Not a hoax!
January 26, 2016 11:36 AM   Subscribe

 
CORRECTION: http://www.abevigoda.com/ has now been updated.
posted by incomple at 11:37 AM on January 26, 2016 [13 favorites]


Wrong url, it's http://isabevigodadead.com/
posted by k5.user at 11:37 AM on January 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


:(
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:38 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]




Aw, man.
posted by sarcasticah at 11:39 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2016


The internet has long dreaded this day.

.
posted by bondcliff at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2016 [29 favorites]


Tell him I always liked him. Tell him it was only business...not personal.
posted by Chuffy at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2016 [47 favorites]


Can famous people I admire PLEASE stop dying?

.
posted by Frayed Knot at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:41 AM on January 26, 2016


Also, I think this is the cherry on the shit sundae that is 2016 so far.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:42 AM on January 26, 2016 [20 favorites]


. .
posted by sparklemotion at 11:42 AM on January 26, 2016


I heard the news and went to abevigoda.com only to find that they said he was still alive. I was just getting started on my rant about how they only had one job when they updated the website.

Fish.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:42 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Good-bye Fish.

(And isabevigodadead.com was one of those things where I wish I could tell the Internet "Dudes, just stop already. That's a real person's life you're talking about there and it stopped being funny years ago.")


.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


abe vigoda was such an awesome actor and dude that it makes me sad everyone just keeps pasting this same headline and links to the death joke page, instead of discussing his work or life.
posted by nadawi at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


i hate the future
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016 [14 favorites]


it's so terrible here
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016 [29 favorites]


Can famous people I admire PLEASE stop dying?
posted by Frayed Knot


I think you answered your own question.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016 [32 favorites]


.
posted by Small Dollar at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2016


Abe Vigoda, AKA Fish, onstage, with Phish.


.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


Booo.
posted by slogger at 11:46 AM on January 26, 2016


The other page (abevigoda.com) is updated now, too. Plus it has a catchy hymn for him too.
posted by xena at 11:46 AM on January 26, 2016


Wrong url, it's http://isabevigodadead.com/

That website is instantly 100% less funny. And will only become less and less so.
posted by straight at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


.

Another icon of my childhood gone. :(
posted by annsunny at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


shit.
posted by valkane at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2016


I'll always enjoy his performance as Sal Tessio in The Godfather.

.
posted by Gelatin at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


.
"Hell, he can't do that; that screws up all my arrangements."
posted by narancia at 11:49 AM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


.

Also: Fuck you, 2016. You suck.
posted by mosk at 11:49 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


<º><
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:49 AM on January 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Tell Mike it was only business.
posted by valkane at 11:50 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


> And isabevigodadead.com was one of those things where I wish I could tell the Internet "Dudes, just stop already. That's a real person's life you're talking about there and it stopped being funny years ago."

Each of those single-serving sites were launched because of the frequent rumors / news stories misreporting his death.

If anything, the point of them was to appreciate him while he was alive. "Is Abe Vigoda dead? NOT YET! REJOICE!"
posted by ardgedee at 11:50 AM on January 26, 2016 [22 favorites]




The Friar's Club roasts would make fun of Abe Vigoda's impending death. He'd be there on the dais laughing with everyone else.

That was like twenty years ago. Truly the last laugh was his.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2016 [38 favorites]


Can't do it, Sally.
posted by valkane at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


When my arthritic cat Lars was in the last couple of years of his life, we always compared him to Abe Vigoda because he was so cranky and he would sit on his mat all day except when he needed to go to the litter box, in which case he would resignedly hitch his way slowly down the hallway to the bathroom, take his sweet time, and hitch his way back to his mat afterwards.

Gonna miss you, Abe.
posted by matildaben at 11:53 AM on January 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


🐟
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:54 AM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, fuck. Last night I was joking with a friend about how we both have huge life-changing things potentially happening to us in the next couple of months, and I was all, "listen, if 2016 wants to keep killing iconic celebs but also will give us these things, I'm down, lol sadness eased by personal achievements", and we both laughed, and now I feel like suuuuch a dick. Sorry, Abe Vigoda. We should have been clear when we put this out into the universe, we didn't mean you.

