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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning!

Robert Cameron, who three months ago was hanging out of plane to shoot aerial photography of San Francisco, has died at 98. He had a series of popular books, which sold 3 million copies: "Above New York," "Above London," "Above Washington, D.C.," "Above Paris," "Above Mexico City," and "Above Chicago." There are four volumes of "Above San Francisco." The book that allowed him to hang out in planes: His 1964 volume, "The Drinking Man's Diet" which sold 2.4 million copies.

Dr. Julius Ehik had survived the Nazis and World War II, so he wasn't much worried about the owner who of the psychiatric practice where he worked in St. Louis. When the owner was out of town, Dr. Ehik desegregated the facility.

I'm really amazed we colonials missed this obit of Ben Williams, elephant trainer, but delighted that the Times in London picked up on it. He played all the big circus shows, but in a bizarre episode in 1982, Williams and another trainer and charged with the murder of a friend who was found dead in Wisconsin Rapids of a "crushing-type injury." One of Williams' elephants had done the deed, with a blow from her trunk. The charges were dropped, although Williams had admitted hiding the body. His mother later said "He was afraid they were going to kill the elephant."

David Lloyd, an Emmy-winning television writer, has died. He penned one of the funniest TV segments many of us have ever seen: "Chuckles Bites the Dust" on the old Mary Tyler Moore Show. Read the script yourself. Finally, since this is an obit blog, you really should watch the whole thing: Check out these Youtube clips of the first third, the second third and the hilarious 8-minute ending of the funeral home segment...

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 12, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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David Llyod thanks for making me laugh.

Posted by: whocares666 | November 12, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I have watched a lot of TV over the years, and I have seen some very funny things. But, even after all of these years, the 'Chuckles the clown' episode is still the funniest thing that I've ever seen!

Thanks Mr. LLoyd, that was some good stuff!

Posted by: Veritasamus | November 12, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Part of the Chuckles humor was that for many episodes he was an off-screen character useful in quick throw-of references probably useful in gags and filling out the sense of the larger broadcasting business beyond the newsroom. So when they killed him off, he was paradoxically a well developed character (the viewer filling in the details with say, Bozo the clown in our area) without having been ever acted on the screen. (or was he? my memory isn't perfect)

Anyway, certainly one of the ten funniest episodes in tv history. And I can't even think of what the other 9 might be right now.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | November 12, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"...certainly one of the ten funniest episodes in tv history. And I can't even think of what the other 9 might be right now."


I'll nominate two others: (1) All In The Family, where Archie is locked in the basement, gets drunk and thinks he is going to meet God when he is rescued by an African-American passerby ("Forgive me, Lord. The Jeffersons was right.") and (2) the final episode of Newhart where Emily Hartley wakes up in bed next to Bob/Dick.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | November 12, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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