Recent Deaths of Celebrities Raise a Question

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

Rare coincidence or merely an example of how many "celebrities" there really are? (Trivia question at end)

All of the recent deaths of well-known persons have come like an avalanche.

Ed McMahon.

Farrah Fawcett.

Michael Jackson.

Billy Mays.

And some of you may remember the TV star whose name was Gale Storm, who played in the 1950s series, "My Little Margie." She also died recently.

Some people think this is a rare spate of deaths of well-known or somewhat well-known people.

I disagree.

I have a theory.

I would bet that if a person in the mid 1800s had to sit down and write the names of all the living people he or she knew or had ever heard of, that list would have numbered a few hundred names at most.

If a person of today were to sit down and try to compile such a list, that list would probably number in the thousands. Or it may be so vast as to be impossible to allot the time necessary to compile it.


Because of the media.

Television, newspapers, radio, the internet, magazines, they all scream CELEBRITY.

Between the names of people we actually know and those we have merely heard or read about, and the ever-growing population of mankind, the chances of knowing about someone who has died, has increased exponentially over the past 100 years.

Thanks to television, we got to "know" McMahon, the sidekick of well-known late night comic, Johnny Carson.

Thanks to MTV and other media outlets, we also got to know the genius and the failings of Michael Jackson.

Due to her blonde hair and a famous poster, we got to "know" Farrah Fawcett.

Who would have known or cared much about pitchman Billy Mays had it not been for his hundreds of TV commercials over the years and the fact that he was being featured in a new TV show about, you guessed it, pitchmen!

The wider the circle of people whom you recognize, the greater your chances of being touched in some way by his or her death.

Just another example of the good news - bad news dichotomy of modern culture.


Here's a trivia question for you:

What former side-kick of a late night comic is now the person who co-hosts a nationally syndicated TV show and has been named as the person who has appeared for more hours on television than anyone else?

If you know that person's name, the name of the current show, and the name of the comic for whom he/she was a sidekick, blog on and share it! Or take a guess!

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  • by RogerSheppard Location: Parkersburg on Jul 24, 2009 at 08:18 AM
    Todd. You got it! Thanks for playing!
  • by Todd Location: Belpre on Jul 9, 2009 at 01:49 PM
    Regis Philbin was the sidekick for the late Joey Bishop on his 1960's late-night show.
  • by T. J Location: Marietta on Jul 8, 2009 at 04:54 AM
    Dave Letterman
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