Thursday, March 22, 2007

Goodbye Larry Bud and Hello Buffy

March 21st, 2007

One brief thing, and one that might not be brief:

First, I heard this morning that Larry "Bud" Melman is no longer with us. He was not a real celebrity, I know, but neither is Paris Hilton.

He was actually Calvert DeForest, and he used to appear on "Late Night with David Letterman" back in the days where watching Uncle Dave was the highpoint of my day.* He was a tiny, bespectacled New Yorker who would interview people (badly), appear as a correspondent, and crack Dave up literally every time. He couldn't read cuecards and had a fake evil cackle they had him do that never got old.

I got my buddy Dennis a book ostensibly written by DeForest back in Christmas of '95. I could look up the title if it mattered at all. Melman/DeForest was an odd-looking and odd-voiced little man who never seemed to realise that Dave was making fun of him, and the fact that he was back, week after week, in more and more ridiculous capacities, made him lovable.

He was eighty-five. I was about to say, "And that's a pretty good life, kids." Then I read that he had no next of kin, no real family, and there would be no funeral.

And that's sad. I don't know anything about the man, really, but I could easily go out with much less fanfare.


Since "Studio 60" went off the air, and circumstances have put watching horror movies on hold lately, tyranist and I haven't really had an excuse to get together every week. But then, he came up with the twisted concept of "Buffy Wednesdays," in which I'd drive over to his house and watch a couple of episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

I was never a fan of "Buffy," for some reason, though you'd have thought I'd eat it up, and had only seen one episode. But I love Joss Whedon's "Firefly" like Joanie loved Chachi, and that made me at least try the show. I rented the first disc of the first season, and never went back. But tyranist has the boxed sets, and we sat down to watch them one episode at a time.

DVD is definitely the best way to watch television, and there's something great about being able to just turn on another episode immediately if momentum or excitement strikes.

I feel the first season was pretty uneven, with a few memorable episodes, but none that made me stand up and cheer. But he kept up the weekly tradition, and we started on the second season.

To me, the quality was night and day from the first year. There's more depth, there's more emotion, there are more laughs, and the characters just keep getting better and better. The crazy thing is, we're more than halfway through the second year, and we haven't hit a bad episode yet. Jeez, even "Battlestar Galactica" had a couple of stinkers (as I am wont to repeat) in its second year.

I wonder if the fans or the critics noticed. Instead of just watching two episodes, we've been watching three, and sometimes four in a night.

I was tempted to talk about each of them, the way my friend blogs about each short story he reads. I could do that, I suppose, and I wish I had blogged about each and every episode we've watched. That would've been entertaining to me, at least. But at this point, I ought to just rave a bit about the four I saw last night. Then, if I find the energy, I can talk about every Buffy Wednesday.

Rish "The Braincell Slayer" Outfield

*As opposed to now, when I'm too busy to watch Dave and there is rarely a highpoint to my day.

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