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johnny, john and....john paul?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging program.

Much like last year, I felt a small sense of relief when the date had passed, as if I could breathe again. And, also like last year, I feel calmer, cooler and more collected.

The link to Voices will remain on the sidebar, always. The Voices project will remain live as long as this blog does and I will always be accepting and posting contributions to the project. It's a never ending thing, this "getting over it."

So I wake today, with my mind ready to seize the day and be less morose and less depressing and get back to my hobby of catching moonbats in my net.

And then: Johnny Cash is dead. And, what? John Ritter? Dead?

My first reaction to the news about Johnny Cash was, he's back in the arms of his wife. Almost comforting to think about it. I'm sure there will be many bloggers - and Blogcritics authors - waxing poetic at the Man in Black today. He deserves all the flowery eulogies and beautiful memories that will be pouring out today.

Let us stop here, then, to remember John Ritter. And let us not remember him for Three's Company, which was probably the worst show on tv with the exception of Small Wonder, but let us remember him for his amazing work in films such as Stay Tuned, Americathon and Bride of Chucky.

You think I'm kidding or being sarcastic? Not a chance. If you've never seen Stay Tuned, today would be the perfect day to go out an rent it. Sure, you'll have to put up with Pam Dawber through the whole movie, but I think it would be a fitting gesture to the memory of John Ritter to watch him at his finest moment.

And if there is any truth to the belief that death comes in threes, and if perhaps there is a special call for Johns in the next world, I guess this guy will be next.


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What I liked was his series after Three's Company. Hooperman? I am embarrassed that I am not sure I remember the name, and I haven't hopped over to IMDB yet. I loved that show, and his current one wasn't bad, the times I watched bits of it.

I was really shocked, and I'd flipped to the news for a minute from the Ken Burns documentary on NY, the last part, on the WTC. Fascinating, but near the end of course I was a little emotional.

Almost forgot, I absolutely LOVE the robot!

And I too was thinking they come in threes, though not specifically three Johns. I know the Pope sure looks ready to keel over.

I loved Threes Company.

And I miss the old picture, too.

Three's Company was great! Anybody who says they didn't laugh at the superb physical comedy displayed by Ritter on that show (physical comedy is an art form and aside from Ritter, the only other two people in the modern era who could do it just as well are Jim Carrey and Steve Martin) is...well, I don't know what they are, but they're something!

Have to agree that while it's tough to watch Three's Company reruns now, during it's original prime time run I thought it was fantastic. And as others have pointed out, Ritter held the hold thing together.

I'll never forget Ritter in Sling Blade. Incredible performance.

Stay Tuned was excellent. And another one of those movies that's worth watching for Eugene Levy.

And the Giant Robe!

Stay Tuned is a hilarious film. Eugene Levy and the guy from Amadeus are both excellent, as is John Ritter. Johnny Cash was almost expected, seeing as how he's been in the hospital for awhile, but it still shook me this morning when I found out. I was in class at the time, and I almost wanted to blurt something out, but I managed to hold back my tongue. John Ritter came as quite a shock to me, as he is the same age as my father. He was really making a comeback too with his new show. Quite a bummer.

Hooperman was a great show. Very interesting tone-almost a precursor to The Job. And he was in a movie I remember fondly from my childhood- Hero At Large.

Three's Company was, in my opinion, one of the best sitcoms EVER! And one of the posts here reminds me of John Ritter in Sling Blade, that was a good performance. Im sad this morning to here this news.

And "Skin Deep". Gotta love the glow in the dark condoms scene.

John Ritter was also the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog.

Stay Tuned was great, but I loved him as Junior's Dad in Problem Child.

What movie was it that Ritter appeared in (only on a television set) as a fire and brimstone Preacher?

I'm with Paul above - Ritter in Slingblade was absolutely fantastic. I mean he was GOOD in that.

I've always loved John Ritter because I think he was the first crush I ever had in my whole life, developed while watching Three's Company when I was about six years old. God, I loved him.

I forgot about Sling Blade. He was fantastic in that. That's the only one I can remember seeing him in offhand. (Stops to check...)

Right, saw him in Noises Off, too, very funny, and he did a wonderful job in Dreamer of Oz, playing L. Frank Baum.

Three's Company was so bad, it was embarassing that it was a hit. It was one of the most unfunny pieces of television ever made. It is literally so bad that I have never managed a whole show without the impetus to vomit.

It was good that Ritter went on to make some decent stuff, to make up for that load of crap. It is just a great shame he will probably be remembered for Three's Company.

Three's Company made a lot of kids my age clowns. Ritter did all those prat falls; flipping over the sofa, falling off of things. The physical humor was funny. Yeah, it was fluff TV, but it wasn't presented in any other manner.

The shame is that he died at 54. He had all the money in the world to keep his health up, but he was taken out by some defect in his heart that he didn't know about.

It's a shame.

We should all feel lucky to be here still, no matter your age. Hug your spouse, kiss your kids. Daily. You just never know when it's your turn.

My memory of John Ritter goes back to his beginning days as the itinerant preacher on The Waltons, years before Three's Company. I always enjoyed his work. And I'd like to add Skin Deep to Michele's list of his movie work to see. John Ritter's comic skills and timing were never more on display than in that movie. Just my opinion, of course.

