The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Saturday


“No man can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.” — Euripides



These people turned in their timecards in the year 2012. Some of them were great souls; some not.

  • Robert Hegyes — Juan Epstein on “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
  • Etta James
  • Ben Hana — Famous Wellington, New Zealand homeless person; he worshipped the Maori sun-god Tama-nui-te-rā; known as “the blanket man,” he eschewed clothing as a religious observance; legend has it he took to the streets as an act of atonement for killing a friend in a drunk-driving accident.
  • Davy Jones

Image from "The Monkees"

  • John Severin — One of the original Mad magazine cartoonists
  • Florence Green — At nearly 111 years old, the last surviving veteran of World War I, member of the Women’s Royal Air Force (Britain).
  • Ben Gazzara — “A Jackie Treehorn Production.”
  • Don Cornelius — “Peace, love, and soul.”


Don Cornelius

  • Addie L. Wyatt — First black woman named named international vice president of a major labor union (Amalgamated Meat Cutters); first black woman named Time magazine Person of the Year (Co-winner with Barbara Jordan).
  • Earl Scruggs — Bluegrass banjo picker; member of Flatt & Scruggs.
  • Harry Crews — Tough guy author, playwright, and essayist.
  • Adrienne Rich — Lesbian feminist poet and essayist.


Adrienne Rich

  • Bert Sugar — Basso-profundo boxing journalist; also, co-writer with James Randi of the book, “Houdini: His Life and Art.”
  • Murray Lender — CEO of Lender’s Bagels; developed ideas of selling frozen bagels and pre-slicing them.
  • Chaleo Yoovidhya — Billionaire legal dangerous drug peddler; developed the Red Bull energy drinks.
  • Tom Johnson — Founder of telescope manufacturing company, Celestron; his company kick-started amateur astronomy in the United States.
  • Peter Bergman — Founder of The Firesign Theater; coined the term “love-in.”
  • Mike Wallace — CBS news reporter who was famously punched in the stomach on the floor of the 1969 Democratic National Convention; father of the execrable Chris Wallace.
  • Jim Marshall — If you’ve ever attended a rock concert, his amps blew your ears out.
  • Mr. Imagination — Born Gregory Warmack, outsider artist.
  • Eddie Blazonczyk — Polka king, leader of The Versatones.


Polka King Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr.

  • Donna Summer — “Love to Love You Baby” is one of the most important recordings in American pop history.
  • Andrew Brietbart — Professional obfuscator, political smear artist, media scourge, shrieking, moaning, pissing, infantile tantrum-thrower; his passing set off weeks of spontaneous raucous celebrations around the globe.
  • Donald “Duck” Dunn — Blues guitarist with Booker T. & the MGs.
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Marilyn Houlberg — Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, leading academic expert on Haitian voodoo.
  • Andrew Sarris — Film critic; brought France’s auteur theory to the United States.
  • Judy Agnew — Veep Spiro’s widow.
  • Rodney King — 1992 LA beating victim.
  • Elinor Ostrom — IU Nobel Prize winner in Economics; & Vincent Ostrom, IU political scientist.
  • Henry Hill — Mob rat whose gut-spilling was the basis for “Goodfellas.”


Henry Hill

  • Phil CorboyThe personal injury lawyer.
  • Ray Bradbury — “Fahrenheit 451.”
  • Gore Vidal — Author & homosexual.
  • Sally Ride — Astronaut & lesbian.
  • Alexander Cockburn — Irish-born political journalist for the Village Voice and The Nation.
  • Celeste Holm — I never could understand why Gregory Peck’s Phil Greene didn’t go for her Anne Detrey in “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” she was pretty, smart, fun-loving, and a rebel — instead Greene went for the bland WASP, Kathy Lacy; truly, love is blind.
  • Ernest Borgnine — Marty.
  • Andy Griffith — Lonesome Rhodes.

Scene from "A Face in the Crowd"

Andy Griffith In “A Face In The Crowd”

  • Neil Armstrong — First human on the moon.
  • Phyllis Diller
  • Scott Mackenzie — Sang the 1967 hit, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair);” the song had been commissioned to promote the Monterey Pop Festival
  • Ron PalilloOoh, ooh, Horshack!
  • Helen Gurley Brown — Cosmopolitan editor and author of “Sex and the Single Girl.”
  • Sid Waddell — British darts commentator — who knew there was such a job?
  • Judith Crist — New York magazine and New York Herald Tribune film critic
  • Marvin Hamlisch — The definitive 1970s movie musical scorer.
  • Sister Boom Boom — Born Jack Fertig, San Francisco gay rights activist and aspiring politician.

Boom Boom

Sister Boom Boom

  • Barry Commoner — Environmentalist; founder of the Citizens Party
  • Arthur Ochs Sulzberger — New York Times publisher; made the decision in June, 1971 to run the Pentagon Papers.
  • Louise Johnson — British biophysicist and crystallographer at the University of Oxford.
  • Russell Train — EPA administrator under Nixon & Ford; president of the World Wildlife Fund.
  • The Rev. Sun Myung Moon — The seminal Moonie.


Sun Myung Moon

  • Hal David — He wrote the lyrics to Burt Bacharach’s tunes.
  • Russell Means — Oglala Sioux, Native American rights activist, member of the American Indian Movement
  • George McGovern — Liberal.
  • Paul Kurtz — Philosophy professor at State University of New York at Buffalo and noted skeptic; known as “the father of secular humanism.”
  • Sylvia Kristel — Godawful actress who gained fame and glory as the star of the unwatchable uber-70s soft core porn franchise “Emmanuelle”
  • Mr. Shit — Born Abba Bina; Port Moresby, New Guinea businessman and political aspirant; he ran a manure operation, ergo earning his moniker.
  • Larry Sloan — Boss at Price Stern Sloan publishers; he brought us “Mad Libs.”
  • Joey Pal — Canadian football player; could his parents have known about the movie “Pal Joey” when they named him?
  • Keith Campbell — Scottish biologist who was part of the team that cloned Dolly the Sheep
  • Marvin Miller — Labor leader in the steel industry, went on to become the single most important force behind professional players unions as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association
  • Lawrence Guyot — Civil rights activist, director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party


Lawrence Guyot

  • Hannie Lips — I had no idea who this person was until I came upon her obituary; she was a Dutch television announcer; her name was perfect.
  • Major Harris — Delfonics singer
  • Carmen Basilio — Boxer; his name was a poem to me; I used to hear it every week as I was drifting off to sleep and my father and brother were watching the Friday Night Fights on TV; go ahead, say it with me: CAHR-min buh-SILLY-oh — doesn’t it make you want to smile?


Carmen Basilio

  • Charles Bush — First black man to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy.
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Robert Bork — The Watergate figure who came thisclose to being a Supreme Court Justice.
  • Jean Harris — I remember this line from somewhere: the 51st way to leave your lover.
  • Frank Calabrese, Sr. — Mobster & hitman; his kid flipped on him and turned state’s evidence, leading to the Operation Family Secrets investigation and trials that essentially decimated the Chicago Outfit.
  • Fontella Bass — “Rescue Me.”

Any omissions are purely intentional.

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