Friday, October 01, 2010

Stephen J. Cannell, RIP

Stephen J. Cannell, the goof-ball/mad-man/populist architect of some of the greatest, smartest, wackiest, dumbest, best lowbrow television of the past 30-plus years, died yesterday evening. He was 69. I don't know how those who loved him and knew him best will remember him, but I'll remember him for this:

and this:

and this:

and of course, this:

Rest in peace, my joyfully adolescent friend. 21 Jump Street was no M*A*S*H, but we all need some fun, once in a while. Thanks for giving us a whole bunch.


WVS said...

Bad crush on Connie Selleca. I liked the original face. But Benedict was good too. I think they still might be doing reruns of A-team on channel 1 in France. A taste home on my academic visits there. And Rockford. Who has a better mug than Garner?

Matt said...

When I went to Russia for a few years starting in 1999, I was amused to find The A-Team showing on TV there, and fairly popular (along w/ Alf and that show about a girl whose father was an alien and who could stop time by touching her fingers together.) Now that I think of it, though, if the A-Team were crack comandos in 1972, wouldn't they have been getting a big old in the mid 80's? And even as a kid, I got tired of the show being so damned formulaic- with every single show involving making some super machine, a car flipping over in the same way, and drugging BA. I did like 21 Jumpstreet, but wonder if the other cast members resent Johnny Depp.

Russell Arben Fox said...

WVS, I didn't even know there had been a "Face" before Dirk Benedict. I guess I never saw the pilot episode. And yes, James Garner has perhaps the greatest television face in history. Maverick!

Matt, I can't say I was ever a huge fan of the A-Team, and I suspect that I got bored with its repetitiveness too. I remember getting excited when Robert Vaughn was brought on during the final season; I thought the team was going to start actually doing, you know, military stuff, meaning kill people. No such luck. But hey, it was something to watch. Anyway, by then the Stephen J. Cannell show that I was really nuts about was "Stingray" (if you don't remember that, try here).