This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don LaFontaine, 1940-2008, R.I.P.

In her stand-up act, Janeane Garofalo sometimes does the following brief routine. She introduces it by saying -- I'm paraphrasing, here -- "This is every movie trailer," and then says three more words:

"In a world... "

How'd you like to be able to say that you were the very first guy who said it during your own voiceover for a movie trailer over a zillion years ago, and that you'd said it a zillion more times than you could count since then, and that a zillion other guys have copied it and the way you said it... ?

Don LaFontaine could say all of the above. (Although there is some controversy over whether the "In a world" line originated with Don, or Hal Douglas...)

Unless you (like myself) live -- and the pun is absolutely unavoidable! -- in a world where names like Paul Frees, June Foray, Maurice LaMarche, Dick Beals, and Daws Butler are familiar to you, you may not have ever heard Don LaFontaine's name. But you knew his voice if you ever sat through the "coming attractions" at the cinema, while waiting for the main feature to start.

Don LaFontaine died yesterday at the age of 68. And even with those aforementioned "zillion other guys" still around, willing to steal his voiceover style, he'll be missed by those with a discerning ear, and a respect for the original talents in the entertainment field.

Thanks for your time.


  1. RIP, Don LaFontaine. I've very much enjoyed reading your other reprinted "R.I.P." posts.

    As far as Don specifically goes, that line can be deployed in many ways in life. At the breakfast table, when someone asks if you want the last muffin: "In a world in which pleasures are fleeting and the phantom menace grows darker and more threatening with each day...heck YEAH I want that last muffin!" At Cumberland Farms: "In a world in which gambling with Fortune's gun moll Fate is the name of the game, and Luck moves and leaves no forwarding address, heck YEAH I want a little plastic bag with that!"

  2. In a world where cutie-pies like Sparkle leave goofy comments...

    "I've very much enjoyed reading your other reprinted 'R.I.P.' posts."

    David'Z First Rule of Writing: Never throw anything away.

    I sent the link for the "non-celebrity's" obit to his younger brother, who's currently running for state senator. (I know him, too, from when he also worked for Shaw's Supermarkets.) He really liked it. It was nice to hear that, so many years after I wrote it.


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