Here's wishing all of my bloggy thing readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving. New bloggy things are just around the corner.
Alex Trebek [July 22, 1940–November 8, 2020], host of Jeopardy for 36 years, has passed. It wasn’t unexpected. He was 80 years old and had been fighting stage four pancreatic cancer for two years. That it wasn’t unexpected made it no less crushing.
Jeopardy is my favorite game show, much of that is due to Trebek. He was smart and dignified, but never stuffy. You could tell that he loved the game and its contestants. The love came through to me.
Saintly Wife Barb and I lead busy and often complicated lives. She is a health care professional in these pandemic times. I continue to be a struggling writer. But, more often than not, we would make time to watch Jeopardy together.
We loved playing what I thought of as the “home version” of the game, trying to shout out the answers before the contestants did. We were pretty good at it, surprising ourselves with knowledge we didn’t know we had. Of course, we both figured we would suck at the game if we were contestants. For one thing, we rarely remembered to answer in the form of a question.
I took special delight in comics-related categories. Sure, we have blockbuster movies based on comic books, but seeing our characters and concepts on Jeopardy, that was big-time classy. You can imagine how tickled I was when Black Lightning was the answer to one of the questions.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that several of my Facebook friends have been contestants on Jeopardy. They always had good things to say about Trebek and their experiences. I believe Trebek was precisely the decent and friendly fellow we watched on our TV screen. I wish I'd had met him in person.
Trebek’s last episode will air on December 25, 2020. Christmas. On the one hand, that’s a day we’re supposed to receive presents, not lose something so precious as this fine man. On the other hand, I can accept his decades hosting Jeopardy as one of the most magnificent gifts his fans could have asked for.
My condolences to the Trebek family, his friends and his impossible to count fans. He was one of the great ones.
© 2020 Tony Isabella
I’m writing this two days before Election Day, which, even though I hope Joe Biden wins the Presidency and the Democrats keep control of the House of Representatives and take control of the Senate, has me equal parts hopeful and terrified. If that weren’t enough, we’re still in the midst of a growing pandemic, which is growing because too many Americans are morons. If that weren’t enough, wildfire and other results of climate change are killing people and destroying great big hunks of land. If that weren’t enough, police are still killing innocent people, Trumpers are going Mad Max on highways to harass Trump’s opponents. If that weren’t enough, Trump has twice left people freezing and stranded at the end of his super-spreader rallies. If that weren’t enough, the entertainment industry that I am kind of sort of part of is struggling.
More than ever, I need joy in my life. Here are things that made me happy in October...
October 1: Miss Sherlock. After one episode of this quirky version of Holmes, I’m hooked. Available on HBO Max and Hulu, the series is in Japanese with English subtitles. Check it out.
[NOTE: The same day I posted this, I learned of the passing of Yûko Takeuchi, the brilliant actress who played Sherlock. It appears her death was a suicide, making it all the more tragic. I am grateful for the outstanding ten episodes of this series that were filmed, sorry that there will likely be no more.]
October 2: DC's Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Super-Villains. This 256-page hardcover of the 9-issue series from the early 1970s is fun stuff and a reminder of just how good E. Nelson Bridwell was at mining the DC archives for great reprints.
October 3: Cleveland Magazine [October 2020] had a great article on Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop, the best comics shop in Northeast Ohio. Kudos to Carol, John, their staff and their customers.
October 4: Taking a step back from a project that’s not working out as originally anticipated, figuring out how to get it back on track and realizing my energy and enthusiasm for the project is now even greater than it had been.