benadryl at 1:35 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gosh, wow. When I was a kid, we'd always ask each other which TV family we wanted and I always picked the Seavers, because they were warm and loving, but witty and not very saccharine. I can also do a not-awful version of the female parts of the theme song.

And yeah...they're all going to be dying, but a guy well enough to be hitting the ice regularly with his son isn't someone you'd expect to die before the average age of life expectancy for a male in this country. (I understand the meaning of average, before we get a math-derail.)

Ugh, his poor son.
posted by kimberussell at 3:59 AM on December 14, 2016


zardoz: There was this random, two-episode meta-trip in which Mike wakes up in the morning and his home is actually a TV sitcom set for a show called "Meet the Seavers."

That show sometimes broke the fourth wall in unexpected ways. In one episode cold open, the Kirk Cameron character was bummed about something and the Tracy Gold character said "show me that smile again", then the theme starts with that very phrase a split second later.

Personally, I think Death was really looking for Dave Coulier but had to make do to fill the quota.

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posted by dr_dank at 4:23 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe a decade ago we went to see Chicago on Broadway, and the ever revolving "guest stars" playing Billy Flynn had been pretty impressive prior to our attendance. Then we rolled in and found out we'd be seeing Alan Thicke. I was initially crushed. But he nailed it. There's that affable smarm to Billy Flynn that he rocked. Honestly, he shattered my opinion of himself that night. Good singing, Fosse approved soft-shoe, fantastic charm. I'm glad we got to see that, and for my opinion of him becoming "more" before he passed. Still far too young. (And yes, playing hockey with his sons - that's lovely.)
posted by librarianamy at 5:12 AM on December 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by slmorri at 5:36 AM on December 14, 2016


@librarianamy -- You stole my Alan Thicke story! We also went to see Chicago while Alan Thicke was playing in it, along with Ute Lemper (we *just* missed seeing Bebe Neuwirth), and he was absolutely perfect as Billy.

I never saw a single episode of "Growing Pains", but any other time I ever saw Alan Thicke, he seemd funny and very self-aware of the absurdity of his public persona.
posted by briank at 5:39 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


He was cooler and more interesting than most people realize. Of course he dies in 2016.

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posted by tommasz at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2016


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posted by magstheaxe at 6:00 AM on December 14, 2016


Listen to his interview with Tom Powers on CBC's Q program aired on December 8.

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posted by Amity at 6:36 AM on December 14, 2016


♪ Now the world don't move
To the beat of just one drum
Still, we have one less
So we're kind of buuh-ummed ♪

♪ In this song it's hard
To manage prosody
So, I respect your work
Alan Thicke Are Eye Pee-eeee ♪
posted by ignignokt at 6:43 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


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RIP Alan Thicke

2016, you suck.
posted by Annabelle74 at 7:13 AM on December 14, 2016


In this week's episode of "Of Course There Is", there is a deeeeeep Youtube Black Hole of Robin Thicke's development as a singer and (pretty bad) dancer.

For Alan Thicke,

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posted by allthinky at 7:18 AM on December 14, 2016


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posted by bshort at 7:28 AM on December 14, 2016


I didn't watch Growing Pains, and mostly remember him from Thicke of the Night and guest spots, like on the late lamented Grandfathered and just recently on This Is Us. I'm pleasantly surprised to learn of his music credits, and this bit - that he wrote for Richard Pryor! -- was stunning. That and his pride in the Facts of Life theme from MeFi's own WillHarrisinVa (disclosure, friend, too modest to post his own stuff): RIP Alan Thicke.
posted by martin q blank at 7:35 AM on December 14, 2016


I used to love his daytime Canadian talk show; used to come from school and sit and watch it in the living room.

I thought I was the only one who remembered this show...
Though my memories are not as fond, simply because I was too young to care and/or appreciate talk shows, especially Canadian talk shows.

This was one of the shows that would play on weekday afternoons, so when I was home sick and would have nothing to do but watch TV all day, there was this agonizing stretch of time between 1230 PM, after the Flintstones finished, and 3 PM, when the afternoon cartoons started - Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, HeMan, etc.

In addition to 'Wok with Yan', the Alan Thicke show would play. And I would attempt to watch it to pass the time. The wooziness from being sick and the utter boredom waiting for the time to pass was pure torture for that younger me. I do remember a musical act with the strangest lyrics and chorus, to this sick boy stones from children's aspirin, and thanks to the Internet, I've finally found it after 35+ years.

So in honour of Mr. Thicke's life and legacy, and his talk show that continues to leave an impression on me, please enjoy this song: Made in Hong Kong, by Claudja Barry.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here's to Alan for, among other things, putting up with Kirk's bullshit.
posted by WCityMike at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


As you can imagine, I was a fan.
posted by The Gooch at 8:24 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


What is it with being 69, this year, in particular, that is leading to death? I mean we lost a lot of folks this year, but a not-insignificant number of them were 69 years old when they died.

And . for the songs and the Seavers.
posted by chonus at 8:32 AM on December 14, 2016


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posted by blurker at 8:34 AM on December 14, 2016


I actually gasped when I saw this. What a loss.

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Also, "Alan Thicke" was my favorite of Paul F. Tompkins' characters.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think all of us are wondering the same thing: Why Alan Thicke, when Death could have done us the favor of taking Kirk Cameron instead?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:33 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why Alan Thicke, when Death could have done us the favor of taking Kirk Cameron instead?

God meant to block Kirk Cameron's calls, but ended up deleting his contact info entirely. He's going to live forever.
posted by Etrigan at 9:38 AM on December 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by Spatch at 12:52 PM on December 14, 2016


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posted by Flippervault at 2:27 PM on December 14, 2016


Kirk got left behind.
posted by wabbittwax at 3:39 PM on December 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Then we rolled in and found out we'd be seeing Alan Thicke. I was initially crushed. But he nailed it.

I've only ever been to one Broadway show on actual Broadway. My girlfriend took me to see La Cage Aux Folles for my birthday in, like, 1987. I can't remember who was billed to play Georges, but the day we were there, it turned out to be Peter Marshall, whom I knew only as the host of Hollywood Squares.

He was great. That was the beginning of me learning that show-biz careers are often made up of a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous.
posted by Orlop at 5:27 PM on December 14, 2016


Orlop, I saw Peter Marshall in La Cage as well! He was great and I was impressed as hell. And at supper prep tonight we were listening to a radio thing about Alan Thicke and my husband was surprised and impressed that Thicke was a writer on Fernwood 2 Nite. Such dry, smart humour. He did not expect that. People's careers really take them all over the place.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:10 PM on December 14, 2016


Etrigan: "God meant to block Kirk Cameron's calls, but ended up deleting his contact info entirely. He's going to live forever."

Since Kirk would then never go to Heaven, that strikes me as the cruelest punishment for him.

. for Alan Thicke. Fernwood 2-Night was amazing.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 PM on December 14, 2016


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