.
posted by palomar at 11:54 AM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wow. I mean, this is a man who lived a long and full life, which he apparently enjoyed, and left us with a lot of great work, yes. But seriously, 2016, what the actual fuck?

.
posted by The Bellman at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2016


(And isabevigodadead.com was one of those things where I wish I could tell the Internet "Dudes, just stop already. That's a real person's life you're talking about there and it stopped being funny years ago.")

Vigoda himself had rather a sense of humor about the whole thing for more than 30 years.
posted by Etrigan at 11:55 AM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


This year is making a habit of reminding me of people I like by pointing out that they have just died. It's only fucking January, for fucks sake.

Goodbye Mr. Fish.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:56 AM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


.

I've been thinking about watching Barney Miller again. My limited recollection is it's a show that simultaneously used stereotype humor while skewering stereotype humor. All with perfect timing.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:57 AM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


We must stop 2016 before it kills again.


.
posted by nubs at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2016 [33 favorites]


He always took the false rumors of his death in stride. I hope his passing was an easy one.

.
posted by tommasz at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Somewhere, in a dark corner of what I can only assume is her tasteful and lovely home, Betty White is cackling with the satisfaction of being The Last One.
posted by briank at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


Somewhere, in a dark corner of what I can only assume is her tasteful and lovely home, Betty White is cackling with the satisfaction of being The Last One.

christ man, don't jinx her

huh, according to IMDB, he was still working in 2014.

.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


.

Just flipped into an episode of Barney Miller the other day. Fish had dropped in for a visit after his retirement. They hadn't gotten around to washing out his coffee mug yet. Fish managed to talk an impoverished elderly man who was in the cage after a loud dispute with an undertaker into disclosing the Central Park location where the oldster had buried his deceased roommate in a bid to save money.

The entire Fish-related subplot was about death and dying and mortality and aging and being alone.

It aired in 1977, 39 years ago.

Pretty good run, detective.
posted by mwhybark at 12:04 PM on January 26, 2016 [30 favorites]


G'night, Fish.
posted by allthinky at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


>< (((º>
posted by Navelgazer at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2016 [9 favorites]


.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2016


it makes me sad everyone just keeps pasting this same headline and links to the death joke page, instead of discussing his work or life.

He was 51 when he got his first speaking role in a film. As Tessio. In The Godfather.

I think about this whenever I worry about what I have accomplished.
posted by maxsparber at 12:07 PM on January 26, 2016 [62 favorites]


.
posted by sfred at 12:07 PM on January 26, 2016


The Barney Miller theme will be in my head all day now. Not a bad way to be remembered.

Bye, Fish.
posted by chonus at 12:07 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's just as well MCA of the Beastie Boys predeceased Abe Vigoda. Otherwise, what would the Beasties have left to rhyme with "pagoda"?

.
posted by jonp72 at 12:09 PM on January 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


. Bits and pieces of my childhood are dying off one by one.
posted by octothorpe at 12:10 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Stynxno at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2016


Goodbye fish, and thanks for all the ..... ummm.... Fish.
posted by terrapin at 12:12 PM on January 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


He was 51 when he got his first speaking role in a film. As Tessio. In The Godfather.

That was his first role? Holy shit!
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:13 PM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Dammit. G'bye, Fish.

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posted by Archer25 at 12:15 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by SillyShepherd at 12:18 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Sophie1 at 12:18 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by ZeusHumms at 12:20 PM on January 26, 2016


man, you know those tacky end-of-year cartoons with the year that is starting as a baby, and the year finishing as an old man with a beard by the ankles being visited by the reaper?

2016 is not the baby, it's the fucking reaper.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:22 PM on January 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


FUCK YOU JANUARY 2016. FUCK. YOU.

.
posted by eriko at 12:22 PM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2016


I was looking for an ascii fish to post here, but none of them were sufficiently sad-eyed.

