The "In Memoriam" section paid tribute to the TV stars who died this year. They went on about James Gandolfini (warranted) and "Glee" star Corey Monteith. (Not so much.) The did not however choose to mention 2 huge TV giants we also lost--Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman. Because after all "Glee" is a far more important show than "The Odd Couple," "I Dream Of Jeanie," "Quincy" or "Dallas" Right? No.
Corey Montieth did one show, for less than 5 seasons. Hardly a star in the grand tradition of TV. His death tribute should have been a 20 second flash on the screen, not a long drawn out presentation. Where else but Hollywood could a drug addict be given such a lovely send off? Why did he get undue respect? It's simple. He was young and beautiful when he died. Like at Marilyn Monroe and James Dean before him, Corey was a mediocre actor who left early. Think about it. Has Brando died moments after he yelled "Stella!" instead of years later when he was fat beyond reason, we would remember him as a genius and not the bloated joke he became. Same for Liz Taylor and Orson Wells. Note to Lindsey Lohan, times up! If you hope for a loving tribute best to O.D. now.
In America we are quick to discard our history as old news. Tear down classic well built buildings to put up another strip mall. Call it progress. Old TV stars are old news. A few years back I was lucky enough to be friends with Joey Bishop, the legendary comic and actor. In his career Bishop did 65 films, countless TV shows (including his own sitcom and late night talk show) and tens of thousands of club gigs. Before Jay Leno came along, Joey Bishop guest hosted "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" more times than anyone else. He also hosted John F Kennedy's inaugural ball. Headlined Vegas. He was the most important member of The Rat Pack. "He is the oil that makes the act run. Without him, there would be no show." Not my quote. Frank Sinatra's to Time Magazine in the 1960s. Yet when he passed both the Emmys and Oscars neglected to mention him in their tributes.
A few year previous I tried to get Joey Bishiop a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. I even met with "Honorary Hollywood Mayor" Johnny Grant. That little turd said, "Not sure we can do anything. does he have anything new going on?" Nope. He's just a legend. Grant did mention that if I could come up with Ten Thousand Dollars then maybe we could "Make It Happen." Seems that movie & TV companies with things to promote pay to get their casts stars on the walk of fame. They buy the stars! Shocking? No. Ultimately my request for a star for Joey Bishop, who had done more in Hollywood than most ,was denied. The chamber of commerce decided that Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez and even the above mentioned Johnny Grant were more worthy of the honor than Joey.
The Emmy's snub of Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman were shocking but not surprising. Nobody cares about the TV stars of the past. Except me, and I hope you. And that's The Bitter Truth.