Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Tribute to Charles Nelson Reilly

I originally wrote this for Facebook on June 4, 2007:

Charles Nelson Reilly died on May 25, 2007, and I'm still inconsolably sad. I know I never met him, but he has brought so much joy into my life over the past years that I feel so melancholy when I think that he is no longer with us. I'm sure most people have no idea who he is, so let me tell you... he was a comedian/actor/director/entertainer who worked mainly on Broadway and TV. He is most famous for Match Game, my favorite game show ever, on which he was a regular panelist for most of the show's remarkably long run. He was great friends with fellow panelist Brett Somers and incomparable host Gene Rayburn. I refer to Brett and Charles as the "ultimate odd couple" - they sat side-by-side on the top row and exchanged constant, good-spirited insults and banter. Charles is such an integral part of the chemistry that makes Match Game so special (seriously, watch it some time and observe the interplay between Gene, Brett, Charles, Richard Dawson, Betty White, and many others). He has always been one of my favorite parts of the show - consistently witty and hilarious, and just a really sweet, approachable guy. If you don't know anything about Charles, please go watch Match Game on GSN (Game Show Network) - it's on at least twice a day. Then, you'll realize what all of his fans already know - that he's a bigger-than-life, completely unique, magical personality who will be sorely missed. Luckily, we still have all of those reruns to comfort us, so he will never be forgotten. Charles, thank you for bringing so much laughter and awe into my life over my many years of Match Game devotion. There will never be anyone else like you.

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