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posted by Devils Rancher at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by SPrintF at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2016


.
posted by JoJoPotato at 12:29 PM on January 26, 2016


Well, that does it. Not a one of us is escaping 2016 alive.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:30 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Tell Mike it was only business.
posted by valkane


Yeah yeah I heard, you special snowflake you.

*
posted by Mike Mongo at 12:31 PM on January 26, 2016


.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 12:33 PM on January 26, 2016


I ran into him a couple times at the Blue Bay Diner in Riverdale in the Bronx when I lived up there. He was either a really nice guy or just really good at putting up with annoying fans (by which I mean me).

.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:34 PM on January 26, 2016 [11 favorites]


RIP dude.

Whenever we had a spate of folks leaving this world, I'd always make sure Abe was still with us.

January 2016, you suck!

.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:40 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


:(
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:40 PM on January 26, 2016


Ok, so: at least one of the reasons that Abe Vigoda was the go-to celebrity reference whenever somebody want to make a joke about old age is that on "Barney Miller" his advancing age was a recurring joke. From that point on, being elderly was a part of his public identity. And he left that show around 1980, thirty six years ago. That's crazy, that for four years they made "old man" jokes about a guy who lived another three and a half decades. You can hardly fault people for being incredulous about that. Or for finding it funny. He seemed to.

But here's the other thing about his work on "Barney Miller": it was great. He somehow managed to keep dealing out punchlines while at the same time inhabiting a very grounded, realistic persona, entirely plausible as someone at the end of a career as a police detective in New York. The actual NYPD, mind you, not the typical TV/movie version...the one where paperwork is the biggest element of the workday. Fish, as played by Abe Vigoda, could have wandered from "Barney Miller" over to "Homicide" or "The Wire" and not seemed even remotely out of place. There was a really good actor beneath that celebrity meme, a specific performer who we will not find it easy to emulate.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2016 [52 favorites]


Coincidence that Verdana is the font on abevigoda.com?
posted by furtive at 12:44 PM on January 26, 2016


.
posted by 4ster at 12:45 PM on January 26, 2016


.

Tell St. Peter that Luca Brasi is sleeping with the fishes.
posted by Sphinx at 12:48 PM on January 26, 2016


.
posted by Splunge at 12:50 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by pt68 at 12:50 PM on January 26, 2016


.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:54 PM on January 26, 2016


The NYT is such trash: not even a photo to accompany the obit because why bother.
posted by Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez at 12:55 PM on January 26, 2016


[It's the main NYT story online right now with photo circa 2007]



.
posted by mazola at 12:58 PM on January 26, 2016


Maybe the NYT wasn't prepared for this.
posted by mazola at 12:58 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]




Somehow I feel like I should send spinn a condolence note for this.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:03 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


As Fish on "Barney Miller," those slab-like eyebrows only had to twitch to make their point.

.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:05 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by tdismukes at 1:08 PM on January 26, 2016


He was really good in Goodburger. 🍔
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:16 PM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


Awww fuck.

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posted by dbiedny at 1:17 PM on January 26, 2016


Tessio: Can you get me off the hook, Tom? For old times' sake?
Tom: Can't do it, Sally.


Godspeed, Mr. Vigoda.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:19 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


My ex-cop father-in-law loved Barney Miller for its realism.

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posted by pxe2000 at 1:20 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by joedan at 1:26 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by eclectist at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2016


Potomac Avenue: "He was really good in Goodburger. 🍔"

He was! He seemed to be having fun with it.

.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:30 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


.
posted by blob at 1:33 PM on January 26, 2016


CORRECTION: http://www.abevigoda.com/ has now been updated.

They still need to update the meta keywords:
<meta name="keywords" content="is, abe, vigoda, dead, dot, com, no"/>

Now if 2016 stop killing famous people for, like, maybe the rest of the month. The rest of you better still watch out though.
posted by flyingfox at 1:34 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


[sends email to coworker who borrowed her DVD of the first season of Barney Miller a YEAR AND A HALF AGO. GIMME IT BACK. I MUST MOURN.]
posted by JanetLand at 1:36 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Duvall was on Conan a while back and they showed That Scene, only they had Abe Vigoda come in and do a couple additional lines: "Please. Pretty please."

