James Rainey had an interesting column this morning in the LA Times about Larry King and the elder's fascination with the death of Michael Jackson. Rainey details King's endless programs with speculation about the cause, who's at fault, even speculating on the speculators, like 'who's going to reveal the truth', 'where is this going', and the endlessly driven drivel of an aging talk show host who really, really, should just hang it up. I thought Greta Van Sustern was the stamina queen for driving shock stories into the ground, with the Natalie Holloway parade from the shores of Aruba and the live stand-up from the Jackson family estate in Encino.
Me? Of the three recent celebrity deaths that opened the summer with some notoriety; John Carradine, asphyxiated in a Bangkok hotel room (did he pay the bar fine?), Michael Jackson and another possible OD to add to LA's long lineup of entertainment-related cardiac arrests, and Arturo Gatti getting in in Rio from his young Brazilian wife, I have to say if I could choose, Gotti's is the way to go.
It's in Gotti's genes to have a bloody death, and we have the HBO2 trilogy on tonight to get right into the heart of Gotti's bloody heart and head. Legendary battles with Mickey Ward notwithstanding, Gotti gained fame fighting in the East Coast as a stylish brawler, the latest in a long line of brutes who please crowds and earn paychecks. With Gotti, you knew it was going to be bloody and you knew he'd go down in heroic fashion.
Carradine, what was he, in his early seventies? Hey, if I have heart palpitations or chest pains, I might just jump on a plane to Bangkok, grab me a bar girl and go out in some style. Better than OD'ing with a doctor at my side with a mouthful of prescription pills made out to Bret Bray or some phoney who's picking up my meds under a pseudo name.
Larry King, now how old is he, really? I mean, sans the badly colored hair and a few heart attacks, by-pass surgeries, what's in it for the former radio-meister gone cable host? Really.. Great career, Rolodex second to none, but dude, you're in LA, for God's sake, have someone spike your martinis at Musso and Franks, take a dive off the top row at Dodger Stadium and end up in the dugout, drive off the bluff at Griffith Park ala James Dean in 'Rebel'. . .just do it. You had a run, you had a go, you were the man. . .twenty years ago, and now you're holding on to celebrity through the death of a weird genius and we all need to move on. So let's move on.
I'm moving on.