It was only a few days ago that everyone was mourning Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's second banana (and, in my view a world class schlub.)
But then Farrah Fawcett kicked it.
And by midday yesterday, everyone was like, "Farrah who?"
The king of pop is dead -- and, as in life, Ed McMahon is upstaged in death. He's not even a second banana death this time -- he's third banana after Farrah Fawcett.
The job of sidekick is one of the classic "schlub jobs" that I describe in FSTS. Ed carried out the job to a T. And he was the inspiration for one of the greatest television characters of all-time, Hank Kingsley, of the Larry Sanders Show. (Jeffrey Tambor might have not been acting in that role -- he could really have been that needy and pathetic in real life -- but Tambor was used to perfection.)
I just hope nobody else bumps Ed any farther down the list (at least not this week).
On the death of Michael Jackson: I was a fan, but not a big fan. ("Bad" was his last song of his that I actually liked. And not nearly as good as his older stuff like "Billie Jean" or what he did with the Jackson 5, like "I Want You Back" -- which I think is a truly brilliant song.)
He was clearly a very warped and unhappy person, and I feel bad for him. (Although less bad if he was the pederast that he was accused of being. But there seems to be enough doubt that I don't take a position on that, either way.)
But I will say this: It was quite an amazing thing to watch the NY Post newsroom snap into action late yesterday afternoon when the news came in. It was like a shot of adrenaline. And my fellow writers and editors are some brilliant wits. I probably shouldn't repeat some of the headlines that were in poorer taste -- I'd like to keep my job -- but suffice to say, there were some really funny (and really horrific) ones. These people know their gallows humor. I was impressed.