RIP to a deadpan comic genius.
posted by whuppy at 1:37 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now he can finally join Detective Dietrich over a cup of Sergeant Yamada's shitty coffee.

[raising mug]
posted by not_on_display at 1:38 PM on January 26, 2016 [12 favorites]


.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 1:41 PM on January 26, 2016


I'm choosing not to believe this. I'm constructing a new reality where Abe Vigoda lives on. You're all welcome to join me.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:43 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


the phlegmatic king: "He was 51 when he got his first speaking role in a film. As Tessio. In The Godfather."

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you fucking debut.

I'm 43. Abe Vigoda is a refreshing reminder that I really do still have my whole life ahead of me. Maybe three or four lives, going by his example.
posted by scrump at 1:43 PM on January 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


When my arthritic cat Lars was in the last couple of years of his life, we always compared him to Abe Vigoda

Aw man, that's a little close to home. My elder cat Sam is diabetic and hyperthyroid(ic?), and I started calling him Sammy Kilmister last year because he started looking haggard like Lemmy. And like Lemmy was up until the end, he's still giving zero fucks toward anything other than purring and eating and absolutely dominating the catnip scrum.
posted by disconnect at 1:44 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Now he can finally join Detective Dietrich over a cup of Sergeant Yamada's shitty coffee.

[raising mug]


Here's hoping they let Officer Levitt join them.
posted by rocket88 at 1:51 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh, man.

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posted by blurker at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2016


Hey now, Levitt made detective in the finale...
posted by hwyengr at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


When whoever wrote that obit headline dies I hope their obit headline is something like "Needlessly Cruel Obit Writer Dead at 72."

Anyway. I'm going to go eat a hash brownie in tribute Abe.
posted by innocentsabored at 1:55 PM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


No Fish
posted by sourwookie at 1:59 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I admit the first thing I did when I saw this news was go to abevigoda.com to make sure they had updated. Still links to Abe Vigoda's Dead (Premortem Mix), though.
posted by Justinian at 2:01 PM on January 26, 2016


I've been thinking about watching Barney Miller again. My limited recollection is it's a show that simultaneously used stereotype humor while skewering stereotype humor. All with perfect timing.

It's really, really good. It's been playing in repeats on broadcast (antenna) TV for the past 6mos or so and I was really surprised by how good was this show that was just a little too adult (read: dry) for me at the time. It has a lot in common with Seinfeld in the "show about nothing" arena, but with a cop angle that lets them touch on social issues.

.
posted by rhizome at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Godfather I and II are just the best movies and Vigoda was great. So many people in that film start out simultaneously lovable and menacing, illustrated by perhaps his second greatest line in the films:

"Leave the gun. Take the canolli."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:07 PM on January 26, 2016


He had speaking roles outside of movies long before The Godfather. I once saw a really old commercial of him dancing around for Korvettes or some such thing, but I can't find it.
posted by lagomorphius at 2:17 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by ogooglebar at 2:19 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Ber at 2:21 PM on January 26, 2016


When my arthritic cat Lars was in the last couple of years of his life, we always compared him to Abe Vigoda.

Aw man, that's a little close to home.

You don't know the half of it. My IRL name really is LARS.

It's just about time for me to get up off my mat.

Fish, as played by Abe Vigoda, could have wandered from "Barney Miller" over to "Homicide" or "The Wire" and not seemed even remotely out of place.

He did in fact wander over to Law & Order. Fish is the ur-Lenny.


.
posted by notyou at 2:27 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:35 PM on January 26, 2016




I swear by all that's holy I dreamt about Abe Vigoda last night.

I hope it wasn't my fault.

Sorry, Abe.
posted by chavenet at 2:43 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by Flashman at 2:43 PM on January 26, 2016


"Hello Joker...."

