Thursday, March 22, 2007

Calvert DeForest: We Hardly Knew Ye

The Incredible Mr. Limpet is about to get real. Real depressing. If you think you can't handle that, I suggest you look at Japanese guys taking nut shots ala Jerk Stupid-what-ever-the-hell-he-calls-himself.

Calvert DeForest, the man we knew as Larry "Bud" Melman died on Wednesday. Yeah, other people are writing about this, but the bloggers at Incredible Mr. Limpet owe it to his memory to add their two cents. There are not enough words in the English language to sum up what this man meant to the Limpet family, but if you are willing, please follow us after the jump as we offer you our small tribute.

(Note: This post is an open thread so check throughout the day as the entire Limpet crew sends Mr. DeForest our warmest regards)

Mr. Feelings:

Larry Bud Melman was a staple of my childhood. Before figuring out how to set the timer on my parents' top loading VCR, I'd stay up late with my brother (yes, Mr. Feelings does have family, and they are all gorgeous thanks to the Nazi-superman genes provided by some fine doctors in Brazil) to watch David Letterman do his then cutting edge shtick. I'd usually fall asleep before the musical guest, but for Larry Bud, I was always wide awake.

Like everything on Letterman's show at the time, you never knew where the joke began or ended. Either Larry was a genuinely strange human being or a brilliant performance artist. He blew my still developing mind like some sort of comedic lysergic acid diethylamide. They say reading expands your horizons; for me late night television did the same thing. Calvert DeForest, you will be missed. Not just for your laughs, but for the hot towels you so tenderly provided to the world.

Nacho Friendly:
When Hats told me about the passing of Bud Melman I was knee-deep in mustaches and couldn't fully comprehend what exactly he was telling me. When I finally took a moment to reflect, it hit me like a big, blunt trauma to the head. While I don't have quite the relationship with Calvert as some other contributors (we never went fishing or anything), I do have fond memories of the old bastard. I can't think of anything particularly special or stand-outish from his Letterman appearances, so I'll simply state that when one's mother really enjoys watching CMT, occassionally you're treated to gems like Vince Gill's 'What The Cowgirls Do':

Hats Bagelman:
I usually don't get rattled when famous people die. I just don't normally feel emotionally attached to people I don't know. So when I found out yesterday that Larry "Bud" Melman passed on I was shocked at how much it affected me. Like Mr. Feelings, I remember staying up to watch the old Letterman show and Larry "Bud" Melman was always one of my favorite characters. Unlike Rupert G. from the Hello Deli or Biff the technical director, you never really knew if Larry was in on the joke. But at the same time he always was gung-ho about whatever Dave made him do, whether it was dressing up like Elvis or like in the defamer clip wearing a bear suit and asking for change to a ten dollar bill. He was always gung-ho.

In the end all I can think about is a little anecdote about Princess Dianna's death. I couldn't care less about her (I mean didn't we win two wars so we wouldn't have to care about British royalty) but I remember Mother Theresa died shortly afterwards and all the news shows ran pictures of her along-side the Princess. Well, in December one of my greatest heroes, James Brown, died and while I was searching the interwebs for pictures of Mr. Melman I found this picture:
(For those of you who can't tell that's Larry with the Godfather)
RIP Calvert.

10lb Mustache:
Um... who?
(Note: 10lb Mustache is too cool for school)

Jerk Stupidneck
Look I wasn't even goin to read this beyond the point where I was disrespected by a sissy-mary wearing a girdle, but for Larry "Bud" Melman I continue.

Bagelman mentioned the bit where he's in a bear suit asking for change, here's the touching video.

Letterman sketches have always seemed unrehearsed and untested. They were funny because a lot of times they went on forever with no pay off and were just awkward, and if there was one thing Calvert DeForest excelled at, it was being awkward. Blurting out lines like he'd been painstakingly memorizing them seconds before walking out on stage, he could make any bit funny simply by staring straight into the camera.

Normally I'm one to belittle and demoralize the shameless, but in this case, he was so good at what he did, I can't help but respect the man. RIP Calvert, good luck on The Big Talk Show in the Sky.

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