Comedy writing parter to Sen. Al Franken (the two went to high school together and shared an apprenticeship salary when first hired by Lorne Michaels as two of the first writers for Saturday Night Live), Tom Davis has died at 59 from throat cancer. In 2009 he published his memoir of those years, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss.
Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
The legendary Ken Campbell has died. Interested in everything, apparantly. Just as excited to visit Damanhur as he was to go to CERN, just down the road. Fluent in Bislama, the creole of Vanuatu, into which he translated Macbeth. Founder of the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, which performed epic productions of The Warp, Illuminatus! and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not quite Doctor Who (he was beaten to the role by former protogé Sylvester McCoy). A fount of knowledge on the theatre, comedy, Fortean strangeness and science and anything else you care to mention, all of which he spun together with extensive flights of imagination into glorious, hilarious one-man shows. Totally irreplaceable, and devastating loss. [more inside]
Tom Poston, RIP... Everybody give it up for one of America's finest comedic talents...
Has it been 20 years already? "Andy himself stated that were he to fake his death, he would return 20 years later to the day. MAY 16TH 2004 IS THAT DAY."
Harry Secombe passes at 79. I just saw the Peter Sellers bio on American Movie Classics the other day, and found out how important The Goon Show was in the history of comedy. A Hard Day's Night and Monty Python had their roots in this groundbreaking British radio show that ran from 1949-1960.