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posted by Fizz at 2:45 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


On Barney Miller, the running gag about Fish was that he was the old cop. Hahaha, he's old!

That was 42 years ago.

Hopefully he's having a hash brownie in heaven now.




.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:58 PM on January 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I really love this obituary.

Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs' home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. "This man was never sick," Fuchs said

and

He liked to tell the story of how he won the role of Detective Fish. An exercise enthusiast, Vigoda had just returned from a five-mile jog when his agent called and told him to report immediately to the office of Danny Arnold, who was producing a pilot for a police station comedy.

Arnold remarked that Vigoda looked tired, and the actor explained about his jog. "You know, you look like you might have hemorrhoids," Arnold said. "What are you — a doctor or a producer?" Vigoda asked. He was cast on the spot.


What a mensch. Sleep well, Abe. I'm afraid this is personal for most of us.
posted by bearwife at 3:02 PM on January 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


:< |
posted by clavdivs at 3:12 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Man, this year. So long Abe, and thanks for all the Fish.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:21 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


May Bela Lagosi greet you with open arms. Loved you, ol' man.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 3:37 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Room 641-A at 3:39 PM on January 26, 2016


Oh, man, Fish, now? ::sigh::

RIP, Abe.
posted by droplet at 3:43 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Songdog at 3:55 PM on January 26, 2016


What a year. :(

He doesn't say a word in this clip. He just reacts to Dittrich and Yemana and eats his donut. And I'm dying.

And I always thought it was kind of Coppola to let Tessio get whacked off-screen unlike nearly everyone else. Because we all knew it was just business.
posted by evilcolonel at 4:24 PM on January 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


His double-take there is perfect
posted by rhizome at 4:29 PM on January 26, 2016


96 years, mostly in good health, and with a respectable career; I'd say he had a damn good run.

...but at this rate, we'll be out of celebrities by September.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:36 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


.

I met Abe Vigoda once. Not a great story about it except to say I shook his hand and told him I really liked his work. He looked at me and said, "Thank you very much. I very much appreciate hearing from fans." And that was it. He was a really classy nice man. I loved his deadpan sarcastic humor/delivery.
posted by AugustWest at 5:00 PM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Fish: [on the phone] Lady, who you gonna listen to, me or your computer?
Barney: [to Yemana] Doesn't look good.
Fish: You won't believe this, but according to their records I'm deceased.
Barney: It's probably a mistake.
Fish: I wonder.

--Barney Miller, Season 2, Episode 8
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2016 [15 favorites]


.
posted by chicainthecity at 5:25 PM on January 26, 2016


Abe Vigoda is dead
Page loaded Tuesday January 26 2016 5:28:58 PM PT
Reload page for update


I'm gonna keep reloading the page every so often.
posted by not_on_display at 5:29 PM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm getting sick of the endless dying. What level of person's death do I have to care about publicly?
Abe Vigoda died? I'm binge-watching The Godfather at $3.99 a pop.
I guess we'll see who, if anyone's left, comes to my funeral.

cheers!
posted by bird internet at 5:39 PM on January 26, 2016


bunny, regarding The Godfather as his first role, I am afraid I must share this link, with mournful regret and accompanied by sfx of creaking doors and cheesy Hammond organ music evoking a sense of menace and loss.
posted by mwhybark at 5:42 PM on January 26, 2016


Trapper John, Schneider, and now Fish??

2016, why are you killing my TV childhood??
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Somewhere there's a Brooklyn 99 script that's being hastily rewritten to feature Hal Linden or Ron Glass as a guest star.

Damnit Brooklyn 99. You had three years to get Abe Vigoda on the show, and now it will never happen. :-(
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, for all his comedic greatness, watch his evil laughter with the rest of the Corleone crew, after Michael's suggestion of murdering McCluskey and Sollozzo. Plus he was really good opposite Wesley Snipes in the underrated Sugar Hill.
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ok, so: at least one of the reasons that Abe Vigoda was the go-to celebrity reference whenever somebody want to make a joke about old age is that on "Barney Miller" his advancing age was a recurring joke. From that point on, being elderly was a part of his public identity. And he left that show around 1980, thirty six years ago. That's crazy, that for four years they made "old man" jokes about a guy who lived another three and a half decades.

