Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday Morning News

Marcia Wallace was 70

   I was saddened to hear Lou Reed died over the weekend -- "The Velvet Underground and Nico," like many before and since me, changed my life -- but noted on Facebook and Twitter that given the life he led, it was a miracle he'd survived as long as he had, though I'm no less sad to see him go. But Marcia Wallace's death hurt even more. Growing up, everything in my family was a bit of a fight. Getting everyone to agree on just about anything was nearly impossible. Even our drink of choice -- iced tea made from a power mix -- only got 5 out of 6 votes. (Mom preferred the unsweetened taste of sun tea.) But "The Bob Newhart Show" was the one thing my entire family entirely agreed on. Although I saw it during its 1970s Saturday night heyday -- along with "Mary Tyler Moore" -- while my parents were at their bowling league, it was the just-before-bed reruns that brought the entire gang to the television at least four nights a week. I worshipped Emily Hartley (she was smart and stunningly beautiful), but Carol Kester was like the aunt I never had -- the wisecracking, hopelessly single former fatty who never really felt comfortable in her new body. Although she was a receptinist, you never had the feeling she or anyone else thought of her as being beneath Bob and Jerry and Bernie in any way. In fact, and as the episode where she quit showed, they were entirely dependent on her. With her miniskirts and insistence on being treatly fairly, she was feminist icon before I knew what that even meant. I remember hearing Marcia Wallace had breast cancer many years ago and perhaps it was at that time when the C word was such a death sentence, but I remember feeling like I'd been kicked in the stomach, like a member of my own family were fighting for her life. Marcia Wallace beat cancer and went on to win an Emmy for her vocal role on "The Simpsons." As great as she was on that and as herself of countless game shows, to me she'll always be "Slenderella," and the woman who bought Emily a gift from the House of Tacky, then had to pretend it was a gag gift once she realized it was something Mrs. Hartley actually owned! RIP, Lou and Marcia. You thrilled me in the '70s and now left us in yours.

Lou Reed was 71

1 comment:

SFRowGuy said...

Didn't realize Lou Reed wrote Perfect Day (one of my favorites performed by Duran Duran). And I have similar memories of Marcia (Bob Newhart show). I'll miss them too.