2016 has been a rough year for losses in the entertainment industry, and culture at large. November has been a particularly terrible month, it seems that nearly everyone in Springfield has been touched by the passing of some significant cultural figure.
Reverend Lovejoy had to spend extra time in quiet solitude with his trains, contemplating the loss of Leonard Cohen, whose music he found and loved while still in Seminary School. Tim’ll spin “Stranger Song” on his old turntable, watch the little trains go ‘round, and contemplate how such sad music could bring him closer to the greatest joy.
Lisa was shocked by the passing of Leon Russell, but especially Sharon Jones. She took her sax down to The Jazz Hole and joined in a goodbye jam, lending a particularly deeply-felt solo on “100 Days, 100 Nights.” Jones extraordinary soul was an inspiration to Lisa, she felt a kinship in the hardships of such a talented woman.
Mr. Burns was broken up over the surprise passing of young ingenue Lupita Tovar, star of the 1931 Spanish language version of Dracula and 32 other films. Lupita was his first celebrity crush—she even had an uncredited cameo in “A Burns For All Season”. To honor her, Burns demanded all her films be shown in his private theater—even the lost ones!
Mr. Burns’ sadness was alleviated somewhat at the end of November, when nature finally assassinated Fidel Castro, giving him revenge for the theft of his Trillion Dollar Bill.
Marge lost one of her idols too, with the passing of Florence Henderson. Marge saw Mrs. Brady as a figure of awe for her ability to keep a glamorous house and tame her wild husband on The Brady Bunch. Marge also enjoyed the actresses many racy, adventure-filled appearances on The Love Boat.
Abe Simpson took over the TV room at the Springfield Retirement Castle, and broke out his complete set of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. VHS tapes, to remember the life and works of actor, charming badass, and patriot Robert Vaughn. Even though Abe never quite got used to the idea of Solo teaming with a Ruskie–or the show broadcasting to color–he never stopped watching. It was one of the things Abe and young Homer could enjoy together.
Even one of Springfield’s finest was hit with a bullet of hot stinging loss. Officer Lou is mourning the passing of Ron Glass, who rookies on the force know best as Shepherd Book from Firefly. To Lou, Glass will always be the urbane, smooth, and smart Detective Ron Harris on the progressive ’70s cop show Barney Miller. On Miller, Glass wasn’t just a cop, he was a black Detective, an author, and acknowledged as the most cultured member in the squad room. The character inspired Lou to go into law enforcement, and to grow his cool mustache.
Lou will also be playing that killer Barney Miller theme song in heavy rotation in the squad car today, in memory…
Hang in there, Simpsons fans, 2016 has been a tough year, it seems like the wrong people are the only ones with something to celebrate sometimes. . .
But Classic Simpsons episodes will always be there to keep your spirits up when the going gets rough, and the fan community will too.
Sincerely, JRC & Diana