Detective Fish outlived Yemana, Dietrich, Luger, and Officer Levitt, too. Who would have predicted that?
posted by jonp72 at 5:57 PM on January 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Officer Levitt

Who was born Ron Cicenia, and acted under the name "Ron Carey". So we have an Italian-American who chose an Irish stage name, and became best known for playing a Jewish cop. How very American. :)
posted by jonmc at 6:01 PM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by oneironaut at 6:02 PM on January 26, 2016


Aw man, they used to show back-to-back episodes of Barney Miller on TV when I was in middle school and I, being the cool kid that I was, used to watch it religiously. It was my favorite show then, and still probably is (not long ago an old friend wrote me to say "hey, I saw an episode of Barney Miller the other day and I thought of you).

Fish was an absolutely wonderful character who never would have worked so well without Abe Vigoda's delivery. He was one of those characters that was just fun to watch and fun to be around.

What an actor. I wish I could have heard his audition monologue.
posted by teponaztli at 6:08 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


What an actor, I wish I could have heard his audition monologue.

From CNN:

"When I was in first grade in New York, a teacher came into the room and told us she was casting a play titled 'Candlelight,' " he told the St. Petersburg Times in 1996. "She said she needed someone to play a 50-year-old baron who finds his wife in the closet with a strange man.

"She asked if any of us would like to audition, and about 30 of us raised our hands," he continued. "But she looked at me and said, "I think you'll do because you look old.' "
posted by zippy at 6:51 PM on January 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by Annabelle74 at 7:18 PM on January 26, 2016


.

Abe Vigoda's Dead.
(Undead, undead, undead.)
posted by markkraft at 7:22 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by Beti at 7:24 PM on January 26, 2016


huh, according to IMDB, he was still working in 2014.

I don't think he turned down any work. He appeared countless times for brief walk-ons on Conan with no lines at all.

I was just a kid but loved Barney Miller, and I had high hopes for Fish. I watched every episode, though there was a feeling from the start that it wasn't going to work out. By that point Abe Vigoda looked like he might be hitting retirement age, but as it turns out, he kept working for the next three decades and never retired.

I like that Vigoda really came into his own on tv after The Godfather. He was definitely of the television era when it was ok to look like a normal schlub who ages into weird hairy crankiness. Works great if you're a character actor, and he always seemed to be having more fun than anyone else. His life is worth celebrating.

I dunno... It's sad, but he didn't go early, and he didn't stop working until his body wouldn't work. Bowie, Rickman, Frey... they all seemed to leave us too early. Especially Bowie, still relentlessly creating and pushing his work until the end. Abe Vigoda... well, he didn't outlive us all, but he came pretty close.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:31 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


This will provide a good excuse to watch Mask of the Phantasm again. But then, any excuse to watch Mask of the Phantasm is a good excuse.

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posted by MrBadExample at 7:39 PM on January 26, 2016


So much to mourn and to admire.

RIP Mr. Vigoda, and thank you.

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posted by mistersquid at 7:39 PM on January 26, 2016


He died of old age! He wasn't sick! He had humor about jokes about his death! He was in the Godfather!

I have no idea what there is to be sad about, apart from his family of course. That's a life well lived. It's not even in the category of Bowie, who suffered for over a year and wasn't even properly elderly.
posted by sweetkid at 7:45 PM on January 26, 2016 [7 favorites]


Now who am I going to send my Tessio/Fish slashfiction?

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posted by Pope Guilty at 8:19 PM on January 26, 2016


Notice how they very carefully do not mention precisely how he died. The implication is obvious: after an awesome battle, Abe Vigoda succumbed after another Highlander took his head.
posted by Mrs. Davros at 8:23 PM on January 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hell of a year so far.

