SO LADIES AND GENTLEMAN… ALWAYS LAST, BUT NEVER LEAST. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE MASTER OF DISASTER, the BIG KAHUNA, the MAN WITH A PHD IN SAXUAL HEALING, the DUKE OF PADUCAH, the KING OF THE WORLD, LOOK OUT OBAMA! THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES EVEN THOUGH HE’S DEAD… YOU WISH YOU COULD BE LIKE HIM BUT YOU CAN’T! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE BIGGEST MAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN!… GIVE ME A C-L-A-R-E-N-C-E. WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! WHAT’S THAT SPELL? CLARENCE! … amen.
“Be excellent to each other.”
Clarence in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
A Clarence-narrated “Simpsons” episode, “The Grift of the Magi.”
Today’s a little bit sadder than it was yesterday.
Dear Big Man
In a statement on BruceSpringsteen.net, Clarence’s family asked fans to send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org while he recovers from a stroke. Here’s my letter. You should write him one too.
Can I call you Clarence? Of course, I can.
I interviewed you about a year ago for your book. I don’t usually get starstruck —I’ve talked to enough famous people who have treated me with indifference that the notion of celebrity has become an afterthought. But I was so nervous before I talked to you, I felt sick. The first thing that blurted out of my mouth was, “Oh my god, I’m so nervous right now.” Let me tell you, this is not a cool thing to do, especially if you are pretending to be some serious journalist. I told you I felt like we were on the Chris Farley Show together. You laughed at me and said something like, “Who me? I’m not scary!” We ended up having a great chat where we talked about your place in the band and why myth was important to you. You called me honey and it didn’t annoy me because it was you and it was done with such natural aplomb that it didn’t matter. You were funny, sweet and charming.
At the end of the interview, you asked, “Are you still nervous?” And I said, “A little.” You said, “Well, then I am too, baby.”
So thanks, Big Man, for taking the time to make me feel awesome even though you didn’t know me and we’ll probably never speak again. That’s why I want to take the time to make you feel awesome, too. Bruce may be at the heart of E Street but you are undeniably its soul. Please get well soon, because I’ve only seen you guys seven times and I have a lot more rocking out left in me. I think you do too.
[Picture courtesy of Backstreets]