Friends, a little earlier today the Retroist made an announcement, down here in the Vault. It appears that Harry Anderson passed away today at age 65. I have to tell you in all honesty, I sat here in the control booth and had to fight back some tears. You see, Harry Anderson was indeed a role model for me in my youth. Thanks to his role as Judge Harold T. Stone in the hit NBC series, Night Court. I became a huge fan of magic, stylish hats, and of course the crooning of Mel Torme.
I truly idolized Anderson. I attempted to adopt his sense of humor in interviews and roles on television. As well as his style of clothing, soon after entering Junior High School, I was always sporting a fedora. Even his hair style is something I attempted to copy. My Family barber was rather taken aback when I brought in a photo of Anderson, asking him to style my hair in a similar fashion.
I suppose it was Harry Anderson’s craft in stage magic or illusion that endeared him to me the most. I was certainly surprised that I never caught any of his 8 appearances on Saturday Night Live. However I did manage to see him perform a few times on The Tonight Show. Like in this 1987 episode, where he entertains Johnny Carson and the audience with a levitation trick. One that was developed by Daniel Dunglas Home, an 19th century physical medium.
Kudos to Johnny Carson of course in that clip for knowing how to go to commercial in style. One of the things I also appreciated about Harry Anderson was his honesty. He never shied away from talking about his days as a con man. A street magician at the tender age of 17. A fast-talker much like the character he played in Cheers. All in all, he appeared in 6 episode as Harry ‘The Hat’ Gittes between 1982 and 1993.
From his roles in the 1988 remake of The Absent-Minded Professor, Tales from the Crypt, Stephen King’s It, as well as Dave’s World. I followed Anderson through them all and was always entertained. It’s hard to lose an idol but at the very least we have so many of his performances left behind to enjoy. Obviously we will dim the lights in the Vault’s auditorium in his honor.
Take a moment and enjoy Harry Anderson explaining how card tricks work. In addition while on the set of Night Court!
The announcement of Hulu‘s Castle Rock series has made one thing rather clear. This is in fact a very good time to be a fan of Stephen King. In July we will have a film adaptation of The Dark Tower as well as It in September. It was just a few days ago that I shared the amazing piece of fan art inspired by that 1986 novel.
Castle Rock is an upcoming 10-episode series, furthermore it is an exclusive for Hulu. Produced by J.J. Abrams with show creators and writers, Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. Whom you might know from the criminally underappreciated Manhattan.
I’m not sure about you but I am totally digging the vibe of that teaser trailer. As to why this in fact looks to be a Stephen King Multiverse series, I will let the Hulu Press Release explain: “A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
Of course, fans of Stephen King know of Castle Rock all too well. 35 works of King’s fiction feature or mention that fictional town in Maine. Starting with the Dead Zone in ’79 up to 2014’s Revival.
J.J. Abrams went into a little more detail when appearing on a recent episode of The Tonight Show. As well as describing the surreal experience of watching 2005’s The Descent with the author in a movie theater.
In 1986 David Brenner was filling for Joan Rivers, who was filling in for Johnny (who was on vacations). The guests that night were notable because right next to each other they had Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Vincent Price. This is the interview with Elvira with Vincent Price on the couch next to her.
Joyce being interviewed by the king of Late Night during the final season of Three’s Company. I do not remember seeing this at the time, even though I was a habitual Carson watcher. I did not realize that Johnny was friends with Joyce and I am wondering how they knew each other. I would like to know the full story behind their relationship.