Christopher Reeve and Roseanne Barr

October 13, 2004

I have no interest in letting this become the site for celebrity obituaries. However, the passing of Christopher Reeve moved a reader enough to request that I comment, so I'll share a quick Superman story, and then move on.

The first video tape that our family owned was Superman II. This was a betamax tape, acquired in the days when it wasn't clear that VHS would become the dominant format in the market. I say "acquired" because we took it from my Uncle Steve's house when he passed away. I'm not sure if no one else wanted the video, or if it was a last ditch effort to keep the kids quiet, but somehow, our family ended up with that video.

(It's odd that I remember where we got such an obscure childhood relic. My sister brings up childhood episodes that I don't recall, or just barely recall one after another. There must be hundreds of them that just didn't stick to my brain cells through a college career with too much drinking.)

Anyway, Superman II is the one where Superman goes into some machine that takes away his powers (for some reason, Louis didn't want to date a guy with powers) just as three bad guys from Krypton land on the planet to wreak havoc. Of course, it gets satisfactorily resolved, somehow or other. As kids with a new video will do, we watched it over and over and over and over and over. The thought is horrifying to me now.

I can't name any other role that Reeve played, and I'm not interested enough to take 90 seconds to go look it up.

But I did want to look up the Roseanne quote that I've heard about. Here's the whole thing:

Dr. Phil is just a used car salesman with barnyard psychology. Once he turns off those cameras, nobody does anything that he says. He's a fat slob talking about how to lose weight. Who wants to hear that? . . . I just hate Dr. Phil and his wife! I shouldn't go off like this, but he's just so stupid and the cause of the dumbing down of America. It's so purely evident if you just watch five minutes of this guy. He's just a huckster used car salesman, scam artist . . . I'd like to knock the [bleep] out of him! Dr. Phil is Hitler! I think he's Hitler reincarnated! When Dr. Phil and his wife had President Bush and his wife on their show, it was probably the scariest thing ever seen on television.

I guess this achieved her goal of getting her name back in the spotlight. But you have to admit that this is really pathetic. Dr. Phil? Is there any public figure who would have made Roseanne look more stupid? Maybe she could have blasted the midget that played Tattoo on Fantasy Island. Or nice old guy like Wilford Brimley. Or a little girl -- crap, I can't come up with a famous little girl. Maybe she could have just made fun of Christopher Reeve.

Actually, I may sound bitter, but that's just kidding. I'm secretly saying to myself, "ahhh, Rosie's right! I never realized that Dr. Phil was an overweight goofball who doesn't merit my respect. How could I have been so naive? What would I do without Rosie?"

If I actually believed that Dr. Phil would let loose and beat the living tar out of here, then it's a pay-per-view celebrity boxing match that I might just shell out to see.