I'll miss ya, "Bronx"
Howard Morris died.
He was a regular member of the one of the most influential comedy shows on television, "Your Show of Shows".
I wasn't around when it was on, but have seen many of the shows on tape.Howard along with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner and Imogene Coca were brilliantly funny. Most people remember him as Ernest T. Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show" and countless movies and voiceovers you can see on his list of credits.
A few years ago, I worked at a cardiac center, here in L.A. One day, around 7:30AM, looking pretty much like this, I saw him in the elevator and instantly recognized him. I asked him, if he was Howard Morris and he was surprised and delighted that I knew who he was.
He came there once a week to take a class and always showed up early. We started talking and he was amazed I knew so much about "the biz". (I've always had an interest in it, even as a kid.)
We'd talk about lots of things (he told me the inside scoop on Mel Brooks doing "The Producers" on Broadway) and when he found out I was from Brooklyn, he proudly announced he was from the Bronx.
After that, when he came in to the center, he'd say "Howya doin' Brooklyn?" and I'd say "Not bad and you, Bronx?" So cute.
It was a stressful job at times and seeing him every Wednesday was the highlight of my week.
I remember when I had to leave the job and he asked me to come out from behind my desk, for a little physical contact.
We hugged and did his cute little Qantas koala bear voice for me.
He will be missed....
Check out David Morris' site, Ernest T, where he has posted a tribute to his dad. Fans have also posted many of their memories as well.Here's a nice overview of his life and career.