2017 will be a year of memorial tributes in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, with all of the new members having been played by actors who passed away in the last two years. But there's one I'm celebrating this year since he's being inducted as a member of the League of Themselves (which is our theme for 2016.)
And I chose this particular date because I wanted him to gain membership on a "birthday honors list"... just not my birthday.
Today we honor the memory of actor George Kennedy, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Dragline in "Cool Hand Luke", and who played Joe Patroni in all four movies in the "Airport" franchise. In Toobworld his two biggest contributions may have been Bumper Morgan in the TV version of 'The Blue Knight', which officially made the beat cop a true "Multiversal" (BookWorld, the Cineverse, and Toobworld), and Father Samuel Cavanaugh AKA 'Sarge', the cop who became a priest. Sarge was involved in a crossover with 'Ironside' which launched his show, but didn't get another chance at . And unfortunately, three different entries were needed for the basic membership qualifications of the Hall of Fame. Still it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that a way could be found to get Sarge in. And I'm just crazy enough to pull it off.....
But for today, we're honoring George Kennedy as his own fine self. And we're doing it on June 16 because today is my brother AJ's birthday. And when he was a little kid, his imaginary friend was George Kennedy.
I don't think the George Kennedy of his imagination matched up to the real-life actor, but it didn't matter to me. I had just seen the first "Airport" movie when AJ's fixation had begun and Joe Patroni had already quickly taxied his way into my list of all-time favorite movie characters. A few years back when I took a look at the fictional versions of celebrities playing themselves, I showcased George Kennedy on AJ's birthday. So I thought it only fitting to do so again now that he's passed away.....
George Kennedy, that is. Not my brother!
Here are the three times George Kennedy has played himself in a fictional setting:
1] 'Wings' - "What About Larry?"
Stuck at Tom Nevers Airfield on Nantucket, Kennedy was basically stalked by Brian Hackett the whole time, peppering him with questions about the things he did as Patroni.
2] 'Benson' - "Reel Murders Parts One & Two"
After a Hollywood director was found dead in the Governor's mansion, Kennedy was among the suspects. (It was Kennedy who wanted to use the mansion to film a movie.)
3] 'Saturday Night Live' - host in 1981, with Miles Davis as the musical guest.While taping the show, all the cameras go out and the technicians all have heart attacks, so George Kennedy has to take charge and talk the show through to safety.
I was originally going to refer to the SNL appearance as being in Skitlandia because of that sketch mentioned above. But a quick look through the Connections section of SNL's IMDb page shows that 'Saturday Night Live' is an accepted TV show within the TV Universe.
Leaving aside any mentions of just catch-phrases and characters, here are some TV shows that acknowledge SNL as an actual show:
- 'Square Pegs'
- 'All In The Family'
- 'The Greatest American Hero'
- 'Who's The Boss?'
- 'Designing Women'
- 'The Larry Sanders Show'
- 'The Golden Girls'
- 'Married with Children'
- 'The Nanny'
- 'Freaks & Geeks'
- 'Even Stevens'
- 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
And so all three of these appearances can be considered as being part of Earth Prime-Time.
Thank you, George Kennedy, for giving us so much entertainment in both the TV and the Movie Universes.
Good night and may God bless.....