Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Belated Tribute to Brett Somers

This is one of my seldom departures from writing about film. This is my eulogy to one of my favorite entertainment personalities ever. In case you don't know, Brett Somers was a very talented actress of mainly TV and stage, but she is most remembered for her nearly permanent position in the middle of the top row on the celebrity panel of the wildly successful game show Match Game. I originally wrote this for Facebook on December 18, 2007, but I want to post it here, too. More people need to be aware of this amazing lady. So, here it is:

Oh my god, how did I miss that she died? I only just found out today, and she died in September. And I only found out because I was going through old issues of EW to make a collage. Wow, how tragic. Or maybe I did know and the insanity of the semester just made me forget. Either way, I'm really, really sad. I adore Brett Somers, and the fact that I am only now mourning her death is heartbreaking. But, I am definitely in mourning for the fabulous Ms. Somers now, and I miss her dearly. It's better late than never, right? I recently wrote my obituary for Charles Nelson Reilly. He died this May. Somehow, it makes sense and it's kind of beautiful that they both died in the same year. Not even death could separate the ultimate odd couple. I am a full-fledged classic game show connoisseur, and Brett is one of the main reasons why. Match Game has provided me with countless hours of joy. Brett is always so full of life and so funny on the show, and maybe even sometimes a little drunk. But hey, they all were - she was just more entertaining!

Her repartée with Charles and host Gene Rayburn is just exquisite. She's a firecracker, always willing to belt out a few bars of a song in melodramatic fashion or to good-naturedly accept the jabs of the other panelists to her appearance (wigs and flat-chestedness specifically, the latter in comparison to busty Fannie Flagg). She calls everyone "darling" or "hon" and has some great catchphrases. My favorite, used to express outrage (usually mock), is "Good gravy, Marie!" Also, I just saw an episode where she said that, followed by "Criminy, duck!" I love her!

Of course, I remember and cherish her bickering with Charles the most. She was never seriously mad and could never hold back that beaming smile or contain that infectious laughter. I will never stop watching Match Game, and she will always be alive in my heart. What a woman. Brett, I feel like I know you from watching you for so many years. I love you and miss you. Thank you for all the good times.

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