I can't believe nobody's mentioned "Ted," the evil robot John played on one episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Great, creepy stuff. One of the best John Ritter bits, ever.

Especially with today's background.

Darn - Cirby got to it before I could. Mr. Ritter as Ted was fantastic; chipper, funny and creepy as hell.

I don't think I'll ever be able to watch Clifford again with my kids without shedding a tear.

Don't forget him in Terror Tract.

For the record, there was a third "celebrity" death: Larry Hovis, who played mild-mannered demolition expert Sgt. Carter on Hogan's Heroes, died on Tuesday.

I had the same idea about John Paul, just hours after you did... The early bird, they say...

I love Three's Company, I loved Pam Dawber (until she married Mark Harmon), and I loved the Small Wonder.

Long live the 80s.

and where did you go wrong?

Did John Ritter have anything to do with Small Wonder? I do not recall that. Now THAT was a bad show. But like an accident on the freeway, you had to at least slow down to look.

JP II has had me worried for a while. When he and Reagan go two of the biggest icons of my preteenand teenage years in the 80s will be gone.

I shall salute the passing of John Ritter by watching my all time favorite movie tonight.

Damn, first Warren, now Johnny. Two of my musical heroes.
When I was five or six years old, my grandmother used to give me a quarter and I'd walk down to the cafe at the hotel (need I say I lived in a very small town?) and I'd get a bag of salt & vinegar potato chips, a bottle of Schweppes ginger ale, and play two songs on the juke box: Ring of Fire and Folsom Prison Blues.
I never dreamed I'd be lucky enough to see him on the road but I finally got the chance after his Rick Rubin recordings put him back on the map. The audience had folks from their teens to one couple that must have been in their eighties, and John came out and blew that place to the ground. One of the top two concerts I've been to in my life (the other being Peter Gabriel at the Greek Theater).
I figured he wouldn't be around long after June died, but...damn.

Actually his series after Three's Company was Three's a Crowd, the spinoff.

Three's Company was one of the worst long running shows, yeah you're probably right. Trust me though, there have been worse in terms of all time shows.

Skin Deep! That's the Ritter movie I've been trying to think of all day. I liked it, but at the time I was in the minority - I think Blake Edwards had gone out of fashion at that time. It was the first time I'd really seen Ritter play a full-fledged grownup (of sorts). After that he seemed to abandon the Tripper Persona and settle into Dad Mode.

But as a BTVS fan, I gotta say "Ted" was an ideal showcase for Ritter, because it showed him in both his modes with a vengeance. He was dizzily surreal as the Stepford Stepdad figure in the early scenes. And when he finally turned on Buffy, in the confrontation at the top of the stairs, he had darkness and venom and power in that punch. Then in the third act, when Ted's true nature is revealed, he veered bizarrely between the two modes in a way that was note-perfect (I don't want to get spoilery, but if you know what the twist was, you know how right what he did was).

I've never watched 8 Simple Rules - so not a sitcom person - but my sister adores it, and says it's a virtuoso piece by Ritter, that they can't have a show without him.

Cash I kinda expected, but Ritter was a sucker punch.

It is one of the few worth watching. Via con Dios Johnny and John, may you find peace.

Cirby beat me to Ted, the serial killer robot on Buffy. A fine portrayal of the banality of evil.

My grandma died of the same thing. She was in the hospital for a completely different ailment. Neither she nor her doctors knew about the problem until it was too late. But she got to live a much longer life than John Ritter.

Don't forget Ritter in Sling Blade!

It seems that almost everyone respected Johnny Cash as a musician, and I did as well. He was a giant and his loss is being felt all across the music world.

John Ritter was less widely respected, with at least some justification. He did have talent, though. He was not just some guy who got famous from being in the right place at the right time. It's sad and scary that someone's heart can just suddenly burst like that. It's always been an illusion that one is somehow safe from harm, but as we know from a recent anniversary illusions can be comforting and their illumination painful...

All this dying among music legends makes me even more glad I decided to take a couple days off and go see Chuck Berry in St. Louis next week. I've only seen him once before, several years ago.

Chuck is a complex guy, and he certainly has his share of issues, but as far as I'm concerned he is the one true king of rock & roll. What's gonna make the evening even more special for me is that a band I've fallen hopelessly in love with over the past year or so - The Groovie Ghoulies - is going to open. If you've never heard anything by the Ghoulies, give them a try. A more fun rock & roll band you will be severely hard-pressed to find.

That's it! Stay Tuned! I've been trying to remember the name of that movie all day.

I'll always remember him as Joyce's robotic boyfriend during season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, I can sense that I'm im the minority here...

oh... I see that his turn as Ted on Buffy was mentioned earlier (twice no less). Still a very creepy performance well played.

I should have known that there would be other Buffy fans who read michele.

It wasn't his heart, it was his aorta. There is a simple test for it, but because insurance conpanies won't cover the cost, it's rarely done.

Maybe his widow will start a non-profit org. so that people are educated about it because in our society, dying this way is easily preventable. It's a simple structural defect, not some hard-to-cure biochemical thing like diabetes or cancer.