Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Farewell Poem to Henry Gibson. By Illfolks


"Verrrry interrresting" wasn't his line.
Whimsical poetry suited him fine.
On "Laugh-In" they didn't want Henrik Ibsen...
Just literature spoken by Henry Gibson.
Timid and mild, he was never a swinger,
But then he made "Nashville." Henry's a singer!
On "Boston Legal" he was not to be dissed.
He played a wise judge, but now he's dismissed.

Well, those are the obvious highlights. First was "Laugh-In," (where he held a flower and recited poetry, and also played the quipping priest in "party" segments...not to be confused, though he was, with the equally diminutive Arte Johnson's "Tyrone" character and "interresting" catch-phrase). Later, "Nashville" and "Boston Legal." Cultists would point to "The Burbs" or "The Blues Brothers," and stand-up fans would tell you it was a damn brave thing to appear, years before "Laugh-in," in nightclubs softly drawling poetry to a bunch of drunks who wanted wife jokes. His album of stand-up on Liberty arrived well before "Laugh-In."

Henry was a smart, funny and nice man. Few have even one of those traits. As the Illfolks blog is a musical one, we'll salute this little giant via "200 Years," a song from the "Nashville" soundtrack that some embrace as patriotism, and others as satire.

Henry, not as frail as his comic image (he was in the Air Force), succumbed to cancer, and just missed making it to his 74th birthday (September 21, 1935 – September 14, 2009). He leaves behind three sons. His wife Lois died in 2007.
HENRY GIBSON sings "200 YEARS" from the soundtrack "NASHVILLE"

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