Saturday, December 16, 2006

Remembering John Spencer (1946-2005)

This isn't about Studio 60 per say, but it's been one year since John Spencer, beloved to Sorkinites as Leo McGarry on The West Wing, passed away from a heart attack. So I thought he deserved this little tribute.

So I don't care how (if you have the DVDs, get'm out, if you don't, steal them.) but everyone needs to sit themselves in front of a couch today and watch the episode "Bartlet for America." Go, right now, do it. I've already done it today, so I'm one step ahead of you.

That's all I have to say, but I'm going to leave you with this quote:
"This guy's walking down a street, when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up 'Hey you! Can you help me out?' The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up 'Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. 'Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole! Our guy says 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!" and the friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.' Long as I got a job, you got a job. Understand?" (-TWW, 2.10)

I watched that episode on Bravo this (or last) week ... it's so great! And, that quote is FANTASTIC. RIP John, we love you!
This is strange - I have just seen Noël. Right this moment. And I really welled up when I saw that scene. Didn't even remember its was a year from his death. RIP, John Spencer.
"Noel" is my favorite West Wing episode, and that speech is a large part of the reason why. "Bartlett for America" is right behind it. (Sorkin's Christmas episodes, across series, cannot be matched.) And I cried like a child when John Spencer died and then again when Leo died on the show. Even knowing it was coming. You should have seen me, you'd think he was my grandfather the way I was carrying on.

RIP John Spencer. Thank you for the brilliant work and the dear memories. We all miss you.
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I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning drinking coffee, reading the paper and looked at the date and it hit me, what the date was.

With Bravo rerunning the Christmas episodes of WW last Monday... it got me thinking about John... and I thought that although I was upset WW ended, it could not have gone on, truthfully without him. He'll be in my mind around Christmas as well. I wonder now, would he be a part of S60? And what would he have thought of it?

John is on the commentary track with Aaron and Tommy on "Bartlett for America". . . its awesome. He's got that same pollyannaish enthusiasm that you see in the episode where Leo talks about Andrew Jackson keeping the giant cheese wedge in the white house. . .
John is one of my favorite actors! Thank you for honoring him! I hope you don't mind, but I put a link to your site on mine and asked everyone to check you out. I think you're doing a great job! Keep up the good work!
You know, I feel the ending of WW would have been so different if he hadn't died. In fact, I believe he would have ended as the president after a plane crash, a murder or whatever.

One of the reasons his dead shocked me is that I always thought he was the real protagonist of the show.
Thanks. I wouldn't ahev thought it without your prompting. I watched and wept.
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