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Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Larry "Bud" Melman Dies

Larry "Bud" Melman, a longtime featured performer on David Letterman's programs since the first episode of Late Night With David Letterman in 1982, died Monday at the age of 85. An illness of an unspecified nature has been given as the cause of death.

Melman was born Calvert DeForest but embraced the Melman moniker Letterman gave him. Before long, he started using it for other work, including movie roles, appearances on television programs such as Saturday Night Live, music videos, and commercials. He also used the name in an exercise video ("The Couch Potato Workout").

Perhaps there's something appropriate about his success and fame having come with a name chosen by someone other than his parents. His mother, not a stranger to the stage herself, nonetheless, had "forbade" her son from acting. She died in 1959; Melman had said the acting ban was largely honored while she was alive.

He only returned to using "Calvert DeForest" in 1993 when Dave's network switch prompted NBC President Robert C. Wright to use the network's summer press tour to include the famous pseudonym in a public threat to CBS, "There are certain intellectual-property issues that do not travel with Dave".

So Larry "Bud" Melman became Calvert DeForest. Sometimes corporations use their power in such excessive, ridiculous ways that the choice is immediately also a self-destructive one, even if it's also one that brings them benefits. Keeping Melman from using his name gives NBC nothing and shows people just how petty and nasty NBC, Robert C. Wright, and his cohorts are. They took an old man's name away from him, because they could, and they saw the whole situation in terms of power. There's right and wrong. Every situation does not boil down to "whoever takes more away from the other, wins."

Meanwhile, there are precious few Larry "Bud" Melman clips on YouTube because of CBS' greed-fueled lawsuit against the site and the incompatibility of such clips with NBC's desire to use the site purely as a massive promotional tool.

Granted, one classic Larry "Bud" Melman clip - from NBC no less - survived. Late Show With David Letterman is certain to air a tribute tonight, and then CBS will put some clip on the site tomorrow.

There should be tons of great Melman clips to watch, so I could have spared y'all the anti-corporate ranting and posted more funny clips. Melman had requested that there be no services. Those who knew him can remember him Hopefully people will re-post many of the ones that were pulled and both networks will have the decency and respect to let them remain in his memory.

Giving hot towels to tourists at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and interviewing them about their trip:


Blogger xolondon said...

I assumed he died years ago!

3:10 AM  

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