Different guys, different islands. White suit versus black jacket with piping stripe. Host versus (cough) guest. Benevolent versus angry. Height-challenged assistant versus…a security orb? Ahh, crap…we lost both Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan today, and as usual there’s a third body about to drop somewhere. While we wait that out, let’s look at the pair we found lying here.
Ricardo Montalban…unfortunately the ice-cream-suit wearing Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, one of those horrible “let’s get famous guest stars to drop in every week” vignette dramas that rivaled Love Boat for the most embarrassing paycheck everin serious acting circles. But Montalban made movies for sixty five years and was still going at 88 years young. TV and movie legend. Khan, fergodsakes! Naked Gun. Westerns. Mexican star who played Chinese parts. Corinthian leather.
Patrick McGoohan…ultra-cool before ultra-cool was cool. The Steve McQueen of the UK. Irish and born in Astoria, just like me, but at eighty, way older. Actor/producer/director/writer and star of not one but two classic series, Danger Man and The Prisoner (hell, I’m still trying to decipher the latter one forty years later, and the new DVD set I just plonked for isn’t helping much. A fascinating, obtuse drama that wouldn’t make it past a pitch today. Your loss, children.) Clint Eastwood level tough without the squint.
But we all know bad things come in threes…looks like someone or something else is about to leave this mortal coil. Here are ten suggestions/predictions/wishes:
- LOST. Hey, I know it had a huge comeback last year, and I’m all-in myself, but…it is an island. There is a Village. Do the math, people!
- Paula Abdul. Her replacement is already sitting next to her. At this point, who wouldn’t believe she had an accident backstage while trying to (cough) plug a fork into an outlet to get that curl in her hair back?
- Guns’n’Roses. Axl strung us along for a decade with Chinese Democracy. Every year, same schtick…is this the year we finally get Chinese Democracy? And in 2008, we did. (yawn). Hole. Card. Played.
- Mark McGwire’s Hall Of Fame chances. I’d elaborate, but I don’t want to talk about the past.
- PRISON BREAK. Ouch! You mean a series where people broke into prison, then out, then in, then out, is out of ideas…now?
- President Bush’s book deal. Because he read the entire pamphlet on the radio the other day.
- Ernest Borgnine. I have nothing against the Ern, but come on…he’s 112, right? He’d still get cast in those “salty-old-guy roles”, just sans dialogue.
- The US Economy. You can buy a lot of life insurance with a trillion dollars.
- The Arizona Cardinals. Because they keep winning every time I pick against them, like this weekend. Third time’s a charm, Arena Football Boy!
- Major Labels. Just in case there was one day in your life over the past five years when some balding a-hole didn’t write an essay about the death of the music industry, I want to make sure you’re covered. You’re welcome.