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A Poem. By Henry Gibson.
September 16, 2009 3:25 PM   Subscribe

Character actor and comedian Henry Gibson died today at 73.

As an original member of the ground-breaking comedy series Laugh-In, Gibson's characters The Poet and the cocktail party priest helped make the show a wild success. Gibson also had a long career as an actor, both in television (most recently as Judge Clark Brown on Boston Legal) and film. Some of his more memorable performances were in Robert Altman's Nashville (receiving a nomination for a Golden Globe for his role as country singer Haven Hamilton), The Long Goodbye, The 'Burbs, and The Blues Brothers.
posted by QuestionableSwami (62 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Loved Laugh-In as a kid. Sorry to see Henry's gone.

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posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2009


This is a public service announcement from the United Appeal for the Dead.

Also:.
posted by _dario at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've always loved you.

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posted by dragstroke at 3:30 PM on September 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


I'm diggin' talkin' with ya. You're a really enlightened cat and I like that about ya. I think you're a special special man.

Okay, come in for the real thing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:30 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by jquinby at 3:33 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by fixedgear at 3:35 PM on September 16, 2009


Whenever I see his name, I think of Henrik Ibsen.
posted by The World Famous at 3:37 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hate Illinois Nazis.


But I loved him.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


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posted by brundlefly at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2009


Henry Gibson as Haven Hamilton in Altman's Nashville, singing "One, I Love You"
posted by Ironmouth at 3:39 PM on September 16, 2009


oh no way!
posted by shmegegge at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2009


He always had that ability to look ... caught, and yet somehow innocent, which is hard to pull off at his age. Even his little bit part in Gremlins 2, where the security cameras catch him smoking and he gets fired, showed that.

Compare and contrast with "You saw one of my skulls, didn't you?"
posted by adipocere at 3:49 PM on September 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Gibson had only recently dipped his toes in the Intarweb stream. His blog only had two entries, but his Twitter feed was well suited to his style. His last Tweet, a few days ago, was a tribute to Larry Gelbart. Sigh.

And just last month, he put out a series of spoken/sung-word-comedy ringtones that were just plain weird (like most ringtones today are).

Here's his 'official website', where only the 'comments' page has gotten the sad news.

"The Alligator is my pal
He could be your pal, too.
You'd like him better as a friend
Than wearing him as shoes..."


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posted by wendell at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2009


He should be buried holding a flower.
posted by Cranberry at 3:52 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


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posted by Opposite George at 3:57 PM on September 16, 2009


I was all, who is Henry Gibson? then I click the links and was thinking, ah, that guy.

I liked that guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:02 PM on September 16, 2009


I watched reruns of Laugh-In a lot as a kid. I didn't get a lot of the references, but his segments always made me laugh.

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posted by roll truck roll at 4:06 PM on September 16, 2009


For some reason, he's always going to be the guy who out-limmericked and hit on William H. Macy's crush/bartender in PT Anderson's Magnolia.

The guy really had a presence.

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posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by mikelieman at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2009


Henry Gibson on the Beverly Hillbillies as the disappointing Western star Quirt Manly.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:10 PM on September 16, 2009


VEL-ly IN-tellesting.
posted by spock at 4:10 PM on September 16, 2009


He was really a funny man.

Great post title. That was how I always remembered him - A Poem by Henry Gibson.
posted by caddis at 4:16 PM on September 16, 2009



Whenever I see his name, I think of Henrik Ibsen.

Back in New York, the actor developed the comic persona of "Henry Gibson" (a pun on the name of playwright Henrik Ibsen)

posted by anazgnos at 4:20 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


VEL-ly IN-tellesting.

That was Arte Johnson.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:21 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by lapolla at 4:29 PM on September 16, 2009


Compare and contrast with "You saw one of my skulls, didn't you?"

Creepy line, perfect delivery.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:33 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by strixus at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2009


I love Illinois Nazis.
posted by klangklangston at 4:45 PM on September 16, 2009


He introduced me to painting statues by number.

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posted by buzzman at 4:46 PM on September 16, 2009


Loved him in the 'Burbs and the Blues Brothers.

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posted by thewittyname at 4:46 PM on September 16, 2009


Some pig.
posted by evilcolonel at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2009


What have you got in the cellar, Herr Klopek?!
posted by Roman Graves at 4:51 PM on September 16, 2009


We must be doing something right to last 200 years...
posted by pxe2000 at 4:52 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by brevator at 4:54 PM on September 16, 2009


He also was a treat as a judge Clark Brown on Boston Legal.
posted by Ber at 4:55 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by Joey Michaels at 4:59 PM on September 16, 2009


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(I almost didn't recognise him without the flower.)
posted by jlkr at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2009


Outrageous! Shocking! (What Ber said).

