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22 People Who Died In 2009 & A Couple Who Didn't

Skull For a lot of people who started out alive in January, 2009 sucked because they died. I guess we made out pretty good, didn't we? Being not dead is the way to be. So here's a list of the best people who died in 2009. That sounded awkward. I don't know how else to say it. If you're dead and didn't make the cut, I'm sorry you're dead. I'm serious. It sucks that you died.

Arne Naess. I know this is a pop culture blog but I'm listing him anyway. He founded Deep Ecology and you should care. It's the earth for fuck's sake. Being that it's the precondition for the existence of pop culture in the first place, let's make THE EARTH popular, culture.

Ricardo Montalban. People always thought they knew what they wanted. Mr. Roarke knew better. Your fantasy might just turn out to be... your worst nightmare. Rocked the white suit.

Andrew Wyeth. Painted that girl on the ground staring all longingly at a farmhouse. What the hell happened to that girl? I'm afraid it wasn't pleasant. He painted a bunch of other stuff, too, that I don't know about. Realism makes me yawn. It's the Ambien of the visual arts.

John Updike. Eh.

Natasha Richardson. A skiing lesson. I'm not really familiar with her work, but this one bummed me out for Liam Neeson because fuck. A skiing lesson? It's weird how some deaths hit you like a weather report and others make you sit down. When I imagined my wife going to get a ski lesson, hitting her head, and dying, it made me sit down.

Marilyn Chambers. Behind The Green Door melted my brain before I even knew people did that kind of stuff to each other. Can you imagine? I couldn't. But I was intrigued.

J.G. Ballard. Anybody willing to explore smashing up cars and sex as a collision is alright by me.

Bea Arthur. She was on Golden Girls. I didn't watch it. I saw her on Entertainment Tonight a couple nights ago, going on and on about the strength of Golden Girls' script and directing. Made her sound arrogant and boring but I'm sure she's missed by a ton of people who stand by the strength of Golden Girls' script and directing.

Dom DeLuise. I just remember those Cannonball Run movies, especially the outtakes. Dom and Burt Reynolds looked like they had a really good time. I know I'm supposed to know him from the Mel Brooks stuff, but I don't. Never saw it. I have a lot of huge holes in my pop culture background. Monty Python. That Dr. Horrible thing. Never saw them.

Chuck Daly. I'm from Michigan. Coached the Pistons to two championships when I was in high school. Daly. Not me. I never coached the Pistons.

David Carradine. I just don't get the choking yourself while masturbating thing. I know I just told you I respected Ballard for getting off on car crashes. I know I know I know. I don't cohere. But we've been warned about choking ourselves while masturbating since Phil Donahue had a talk show. For the record, there's no proof that he was actually doing this. There was a rope around his neck and his penis was tied up with a shoelace. But that's all we really know.

Ed McMahon. Famous for being Johnny Carson's sidekick and pushing the boundaries of language in terms of not exactly saying it but making you think you won millions from Publisher's Clearinghouse. 

Farrah Fawcett. I didn't know much about her. I didn't have the poster. Charlie's Angels was on past my bedtime. Plus WTF? Michael Jackson died?!?

Michael Jackson. I already said my piece here, so I'll spare you the rant. But this one hit me the hardest. Michael Jackson was a badass. He was the ONLY person who rocked a white suit harder than Ricardo Montalban. All the haters who wanna negate his legacy because he dug little kids can go bury their heads in John Updike. CHA MON!

Karl Malden. Dude was 97. Actor. Enormous nose.

Walter Kronkite. Big news guy. I still can't believe Michael Jackson died. The dude woke up one day and decided he was only wearing one glove. Why? Because he could. Because he was Michael Fucking Jackson.

John Hughes. I'd have to check Wikipedia to make sure but I'm pretty sure John Hughes made every single movie in the 80s. John Hughes and Michael Jackson. The 80s have been obliterated. Wait. Madonna's still a skeleton. And Van Halen lingers. 

Les Paul. Made guitars. Guitars you heard.

Ted Kennedy. And where were you when you saw the Moonwalk the first time? Michael Jackson blew your mind.

Patrick Swayze. We all had our favorites but mine was Darry. "You two would be thrown in a boys' home so fast it'll make your head spin!" Swayze's defiance in the shadow of death's maw was inspiring. He loved the shit out of his wife too. Swayze messes me up, makes me sad. He was cheesy, but he really thought he was going to kick cancer's ass with willpower. I wish he did.

Claude Levi-Strauss. Not the jeans guy. The Father of Modern Anthropology. Dude bickered with Sartre and lived to 100 FTW!

Brittany Murphy. Klonopin, Ativan, Vicoprofren, Hydrocodone, Topomax, Carbamazepine, Propanolol. That's a lot of drugs in the house. It remains to be seen what was in her body. But no matter how it shakes out, it sucks. She was a young, beautiful woman with some chops on a good day. Probably no Oscars in her future, but 32's too young to be dead.

RIP 2009.

But how can we wallow in a world in which Keith Richards lives? Bring it on, 2010.


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Keith Richards is bathing in the blood of virgins, or has some crazy voodoo shizzat going on, I'm fairly convinced at this point.


no no no!! that's the ultimate jinx! I swear if something happens to Keith, it's on your head man!


Patrick Swayze still makes me sad too. I watched Dirty Dancing on Christmas. Man, he was beautiful. Made me sad to think of his wife without him for the first holiday season. Must have been hard.

Finally, another person that’s never seen Monty Python. Freaks unite.


So you've heard about Celebrity Death Pool right? Pick your top ten on who will kick in 2010. It's gory and disgusting, but the winner in my family gets a free diet coke. So, there you go. Keith Richards and BB King are on my list AGAIN this year. Those two must have had lawyers look over their satanic pacts before signing the dotted line.


I want in on Renee's family. Not just the Celebrity Death Pool, but her FAMILY. They sound awesome.

This whole thing was funny in the most horrible I-need-to-go-to-confession kind of way.


Why the fuck isn't Billy Mays on this list?


Marilyn Chambers was my husband's babysitter when he was a little tyke.

Fairly Odd Mother

The thought of a life without Monty Python/Mel Brooks would bum me out very much. If Michael Jackson had never existed? Eh, I would've been fine. Probably would've kept me from some very unfortunate clothing choices and attempting that damned moon walk in public.

As David Carradine may have said, "different strokes for different folks".


Ooooh, yeah, Billy Mays, man. Ouch.


I'm very sad for you about the whole Python thing. I'll be praying.

Also, did you know that Dom's kid is the dad on Wizards of Waverly Place? I'm sad for him. First of all, he's the dad on WoWP, which is (admittedly the best of the nonanimated fare) on Disney Channel, but he's also now half orphaned. He could be all the way orphaned, actually, I don't know who his mom is.


Dude. Everybody knows Keef died in 1978 and is a zombie, like Sweetney said. He will not die because he's already dead. Unless somebody shoots him in the head or something. Just one of the reasons he is cooler than the rest of rock and roll combined.


We lost a wonderful talent this year....Bea Arthur.

I found this clip of Bea Arthur's final interview. The clip also show Betty White, Carol Channing and Phyllis Diller.


I'd hate for an full interview with Bea or the other legendary ladies in the clip to go unseen.


Ah, BHJ, you never let me down. Your writing always inspires, always brings up further questions. Like, fur realz.

But, dude, KEITH? I sooooooo bow before his Altar of Awesome. Yeah, I think the guy has secretly been dead for at least twenty years, re-animated only for Rolling Stones appearances. But c'mon, it's KEITH.

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