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posted by Fibognocchi at 8:53 PM on January 26, 2016


I can only hope to make it to 94. Well done Mr. Vigoda...
posted by Windopaene at 9:06 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Vigoda with lime! Vigoda with lime! TV`s fish is now more delish with a tangy twist of lime. Vigoda with lime!

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posted by littlesq at 10:17 PM on January 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Kevin Street at 11:37 PM on January 26, 2016


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posted by bryon at 11:43 PM on January 26, 2016


Goodbye, Mr. Fish.

Yes, a funny guy. But oh, Mr. Vigoda, what a fine, fine job you did. I dare you to watch this and not ache for the character he usually played for laughs.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 12:03 AM on January 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Abe Vigoda's obit better be epic. Just sayin'.

From 4 years ago. I guess being Grand Marshal of the January 2016 Death Parade sorta counts.

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posted by radwolf76 at 12:25 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


.

"Take these things, have 'em analyzed, fast…Not that way!"
"I think they got hash in 'em Barn, from the way that I feel."


Right at the start of that episode, Fish was planning to leave his body to medical science, if.....

(Thanks, murphy slaw.)
posted by On the Corner at 2:22 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am loving 2016 however why is everyone dying?

At 94 he had a good innings anyway.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 5:03 AM on January 27, 2016


On wings Mr. Vigoda. Thanks for the entertainment.

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posted by evilDoug at 5:37 AM on January 27, 2016


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posted by mfoight at 6:27 AM on January 27, 2016


Hal Linden remembers his friend.
posted by Etrigan at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


In February 1977, ABC launched a spin-off of Barney Miller called Fish, starring Abe Vigoda, in which he reprised his role as New York City Police Department Detective Phil Fish. Florence Stanley played his wife Bernice.
"Fish and Bernice became foster parents to five racially mixed children known as "Persons in Need of Supervision", or PINS. The kids were played by Todd Bridges, Denise Miller, Len Bari, John Cassisi, and Sarah Natoli. Barry Gordon played a college student majoring in child psychology, assisting Fish and Bernice in supervising the kids. Miller and Cassisi both had appeared previously as the same characters throughout the first three seasons of Barney Miller, usually getting in trouble with the law and Fish having to supervise them.

Vigoda's character of Phil Fish continued to appear sporadically in the second half of Season 3 of Barney Miller while also leading the cast of Fish. Detective Fish retired from the NYPD in Season 4, Episode 2 of Barney Miller."

Two seasons and a total of 35 episodes were produced before the show was cancelled. Final episode aired in May, 1978. Only the first season has been released on dvd, and that's all that's available on YouTube.

Season One (13 episodes)
1) The Really Longest Day
2) The Car
3) Power Play
4) Cold Cash
5) Fish's Job
6) Bernice's Problem
7) The Neighbors
8) Fire
9) The Social Worker
10) Fish and Roots
11) Anniversary
12) The Adoption
13) The New Kid

RIP Mr. Vigoda.

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posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


i used to have a fish. in my pants.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:09 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Fish went on to be the judge on My Two Dads, which I am certain zarq is making a mega-post for as we speak.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 AM on January 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just realized the timing of the "Deadpool" movie is too perfect, considering the other meaning of the term. Maybe the icons will stop dying once the movie is in theaters...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:05 PM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Onion's spinoff site Starwipe is parodying celebrity-entertainment with expected sardonic wit:

“Abe Vigoda Is Dead” Joke Dead At 34.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:18 PM on January 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


Conan pays tribute to Abe.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:54 PM on January 27, 2016


I still have almost a decade before I hit the age he was when he started Barney Miller. I am sad for his passing but inspired and pleased that it seems like he had a good life. Thanks for the work, Abe.
posted by phearlez at 12:56 PM on January 27, 2016


Fish was good, Mrs. Fish was awesome.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:48 PM on January 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by marimeko at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2016


Good bye Abe.
I will miss your eyebrows.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:06 PM on January 27, 2016


Now who will play Santa Claus?

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posted by riverlife at 9:24 PM on January 27, 2016


I've lost my Patronus, but the universe has gained a Force Ghost.

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posted by echocollate at 6:09 AM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


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