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posted by bwg at 5:03 PM on September 16, 2009


For some reason, he's always going to be the guy who out-limmericked and hit on William H. Macy's crush/bartender in PT Anderson's Magnolia.

Yeah, likewise. I totally did not connect him to the Illinois Nazi (except in retrospect -- wow, did he age well).

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posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:05 PM on September 16, 2009


Oh man that is sad. He was a great part of my early days watching Laugh-In. When I first saw The Blues Brothers and he appeared I nearly lost it he was so good. Never saw him in Boston Legal, but I will now. A genius comic actor, and someone who will always make an Ibsen play that little less boring by the reference.

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posted by Nick Verstayne at 5:25 PM on September 16, 2009


I remember.

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posted by Drasher at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2009


A gentle man with a gentle humor.

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posted by jim in austin at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2009


Damn, I always enjoyed seeing his work. My condolences to his family. I hope his passing was peaceful.

2009 has turned out to be a bloodbath for actors and musicians whose work I've enjoyed. Please, enough already.
posted by mosk at 5:37 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:07 PM on September 16, 2009


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Apparently he finally had had enough jibber jabber.
posted by bz at 6:32 PM on September 16, 2009


"There's a long goodbye
And it happens everyday..."

It's currently my favorite Altman film.

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posted by Neilopolis at 6:43 PM on September 16, 2009


He had so many unique and odd roles. I loved this guy.


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posted by HumanComplex at 7:10 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by brandz at 7:11 PM on September 16, 2009


"The Jew is using The Black as muscle against you. And you are left there helpless. Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us. The members of the American National Socialist White Peoples' Party. An organization of decent, law abiding white folk. Just like you!"

I swear I was thinking of this speech when I watched footage of last weekend's teabag protest.

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posted by total warfare frown at 7:22 PM on September 16, 2009


Oh, no.
Henry Gibson may well be my single favorite actor ever.
I am very very sad about this.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:07 PM on September 16, 2009


Apparently he finally had had enough jibber jabber.

Unfortunately, you've confused two Boston Legal judges.

Henry Gibson played the judge who was a closeted homosexual who had original claimed to be a virgin and then tried to sue a church who couldn't cure him of his homosexuality.

The Jibber Jabber judge was far more senile, often not remembering that he was in court at all.

Wow, Boston Legal was cracky.


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posted by crossoverman at 8:39 PM on September 16, 2009


"The Jibber Jabber judge was far more senile, often not remembering that he was in court at all."

Oh, you're right, of course.
posted by bz at 10:25 PM on September 16, 2009


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:07 AM on September 17, 2009


I hate Illinois nazis.

But I love Henry Gibson.

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posted by grubi at 5:42 AM on September 17, 2009


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posted by readery at 5:45 AM on September 17, 2009


I just watched "Magnolia" again the other night and when it came to the scene in the bar with Henry Gibson I said to myself, "Damn, there's Henry Gibson. I love that guy's face". And now he's dead, too. Apparently Floyd, the food dude, just died also. I know people die every day, even people who've never been slightly famous, but crikeys. I'm old but naiive; I still imagine people I've seen on telly and in the movies will live forever (they get to live on more than the old dude next door who was only loved by his family and possibly not even them). Take a break, Reaper. Just chill out for a bit if you don't mind. I'm dreading opening the paper or logging on.
posted by h00py at 6:28 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:48 AM on September 17, 2009


Awh...I liked him. Here's hoping there's a giant cocktail party in the sky for him.
posted by dejah420 at 8:03 AM on September 17, 2009


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posted by cavalier at 8:47 AM on September 17, 2009


Feathers

By Henry Gibson

Without feathers
A bird would be naked
posted by bonefish at 12:46 PM on September 17, 2009


I had no idea Henry Gibson was on Laugh-In, or was supposed to be funny (and I'm not young enough not to know it). To me he was the eyebrow-lifting, innocently sinister "that guy" - all the more frightening because he was so small. In "Nashville," he was the perfect cynical showboater; in "Magnolia," he expressed contempt with a boomerang behind it.

I bet he had some outrageously good times. He had that glint in his eye, don't you think?
posted by goofyfoot at 7:17 PM on September 17, 2009


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